Year FOUR Of ICONS OF FRIGHT
(May.08) by Robg., Mike C., Adam Barnick, Phil Fasso & Beth
|Robg.'s memories: Things have been so hectic with the whole IOF crew lately that we’re a month late on our 4 year anniversary reflection essays! Mike C and I launched Icons Of Fright on April 24th of 2004, and exactly 4 years later, we celebrated with a grand pre-FANGO bash, co-hosted by Shock Till You Drop’s Ryan Rotten in Burbank, California.
As always, when I look back at the interviews of the past year, I’m amazed by how far we’ve come and how many wonderful friendships have emerged between us, fellow horror fans and the people who make these films that we all hold so dear to our blackened little hearts! Seriously, the best part of running this site is getting the chance to party with all of you at the conventions, both fans and the celebrities alike. There’s no better group out there than the horror community.
Highlights from Year Four of Icons Of Fright? We were proud this year to continue to shine the spotlight on several up and coming filmmakers. Our chat with Dave Parker, the director of one of Mike C.’s favorite films THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING ranks high among my personal faves of the year. He’s currently in Bulgaria shooting his latest feature THE HILLS RUN RED, which he first mentioned in our interview! We can’t wait for that one! We featured Rolfe Kanefsky, twice! His film NIGHTMARE MAN starring the super-sexy Tiffany Shepis (another interview highlight this year) played as part of AFTER DARK FILMS HORROR FEST, and we loved his horror/comedy debut, the cult classic THERE’S NOTHING OUT THERE. It was great to feature Eric Nicholas, who impressed us with his stellar debut flick ALONE WITH HER.
Mike C. got to have a lengthy conversation with Rob Zombie about arguably the most controversial film of the last year, his take on HALLOWEEN. Love it or hate it, his Icons Of Fright interview is by far the most comprehensive he’s done for HALLOWEEN.
We were proud to get behind enthusiastic directors like Adam Green
and Joe Lynch
for their films HATCHET
and WRONG TURN 2
. The month that HATCHET
debuted in theaters, we spoke to cast members Joel Moore
, Tamara Feldman
, Mercedes McNab
, Deon Richmond
, and also got to conduct our first interview with a Director Of Photography Will Barratt
! We spoke to horror hotties Cerina Vincent
, Tiffany Shepis
, Erica Leerhsen
, Gina Phillips
, Vigdis Anholt
, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni
, Natassia Malthe
. We scored interviews with horror legends like Elvira
, Jeffrey Combs
, Lloyd Kaufman
, Zelda Rubenstein
, Gunnar Hansen
, Bill Johnson
, Dick Durock
and (the Cryptkeeper
himself) John Kassir
! (We’re still giddy over the “spot” he recorded for us!)
|Two filmmakers I truly respect and admire Neil Marshall and Keith Gordon were officially framed for the Icons interview index. And we even had the stars of this year’s THE SIGNAL, AJ Bowen, Anessa Ramsey & Justin Welborn, as well as ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante! Not a bad year for interviews!
On top of all that, we launched the FRIGHT GIRL column, John Torrani started his web series AMERICA’S BAD KIDS, we launched our video section, and we got 4 new fantastic staffers – Scott Lefebvre - the man behind our book section, Beth, Phil Fasso and Danny Price, who’s column SCHLOCK VALUE I love.
This has been an amazing year for me personally as well. I’m close to completing the Icons
produced documentary project THE PSYCHO LEGACY
. This was the year I became a writer for FANGORIA
magazine, a publication that was mainly responsible for making me a horror nut, and in turn the inspiration for this
site. My dear friend “Spooky” Dan Walker
got married to the lovely Tammy
(at the Houdini
mansion no less!) And I look forward to whatever craziness YEAR FIVE holds for me and the rest of the ICONS crew!
