Eye On Horror

Monsters, Makeup & Effects with Heather Wixson

October 24, 2021 iHorror Season 4 Episode 17
Eye On Horror
Monsters, Makeup & Effects with Heather Wixson
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode, Heather Wixson, author, historian, and managing editor of Daily Dead, subs in for Jacob as we talk recent watches, such as Malignant, Lamb, and Midnight Mass. Heather discusses her new book of interviews, called Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Conversations with Cinema's Greatest Artists Volume 1, with horror effects legends including Ve Neill, Tom Burman, Bari Dreiband-Burman, Screaming Mad George, Steve Johnson, David Leroy Anderson, and many, many more (seriously...this 500 page book is Volume 1 of 4!)

Find Heather Wixson on Twitter @TheHorrorChick and learn more about her book @MMEFXBook.

More from Eye On Horror: linktr.ee/EyeOnHorror

James Jay Edwards:

Welcome to Eye On Horror, the official podcast of iHorror.com. This is Episode 74 otherwise known as season four Episode 17 I am your host James Jay Edwards and not with me as always is Jacob Davison we'll get into that later but also with me as always is your other other host Jon Correia. How you doing Correia?

Jonathan Correia:

pretty good! I miss Jacob but yeah, he's off doing fun things so you know I don't blame him.

James Jay Edwards:

He's off promoting his found footage film Dogtown which is in some big contest that I think we've already pushed it on our socials so yeah for his movie.

Jonathan Correia:

I think the voting ends when this episode comes out

James Jay Edwards:

Well then I hope you did.

Jonathan Correia:

He wrote directed starred produced he did it edited he did it's like it's all Jacob so if you if you're missing Jacob from this episode, watch this short film. You're gonna get all the Jacob. Yep.

James Jay Edwards:

But we do have the next best thing. We have a very special guest, author critic, the managing editor of The Daily Dead. Heather Wixson. How you doing Heather?

Heather Wixson:

I'm great. Thank you so much for having me. I don't know if I'm the next best thing but I'll try my hardest to fill in

James Jay Edwards:

No you'll you'll you'll be great.

Heather Wixson:

Well, thank you guys so much for having me. I'm excited.

James Jay Edwards:

We need this to be at least a trio because if it's just me and Correia talking how old would that get?

Jonathan Correia:

Oh man we just the ADHD that would kick around like Jacobs good at like deflecting my ADHD. So

James Jay Edwards:

we haven't talked in forever. Let's talk about Malignant. Maligament?

Jonathan Correia:

Ah, this was at a dig at me. Mag...

James Jay Edwards:

We weren't going to let you see it until you could say it.

Jonathan Correia:

It took me three days. Malignant!

James Jay Edwards:

have we all seen Malignant?

Heather Wixson:

Yes. It's funny because like that feels like forever ago now because I know there's so much that's come out since but then I realized I was like I haven't really had a chance to actually talk about Malignant so now I'm really excited

James Jay Edwards:

neither have we so yeah, let's get into it. What do you guys think? I loved it. I thought it was so much fun. I just had so much fun with it. It's kind of like it's like a different movie every act because you think it's going to be this supernatural thriller and then it kind of becomes like a Silence of the Lambs kind of a like a crime drama and then it goes full Cronenberg in the third act

Heather Wixson:

for me because I'm a big fan of Italian horror so everybody kept calling this sort of like James Wan's like version of a Giallo which I don't think is very accurate I there's definitely some elements of the first act that kind of set you up like your thinking is Giallo. So in that way, it almost reminded me of Suspiria because like the first time you ever watch the original Suspiria the way that the kills are staged and stuff like that you're like oh, okay, we're doing this and then they pull the old switcheroo on you and so for me like to me this just sort of has that like that kitchen sink attitude that most Italian movies have where they're like we're gonna throw everything we love into this one movie and just go with it so that's what I really appreciated about it like it didn't just feel specific to Giallo was you know a little bit of Fulci you had you know, a little bit of both Bavas in there kind of thrown in for good measure and for me that's what made it fun like I will say the first time I watched it and you sittin through like the first 30 minutes and you're like oh I don't know if I don't know what what's going on with this but I'm gonna hang in there and I'm so glad I did because by the time you get to that reveal, it sort of feels very X-Files in that moment which that's like the bar for me like if you can surprise me like an episode of X-Files. Like I'm like yes I'm in and that reveal of Gabriel is the best thing I think I've seen all year in a horror movie.

