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- Well I'd probably try the holy water.
- [James] Okay.
- [Mick] And be very aware
that that works for Catholics

- [James] Yeah.
- I think being Jewish is
really going to be a problem.

(chainsaw roaring)
- Hey I'm James A Janiesse
and some of you may now me as Dead Meat.
If you do you probably already know
that I love to watch people die.
You know like on screen.
I've always wanted to
talk to the horror legends

who put those kills on screen
and find out what scares them.
And also if they could survive
their favorite kill scenes.

This is Meat Up.
Today's guest, director
and writer Mick Garris.

(upbeat music)
Hey everybody, welcome to another episode
of Meat Up on Crypt TV,
where I interview legends
of the horror genre.

Today's legend is Mr. Mick Garris.
No that's you.
- Oh okay.
- Hey great to see you man.
- Great to see you.
- Yeah we're here today at
Krimsey's Cajun Kitchen.

- Krimsey's vegan kitchen.
- Yeah, I wasn't sure
if I was allowed in here

being the host of Dead Meat.
- Yeah, you could burst into flames
upon going through the doors,
but as that didn't happen
I think we're fine.

- So Mick you are a
writer, director, producer,

you might best be know or
at least the internet says

as the, I'd say, the premier director
of Stephen King adaptations.
- Stephen King's bitch.
- Oh, I hadn't heard that
but your words not mine.

- Oh I've heard that.
Not mine either.
He had seen Psycho 4 and I
guess I became the expert

in sleeping with your mother.
Not personally, but
movies about such things.

And the next thing was The Stand.
- So I feel like The Stand
is commonly though of

as like his magnum opus.
- Yeah, it turned into a
hugely successful mini series.

Well it was a really good
start to our professional

and personal relationship.
- Okay, and then you would go on to do
The Shining mini series adaptation in '97.
- Three years later, yeah.
- I remember watching that as a kid.
I was probably too young for it.
- That's good parenting.
- Yeah, right.
- As far as I'm concerned.
- The Shining adaptation
is your adaptation.

Stephen King has said
he prefers it, right,

to the Kubrick.
- Yeah, I think he makes no bones about
his not being a huge
fan of the Kubrick film

because that book was a
very personal one to him.

King himself had written
a draft of The Shinning

for Kubrick or two that
Kubrick just tossed aside

and went his own way.
So I think he was personally hurt by it
and it was such an important
book to him professionally

and personally and emotionally
that when The Stand was such a success
and ABC said to him
whatever you want to do

we want to do that.
He said I'd like to do The Shinning.
And so that's what happened.
So most people don't know that Kubrick
got paid $1.5 million for
us to be able to do that

and part of the contract was
that King was not allowed

to talk about his opinion
of the Kubrick film.

- Oh wow.
- So there were some pretty
heavy duty impositions.

- I had no idea about that.
- Yeah, the one great thing
about Stephen King's bitch line

is I've never once had Steve tell me
I think you should do it this way.
Or don't you think it
would be better like that.

I mean I've certainly asked him questions
because if you've got that
asset on your set next to you

and you don't avail
yourself, you're an idiot.

And you're masturbating with the camera.
(upbeat music)
- You've been doing a lot of
non-horror stuff recently too.

- I always feel like I'm learning
and evolving and having a really good time
surrounded by creative people.
You know who you find on a set,
whether it's movies or TV or whatever.
- I feel like you're very good at adapting
to the changes in media
because you also have a podcast.
- I started doing interviews
way back in the 60s

when I was a kid literally in high school.
With Post Mortem as a podcast
it's something like giving back.
It's contributing to cinema history.
It's giving an hour long interview
that's not about somebody's
latest movie to promote it.

It's not the Entertainment
Tonight of horror,

but something that's a
little deeper and richer

and something that I feel I learn from.
- Yeah, I had a similar
conversation with Eli Roth

because he has his History of Horror show.
- Right.
- Of course, that you're a part of.
He made the good point that you know,
when we start losing people
like Romero and Tobe Hooper

it was kind of a wake up call for him
to like do something like that.
Like get all this.
- Now is the time.
- Exactly, and he cited
you as an influence

because you had the Masters
of Horror dinner parties.

- Dinners yeah.
- Yeah.
- That led to the series.
- What were those diners
like that led to the show?

- The first one we ever did
took me a week to put together,

getting everybody's time straight.
Ended up getting 12 film makers together.
It was me, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter,
Guillermo del Toro, John Landis,
Bill Malone, Stuart Gordon,
just there were a dozen of us.
And we just had a diner in
the middle of a restaurant

like anybody else would,
a group of 12 people.

We just talked to each other.
It's not necessarily
about horror or whatever,

but we all have the same job.
And it's just like a bunch
of car salesmen getting
together for a dinner

but we don't sell cars, we see blood.
And so we're having this great time,
this table next to us was
celebrating a birthday party.

And so when they started
singing Happy Birthday,

we all joined in.
And sang Happy Birthday
and at the end Guillermo
del Toro stands up and says,

"The masters of horror
wish you a happy birthday."

- Oh my god.
- And so that's where the name came from.
(upbeat music)
- All right, now we have our food here.
This is not the breakfast I'm
used to but it's nutritious.

- Nor am I but it worked.
- So what do we got here?
We got some steel cut oats, fresh fruits.
- Veggie sausage.
These are beignets.
- Yeah, we'll have those.
- Classic New Orleans style.
- We'll hit those up
after we're done filming.

- That will make clouds.
And then this is fried
potatoes and veggies.

- Fried potatoes, these are amazing.
- You would be amazed
at how many horror directors are vegan.
Aside from myself, Axelle
Carolyn, Don Coscarelli,

Adam Rifkin, Alejandro Brugués,
I mean a lot of the vegan
gang making horror films.

