Director Interview: Nick Millard

I reached out to cult filmmaker Nick Millard AKA Nick Philips back in September for an interview and he graciously agreed to partake in one, stating that he always tells the truth in his interviews, “unlike a lot of people in Hollywood”. Mr. Millard is best known to his fans for the string of outrageously campy, low-budget comedy-slashers he produced from the mid-1970s to the late-1980s, including those pictured below. During the course of our correspondence, we discussed a few of his more obscure titles, as well as some that were never even released! Check it out. Continue reading

You Know, I Never Really Introduced Myself

Deadly VHS Award

My sincerest gratitude to the Angry Scholar for bestowing upon me this very prestigious award. It’s nothing short of an honor. I’m truly humbled. This means even more to me knowing I am and will always be the first ever recipient of this accolade. If you will, please allow me to use this time to reveal who I am as a horror fan and to clarify what this site is about. The Deadly VHS Award is for outstanding cult, exploitation, and horror movie bloggers. To accept it, follow these steps:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Attach the award to your post.
3. Briefly explain your site.
4. List a few of the movies that shaped you and made you who you are today.
5. Select 3-5 other bloggers you want to give the award to.

1. Thanks again to the Angry Scholar. Visit his awesome page when you have the chance.

2. ✓

3. I write mostly for my own amusement. This blog is a reboot/reincarnation/extension of my previous blog, which was terribly rambling and scatterbrained. My basic goal for that blog was to find a writing style that worked for me and to learn how to better formulate my thoughts, which I feel I did to a certain extent. I was posting all kinds of stuff over there — movie reviews, movie news, my own artwork, crossword puzzles and quizzes I’d made… It was too much to keep up with.

My plan for this current site is to keep things simple. Here, I’ll continue penning love letters to forgotten-about B-and-Z-grade movies that don’t really deserve them in a way that’s both fun and relaxed for me. My free time is limited these days, so I only write about movies I genuinely enjoy. I try to be thorough, yet avoid overstaying my welcome when writing reviews. In the event that I actually own a copy of the movie I’m blathering about on DVD, I list all the features and basically state whether or not I think it’s a good disc.

In between posts, I do my best to read, like, and comment on as much of my fellow bloggers’ work as I can (check out the “What I’ve Been Reading” widget to the right).

I’ve been toying around with the idea of expanding my old blog’s horizons to include other topics like Bigfoot, conspiracy theories and wrestling. The good stuff.

4. There are many movies that shaped me and made me who I am today, not all of them horror. As a young child, however, I had free rein to watch basically whatever I wanted, so most of the time that’s the genre I went with. My mom and my grandma would let me rent movies I had no right even asking to. I’d probably seen every Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, Phantasm, and Puppet Master movie there was at least five times each by the time I was six. I even drew my own comics to accompany them.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Last House on the Left are two films from my formative years that affected me deeply. My mom, who’s never really known what she’s talking about, told me they were not only based upon true events, but had actually been banned from video stores for a number of years because victims’ families had sued to have them removed! I of course believed her.

I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to why, but one of my earliest and most ingrained memories is from Dollman vs. Demonic Toys. There’s a scene toward the start of that movie where a bearded homeless man rides a tricycle in a creepy warehouse and boxes fall on his head and he dies. A pool of his blood seeps across the floor and somehow proceeds to resurrect the demonic toys or something like that I don’t even know. As forgettable as all that sounds, the scene stuck with me for a good fifteen to twenty years until I finally saw the movie again, not even realizing it was the one from my memory. Brains are weird.

My interest in horror laid dormant for a while — how long, I’m not sure — but it re-emerged in a big way in middle school. I was twelve years old when House of 1000 Corpses hit theatres (I know, I’m probably younger than a lot of you). I asked my mom if she’d take me and was kind of surprised when she did.

Up until that point, House of 1000 Corpses was easily the most violent, most mesmeric movie I’d seen. I remember half the audience walking out in disgust.

I thought that was cool.

Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case was a major turning point in my movie-going experience. When I was eighteen, I ordered the special edition Something Weird Video DVD from a Cinema Wasteland catalogue on a whim and my life changed forever. Basket Case was the perfect gateway movie for me. It kicked the door down from standard slasher-style horror to a strange new world of obscure no-budget schlock. I’ve said it before, but after that my life became a lot like the scene in Steve Miner’s House where the main character repels through his bathroom mirror down a pitch black abyss and runs into a bat-winged skull monster thing. From there, I discovered the work of directors like H.G. Lewis, Ray Dennis Steckler, and early John Waters, and I haven’t looked back.

I guess this would symbolize good decision making. Credit: House,

I guess this would symbolize good decision making.
Credit: House,

My current obsession is shot-on-video horror, but I’ll watch anything shocking, low-quality, graphic, inartistic, unimaginative, exploitative, subversive or out-there, especially if it has a good retro 80s vibe.

Uhm, what else? Let’s see. I think George Romero is overrated.

Some movies that gave me the heebie-jeebies the first time I watched them are The Exorcist, Suspiria, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Blair Witch Project, The Ring, Signs, Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Absentia, The Innkeepers, and It Follows.

5. My nominees for the Deadly VHS Award:
Dr. Humpp’s Curious Collection
Horror Binge
Parlor of Horror
Direct 2 Video Dungeon (do you still exist?)

There you have it. I hope you now have a better understanding of where I’m coming from as a horror fan. Have something to say? Leave a comment — it’s more fun that way!

9 of My Favorite Made-up Horror Villains

And now something fun to break up the reviews. I was going to go the extra mile and come up with full bios for each of these characters as well, but didn’t know where to start and ran into a bit of writer’s block. Oh well, I hope you enjoy them regardless. Let me know what you think. Do you have your own characters? How would they fare against mine? Leave your comments below. All original artwork © Fringe Void/The Devil’s DVD Bin. Continue reading