James Jay Edwards:

I mean, my favorite scene is when and kind of a spoiler but not really when basically they're in a jail cell and every single stereotype of a female prisoner is in this jail cell

Jonathan Correia:

oh and Zoe Bell is in it.

Heather Wixson:

It feels like it's like kinda like Death Wish 3 or something like that. Like all these characters have just been sitting around fpr three decades waiting for their moment.

James Jay Edwards:

It was totally Yeah, it was totally That was awesome. How about you Correia?

Jonathan Correia:

I absolutely loved Malignant and I agree with Heather the the opening that like the very beginning it was a little I was like, I don't know, I don't I don't know how I feel about this. There's...

James Jay Edwards:

You think it's gonna be another James Wan movie. You think it's going to be another Insidious or The Conjuring

Jonathan Correia:

No I was thinking like as he do it kind of felt like a bit back to like Dead Silence which I was not a big fan of there was a bit of like overacting in the beginning like that like in the beginning when when the husband abuses her that that man was doing some real over the top acting and I was just like I don't know what he's going for here but yeah by the halfway point I was so in there was so much like 90s Italian influence like Heather was saying I saw a lot of early 2000s Japanese horror influence in there as well. The camera work was absolutely gorgeous that over the head shot going through the house blew me away

James Jay Edwards:

a score the scores amazing too I loved it

Heather Wixson:

I was gonna say just to speaking of that like usually with like Joe Bishara's scores like I always feel like there's there's always those touchstones where you're like oh, this is definitely Bishara you know where you know you listen for 20 minutes and you're ready to like go play in traffic because you're so unnerved and I loved how they just sort of kept you like reutilizing elements of Where's My Mind yeah in such different ways when I was just like wow, this is really really cool. I also I think it's important that one of the reasons that that movie works as well as it does is because of the physical performance and the actresses name is Marina Mazepa and I will sing her praises till the end of time because she did pretty much most of those stunts backwards and somehow made it look natural and I'd still don't understand how somebody can do that stuff with their body it just blows my mind

Jonathan Correia:

yeah when Gabriel goes into full effect the body movement was just unnerving and it was so well executed like fully believed it because you've seen similar type of reveals Try not to spoil anything in the past but like it they made it work so well and it's such a scary way it was so refreshing. I also just felt like overall the influences i don't know i i wasn't in the room when James Wan pitch this but I feel like he basically went to Warner Brothers and Warner Brothers like oh you made us a fuck ton of money with Aquaman. We want you to do Aquaman 2, cool I want to do this film first. Yeah sure. We'll give you a bunch of money's like cool because I want to make a B horror movie but with like a really good budget and they're like yeah, I mean Conjuring did really well you're gonna do something like that. And he was like, Yeah, sure. Yeah. Let's say that.

James Jay Edwards:

It's like a Charles Band movie, but with a big budget

Jonathan Correia:

and actually good.

James Jay Edwards:

Another movie that that I want to talk about and I don't know if either you have seen this Have you guys seen Lamb?

Heather Wixson:

I have.

Jonathan Correia:

No

James Jay Edwards:

Have you? Oh my God, Lamb. I don't even want to talk too much about it then if you haven't seen it because Correia you just have to see it. It's one of those movies where half the world is going to love it. half the world's going to hate it. What camp Are you in Heather?

Heather Wixson:

I loved it, but

James Jay Edwards:

I loved it too.

Heather Wixson:

I also recognize it's not really a horror movie. It's a fantasy movie with a family drama.

