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Friday, October 26, 2012

13 Question Marks of Horror: Bloody-Disgusting's Brad Miska

I grew up on Fangoria like every kid in America. When the internet came into play (yes kids, there was life before "the web"), a whole new world of horror culture opened up and we had choices. One of the first and arguably the best is Bloody-Disgusting. Brad Miska, Mr. Disgusting himself, recently spoke to Sinful Celluloid about all things horror, V/H/S/, and a certain never ending string of promos...

1. For guys like us, horror is usually something that takes hold early on. What was the event or film that first introduced you to horror?
I was always obsessed with “Tales from the Crypt” and the Child’s Play films. Although, I didn’t really obsess over it until I saw films like Halloween, In the Mouth of Madness, Army of Darkness over the course of a few months. It quickly became, “what next?”
2. You’ve been breaking new ground in horror for years.  What made you want to tackle the anthology film, which is considered by most, a non-commercial format?
It was originally an idea for a TV series that The Collective got behind as a feature film idea. I’m a big fan of Found Footage films; I just don’t like the execution. If you’re going to do something – do it right. Most Found Footage films are attempting to cash in on the crash, our perspective was to ensure we did it correctly, such as have a reason for the camera to be recording. Working with directors that I believed in is what pushed it over the edge, in my opinion. 
3. With a few notable exceptions, the “Found Footage” genre has been over-saturated. Did you have any reservations about going this route or did you just know that you could make it work?
Found Footage is just a perspective. I don’t think it’s a gimmick like 3-D is. I have no real issues with it other than when a character constantly references the camera like in Chronicle. Friday the 13th is basically a first-person perspective film, there’s just no camera recording. 
4. This film had me up all night and I’ve seen almost everything. Were there other terrifying stories that were set aside for a sequel?
Not really, and honestly, the process was sort of chaotic. It was highly experimental as we added filmmakers and shoots as we moved along. Nothing was set in stone and nothing was projected from the beginning. All we had was Adam and Simon’s wrap around to work from. So, everything that was filmed was filmed specifically for the movie.
5. When gearing up for the film, was there any director you went after that wasn’t available?
Yeah, it was a while ago, but there are two I remember: one was JT Petty, who couldn’t because he was working on Hellbenders, and the other was Larry Fessenden, an extremely talented writer-actor-producer-director. I LOVE both of these guys and would have died to have them part of the first film. It’s sort of a horror fan’s wet dream to be able to talk with all of these genre talents.
6. If you do a sequel, are there any characters you would like to see return?
The interesting thing about V/H/S is that the mythology is wide open. Because you’re watching a VHS mix tape, the viewer has no idea who created it. We can go anywhere. That would be sweet. 
7. You started Bloody-Disgusting around 10 years ago; what was your original goal when you started tapping the keyboard and have you achieved it? 
Fun - plain and simple. I started the site with Tom Owen, who exec produced the film, who just wanted to work on web design. I knew everything about upcoming horror, so we collaborated. It was just friends having fun and spiraled out of control (literally, because the server bills were INSANE. People don’t understand that WE paid to host the site for years.) The only goal was fun, we had no idea it could become a career. I wanted to do advertising.
8. Around 2003 or so, there were a lot of “TV Teeny-Bopper Queens” showing up in horror because it was hip again. They wouldn’t talk to a lot of horror press and would bad mouth the genre in the mainstream rags. But the funny thing is they kept doing horror. What’s your take on that?
I’ll give you a great story that I’ve never publicly talked about. Back in 2003 Warner Bros. had us to their junket for Gothika in Los Angeles. It was the first “real” thing we ever did, and it was kind of scary. When we arrived to check into the hotel they denied us entry because “Halle Berry is afraid of your website, and you.” True story. I think that sort of sums up your question.
9. I’ve been running my site for almost two years now and it’s an all day, every day thing. When you started the website, did you have a team or was it a one man show?
I’ve been the only person to really do the news until we branched out and created the sections. It’s always been fun for me, so I just did it. I went to school, worked 2 jobs at the same time, and still maintained the site. I used to be able to update in the morning and at night, but now, it’s a fucking nightmare. It’s really hard to have fun when you’re posting about 15 American Horror Story teasers and a bunch of TV show pilots that never get picked up. I wish we could just report on what we wanted, but that’s not what we established ourselves as. I just got to roll with it and try and stay sane lol.
10. The film industry is its own weird animal. When you first got your foot in the industry door with Bloody-Disgusting Select, did you feel a sort of culture shock?
Actually, I must be mentally ill or something, I didn’t really care much. The site has always been my baby, and all that matters to me is that we keep our ethics and integrity in check. So as long as I thought the movies we released were good, I was happy. I refused to put my name on something I think sucks ass. I’d turn down a million bucks in a heartbeat.
11. Horror fans can be a bit unfair when it comes to a sequel or remake. What is your favorite unjustly hated horror film?
Oh man, that’s a hard question. I’d need to scroll through our history to remember. My brain is fried from constantly having to report on American Horror Story. I think genre fans are pretty in tune… see the Dawn of the Dead remake. Everyone was ready to destroy it, but in the end everyone pretty much agreed it was amazing. It proved that remakes could be good.
12. I love 1970’s Euro horror; Mod girls running around castles being sexed up and hunted by undead, great visuals… What’s your favorite sub-genre?
The Legend of Hell House is my favorite horror movie. My favorite subgenre changes every few years. First it was splatter, then zombies, then black and white, then Universal Monsters, then J-horror (before it was hot; there’s a feature somewhere on the site where I introduced readers to all region players and the films they should get). Right now I’m sort of stuck in 1980s mode. I miss having FUN at the movies, and in the ‘80s all they cared about was making a fast-paced, energetic film. 
13. If you did another anthology format film, do you hope to get behind the camera yourself and direct?
I would never direct. I recognize that’s not a talent of mine. Producing just allows me to hang out with friends, and watch talented people blow my mind on a daily basis. At the end of the day, being happy with what I do is the most important thing.
Other Horrific Musings: 
      13 Question Marks of Horror: The Hard Cut Director Vince D'Amato

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