Category Archives: Interviews

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Interview: Linnea Quigley

There probably isn’t a horror fan alive that hasn’t heard the name Linnea Quigley: star of over 80 cult classics, and one of the most widely recognized scream queens in horror movie history. That’s why it is our immense pleasure to bring you our very own interview, with none other than Linnea Quigley.

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BLOOD THEATRE (BT) : As always, I’m curious to know: how did you get into the horror genre to begin with?

LINNEA QUIGLEY (LQ) : I got into horror, and movies by accident. Moving to LA everyone was talking acting and all, so I gave it a try. I hated working for hardly any money, and measuring people that the tape measure wouldn’t go around.

BT : I have to ask you – of all the movies that you’ve starred in during your career (which certainly is an extraordinary amount!), which has been your favourite, and which have you enjoyed the least?

LQ : I loved and hated RotLD. And the least one, oh well, some of the early cheap ones. I don’t even want to say. Ahhhhhhh.

BT : You worked alongside Linda Blair in the movie “Savage Streets”. To begin with, what was it like working on the set of this well known exploitation movie, and second of all, what was it like to work with Linda Blair?

LQ : I was terrified working with Linda being a fan and all. And it was last minute they cast her, and I was older and all than her, and looked different, so I thought I’d get fired. But wow, it was sooooo cool. She is great!

BT : You have also starred with Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer. Could you tell us what it was like working with them?

LQ : Wow working on films with the three of us was so great. It was like family, and that is no more. I miss it. It was so amazing and all.

BT : Which of your previous costars did you enjoy collaborating with the most? And who, if you had the choice, would you like to work with in the future?

LQ : Oh what a hard question. I don’t know… Don Calfa is great. I love him, Andras Jones… oh yeah he was great, and of course Michelle is so cool. I also love Karen Russell and Liz Kaiten, and on and on

BT : Could you tell us a little bit about your band, The Skirts? How did it come to be formed, and are you still together today?

LQ : Yes we are starting as of two weeks ago again, rehearsing, writing, and all.

And it just happened the bass player Haydee and I clicked, and so she got in her car, and then van 18 rescue cats and 8 dogs AND came here to work on our stuff. Please someone record us — and book us!

We will sell records or CDs now that there is a thing on the website called The Skirts Undercover. It’s us a year ago having fun and playing around. Haydee is soooo cool.

BT : To change the topic a little bit – what are your thoughts on being a Scream Queen? Was that what you set out to be? And now that you are a recognized scream queen, do you feel limited or confined by the term?

LQ : Well I never set out to be anything, but having the title… I love it, cuz some cool people love the title and the movies and, “oh well” to the ones who don’t. I’m not a snob and so it doesn’t matter. I just wanna have fun and not take life all serious.

BT : At this point in your career, looking back, are you satisfied by what you’ve accomplished?

LQ : I want more. I wanna do documentaries.

BT : Do you feel that you’ve gotten to a point in your career when your scream queen days are beginning to wind down? That is, what do you see yourself doing in the future?

LQ : I hope music. I did some for a movie I was in this year.

And well, of course my characters that I played are being played by younger ones, and it’s weird. Very weird. Full circle… huh.

BT : Besides acting, what does Linnea Quigley spend her time doing? That is, what is important in your life at the moment, and what would you like to have the opportunity to do in the future, besides film.

LQ : I want to get married and I want to just do things to help animals and lead a fun, happy life, have time to do things I think are important; and fun and music, and documentries are part of it. Kinda like the Decline of Western Civilization. I have a lot of ideas .

BT : I know you’re very involved and dedicated to animal rights. Is there anything you wish to say on this topic to any of our readers?

LQ : I am most happy that I’ve had people say, “I tried to become a vegan and I did it, and look, I lost 60 pounds.” I feel more confident and I help animals I love. It’s the best, really, I could feel, helping the animals.

BT : Could you tell us anything about some of your recent or upcoming projects?