Special thanks to our entire staff, especially Evil B
for his help, Ryan Rotten
, Spooky Dan
, Tom Holland
, Uncle Creepy
, Johnny Butane
, John Gray
, J. Michael Roddy
, Brian Collins
, Tony Timpone
, the ROCKY
statue and pretty much ANY one and EVERY one that’s been supportive this last 4 years. THANK YOU!!! –Robg.
|Mike C 's memories:
Icons, Year 4.
I don't know how it happens. Every time I look back for one of these yearly articles I'm always so surprised. “That happened? This year?” Looking back on our year, April '07-May '08 was beyond a banner year for Icons of Fright. In no small part to the growing number of readers like you who continue to discover our little gallery of in-depth interviews, features, and news.
Timeless was the word on the lips of everyone involved in Icons of Fright this year. What can we do to make the content on IOF timeless? We have a great many friends working on other sites that focus largely on breaking news and upcoming films, and that's fine, it's respectable, and they're good at what they do. (So good, in fact, we reprint most of their stories. Ba-dum-dum!) But we're good at what we've always done. We're good at being the little Internet version of the ultimate horror convention. Sure, this year on Icons certainly you've noticed better and more frequent news updates. But we also wanted to go back to our roots, so we went out there this year to find more of the genre stars you wanted to get into the heads of.
Our goal was to get out there and whoever we were interviewing, and whatever it was for, not to just interview for a headline, not to just interview for a blurb. Go for timeless. Aim for the definitive interview, the most in-depth, the most fun, and the most informative. And this year, whether it was chats with genre legends, such as Bill Johnson, Keith Gordon, Rob Zombie, Tom Woodruff Jr, and Gunner Hansen, or whether we were talking to up-and-coming talent like Dave Parker, Joe Lynch, or A.J. Bowen, I think we've achieved that goal.
|And we also set out to lighten the f*%k up. For Christ sake, we're a horror site, not ‘ 60 Minutes’. We hope you found our vids like ‘Hellgate: A Crap Classic Remembered’, ‘Prom Night: Revisited’ as amusing as we did. And I hope you loved reading great columns like ‘Shlock Value’ by Danny Price, ‘Grindhouse Aficionado’ by Kevin Klemm, as well as all the great new reviews by staffers Phil Fasso and Beth Puttkammer. I think all our new writers have helped round out the site in ways Rob and myself always talked about doing, but were never quite able to accomplish.
And thanks to you, the Icons of Fright readers. There's more and more of you every year, and god bless 'ya. Keep the emails and comments coming, we love to hear from you, and we love writing back to you even more. Keep spreading the word about IOF and we'll keep bringing you the best in in-depth genre coverage on the web. We have so much planned for you guys this year, you're going to love it. Thank you so very much.
Special thanks to everyone Rob mentioned, plus the Rocky steps, and Bryan Norton for all the hosting and knowledge. No thanks to hotel fees, Continental Airlines, and Texas snow. –Mike C.
A.B.: Whether my contributions to the site exceed expectations or slow to a trickle, depending on personal workload, I'm always happy looking back that I was able to hook up with these East Coast Maniacs after they were generous enough to hype my last film, MAINSTREAM. And now with a few newbies in the works, here's hoping the same (LOL); but regardless of schedule with film projects, I'm happy to continue to be a part of the site.
It started with a fun what-if idea in 2004...and now gets quoted on commercials, recognized by fans at conventions, dominates Google 's image gallery (ask Robg to explain that one), acquired major advertisers, and is just plain KNOWN and enjoyed by geeks the world over. While the site's expanded, its core has always been its ultra-detailed interviews. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a fine quote to live by.
Since I rarely end up at cons these days, I still rely on Icons' Convention reports, because it's impossible not to feel 'you are there' reading these.
