Quantcast ICONS Interview with Sean King and Mike Koscik of THE SLACK PACK and THE GHOULIGANS!

Sean King, Mike Koscik

Just in time for Halloween, this month ICONS OF FRIGHT got to speak to both Sean King and Mike Koscik, the Long Island filmmakers behind THE GHOULIGANS! We got to speak about the humble beginnings of "The Slack Pack", the filmmaking troupe formed by King & Koscik with Peter Bune and Justin Hertz, what it's like to tour the convention circuit as THE GHOULIGANS and we got the behind the scenes scoop on their latest DVD release THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW. Read on for our FRIGHT exclusive interview with THE GHOULIGANS! - By Robg. - 10/08

We all have a recollection of our first exposure to the horror genre, so what was that for you guys?

Sean: The first movie I can remember seeing in a theater was JAWS. Can you call that a horror movie?

Of course! It’s a monster eating people. It’s a horror movie.

Sean: It’s a shark, so I guess it is a monster movie! Then, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. I remember always seeing them on TV. People before our generation went to the movies to see movies, but I think our generation had television. So we had cable and cheap local channels. And to fill in, there were always kung-fu movies, classic horror movies, Godzilla. All the fun shit. So, that’s what I entered (the genre) with. Probably the most influential & impressionable thing that I saw was THE EVIL DEAD. I know a lot of people say this, but it’s a movie you watch and ask, “How did they make this movie?” You knew it was a good movie, but you thought, “How did they make it?” It was made somewhere, somehow. You saw a craft behind it.
Mike: I’m not completely as much into horror as Sean is, but I was heavily influenced by THE MUNSTERS. Growing up, I’d always catch THE MUNSTERS here on Channel 11 in New York. THE ADDAMS FAMILY too. For some reason, as a young boy I started getting into Nick At Nite and the classic 60’s sitcoms like DICK VAN DYKE, PATTY DUKE and all that style of sitcom comedy. But THE MUNSTERS, I was really attracted to THE MUNSTERS and THE ADDAMS FAMILY, because they combined that Universal monster feel with that insane ridiculous sitcom vibe. I’ve never actually been into that much horror at all. It’s just been strictly that 60’s sitcom thing.

It’s funny how we have that primal reaction to those Universal characters when we first see them as kids. I don’t think I was scared of The Wolfman or the Creature From The Black Lagoon. I just thought they looked cool!
Mike: They’re almost human, they’re almost monster. We did a screening at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, and we dressed up for it. I was the Boris Frankenstein character and Sean was Void the zombie. Pete was the werewolf “Wolfgang”. We went out in the street, and the little kids that passed by, I almost scared this one kid to death! Because I did the whole Frankenstein bit. I’m a good 6 feet tall and my head piece adds another 2 feet on top and he’s this little munchkin kid! He got terrified, and I smiled and said “No, it’s ok!” I gave him a high five and he softened up. But yeah, I think the appeal is they look half-man/half monster. Kids are definitely fascinated by them.

Sean: The image of them has changed over the years so much. We just clashed it with a cartoon look, adding the bright colors.
Let’s start at the beginning. How’d you guys create THE GHOULIGANS?

Mike: When we were all younger, about 18, we started with the SLACK PACK, which was a public access show with the 4 of us. Sean King, Michael Koscik, Peter Bune, Justin Hertz.

Sean: It was a sketch comedy show on cable access. So we all loved to make indie movies, and we were really young at the time. We figured if we made a movie, how would anyone see it? We figured from watching movies like WAYNE’S WORLD… (Laughs) We were like, “Ok, if we make an independent TV show, people can see it at home for free! Maybe it’ll catch on.”