LQ : Well I did Doris Wishman’s last movie, and I finished Corpses are Forever here in Miami. Both are almost done. And then I did film and music in Kansas on Notorious Collonel Steele and had a great time. Chris the director, was great to work with and do the music with since I was rusty, but I wrote and played it thanks to him and I have a documentary planned, and all, too. And a movie this guy who was going to marry me, is doing, and I helped get the deal together. Boo Hoo…

BT : And, as we always ask, is there anything else you would like to say to our readers at The Blood Theatre?

LQ : Sink your teeth into this site! I love ya all!

Love and Screams,

Linnea (and don’t hurt animals!)

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Once again, Linnea, it was a great honour for us to have you to take time out of your extremely busy schedule to answer these questions!

If you wish to follow Linnea’s career more closely, be sure to check out her website at: linneaquigleycircle.com

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Interview w: The Corridor Cast Members

I had the opportunity to speak with actor Glen Matthews who portrays Jim or “Huggs” in the film. He is currently in Toronto acting in THE NUNS VACATION, a new play from Tom Walmsley. He is appearing alongside his CORRIDOR co-star Stephen Chambers (Tyler) and actress Sandy Duarte (THE CORRIDOR’s biggest fan – she was the one with all the facebook updates). While busy with rehearsals and their big opening this past weekend, both Glen and Stephen were still able to take the time to answer a few questions for me about their experience on THE CORRIDOR which I am extremely grateful for.

BT: There are some very interesting make-up effects in this film, one in particular involving you Glen, can you tell me a bit about shooting these scenes?

GM:  Most of the film was done using practical effects, including the scene you’re referring to, and I really love that, as a viewer, and as an actor. Practical effects just can’t be beat.

The first take we did, I knew that the blade was dulled and safe, but my brain was still sending me danger signals. It was such a weird sensation. Every impulse in my body was telling me to scream “Cut!” and start weeping, haha.

Tyler Crawley (Chambers) in The Corridor

Tyler Crawley (Chambers) in The Corridor

SC: Luckily, I didn’t have to undergo any of the make-up stuff aside from a tiny scar they gave me under my eye. My big deal was simply reacting to these effects. I liked that the majority of effects on THE CORRIDOR were practical and not CGI which meant I didn’t have to react to nothing but rather something I could actually look at. The day they did Glen’s big effect, I refused to see how any of it was applied. I didn’t want to know the technical stuff behind it. I wanted to see it “live” while they shot and have a genuine reaction to something that actually looked quite real. Glen’s effect (and others) truly did affect me and what you see on camera is pretty legit. The effects were really happening and so were the reactions to it. I recall being pretty damned shocked when I saw the scene involving Glen. I can’t remember but they probably did it like 3 times which involved quite a clean up each time.

BT: What was your most enjoyable scene to shoot?

GM: I honestly can’t single one scene out. The cast was so wonderfully stacked with likeminded performers; every day was an absolute pleasure.

SC: Most enjoyable scene to shoot…depends. I always got the most amped up any time I got to charge through on the snow mobile. I suppose anything to do with that thing was my favorite as I’d never ridden one before and got pretty good at it.

On another level though, I think the first day of shooting was my favorite. The first day we had a blizzard and were almost shut down. We shot pretty much in sequence and I was really keyed up on day 1. I remember just doing a bunch of walking through this beautiful canvas of snow that was so surreal. We were shooting all the stuff of Tyler’s arrival back at the cabin and it simply entailed me just trudging through the white snow. That was purely magical for me; probably my favorite moment of shooting the film.

BT: The film centers around male bonding, having a predominantly male cast did you find that bonding occurring off-screen as well?

"Huggs" (Matthews) in The Corridor

“Huggs” (Matthews) in The Corridor

GM: We all knew that the chemistry was going to be a big part of this film going into it, so I think there was a bit of a concerted effort to “bond” in the first week of rehearsals, but after that, it didn’t need to be forced, whatsoever. All of them are great performers who I hope to work with again someday (well, me and Stephen are doing a play together now, actually).

