Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Halloween Means To Me '13 Day 15: Todd E. Freeman

It thrills me to no end that old school body horror is coming back in vogue, and Todd E Freeman is one of the directors leading the charge.  Todd burst on the scene last year with a disturbing medical/prison/scifi/horror flick called Cell Count.  In fact, Cell Count was #7 on my top 10 flicks of 2012.  Almost every review I've seen of it, including mine, compares the movie to the early work of David Cronenberg.  I honestly can't think of a greater compliment.  You can, and should, get Cell Count HERE.  His upcoming flick Love Sick (SITE) promises to get under your skin just as much.  Todd is also a fellow PK.  That's preachers kid for you heathens.  It's a very interesting upbringing, but his father doesn't sound like your average baptist preacher.  So Todd, what does Halloween mean to a son of a preacher man?

"For as long as I can remember two things have been an integral part of my life;  Christianity and Horror Movies.  Boy does that explain a lot. 

My father was, and still is, a Baptist Minister.  Now I know just the thought of that may make you cringe at just the thought of being raised by some sort of militant bible thumping maniac.  Let me tell you just how wrong you’d be. 

Halloween for so many of my church friends was a time of struggle and frustration that they could not be a part of the “satanic” holiday.  My Halloween on the other hand was filled with candy, trick or treating, and scary movies.  You see my dad, as well as being a pastor, was also an avid movie lover. He grew up watching movies that were suspenseful, scary, and otherworldly and that’s exactly what our Halloween’s were always filled with. 

One Halloween in particular sums up my feelings of family, faith, and scary films.  My dad set up a haunted house in our garage and no it wasn’t one of those scare you into becoming a Christian haunted houses.  It was filled with monsters, the dark, and scares around every corner.  His sense of wonder and entertainment in all things that make the heart beat faster always put a smile on my face.  That night my dad also had us invite our friends over to watch scary movies.  He was an avid 16MM film collector and had a mini film festival set up for kids from 8-15.  First he started with a reel of old trailers from the 1930’s to 1950’s.  Funny I always remember the trailer for the original Maniac being on that reel and sitting in wonder that anything like that could exist on this planet.  After the trailers were over he stood up and gave us the behind the scenes story of how the original The Fly was made.  Some anecdotes that he had read in one of his hundreds of books on the subject including budgets, casting struggles, and crew member filmographies.  Then he reeled up the magic and turned on the little flickering light that made up my childhood.

So I guess what Halloween is to me would be family, faith, and horror.  My family has been and always will be the most important thing in life.  My faith is what fills me with the belief that the impossible is possible as well as the overwhelming urge to strive to be a better person.  Being scared is why I make movies.  Without these Halloween’s of my childhood.  I wouldn’t be who I am as a human being or filmmaker and I am pretty damn happy with being who I am."

 16 days ‘til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.  16 days ‘til Halloween, Silver Shamrock.

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