50 Days of Halloween, October 3: classic horror interviews

I can’t be the only person who spends hours of their life watching interviews with horror icons on Youtube. Am I? Nah…

Youtube is a wonderful teaching tool in this day and age. What better way to get into the mind of a horror author or filmmaker than to watch them discuss their craft in an intimate setting like an interview?

Today, we grab a seat and bust out the pen and paper- school is in session in the form of some of the best interviews featuring some of the biggest names in the horror genre.

Let’s kick this thing off with a real big bang.

This group needs no introduction. Stephen King, Peter Straub, Ira Levin and George A. Romero gather around on The Dick Cavett Show and talk shop. It’s a lengthy watch but absolutely worth it. King owns the stage, naturally. Straub and Levin provide tight, well-thought answers and a look into their psyche. Romero dishes on social commentary and teases an upcoming project with King that we all know and love.

Clive Barker is the master of visceral horror but how does he hold up against a room full of teens, many of whom clearly have never truly given his work a second of their time? Barker provides nothing but sincere, well-thought answers without verbally skewering the young adults who are just so concerned about what sort of threat Barker’s work may pose to their fragile psyches. Mr. Barker has always been a masterful speaker and one of the most intelligent gentlemen to put pen to paper, so it’s no surprise that he handles this interview like a true professional.

Mary Harron is one of the most bad ass figures in horror cinema. From directing American Psycho to simply obliterating any and all misogynistic obstacles in her path, she’s a true icon for the horror world. In this 2012 interview, she discusses her career, some of the controversies that have followed her filmography and another horror film she directed.

The Queen of Vampires, Anne Rice is every bit as important to the genre as anyone else, regardless of what parts they hide under their pants. In this captivating discussion, Rice chats about the book series that has made her globally known and loved. Showing the spirit and zest for story-telling that has made her such a popular cultural icon, Rice could read the ingredients of a ketchup packet and I’d be all ears.

Perhaps my all-time favorite horror film, 1982’s The Thing deserves all of the accolades and I’ll never pass up an opportunity to listen to the crew talk about the making of the film. Here, we get a little bit of everyone- director John Carpenter, cinematographer Dean Cundey and effects maestro Rob Bottin- as they discuss their epic film.

Last but certainly not least, let’s go back sixty years and listen to the legendary Rod Serling dish on some excellent talking points, including censorship. Serling and censorship got together like oil and water and rightfully so. His answers are honest and his personality is charming as always. The Twilight Zone is just starting production at the time of this interview so it’s fascinating to see and hear the naive enthusiasm Serling has for the project- he has no clue just how big this thing is going to be.

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