This is the pre-You Tube days!
Mike: Oh yeah. The SLACK PACK was a sketch comedy show and it aired on public access every Saturday night, so we had sort of a cult following that we built up with… ya know, potheads and drunkards, college kids. (Laughs)

Our friends! (Laughs)

Mike: Yeah! People we knew and love. People that were up late who caught something by just cruising by Channel 20 on Long Island local cable access. So, we did that for a while and I think one day Sean and I were sitting in a Wendy’s and I said, “You know, the SLACK PACK thing is great, but maybe we should try to evolve it somehow. Try to grow it somehow. What if we did something with all the same guys – carry the chemistry we all share in acting, producing, directing and… we make them monsters.” I’ve always known Sean as a huge horror buff and that was his passion.
Mike: So, I knew immediately he would love the idea. That’s how it began. We sat down and said let’s take the talent we have & have built over the years and evolve it into something more creative like the 4 monsters. At first it started as a loose translation of the SLACK PACK where it was 4 monsters that lived together in a house in suburbia.


Sean: Wasn’t that the first idea? Monsters in a REAL WORLD situation?

Mike: Right. Once we started writing it and fleshing it out, that’s when we came up with most of what ended up on the first DVD, the black and white GHOULIGANS. We figured we’d do a bunch of bits, demo style and see if we can get any interest.
When you guys started this, it was pre-internet, pre-You Tube, pre-My Space. You guys started at the cusp of that. The internet has obviously been a major advantage these last few years, especially for you guys.

Sean: That’s probably the best advertising that any indie producer can have now is teasing on the web. That’s how this started pretty much. I think its premiere was on-line. It’s just so easy to get your stuff around. Same way we started with cable access. On-line video is the new cable access, only it’s a trillion times bigger then cable access.

Mike: We were doing video and shooting videos long before this whole You Tube generation that there is now. We were doing this early to mid 90’s back then. If we had had that vehicle back then, we’d probably be much further by now! (Laughs)
Sean: Actually the first real job we got in “movies” was doing webisodes. Newsday called us because they wanted to do a webisode series of our TV show that was on cable access. They were like, “We want you to do webisodes!” And we’re like, “What is a webisode?” (Laughs) I think now it’s a common term, but back in 2002, it was like “What’s a webisode?” And that didn’t catch on! I think it was too early, because we did 13 episodes of the SLACK PACK on-line series and it just kinda bombed because people didn’t know how to find it to download it.

I mean, back then, did anyone have a high speed internet connection?

Sean: No! I remember waiting 5 minutes just to watch one of our videos!
How’d you guys pick which characters you’d all play in THE GHOULIGANS? Did Sean help decide since he’s a big horror fan?

Mike: Originally, I wanted to be the vampire. I wanted to be the Count. I was told by the other members of the crew & the cast – my good friends mind you, that I look most like Frankenstein. (Laughs) And that I was born to play that.

I think it’s just because you’re really tall. (Laughs)

Mike: I’m hoping it’s not because I’m ugly!

Sean: Well, he’s the tallest motherfucker of all of us, so it was a no-brainer!

Mike: But I wanted to be the vampire.
Sean: He wanted to be the vampire, right. But sorry Mike, you don’t have the classic good looks or the vampire charm. (Laughs) Well, to be Frankenstein, you can’t be pretty! A hot Frankenstein?! That wouldn’t work.

Mike: Justin Hertz who plays Count Farnham is the most charismatic out of the 4 of us. He’s the best with the ad-libbing, he’s the best with the off-the-cuff stuff. He’s one of the better actors among us, and the vampire needed to be the leader. Count Farnham is the head of THE GHOULIGANS.
Pete’s good for Wolfgang, because he’s supposed to be the party animal, the crazy out of control guy. The personalities are loosely based on elements of each of us. And our SLACK PACK characters played into it as well. We took the chemistry we had doing that and applied it to this. If you know any of the old SLACK PACK skits, you can maybe pick out some of the personality traits for each of them. Sean wanted to be the zombie. Because he was born a zombie and he always wanted to be a zombie.