- The vegan gang, I just imagine you guys
like rolling down the street.
- Da do do do do.
- Well I believe I saw that
Tobe Hooper said something

about making Texas Chainsaw
Massacre made in vegetarian.

- That would not surprise me.
I don't think it lasted long.
(upbeat music)
- So I wanted to ask,
how does it feel to be the director
of what might be the
only Easter horror movie,

and Critters 2, which was
your directorial debut.

- My feature directorial debut.
- Your feature yeah.
- I had been writing for Steven
Spielberg on Amazing Stories

so all of the people who would
never even look at my scripts

or take a meeting with me
were all offering me jobs
because I had been
knighted by King Steven.

And New Line came to me,
they'd made Critters,
which was a modest theatrical success
and a bigger home video success.
They were going to do Critters 2.
It was green lit.
They offered it to me
and they said you can
rewrite it any way you want.

You rarely get that opportunity
where a movie is, we're making it,
we want you to do it, start now.
- Yeah.
- And so, Critters 2 had
the opportunity to do that.

It was structured like a classic western.
It was set around Easter,
there'd never been another
Easter horror movie

that I know of.
It really embraced the
cliches of the holiday,

the little old ladies
in their pastel dresses

and the Easter egg hunts and the kids
and throwing them into
that kind of jeopardy.

It was really fun and the
movie tanked completely.

It was a huge flop,
but people have come to love
my little child you know.

It's pretty exciting to see something
you'd written off for dead
to come back in glorious technicolor.
(upbeat music)
- All right Mick, now it's time
for the fun and games
segment of this interview.

And before we met we had you tell us
three of your favorite horror movies.
And they were Rosemary's Baby, Psycho
and An American Werewolf in London,
which I chose for this little experiment
that we're going to do.
- Okay.
- What we're going to do
is place you in a scene

from that movie and see
how you would react to it

but thankful you're not going
to have to do by yourself.

You're going to draw
three items out of here

and it's up to you as a creative writer,
creative thinker to see
how you can use these items

as you navigate your
way through the scenes.

So if you could please
pick three random items

from the bucket.
- The chum bucket.
A flask of holy water,
a kettle bell.
- A kettle bell, okay.
- Less useful.
An electrified fly swatter.
- That's a thing?
- You gave it to me.
- Whoops.
Okay so using those three items
we're going to place you in this scene
of one of the most out
of left field scenes

I've ever seen in a movie.
The dream sequence
involving the demon Nazis.

If you were in David's position,
you know sitting at that table.
The demon Nazis rush in
and say one of them even
does what they did to David,

they grab you and they
put a knife to your neck.

Because they hold that
knife there for a while

so you got time to act.
- Well I'd probably try the holy water.
- [James] Okay.
- And be very aware that
that works for Catholics.

I think being Jewish is really
going to be a problem here

so I think I would just get them wet.
- [James] At the very least
you can get it in their eyes.

- [Mick] That's right, that's right
and I could pull away and grab the kids,
charge out the door over
Dad's bullet brittle body.

- Sorry Dad.
So now that the kids are
out on the front lawn.

- Right, charge back in.
- Okay.
- Jam the electrified fly
swatter into an eye socket

popping a Nazi eyeball.
- [James] Nice.
- Zapping so when his
friend comes up to him

and grabs him on the shoulder
he too is electrified

and then grab mom and pull
her to safety through the door

with the kids and we
run through the forest.

- But as your running you realize
that TV you just paid a whole bunch for
and you know that Nazis have
a tendency to kid in TVs

and you don't want that to happen so?
- [Mick] Well from a distance
I take that kettle bell,

wind it and throw and break Nazi skull.
- Oh nice, just the perfectly
aimed shot through the window

right before he kicks out Miss Piggy.
- And it would be perfectly aimed.
I'm in great shape when it
comes to throwing kettle bells.

- That's right, yeah.
- Especially after the exhilaration
of the fly swatter in the eyeball.
There's my action scene.
- Yeah, no that sounds
like you did a lot better than David did.
- Yeah, because he gets his throat cut
and then wakes up again.
- Thankfully.
- And then wakes up
again after the second.

I love the double dream
thing I just did there.

- The double dream, it always gets you.
- It's such a good movie.
- Well thanks for playing along Mick.
I really appreciate that.
- Doing my best.
(upbeat music)
- You have a new movie
coming out soon right?

- Nightmare Cinema, it
is an anthology movie.

Five filmmakers from around the world
telling five completely unrelated stories
that are tied together by
the great Rialto Theater

in South Pasadena, which was in La La Land
and The Player
but it's been closed
down for a dozen years

but in our movie it's
a haunted movie theater

and the movie's called Nightmare Cinema
and people come upon this theater
and see the marquee lights up.
A name of a movie and they are the star.
It's like, wait, I've
never been in a movie.

They walk into this deserted theater
and are confronted by films
that contain them in them.

Some of their most potent fears.
- I'll definitely check
that out in theaters

so should everyone else.
Like we mentioned before,
Post Mortem podcast

on the Blumhouse network.
- On Blumhouse, yeah, we're interviewing
really terrific filmmakers
within the genre.

It's something I learned
from all the time.

Having the perspective of the podcast
where a filmmaker interviews filmmakers.
We really get to hear things
I've never heard before

from all of these guests.
Even in my gray hair
years I find myself busier

than I've ever been in my life.
- Of course you've gotta.
- It's great.
- Thanks so much Mick.
- All right.
- I appreciate it.
(upbeat music)
- [Announcer] Watch new vids
every Monday, Wednesday,

and Friday.
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Meat Up with Dead Meat James ft. Mick Garris | Crypt Culture | Crypt TV

91 Folder Collection
Amy.Lin published on June 14, 2019
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