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, it isn't at all and I'm a little I'm a little upset that they're pitching it as an A24 horror movie which I guess that's the only studio that could pull off a horror movie. or pull off calling it a horror movie I guess. But they are pitching it as a supernatural horror movie. It's like no it's not it's You're right. It's a fantasy movie. But it's it I don't even want to talk about it too much. You just have to see it's beautiful. It was shot in Iceland and every Iceland Icelandic movie to me feels like a tourism video I mean it just makes me want to visit because the it's the countryside is so beautiful. I mean I live for that kind of weather you know the you know long johns and you know and big jacket kind of thing. But the thing is it takes off super seriously and the performances are great and it's just like just a gem of a film but then it dips its toe into the absurd just enough for you to be like what the hell and at one point, one of the characters actually it's one of the family drama that Heather was talking about the the father's the husband's

Heather Wixson:

brother Peter

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, yeah, yeah Peter, he comes and he he actually he asked questions that the audience is wondering and the first one he asked is what the fuck is this? Like Yeah, tell us what the fuck is this so oh it's it's just a really crazy

Heather Wixson:

But But I also really liked I was saying that movie. moment I really liked the answer that they gave where he just responds if this is happiness that was just like these two people were so desperate for this kind of a connection to anything and yeah it was it strange because it's like To me it was it was a little more emotional about it because of certain story elements to it and the little lamb itself is just so freakin cute like and precious and you just want to like protect it forever. But yeah, I think I love what you mentioned about Iceland is sort of this backdrop because the fact that like, there's no nighttime really throughout a lot of this movie, it's just like this weird, dusky grey that kind of just in that's like their that's their existence. and that to me kind of messes you up as a viewer because you're always so used to seeing like daytime and nighttime so visually signified where like everything in this movie just sort of blended in it was really disconcerting in that way really like wait they're going to bed What time is it? It's like normal you can't live like this

Jonathan Correia:

that would that would drive people insane it's like other other parts of the world it's always night you know?

James Jay Edwards:

What's kind of like Midsommar remember is it tomorrow when she asked Is it tomorrow? Yeah Correia you have to see lamb it's a it's batshit crazy

Jonathan Correia:

it's on my list I'm planning on doing a double feature of that and Pig at some point you know sideways full course you know

James Jay Edwards:

Easter double feature

Jonathan Correia:

yeah might turn into a triple feature and watch First Cow with it you know?

Heather Wixson:

Just run the whole barnyard gamut there

James Jay Edwards:

it's it's the Old MacDonald triple feature.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, then turn into a four picture feature and watch like, you know, Funny Farm or Charlotte's Web. Maybe. Just go with the animal theme.

James Jay Edwards:

You're losing it because they're not in the titles though. Now should have stopped at First Cow

Heather Wixson:

You have a really, really solid run there.

Jonathan Correia:

I actually watched I haven't heard a lot of people talk about Don't Tell A Soul. Have you guys seen this one yet?

Heather Wixson:

No

James Jay Edwards:

I haven't.

Jonathan Correia:

This one came out earlier this year. It's got a Jack Dylan Grazer, who is in the It movie, the recent It movies and Shazam. He, it also has Rainn Wilson in it. It's about these two brothers who break into a house to steal money from this old woman while her house is getting fumigated for termites. Probably I don't know this. It's getting fumigated. It's got the whole circus tent over it. And they run into a security guard played by Rainn Wilson. And while they're running from him, he falls into a hole. And I'm trying I don't want to spoil anything, but the film takes like some really dark turns that are very interesting, especially in the power dynamics between the two brothers and Rainn Wilson who's in a hole. So you got like the older brother who's very much they're like, Oh, we don't have a problem but one witness to us committing this crime is in a hole so let's leave them but the younger brother wants to like you know, help them out and stuff. But the mood shifts in some of the acting performances. Especially Rainn Wilson, because as try as he might, he will always be what's his face from the office? Sorry, I don't watch the office. Is it true

James Jay Edwards:

Dwight? Dwight? schrute

Jonathan Correia:

There we go.

James Jay Edwards:

And you're right, he will even in house 1000 corpses.

Jonathan Correia:

I mean, I loved him in The Meg so I feel like I'm in the minority with the Meg though. Again, I will always say Jason Statham just needed to say "megaladon" like five more times that film would have won an Oscar but yeah, Don't Tell A Soul, it was one of those like small titles I think it got like a real quiet release earlier this year, but it's really solid. So if you find it on like Hulu or something, I highly recommend it. Again, I want to talk more about like the later parts and how dark it gets. But it's it's best to go in as blind as possible.

James Jay Edwards:

What one more that I want to bring up. You guys all see VHS 94?