Sean: Yeah! Well the tough one was that you have classic monsters as the lead characters. So you’ve got to choose from all of them. Obviously you’re going to choose Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman. And then you could go with the Creature, Mummy, Hunchback. There were a few options! But the appeal of the zombie is huge now. But the idea of a burnt out brain dead beatnik idiot zombie who’s slow. He’s the old style zombie!
I love the skit on the original DVD, it’s the one color one where all the zombies are running after these kids in a pick-up truck, and Void follows behind slowly.

Mike: That says it all right there!

Sean: Right! If you show that, and then his arm falling off, or him getting really depressed and lonely. What the hell does a zombie have to feel good about? It’s the worst monster sanction there is! At least the Creature swims and is cool and thin.

He’s got the great blonde hair.

Sean: Yeah! Yeah! The vampire has a lot to be proud about. He’s lived this long and gets the ladies. The zombie has nothing to be happy about, so he was obviously the way to go.

Just to make it clear, the first DVD is a collection of all these different sketches and bits that you guys did, it wasn’t intended to be an hour long movie. So what were all those pieces meant for? Were they bits for the cable show? Stuff you screened around? How’d they all come about?

Sean: We did a 5 minute demo because I was talking to FANGORIA TV, and several other HORROR CHANNEL’s that all never made it.

Mike: This was like 3-4 years ago when they were trying to get the HORROR CHANNEL up and running.

Sean: It was late 2004, winter time, because I went on an audition, because for some strange reason I was trying to get acting gigs, because I thought it might actually pay rent or something. (Laughs) I don’t know what I was thinking assuming I could make money “acting”. (Laughs)

Mike: He’s being modest. He’s actually a really good actor.
Sean: Well, thanks. But I wasn’t so good on this audition! I came close but I didn’t get the job, but the guy I auditioned for asked me “Do you have any ideas of your own?” Because he knew I was a producer. And I was like, “Yeah, give me a month and I’ll come up with some demo material.” So I called Mike, another producer that I’ve worked with and asked “What can we make for horror for this channel?” There were 4 demos on the disc and THE GHOULIGANS was the only one that stuck with anybody because we did this 5 minute demo.
They didn’t take it. There was a lot of talk and talk and talk; that they were going to put it on their website or cable. But it never happened. It was the idea that wouldn’t go away though. So, we had this 5 minute demo, it was really fun, everybody loved it. It was still an experiment so we wrote up a few short sketches. If worse comes to worse, we thought we’d just make a website and post them on-line…

Mike: When we put the DVD together, we realized that we had almost 60 minutes worth of material, and there was some general interest about THE GHOULIGANS that we picked up on the internet and through My Space, so we decided to take it out on a convention tour. We put together a presentation and a booth, and we started doing all the East Coast conventions. Off the first tour that we did, we got a really good following and we started to get a cult buzz about THE GHOULIGANS. We got the name out there. It was enough for us to decide that we should maybe put more effort into it, refining it, developing it, producing more. So that’s why there’s a radical jump from the black and white one to the color one. We went from guys teeth falling out to studio produced sets and costumes and maybe better actors. Maybe not. (Laughs)
There’s a major evolution between the first GHOULIGANS DVD and the new one THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW, because I watched them back to back. Seeing Sean start out with the basic zombie make-up and now you’ve got this elaborate skull face!

: There were some things that got lost in the sequel, the new pilot episode. But we always wanted to keep the aesthetic that you can see the seams or you can see the paint dripping off. This is what gets me excited! Mike, not so much. (Laughs) He’ll say, “It needs more glue on the face! Hide the seams!”
I always loved the fact that if you saw a guy in a cheap movie and you could see the make-up was coming off, or the lips underneath or the sweat coming out, I love that! It gets me excited to see a movie because whatever conditions they were under, they made it. And we’re usually under horrible conditions like most indie people. Like a hot set, or a freezing cold beach, or the make-up’s coming off. I didn’t want to lose that aspect of it, that we are guys in make-up. It adds something. Like the way I see EVIL DEAD. There’s something behind the movie, something else to it.
Mike: Yeah, and the evolution from the first DVD, we carried that same theme of it’s sort of hokey, and sometimes the vampire’s teeth fall out, and it’s not exactly professional, but it’s believable and it’s got soul.