SC: I’ve said this before and it still remains true to me. Whether it was art imitating life or vice versa, I found myself quite separate from the other fellows. I got along fine with all of them but preferred to sort of do my own thing in a separate place. Maybe being the only Torontonian in a group of Haligonians had something to do with it. I felt that I bonded just the way Tyler would have. I loved them all but also felt quite alienated and that truly made my job on screen that much easier. Hell, it wasn’t till like a year later that I actually stopped being afraid of these guys….especially Glen! I’m working with Glen and he still scares me!

BT: From auditions to festival appearances what has been your fondest memory of this project?

GM: Receiving the call from my agent, telling me that I had been cast in the film was unbelievable. In this case, I read the script, and really fell in love with it. If I hadn’t been cast in the film, it still would haunt me to this day, I know it, especially after seeing what Evan (Kelly, the director) was able to accomplish. I’m incredibly proud of this film and feel so fortunate every time we get a chance to share it with an audience.

SC: Fondest memory? First week in Halifax, no doubt. I got the role while doing a play in Toronto. Finished the play and was flown out to Halifax, a city I’d been to about 10 years before and always loved. Week one entailed a breezy rehearsal schedule, so for me, I just got to wander the city most of the time and do my own thing and take in the fact that I was about to embark in a pretty big deal of a film. I just felt weird that whole time but in a good way. Just being in a new town on a new project was a Twilight Zone-ish feeling that I enjoyed. Same with the first day up in Wolfville where we stayed at the Old Orchard Inn. It was like THE SHINING. A big ol’ empty hotel in the middle of the desolate snow. I loved the surreality of it all. Once the actual work started, it all went to hell. Kidding. Maybe.

BT: Other than THE CORRIDOR, what is your favorite scary movie?

SC: THE EXORCIST, hands down. Best film ever and not just for horror. Watch it, watch it again. There’s a lot of stuff happening in that film. It inspires everything I write in one way or another. I also have to say POLTERGEIST and ROSEMARY’S BABY. Best horror films and you can’t argue with that. I won’t let you. I swear, if Glen says something like Saw, I’ll scalp him.

GM: I really hate being scared. I sit through scary movies holding my breath. For me, I love THE THING, it’s the perfect mix of scares and strong characters. Oh, and gotta love those practical effects.

BT: Rock, Paper or Scissors?

SC: Paper, all the way.

GM: I’ll never divulge my secrets.


We would like to thank Stephen and Glen for a great interview and send a big thank you to their stage co-star Sandy Duarte for putting us all in touch. We wish you all the best with your current show!

Follow them on twitter!
Stephen Chambers: @dhrproductions
Glen Matthews:  @GlenJM
Sandy Duarte:  @SandyDuarte

Check out our official GUIDE TO GORE  review for the film!

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Interview w: Fatal Pictures

Fatal Pictures, based out of Toronto Ontario, have brought us several fantastic short films such as   CONSUMPTION (2008), WORM (2010) and most recently FAMILIAR. These films have screened internationally at a wide range of popular genre festivals including Dark Bridges Film Festival, Screamfest, Oklahoma Horror Film Fest and The Sydney Underground film festival.

Co-founders Zach Green and Richard Powell  are responsible for nearly every aspect of the filmmaking process from initial concept to marketing. Producer Zach also edits and is heavily involved in post, with hopes of writing and directing in the future. Writer/Director Richard also takes an active role in the editing room alongside his producing partner. Together they work to create original and challenging independent films of high quality and artistic value.

I’ve been corresponding with Zach about the upcoming festival screenings and he was able to put me touch with Richard who kindly answered a few questions for us.

BT: The two of you met during film school and went on to form Fatal Pictures almost 5 years later. What was it that drew you together?

RP: We met during final term when I needed an editor for my short film assignment. I posted an ad and only Zach replied. We bonded over the making of the film and really grew to respect each other as filmmakers and friends and eventually we decided to combine our abilities to a greater effect.

