Larry Fessenden: “Horror was an outsider genre, now it’s big business.”

10/22/2010 4:00 AM |

The L: It seems like it has more of a communal feel than a studio arrangement.

LF: Yes, it’s very communal. We work on each other’s movies. Graham Reznick is a director and he does sound design. Jim Mickle just did some special effects for something of mine. Glenn McQuaid does titles for people. We’re all supporting each other and hoping all boats rise together.

The L: I read, speaking of pipe dreams [laughter], that you always wanted to do a Werewolf By Night comic. Were you a big Marvel Horror guy?

LF: Absolutely. Everybody I know is prattling on about Superman, Spiderman, Batman. I never watched any of that shit. I watched Werewolf By Night, Tomb of Dracula, Monster Frankenstein, Where Monsters Dwell, and of course Creepy and Eerie. That was my whole world.

The L: Do you have a favorite era of comics?

LF: Ah, just when I was growing up, so that’s the 70s. I was reading Werewolf by Night from the first issue-the Mike Plugh illustrated ones, which were the first twenty, or something. It couldn’t be more perfectly timed. I am a textbook kid from that period. I saw Jaws when I was thirteen, best movie ever made. Couldn’t’ve been better timed. In those days in NYC they had double features. On my god, it doesn’t get better. I feel sorry for the kids today.

The L: Talking about how people have limited options now, as compared to especially the 70s. It seems like smaller horror movies are having a tougher times screening, especially in NYC especially since the Two Boots Pioneer is gone. Do you think it’s harder to find homes for Glass Eye films now in NYC?

LF: Absolutely. It’s heartbreaking. I loved the Pioneer. Even Cinema Village played Habit, which was an honor because that’s where I’d seen Night of the Living Dead. Now Cinema Village, they’re still in business, but it’s harder. I’m excited about reRun theater but I wish there were more of them. It’s a weird state of horror. For example, Let Me In I haven’t seen it but I understand it’s a pretty thoughtful movie. Maybe there’s backlash cause it’s a remake, but it’s a tragedy that that movie can’t get any traction. And you have to say, What is going on? And you can complain about torture porn, because Saw 3-D is going to do fine. Then that’s when you get into this discussion of, if movies are so appallingly violent, then that’s what people come to expect from their horror and they can’t even sit through a subtle vampire film that has mood and atmosphere and real melancholy on its side. I do feel it can get a little dire out there, but it’s just like politics, it’s so hysterical, it’s so loud, it’s so vitriolic. Where’s the conversation? I just feel that-and every guy who’s getting older says this-the world is becoming more crass. And that is a crisis because there’s no more subtlety, no more discourse. And in the end, there’s no escape. And that’s horror. That’s my idea of horror. [laughter]