Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What Halloween Means To Me Day 12: Eric Stanze (Wicked Pixel Cinema)

Eric Stanze is one of the most consistently original filmmakers on the indie scene.  I first became aware of him when I came across his criminally under-appreciated flick Scrapbook while I was in film school.  It blew me away, and it has proven to predate a bunch of trends that took hold years later.  It was kinda August Underground (which it is often compared to) before there was an August Underground; but with an actual story, real tension, phenomenal acting, violence that had an emotional impact…actually, nevermind.  It’s nothing like August Underground.  Anyway, he not only refuses to go with the latest trends in horror, but he also refuses to make the same film repeatedly, which way too many directors do.  From theological hallucinations like Ice From The Sun to sleazy extreme exploitation like I Spit on Your Corpse, I Piss on Your Grave to straight up horror romps like Savage Harvest 1 and 2, Stanze never pulls his punches and always delivers the goods.  The latest offering from Wicked Pixel Cinema, Ratline, was an outstanding story of Nazis, immortality, and occult artifacts.  You can read my review HERE.  He also writes a blog over at FearNet called “Surviving Cinema” where he discusses his favorite flicks and gives us a peek behind the curtain into the world of making horror flicks.  Go to his website HERE for more info on what he’s up to.  So Eric, tell us what Halloween means to you...

 ”Halloween is the best holiday of the year. For me, Halloween represents encouragement for children’s imaginations to run wild, as well as an invitation for adults to rekindle their own imaginations. The holiday gives us permission to take darkness and fears that surround us in real life and twist them into something cathartic, thrilling, and fun. When I was a wee lad, long before I was a filmmaker endeavoring to put shock and fright on screen, I was scaring my mom with rubber snakes, dumping ketchup on myself to look like a corpse to scare my little sisters, and using fishing line to make doors open and rocking chairs rock to convince my dad our house was haunted. I managed to provoke some genuine fright (my mom hates snakes), but mostly I triggered the rolling of eyes and shaking of heads by family members. Halloween gives me license – in fact encourages me – to again engage in such twisted behavior as an adult... and that’s pretty cool... even though Mom and Dad are still rolling their eyes at me.”

15 days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.  15 days ‘til Halloween. Silver Shamrock!

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