BT: Your body of work thus far has been predominantly genre films, do you plan to continue in this direction?

RP: Genre filmmaking is fun and has a freedom to it but I would never bind myself creatively to anything at the exclusion of all others. I love film and think in terms of story and character before genre and other kinds of classification.

BT: Considering your history together, and your continued working relationship with actor Robert Nolan, would you say that you enjoy working with a familiar team? No pun intended… okay maybe it was.

RP: I feel at an independent level it is a necessity, when you have enough money you could hire your worst enemy to work for you but guys at our level survive on favors and relationships. Personally I love knowing as many of my collaborators as possible and establishing relationships that span films. We have worked with the same Fx team the Butcher shop on all three shorts as well as our composer Bernie Greenspoon. I like having a team I can trust and grow with. I feel it adds something to the process that is missing in the more mercenary side of filmmaking.

BT: What is the tone usually like on the set of one of your films?

RP: Hectic but fun. We genuinely love making movies but there is an immense pressure to create great work. We have fun but take it very seriously. We also tend to schedule too much into our days which is a great recipe for stress. Hopefully with more success and resources we can make our days a little lighter and make time to appreciate the moment.

BT: The effects in this film are pretty fantastic, were they true to your original vision?

RP: Very much so, and all thanks to the butchershop run by Ryan Louagie and Carlos Henriques. I gave them my sketches and they realized them beautifully. They are great artists and I can’t wait to work with them again.

BT: What is the most difficult effect you’ve ever had to shoot?

RP: I feel the scene in Familiar where John discovers some very nasty things on his torso was the most difficult of all due to the mirror,  the confined space of the room and all the little tricks we had to employ to make the lumps move. It looks simple but special fx require so much prep, planning and choreography in order to be successful. I really had to be on my toes to make those scenes work. Fx are fun to use but can become a pain in the ass very quickly, that said I look forward to using them again and again and learning along the way.

BT: Being that you are both involved in each stage of production, what would you say is the most enjoyable part of the process for you?

RP: I personally love the writing stages as there is a freedom to create and destroy with out consequence or cost. Once a crew, budget and schedule becomes involved the cement begins to dry. That said I really enjoy all of the technical aspects of filmmaking but I feel most at home when writing.

BT: Looking back on this film what is one thing you were most proud of upon completion of the project?

RP: Just being able to pull the project together on little more than favors and good will is what I’m proud of most. We couldn’t have done this a few years back but being able to make it happen now means we have progressed and that’s always the objective.

BT: What is your favorite genre flick?

RP: The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, Demons, Suspiria.

BT: What is your favorite thing about filmmaking?

RP: Creating characters and stories that haven’t existed before and sharing them with the world.

BT: Since this is Canadian Content, if you could work with anyone within the Canadian industry, who would it be?

RP: David Cronenberg by far, he’s made so many classics and continues to make daring and original films. He managed to make  genre films in Canada and reach a global audience in a way no other Canadian has.

BT: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?

RP: Quit and get a Business degree. You can make a nice life for yourself as mid level management with a salary and benefits.


Please follow Fatal Pictures on Twitter for all the latest news & content @FatalPictures

Check out the FULL LENGTH review!

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Interview: w/ Author Sean Munger (Zombies of Byzantium)

Sean Munger is a historian, teacher and author residing in Oregon. He is probably most well-known for the science fiction novels of “The Giamotti Trilogy,” which include Life Without Giamotti (2006), All Giamotti’s Children (2008) and Giamotti in Winter (2009). His other books include Romantic, Memoirs of a Great Liner (2005) and Beowulf is Boring (2009). His new book, Zombies of Byzantium, was published by Samhain Publishing in February 2013.Sean has also written for various heavy metal music publications, including Painkiller Magazine, the largest heavy music magazine in China.

UncannyDerek: I have to ask what the first thing is on everybody’s mind: where did the idea for zombies and the Byzantine Empire come up?