Personally I'm happiest this past year that we were part of rallying the horror community around indie films that weren't as well known at first- my time on HATCHET has basically spanned from its first public screening in April '06 to its DVD release- all the while I'd hoped the IOF gang wouldn't kill me after telling them how much fun it was for 18 months before they got to see it. I think it's fair to say that Icons and Dread Central played a major part in NYC's awareness of HATCHET's release (how about a poster or a billboard next time, distributors?). But our interviews were plenty, and our screenings/parties for that (and WT2!) in New York were nights to remember.
|THE SIGNAL has been the little indie that could and while I was a little late in the game seeing it, Rob and Mike knew how good it was from day one and somehow managed to score several great in-person interviews on...day 2. :)
Same with WRONG TURN 2- while this film did get the benefit of Fox's distribution muscle for DVD, we'd been championing the film and Mr. Joe Lynch soon as we'd seen some footage and watched the man work his crowd magic. And in a fine bit of cross-promotion, IOF co-founder Robg made his convention panel-hosting debut due to this film; as well as bringing Lynch and Adam Green on board for his first documentary, THE PSYCHO LEGACY.
While it's still in its infancy, my other fave element of the past year of Icons has been its video content. Exclusive clips or trailers continue to come in. Popular homegrown content like Mike C's hilariously awesome looks at crap cinema or our set visit on MALEVOLENCE: BEREAVEMENT (resulting in job offers!) and an upcoming look at GRACE, have brought welcome new fans and viewers to the table.
There's been a lot of personal and group expansion this past year as well as seeing friends we've made make more strides in the industry and while it will always be a challenge, I can't wait to see where we go. It's a lot easier with a gaggle of genre geeks all happy to see each other do well. -Adam 'evil' Barnick
|Phil Fasso: I'm fortunate to live on Long Island, and to be a Slayer fan. These two factors led me to meet Hot Topic manager/ mad genius horror fan Mike C. I went out on a limb and contacted him to ask if he'd like me to cover last year's Monster Bash. He rather graciously let me cover the con, and later invited me to write DVD reviews for Icons of Fright. He gave me a venue for my unconventional views. But more, he and Rob have led me to lots of fun in the name of horror, including several cons, a few movie screenings and my very first celebrity party! (Thanks, Rob G). I'll forever be in the debt of these two upstanding horror fans. Be cool – Phil Fasso
Beth: It feels very accomplishing to be able to write about the things you’re truly passionate about, and it’s even better to have people with the same interests actually read what it is you have to say. Being a part of a group that is so driven by their love for horror and need to write just makes me feel like I’m more a part of the horror genre instead of just a fan of it.
The past year has been amazing and I’m very appreciative for the many opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of thanks to Icons of Fright. It all started pretty basic with a couple of DVD reviews and blogs about new horror, but with all the things I’ve done this past year Texas Frightmare would have to be the highlight.
Mike C. was awesome enough to inquire about getting Phil Fasso and I press passes for the event and in return I was able to meet my idol George A. Romero, attend the 40 th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead and even score an interview with a man I highly admire, John Russo. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing several people who I believe are extremely talented individuals and will continue to create amazing films, books and comics. All these people; thanks to ICONS, I’m happy to call friends. I’m anticipating what this upcoming year has to offer, and I’m curious as to what it is I will be able to deliver. -Beth Puttkammer