Sean: If a vampire is running around with fangs, our vampire runs around and his teeth fall out…

Mike: And his pants fall down! (Laughs)

Sean: (Laughs) We’re taking the myth of the monster – that the monster is a monster now, but was a man. Was a human. But now, the monster is a monster. He’s a man in a monster suit. It’s a little more relatable.

It also seems that your monsters, with the exception of Wolfgang are kind-of dare I say on the nerdy side? Meaning they’re trying really hard to fit in, but not quite doing it well. For example, I love the bit with Void trying to hit on the hung skeleton girl! Or even when he rises from the grave and these teenagers are like, “Where’s this cool Void zombie we’ve heard about?”
Mike: The characters are sort of like misfits. They’re monsters that can’t really scare anybody. They’re trying really hard to fit in but they can’t.

Sean: Usually if they pose some kind of threat, it usually backfires. It’s humanizing them in a nerd way.

Mike: In a comical way.

Sean: That and we are nerds. (Laughs)

The production values are great on THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW. I was very impressed with the look of all the characters and the vibrant colors. It looked like a living cartoon to me. It’s the type of thing I would’ve loved as a kid. I mean, I appreciate it as an adult, but I would’ve loved it as a kid! I’m curious – Do you write it with that in mind? The audience?

Mike: Once we finished the black and white version, we sat down and said “Ok, where are we going to go?” We started to write a pilot script first. First it was half of a pilot script that went nowhere. And we thought, “What else can we do?” We were sort of scrambling to form an idea. If we’re going to go with this thing, we should go big. We should really put our best foot forward, and we came up with this idea for THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW, which is sort of a mix of a monster comedy variety show. There was a point where we thought “should we go strictly kids show?” But then we’re alienating anyone else that might’ve enjoyed it before.
So we sort of mixed whatever we could into one. There’s children-friendly elements, there’s adult themes and everything in between. But what I find from the screenings and the shows & conventions we’ve done, children are always connected to it. They’re immediately fascinated by it and watch it over and over again. I have nephews that adore it. They’re all connected to it in some strange way. So perhaps in the future, a further evolution could be a children’s show. There’s always the possibility of that. There’s also always the possibility of a movie, of a comic book. We’re free to operate and make space in different venues.
It borders on that thin line. Kids can enjoy it, but it’s got enough adult themes that kids won’t understand. That kind of comedy. It goes both ways and I think that’s what’s cool about it.

Mike: Well it’s funny you say that because we had a review recently and the reviewer sent me an email essentially saying “Pick one or the other! I didn’t know what I was watching.” He was really angry about it! “Was it a kids show? Was it not?” You have to “get” it to appreciate it.

Would he have given it a good review if he thought it was for kids?

Mike: I don’t know! He commented like that, but he also commented that he liked the stuff that was meant for kids. It was a really mixed review, but he was really very angry that it wasn’t one or the other. He didn’t like the fact that it was mixed. A lot of people seem to really love it, or they really don’t seem to understand it. There doesn’t seem to be a gray area! (Laughs)
Where’d you guys shoot THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW?

Mike: The studio we shot it in is called JHD STUDIOS in Deer Park, NY. This guy named Hugh Daly runs the studio. Sean knew him from another movie he was doing. I believe he would rent equipment from him. It was a small space. We shot all the studio stuff there. We did about 10 studio days. A couple of locations we used, we did guerilla style. All the locations were in Long Island, NY.
I’m sure it was a lot of work to put this whole thing together, but at the same time, it looked like it had to have been a lot of fun to make! Any high-jinx from the set? Anything that stood out from the shoot?