Sean Munger: It came mostly from my love of Byzantine history, and my frustration that this civilization has virtually no visibility in popular culture. I got hooked on Byzantium about eight years ago and one of its fascinations for me was that medieval Byzantium seemed a lot like a made-up world in a science fiction or fantasy story–like Middle Earth or the Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Yet you’ve never seen Byzantium portrayed in a Hollywood movie, for instance, or a video game like Skyrim. After I did Beowulf is Boring I was interested in another writing project that played with medieval history with sort of modern sensibilities that today’s readers could relate to and enjoy. So, I hit on the zombie angle. Most zombie stories are essentially modern, often taking place in a big city where the urban setting both enhances the danger and the opportunities for the characters and their undead foes. I got to thinking, Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, was the most modern city in the world in the early Middle Ages. What if a zombie outbreak happened there?

UD: It’s obvious that a lot of work with history was put into the story. Where did you first get your knack for history, let alone the drive to write a fictional horror story based upon it?

SM: I’ve always loved history. For me a good history book is like a thrilling big-budget Hollywood movie: it’s got a cast of thousands, epic battles, world-shaking events, and everything you’d want in a gripping story, and it has the added virtue of having really happened. Since I was a little kid I loved those big epic historical movies they used to make in the 50s, 60s and 70s, like Quo Vadis and Ben-Hur. My desire to be a historian and a teacher of history was mainly a means to be able to “play” in this fantastic toy box as my profession. I love teaching history and introducing it to people, and I think fiction is one of the best ways to do that. I mean, if you give a 13-year-old boy a copy of Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he’ll look at you like you’re crazy. But that same kid will go to see Gladiator and probably really enjoy it–and that, although not historically accurate, is at least part of the same story.

As for telling a horror story in a historical setting, I think it’s a way to tap into the possibilities of the genre in a way that fans won’t necessarily have thought of before. One of the reasons horror fascinates us is it plays on our fears. Zombies in particular symbolize our fear of our modern mass society turning us into an anonymous horde of unthinking drones. But our fears aren’t unique to our own time. People in the past had their own fears and anxieties, and even though they’re long in the past they still have the capacity to terrify us.

UD: How much of the story would you say is part of real history compared to the fictitious parts?

SM: Readers might be surprised at how much of the book is historically accurate. Except for the zombie outbreak, virtually all of it is accurate. The war between the Saracens and the Byzantine Empire depicted in the book did occur, and the Saracen siege of Constantinople in 717-18 was one of the most epic battles of the entire Middle Ages. Emperor Leo III was a real person, as was the Empress Maria, Maslama, Artabasdos and many other characters. The description of Constantinople is accurate–every building, street or landmark mentioned in the book was really there in 717. The weapons, clothing, military tactics, and those sorts of details are all accurate. A subplot of the book concerns a religious controversy about whether it was acceptable to depict Christ in visual form. That controversy, called Iconoclasm, was one of the major events of Byzantine history. People went around killing each other over Iconoclasm for over 100 years.

I took some liberties with the interplay of the characters, as most authors do with historical subjects. We don’t know much about the personality of Leo III, for instance, so the way he comes off in the story is my own invention. The final scene of the book–I won’t spoil it for anyone–is literal history and written from an eyewitness account. I thought the editors were going to make me take it out, but they let me get away with it!

UD: There’s an obvious religious take in the story – our main character and his friend are both monks. Why did you take that route rather than peasants, or knights, or kings?

SeanMungerauthorpic_zps21ea0424SM: I did it that way because Byzantium was an extraordinarily religious society, and religion defined people’s lives, from the Emperor down to the guy in the street. I made the main characters monks because monks were very prominent in Byzantine society. Taking one’s vows was a very popular “career choice” in Byzantium–one historian estimated that at one point, half the entire population of the Empire lived in monasteries or convents! I also thought it would be fun to have the main character a religious figure who challenges our perception of monks. You think of a monk as a quiet gentle guy with a bowl cut who never speaks and spends all day praying. But in the book Stephen, the main character, is a wisecracking gregarious kid, he fights with a sword in each hand, romances the Empress and swims through a pool of fire! I mean, you don’t see a lot of monks doing stuff like that!