Year FOUR of Icons Of Fright:
|April 2008 edition:
FRIGHT NIGHT Reunion Panel - With Tom Holland, Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Jonathan Stark, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Julie Carmen and Tommy Lee Wallace
Lloyd Kaufman - TROMA president - 'POULTRYGEIST', 'THE TOXIC AVENGER', 'TROMEO & JULIET', 'TERROR FIRMER'
Gina Phillips - Actress - 'JEEPERS CREEPERS', 'DEAD & BREAKFAST', 'THE SICKHOUSE'
Michael T. Gilbert - Comic Book writer/artist/creator - 'MR. MONSTER'
Aaron Christensen aka DR. A.C. - Editor/Author - 'HORROR 101: AN A-LIST GUIDE TO HORROR FILMS AND MONSTER MOVIES'
|March 2008 edition:
Neil Marshall - Writer/Director - 'DOOMSDAY', 'THE DESCENT', 'DOG SOLDIERS'
Keith Gordon - Actor/Director - 'CHRISTINE', 'JAWS 2', 'DRESSED TO KILL', 'DEXTER'
Gunnar Hansen - Actor - LEATHERFACE in 'THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE', 'BRUTAL MASSACRE'
|December 2007 edition:
John Kassir - The Cryptkeeper - 'TALES FROM THE CRYPT'
Tom Woodruff Jr. - FX Artist/Performer- 'ALIENS VS PREDATOR: REQUIEM', 'THE MONSTER SQUAD', 'PUMPKINHEAD'
JAWS Doc Filmmakers - Producers - James Gelet, Jake Gove, Erik Hollander, J. Michael Roddy
Will Barrett - Cinematographer - 'HATCHET', 'SPIRAL'
Jane Rose - Filmmaker - 'THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLF CARTER', 'HEADING HOME', 'I SPIT ON ELI'
|November 2007 edition:
Tim Sullivan - Writer/Director - Interview 2 - 'DRIFTWOOD', 2001 MANIACS' Comic Book
Cerina Vincent - Actress - 'CABIN FEVER', 'IT WAITS', 'RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL'
Tiffany Shepis - Actress - After Dark Horrorfest's 'NIGHTMARE MAN', 'THE HAZING', 'ABOMINABLE'
Rolfe Kanefsky - Writer/Director - Interview 2 - After Dark Horrorfest's 'NIGHTMARE MAN'
Jim Mickle - Director - After Dark Horrorfest's 'MULBERRY STREET'
|October 2007 edition:
ELVIRA - Horror Host - Star of 'ELVIRA: Mistress Of the Dark' and 'THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT ELVIRA'
Jeffrey Combs - Actor - 'RE-ANIMATOR', THE FRIGHTENERS', RETURN TO HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL'
Joe Lynch - Director - 'WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END'
Erica Leerhsen - Actress - 'WRONG TURN 2', 'TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE', 'BOOK OF SHADOWS: BLAIR WITCH 2'
Zelda Rubenstein - Actress - 'POLTERGEIST', 'BEHIND THE MASK', 'SOUTHLAND TALES'
|August 2007 edition:
Rob Zombie - Writer/Director - 'HALLOWEEN', 'THE DEVIL'S REJECTS', 'HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES'
Bill Johnson - Actor -Leatherface in 'THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2'
Vigdis Anholt - Actress - Erin Merryweather in 'LITTLE ERIN MERRYWEATHER'
Paul Natale - Filmmaker - 'LOST SUBURBIA'
|July 2007 edition:
Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni - Actress/Musician/Painter - 'THE THIRD MOTHER (MOTHER OF TEARS)', 'DEMONS 2', 'OPERA', 'PHANTOM OF THE OPERA', 'GHOST SUN'
David J Stieve - Writer - 'BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON'
|June 2007 edition:
Mike Mendez - Director - 'THE GRAVEDANCERS', 'THE CONVENT', 'KILLERS'
Eric Nicholas - Writer/Director - 'ALONE WITH HER'
Natassia Malthe - Actress - 'SKINWALKERS', 'DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE', 'BLOODRAYNE 2'
|May 2007 edition:
Dave Parker - Writer/Director - 'THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING', 'House Of The Dead', 'The Hills Run Red'
Rolfe Kanefsky - Writer/Director - 'THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE', 'THE HAZING', 'NIGHTMARE MAN'
Chris Garetano - Filmmaker - 'HORROR BUSINESS', 'COTTONMOUTH', 'SOUTH TEXAS BLUES'
|April 2007 edition:
John Fallon - Actor/Writer - 'DEADEN', ARROW IN THE HEAD
Joe Harris - Writer/Director - 'THE TRIPPER', 'WITCHWISE', 'TOOTH FAIRY/DARKNESS FALLS'