Mike: The shoot was a lot of fun, but personally for me, being the executive producer and handling the most work, it was at times confusing. I’d look in the mirror and think, “Is this possible? Can I build a set wall? Can I build a squid?” (Laughs)
Did you ever see yourself in the Frankenstein make-up and think “Who’s going to listen to me looking like this?” (Laughs)

Mike: Is this going to make any sense? Is it even going to work? A lot of times, it was just diving in without thinking about it. When we were on set, and everyone was together, and the whole team was there, we had a lot of fun. Sean lit the set wall on fire once. That was a bit of a high-jinx. We used this foam for the castle walls, which is supposed to look like a brick wall. We blasted it with a paint gun and it looked nice. We spend 6 or 7 hours building this archway made out of foam and 2 x 4’s.
Sean is hitting it with a blowtorch to make the ridge in the brick show, and he must’ve blasted it too hard or looked the other way or something, because I look up and the archway that we just spent 7 hours building is on fire! It was dripping hot wet foam. That wasn’t very funny! But it’s funny now. (Laughs) It was a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of blood. I remember we were building a lab table for Boris, the Frankenstein character and we were using this thin sheet metal. It’s very sharp on the edges. I went and grabbed it and sliced my pinky. I looked up and there was a spray of blood across the lab table. Needless to say, we bleed for our art, literally.
Are you happy with the final result of THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW? What’s the reaction been like?

Mike: This time we threw everything in. I think it worked out. I’m satisfied. It was truly a passion and a pleasure. It’s all such a fog now that it’s over.

You have the next tour!

Mike: We’re doing a convention tour, and we’re going to be a little more aggressive on this tour. We’re trying to develop it into an actual sitcom. Or a movie, or a comic book.

After I saw the first DVD, I really wanted to see these characters in a narrative feature. Having these 4 characters go on one long adventure that’s in a narrative feature length form. Have you thought about putting them in a movie? Or does it work better to have them in a sketch type show?

Mike: The good thing about THE GHOULIGANS is we’re able to exist in any format. I have scripts at home that I’ve written. We have half a movie. We have an origin where THE GHOULIGANS meet in Transylvania back in 1492, and they get into a bar fight. They accidentally kill the head vampire and they’re all banished. And they end up banished on a boat called the Santa Maria. (Laughs) I’ve got stuff that’s drawn out like that. One script is a movie. One script is a live performance. We’re trying to write a live on-stage performance script. We funded THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW through our production company. I would love to do a GHOULIGANS movie. It would be my dream to do it. We’ve got another movie we’re working on now. Peter Bune’s movie that he’s producing. It’s called THE FREAKS, NERDS & ROMANTICS. It’s sort of a DIY punk band goes big, and their life and times on the road.
Sean, can you talk about your multiple roles in THE GHOULIGANS SUPER SHOW? I personally like the talk-show host!

Sean: Yeah, he’s getting some fans. A lot of people say that Wink Wild should have his own talk show.
I laughed out loud when you were the construction worker on the surfboard yelling at Wolfgang.

Sean: Yeah, yeah. It’s got to be on the surfboard.

Mike: That was a surf house they were building.

Sean: If you’re building a surf house, you have to have surf cops be there too.
So, was that fun to do? Playing multiple characters or did you do that out of necessity?

Sean: That’s completely born from necessity, but it’s become a habit now. In my case, I’m a control freak, and I like to do as much as I can. So, I don’t trust many other people, especially actors! I just don’t trust ‘em. It was a matter of, who’s not in make-up today? Who has the least to do today? Who’s just using the camera today? They can shoot and act. That way we could have a lot of fun with the characters. We cast a few of the parts, but it was mostly done out of necessity or habit because of the old shows we used to do. Or even just being fans of old shows like KIDS IN THE HALL or THE STATE. Any kind of sketch show where they multi-task.

Mike: We also have a loyal group of people we’ve used since the SLACK PACK days that we’ve carried over. Our own little troupe.
Like the chicks! Let’s talk about them!


They’re not here tonight, which I’m a little upset about, but that’s ok, because there’s always next time. But are they just friends of yours or actresses that you knew and created this for? What was the whole idea behind the “Ghouligirls”?

