• Martyn Wakefield

Tom Holland (INTERVIEW)

Tom Holland is an actor and director who has given us two of the freatest films of the genre, 'Fright Night' and 'Child's Play', not to mention a library of television and movies that have put Holland at the centre of the genre since the 80's. Tom's latest release 'Twisted Tales', a series of short films that are set to awaken the horror for a new generation.



Martyn (BGUK):

Let’s start with Twisted Tales, which was a great watch comprising of 9 original shorts


Tom:

Thank you, certainly some of them are better than others and I like some better than others but every one of them was an honest attempt, the actors are terrific and we had no money. I was doing it because I wanted to get out on mobile because I think that’s where the younger generation is and I was trying to introduce myself to all those teens out there. This was part of the reason I did it and some of them (the shorts) that obviously appeal to younger people, ‘Bite’ where the guys are smoking grass and turning into werewolves yet others are serious pieces such as ‘Shockwave’. It’s been interesting, a real challenge and I had a lot of fun doing it and finally know I can get them out on cellphones too, that’s why I went shorter with them.

That certainly came across well, there was a great mix including a broad selection of vampires, werewolves and every tone in their which is great to see from a selection. It’s evident there was a tight budget there you did well to convey the storytelling across (the shorts) which is testament to you. The thought of a new platform for a younger audience came across really well.

You’ve certainly calmed my insecurities. The other challenge was writing at different lengths. For the first time in my life nobody said to me they all have to be half hour, a hour or ninety minutes, in fact they (the producers) encourage me to make them shorter so I was curious as to how much character development or what I could do in under ten minutes so it was a great learning experience for me because writing and shooting a short is a very different matter than doing a ninety minute film or even a hour TV episode. I learnt a lot, I really did.

That’s good to hear. When you were pitching the shorts was it difficult to find a story that hadn’t been told?

The only reason for doing it was that I could be original. It was difficult but I’m blessed because I have a lot of good actors who are friends I have actors that like to work with me and I like to work with so I got a superior cast for ‘Twisted Tales’. The fun with it was so I could be original.

Apparently, one of them (the shorts), ‘Shockwave’ is a terrific episode with Angela Bettis which apparently I echoed ‘The Twilight Zone’. I had no idea that I had done that. I watched ‘The Twilight Zone’ when I was twelve years old. There’s an episode where they are all fighting for a bomb shelter when they think it’s the end of the world and in ‘Shockwave’ there’s an electromagnetic pulse and they are all trying to get into a cage which keeps your electronics working and the thin veneer of civilisation is taken away. That echoes ‘The Twilight Zone’ and I had no idea, it was some fan or critic that told me that. So you can never quite… I thought I was being totally original so I’m not sure where a lot of these things come from.

For ‘Fred and his GPS’ which has AJ Bowen going crazy because he has just (spoiler alert) murdered his wife and is thinking his dead wife is talking to him through his GPS. I thought that was hilariously funny but hey. Technology run amok.

So you are working on a documentary about ‘Fright Night’. How is that coming along?

I think very well, they (Dead Mouse Productions) are coming out I think in July and Gary (Smart) and company did a very good job with ‘Leviathan’ with pinhead and Clive Barker’s work. They have a guy doing Roddy McDowell and I’m looking at stills on him and my gosh, they got the attitude right. So I’m very hopeful. They seem very talented and very together. they did a good job with Pinhead so I have hopes.

They’ve done a number of interviews with some of the actors from ‘Fright Night’ and they’ve gone very well so I have hopes, let me put it that way.

You know Sony have never put out a Blu Ray of ‘Fright Night’. They did a limited run about two or three years ago and sold out immediately and then did around five thousand and they sold out immediately. I have them on my website but I’m down to around thirty (of which are signed by the director) so ‘Fright Night’ has never been widely distributed unlike ‘Child’s Play’ which they’ve buried the world in and yet ‘Fright Night’ keeps going and building without a wide distribution of Blu Rays.

I have a lot of hopes for the documentary and I think it’s a great way of introducing the movie to new generations

We certainly wish you the best for both ‘Twisted Tales’ and the documentary

And what’s great about ‘Fright Night’ is the huge affection for that movie. I’ll be talking to somebody and it will be like three generations; parents, children and grandchildren. So it’s a love letter for fans and I think even as the genre changes it includes everybody that has ever loved horror, it just keeps going.

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