Byzantium was also very different than other medieval societies. There were no “knights” as we think of them from Western Europe, and Byzantium also never developed feudalism the way other countries did. That’s why, although this is a medieval story, you don’t see a lot of the typical tropes–castles, knights in armor jousting, the obligatory banquet scene in the lord’s manor with wenches and minstrels, that sort of thing. It will be a fresh approach for most people, I think.

UD: Speaking of the story, I found the characters spoke relatively modern. What was your intention with having these historical characters speak like someone from more recent times?

SM: It’s funny that you mention this, as this was a big issue with the test readers I tried the book out on, and it’s already been mentioned in some of the reviews. I made a conscious choice to have the speech of the characters seem very modern, even though it’s an anachronism. First of all, it would have been impossible to try to replicate in English the way people speaking Greek in the Middle Ages would have talked. The best I could do would be to make the speech sound artificially archaic with a lot of “thee” and “thou” and lofty-sounding wording that evokes Shakespeare or Chaucer. But people in medieval Byzantium didn’t talk like that either, so what would be the point? I also wanted to emphasize to the readers that these characters were real people with everyday lives. Their speech sounded as normal and casual to them as ours does to us. It just brings the reader into something more familiar.

UD: That being said, how much of todays culture impacted your story and how it was written?

SM: Well, I had to write a story that was intelligible and interesting to modern audiences. The story is constructed kind of like a Hollywood action picture. There’s a small skirmish at the beginning, enough “wow” to draw you in–like the pre-credits sequence of a James Bond movie–then the story builds, the characters develop, there are more battles and increasing tension, and finally there’s the huge set-piece climax with a cast of thousands and a final epic battle that’s totally over the top. The zombie battles themselves, the way I wrote and blocked them out, are deliberately evocative of video games. I grew up on games like Wolfenstein 3-D and Doom, but it’s the same today–some of the battles you have in a modern game like Fallout or Skyrim, which themselves are heavily influenced by movies, emphasize a very frenetic pace, close quarters with enemies coming at you from all sides. But I also wanted to sort of go beyond this. The battle with the zombies that occurs in the little church, for example, is very much like a video game battle, except it happens in the dark–something you couldn’t do in a movie or a video game. 

UD: I’ve always found “ghoul” gives you the ambiguity of what the creatures are, but “zombies” are what most are familiar with. In your book, you use the term “ghoul” to describe the un-dead quite a bit. What’s your take on the choices you made in defining these monsters?

SM: I was hoping someone would notice that, with the exception of the title, the word “zombie” never appears once in the entire book! The word “zombie,” which I believe is a loanword from Creole or another Caribbean tongue, did not appear in our language until 1891. Certainly there is no medieval Greek word that even approximates what “zombie” means to us, so the Byzantines would have struggled to define what these things should be called. Interestingly, the Saracens refer to the monsters as “alksala,” which I had to check with a native Arabic speaker. It roughly means “zombie” in Arabic, but it’s not precisely the same. I thought portraying the characters’ confusion at not knowing exactly what to call these creatures would demonstrate how alien they would be if they appeared in this medieval world, especially one where most ideas and language were defined either by classical (ancient Greek and Roman) influences or by religious texts. 

UD: What drew you to zombies? Why not ‘Vampires of the Byzantium?’ Isn’t that what all the popular folks are doing now?

SM: I think vampires have been overdone, frankly. I know the Twilight books/movies have been very popular, but I think the genre of vampire fiction will need a couple of decades to recover from the pretty-boy-who-sparkles image it’s gotten lately. Zombies were more pertinent to the kind of story I wanted to tell, which was the response by a group of characters to a large-scale, catastrophic threat that has the potential to wipe their entire civilization off the map. Vampires are much better suited to stories where the tension and threat is on a much smaller scale. A gloomy castle with a hungry vampire can be a great set-up for a story–Nosferatu, for example, one of my favorite horror movies, is like that–but it wasn’t really suited for what I wanted to do.