Mike: The “Ghouligirls” are Jamie Frevele, Theresa Koscik who happens to be my wife, and Erica Curcio.
Sean: That’s the one you don’t look at, his wife!

(Laughs) I want to meet the other 2 then.

Mike: You always need “screamqueens”, there’s always room for hot girls, always room for go-go girls.

Sean: You’re making a monster movie, you’ve got to have hot chicks!
Mike: Exactly, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. (Laughs) You have to have one or the other. But me and Sean often argue about this. I feel the “Ghouligirls” should be lip-stick girl brunettes. And Sean? You’re version? Let’s leave it up to the readers…

Sean: You have to make up your mind what you’d want to see. They’re just too pure for me! I don’t know? What kind of girls would hang out with monsters?

Probably like the punk rock/gothic chicks?
Mike: Like the “Suicide girls”, but that’s expected.

I dig the 60’s style chicks from the surfer movies.

Mike: Yeah, they look like genuine sort of 60’s type girls.

Sean: And you guys have a point. It’s not set in any general time, but it is old fashioned. And you didn’t have those kind of girls, and if you did, they weren’t tattooed or didn’t have bones in their hair, although that’s what I’d prefer. I like the idea of a pin-up style “Ghouligirl”.
Mike: That’s the good thing about the GHOULIGANS is that we don’t necessarily put it in current times. We don’t date it, per se. It’s retro, probably between the 50’s through the 70’s.

Sean: Yeah, it’s a parallel world where time and styles kind of jump around. We don’t want to lose that nostalgic feel to them. Because the golden age of the monsters were the 30’s and 40’s. That’s when Universal monsters were kings. Up until now, there’s been countless knock offs and variations on each monster. We don’t want to date it to now. We want to keep it in this timeless capsule, where it could’ve happened between these years. And that’s just generally fun and really campy and over the top and ridiculous, and not afraid to have fun in a weird cartoony way.

Mike: With the writing and the directing that we bring with these characters and with these themes and even the image, it keeps it honest and genuine to that world. We always maintain that nostalgic classic vibe.
Sean: We don’t get that ironic or cynical with these characters. There’s enough weird, cynical comedy out there. We’re not aiming for families so much as we are for a general audience where families can watch it together. The adults will get one joke and the kids will get another. It’s a thin line but we go above and below the line sometimes, which is weird. I don’t see a lot of comedy shows do that anymore. But honestly, I really want to see a GHOULIGANS movie. If you can stay with these guys for an hour and a half and they get into a lot of trouble, it could be a lot of fun, just to see how monsters deal with big problems.

The backstory Mike told me before is brilliant.

Sean: Yeah! The movie should start that way! And then move it to present day, and take a movie like THE ROCK. They have to get hostages out of Alcatraz. Who’s going to do it? THE GHOULIGANS, ya know? (Laughs)

Mike: The beauty of all the characters we have – obviously there’s Boris, Wolfgang, Count Farham and Void are the main 4. But now we have Krill Gill played by Ricky Maggio and we have the “Ghouligirls”, we’ve got the Mummy. We’ve got Luchador wrestlers. We’ve got a giant squid. We’ve got so many characters that we can use them as an arsenal!
For me, I like to sit on things and re-examine it again later and try to pick up on more things the 2nd time. And with THE GHOULIGANS stuff, I think it’s better on those repeat viewings. For example, first time I saw the Luchador’s, I didn’t understand what you guys were doing or why they were there. BUT, 2nd time I watched it? I couldn’t stop laughing at their dubbed voices! Where’d the Luchador’s come from? I wouldn’t expect to see them with monsters.
Sean: Where’d they come from. Hmm… Probably from TV. The cool thing about the Mexican wrestlers movies were that American’s bought them really cheap. And then just got the unemployed dinner theater actor guy with the husky voice to over-dub it! The guys awful and he’s clearly reading it from a queue card. And it just does not match, so you get this wild mask on this oiled up big Mexican body. None of it matches, it’s just totally weird!
Sean Don’t forget Santo fought all the monsters. He fought all the classic monsters. He fought all these guys. They were like kids heroes in Mexico! The funny thing about those guys is they would never show their face in public. They would go out and eat spaghetti with their masks on. The thing about our wrestler, Blue Flame is he always gets something splashed on him. (Laughs) We have many scripts where he gets splashed with something.

