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Uncle Creepy of the
Horror fans rejoice! You can finally look forward to an ALL horror network, showing all of your favorite films completely UNedited and UNcut! We caught up with Steve "Uncle Creepy" Barton about the upcoming HORROR CHANNEL, which starts airing this October 2004.
Visit: Horror Channel .com. - by Robg., Mike C. 8/04
What inspired the idea behind the horror channel?

The idea is pretty simple. There's not one and we as fans have been forced to sit through an array of garbage on TV. There's no reason that any self respecting Horror fan should have to live on a strict diet of DVD's and VHS tapes. We want to give you your movies the right way. Uncut! Uninterrupted! You can't hand a horror fan a diluted product and tell them it's The Horror Channel. It just wouldn't fly. Fans need their horror pure, and that's how THC is going to give it to you!
When did the horror channel start to become more of a reality as opposed to just an idea?

The pieces have really been falling into place. The fans have helped make us a reality. The support everyone has shown us. That's the most important thing that helped us bring this idea to fruition. We're very fan oriented. The principles of our company are always checking out the message boards, and listening to suggestions.

That's the key word... LISTENING. We want to give you want you want, and what you deserve. The more you guys get involved, the more you're going to get out of us. 

What goes into the launch of a new cable channel? What aspects of launching "The Horror Channel" have been a real challenge?

It's been a long hard road that's for sure, but thankfully the mountains have been successfully climbed, and now we're checking out the valleys. Make no mistake, this Halloween we will be on the air. Out there. Spreading the blood on thick.

Specialty channels have been around a long time, why do you think it took so long get a horror channel up?

Horror for some reason is like Society's dirty word, and for no good reason. It's gotten to the point that some filmmakers wont even admit that the movies they're making are horror films. If I see one more mention of something being a "Psychological thriller with supernatural overtones" I'm gonna puke! It's sickening! Stop smacking your core audience in the face. We're the ones that spend money to see your films. EMBRACE US! Unfortunately, that very attitude has spread to just about everywhere. We're here to try and stop that. To make sure horror is taken seriously. It's about fucking time.

Television does have a history of horror related show, any favorites?

Oh god! Where to start? (laughs) Here are some personal favorites, One Step Beyond, The Nightstalker (Don't mess with Kolchak BTW), The Munsters, The Addams Family, Night Gallery, Tales From The Darkside. I could go on forever. I was weaned on this stuff ya know?

What amount of Horror Channel programming will be devoted to original programs?

In year one, we've budgeted for "unscripted" original programming. That means stuff like talk shows, etc. In years 2 to 3, you can expect to see new and exciting TV shows and possibly movies. We also want to bring back the Horror Hosts of yesteryear!

Any interesting original show ideas in the works?

We have one show in the works that I am dying to tell you and everyone about. Hopefully we'll be able to announce it soon once the deal is finalized. It's literally a Horror Fans dream come true.

Any films we can expect to see that will be Horror Channel exclusives?

Down the road anything is possible. Eventually fans will see all of the films that they love and have been dying for. Once we're flying, we'll deliver the goods. As long as our peers [horror fans] are there with us every step of theway, we can't miss.

Will the horror channel specialize in promotions and theme related programming?

Absolutely! Again, I wish I could tell you more, as soon as I get the green light I will. In the coming weeks you all can expect some HUGE announcements! 

How has the website played a role into deciding content for the horror channel?  Has it changed your opinions on how to approach certain things?

The website has been, and will continue to be an integral part of our company. That's where we get to interact and hear from the fans. We want to know what you guys want. Fans have some of the best ideas. Programming is easy as long as you keep your ear to the ground. We want our website to be horror's home base on the internet. You can expect to see a lot of exciting original content on there, as well as the most up to date horror news around. We recently just acquired the services of Johnny Butane and Ryan Rotten, formerly of Creature-Corner.com. Our new project with them titled: Dread Central, will be launching on the web September 1st, 2004. It's an honor to be working with them! 

Does the horror channel plan on working to help restore some neglected horror classics, in the way, for example, AMC and Turner Classics contributes to film restoration?

We'll do whatever we have to when given the opportunity to further and preserve horror any way that we can.  
What's the response from horror fans on the convention circuit been like so far?

Simply amazing. Every time we do a convention or get to hang out with them and talk, the response has been overwhelming. We all are working some pretty insane hours to make sure this project flies. I myself get by on just about 4 hours of sleep a night. There are days when I am super weary. All it takes is 1 minute with an excited fan to make it all seem worth it. 

You have a huge list of people supporting and endorsing the horror channel, everyone from tattoo artist Paul Booth, John Carpenter, and Lloyd Kaufman. How'd you get everyone involved and what role exactly will they play into the horror channel?

The people that you have mentioned, are people with passion and roots planted firmly in the genre. When we went to them with the idea, they were just as excited as any aforementioned fan. You can expect their involvement in a lot of ways.
There are now plans for two other horror related channels.  What are your feelings on the sudden interest from these other stations to produce an all horror channel?

Dude, it's just like anything else. You come up with a great idea, an over due great idea for that matter, and all of a sudden everyone wants to make a Horror Channel. We wish every one of them well. In my eyes, you can NEVER have too much horror. I can't predict how any of those other companies will fare, but I can tell you this; the folks behind THC are true Horror fans and we care very much about what you guys have to say. We've listened, learned, and tailored ourselves to try and meet YOUR needs. I'm not sure many other companies are as passionate about not only the genre, but all of you. For instance, we changed our business plan because of the fans. When the idea 1st came about we were shooting for digital cable and satellite only. On our forums some fans said they couldn't afford to either upgrade or switch. So what did we do? We decided that we should modify our business plan to include the basic cable fans as well. There truly will be no fan left behind.

Being a huge genre fan, what scares you?

I'm more afraid of what I can't see than what I can. Take the original A Nightmare On Elm Street for example. In that film you could barely see Freddy. It was more serious. He was the nightmare man in the shadows of our dreams. Later as the franchise progressed he became over-exposed and witty. He just wasn't very scary any more. At least to me. Other films have successfully done this too, The Woman In Black, The Fog, The Blair Witch Project, etc. I can pretty much guarantee my imagination can conjure things more frightening than any one could show me. 

Considering you probably have a lot of favorites among the genre... give us a breakdown of your personal faves in the following:

Top 5 zombie movies?

Night of the Living Dead (original)
Day of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead (original)
Shaun of the Dead

Top 5 universal monster flicks?

The Bride of Frankenstein
The Creature From The Black Lagoon
Son of Frankenstein
Top 5 iconic movie maniac films?

Michael Myers
Top 5 horror related TV shows?

Night Gallery
Tales From The Darkside
The Munsters
Tales From The Crypt
The Nightstalker

Thanks for talking to us! Looking forward to the launch of the channel this October 2004.

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