UD: What is it about the horror genre is it that makes you want to get involved with it in such an intimate way?

SM: Well, strangely, I had virtually no experience in the horror genre before I wrote Zombies of Byzantium. All my previous writing projects have been science fiction or historical. In a way I’m sort of coming into horror as an outsider, which I think provides an interesting perspective. It’s maybe a subtle difference. I came at the project thinking “I want to write about Byzantium, and I think I’ll put zombies in it” rather than, “I want to write about zombies, and I think I’ll put them in Byzantium.” That said, I have come to appreciate the depth and richness of the genre far more than I ever did before, and that’s been one of the great rewards of doing this book.

UD: What are some of the “quintessential” horror books or movies do you think people should be aware of? Also, what are you favourite horror films and horror books, and how much did they impact your story telling?

SM: The classics. Always go back to the classics. They’re classics for a reason. In horror literature, the original Dracula is one of the best exemplars of the form. It’s still a riveting novel today, and the character of Dracula (as well as his imitators) resonate in our culture like few others have. I also love the original Frankenstein, another absolute starting point in the horror genre. Lovecraft, of course, is justifiably a staple. I think it’s still too soon to judge whether more modern horror fiction is as durable as these old classics, but time will tell.

As for movies, I already mentioned Nosferatu, the original 1922 silent version by F.W. Murnau. I watch it every Halloween and it still scares the hell out of me. My answer on the “quintessential” zombie movie might surprise people. The zombie film I admire most is I Walked With a Zombie, which was made in 1943 and directed by Jacques Tourneur (he also did the original Cat People). It’s a masterpiece of minimalist filmmaking, very scary and atmospheric, and I think more modern zombie films owe more to its style than people realize. Pre-1968, that is, before Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, zombie movies focused on Haitian-style voodoo zombies as opposed to undead flesh-eaters, but that doesn’t mean there’s no continuity between today’s zombie films and the pre-1968 ones. Again, always go back to the classics and you’ll never go wrong.

UD: What’s next on the writing block for you?

SM: More zombies! Samhain Publishing, the publisher that’s putting out Zombies of Byzantium, has bought my second horror book, which will be called The Zombie Rebellion. It will be out sometime in 2014. I’m really excited about it and my editor is too. It takes place in backwoods Pennsylvania shortly after the American Revolution, against the backdrop of a little-known event called the Whiskey Rebellion. So in addition to lots of zombie battles we’ve got Indian uprisings, volleys of musket fire, tomahawks whizzing all over the place, and bootleggers swilling homemade moonshine. Oh, and George Washington. I think anyone who likes Zombies of Byzantium is going to love The Zombie Rebellion. I’m also collecting some ideas for a third zombie book.

In addition to that I have a few other projects. I’m working very slowly on a more serious piece of science fiction called The Valley of Forever which has been on the drawing board since 2010. I’ve also thought of trying my hand at some serial fiction, which is coming back in a big way, but there’s nothing definite there yet. Suffice it to say I plan to be very busy!

UD: Do have any words of wisdom for aspiring horror writers out there?

SM: Yes, two things: keep writing, and write what you love. The one factor that is most important in carrying you through, and getting you into print, is perseverance. The other is passion. Taking a long view of history, you can make an argument that this is the best time in the last 500 years to be a writer. E-books, small presses like Samhain and self-publishing have opened up a brave new world for writers. But you have to get down into the trenches and do it. Don’t write for the market. Write the kind of story that you, as a horror fan, would want to read. There’s so much fun stuff out there. Everybody loves a good scare. If you write for long enough and take the time and effort to perfect your craft, you will make it. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing is ever easy. That’s the most sincere advice I can give to any aspiring writer.

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