Mike: We have a robot in THE SUPER SHOW. A Luchador. It’s all genuine to the time. Like Sean was saying, Santos fought monsters…

Sean: I’m sure he fought robots somewhere along the line. (Laughs)

Mike: Yeah. We’re thinking of bringing in an alien. We’re picking and choosing these classic sort of icons characters and putting the GHOULIGANS spin on it.

Sean: It’s the kitchen sink approach. If you have 3 monsters in there, why not have 3 more? Why not have all of them in there? You can go on and on with these sketches and ideas. If you have enough people to say, “Hey, want to play a wrestler today? Come on over!” And we’ll write you in. I think the wrestlers was supposed to be one, but Mike said “Fuck that. I’ll buy more masks. We’ll get more 70’s cloths and have 5 of them.”
Now there’s a bunch of Luchadors hanging out with THE GHOULIGANS.

Sean: And in the old movies, in the Santo and Blue Demon movies, they all traveled in packs and all had each other’s backs. That’s what happens in THE SUPER SHOW. One gets smited by the talk show host, a bunch of them come and defend their friend there.

Sean, you directed a segment for LOST SUBURBIA, the anthology film about Long Island ghost stories and legends. How’d that all come about? Did it start out as individual shorts? I know you were working on your film “MARY’S GRAVE” on your own. So how’d it evolve and become this anthology film?

Sean: It started with one director/writer. There were 5 of us.

And you were all helping each other out on each other’s shorts?

Sean: Yeah, because we had this core group of filmmakers who would help each other with their projects. And Paul Natale wanted to do a short about SWEET HOLLOW ROAD. There’s countless stories about that area and MOUNT MISERY. At the same time, not even talking to him about it, I wanted to make a movie about MARY’S GRAVE. And these were both local legends. I think I brought it up to Paul and Peter Bune and my friend Terrence Smith that if we’re making 2 shorts, why don’t we make another 2 and make it an anthology, specifically on Long Island legends. Because we grew up going to these places, and I think we’ve always had ideas about these places. If we made a story based on these places, and what happens when people go there, and all the stories people had when they go there, we could make some really scary movies here. Some people would learn about it, some people would be like, “Hey I went to that place and that happened to me too.” Everybody wanted to make one of their own. We just had to time it right where we could shoot one, then the other, then edit them. And then shoot the other 2. The documentary bits came about just by talking and doing research with people that have had experiences there. From ghost hunters to kids and locals.
That was a great way to segue way all those stories. They would’ve worked fine as their own segments in the anthology, but I thought it was great showing documentaries about each place before going into your individual stories.

Sean: That was something that hadn’t been done before, and some people are still confused by it, but its half documentary and half anthology horror. Most people know what anthology horror is, and what documentaries are, but you put them together and you really kind of lose people! But if you think about it, in the 70’s, there was a company called Sun Classics, who used to do Loch Ness monster documentaries, and Bigfoot. The Legend Of Boogy Creek. In Search Of TV show, we’re all huge fans of. It really creeped us out when they did a story about Amityville Horror. It recreated certain things, but you heard it from the people that had first hand experiences with these legends. If you hear someone talking saying “I was there. I saw it happen. Me and my friends ran out of the place.” And you’re interviewing them at the place where it happened, and then you see a contemporary story about what would happen if you go there now. We thought that would be the best way to make those stories resonate.

Well gents. Thanks so much for talking with us. We can’t wait to see more from THE GHOULIGANS. Keep us posted on the website relaunch!


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