Heather Wixson:

Yes.

Jonathan Correia:

No, I might.... I stacked by Hooptober and got too ambitious with it. And I put 45 titles on it. So I've been trying to do that before Halloween. So I haven't watched a whole lot of stuff outside of that yet. So but it's on my list. Um,

James Jay Edwards:

what did you think of it? Heather?

Heather Wixson:

I'm sorta in the middle on it, like yeah, I think I'm just sort of at the point. And I don't mean this against any of the the directors in any of these series. But like, I think I'm sort of over anthologies from a bunch of different directors getting together because I don't feel like I really enjoy them as much as I enjoy anthologies where you have one through, like, if you look at like, you know, Trick 'R Treat, which is, you know, it's sort of because it's overlapping stories, but, or something like The Mortuary Collection, which feels way more like one huge vision with these like really fun little things that kind of play with each other. I mean, there's there's this I liked and then the parts that weren't as successful for me. You know, I liked I actually was surprised at how much I enjoyed Simon Barrett's section of it because it was just sort of classic kind of good creepiness. Timo Tjahjanto's Safe Haven is so much better than this, but it did make me want to watch him like direct like either like a Bioshock movie or Doom movie. I'd love to see him take on a first person shooter type, you know, adaptation, because he clearly knows what he's doing in that regard. And there's some fantastic effects. But yeah, I just everybody keeps running around like saying "Hail Raatma" and I just, I don't know I'm ready to join the chorus of "Hail Raatmas" myself

James Jay Edwards:

I think it's the weakest of the series, personally. I think that's because I mean, I don't know if they rushed into it

Heather Wixson:

this was the one that actually had the most time for.

James Jay Edwards:

See, it feels like phone ins to me. I like the beginning of each one of the segments, even the wrap around the beginning. I really I like, you know when Yeah, but it's like, by the time that they get to the payoff, I think they all get kind of corny, and Goofy, and you're just like, Really? That's where you're going with them even? Well, Timos is the only one Well, I shouldn't say the only one is the one that has the strongest vision, I think

Heather Wixson:

It does

James Jay Edwards:

and but even that one, by the time you get to the end, you're like, really? This is where you're going with it. It's and then the Patriot patriot militia one, that was another one by the time you get to the end here, like, you could have done so much more with this. So yeah, I mean, I think you're right, Barrett's is probably the strongest segment and even that one gets kind of goofy with the effects, but there's a reason for it. You know,

Jonathan Correia:

Hey, man, not all anthology films can be Dead of Night or Spirits of the Dead, you know. deep cuts!

Heather Wixson:

but yeah, it's one of those like, in theory, I really love anthologies, but that's mainly just because I grew up loving Creepshow. And, you know, and now as I get older, I'm like, do I really love anthologies? Or just like, do I love anthologies from a single director?

James Jay Edwards:

What I love about anthologies is that if if a segment sucks you only have to wait like 20 minutes at the most until another one comes along that might not suck you know and that's why the ABCs of Death are great for me because those ones are like four minutes.

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, that's really quick. So since that working

James Jay Edwards:

If F is boring, wait till we get to G you know

Jonathan Correia:

well and well i think it's it you can have multiple directors they just have to be unified in the vision because I recently watched Two Evil Eyes the Dario Argento, George A Romero one and like that one works really well because they both have two very distinct you know styles but it seems like they were of one collective mind with that one, I guess it was supposed to be a pilot for a TV series that never got picked up. So they took their two stories and made it into one movie, but it could also be that they were both adapting Poe so they were working off the same material.

James Jay Edwards:

That's another thing when you're dealing with those two guys, that's that's different than just an anthology that is just basically collecting short films and sticking them together in an anthology because that one there was a collective vision from the start and I think the VHS movies do that too. But this one just didn't do it for me but I mean that being said, my favorite VHS segment of all time is what's it called The strange thing that happened to Helen or the the one that's it's all through Skype in the first one

Heather Wixson:

Oh, okay. Yeah, I think for me Safe Haven is still my favorite because I just love the the payoff at the end of that one with I think it's there's like daddy and you're like oh no like you're really not getting out of this one.

Jonathan Correia:

What was the what was the one in VHS 2 where it was like the cult compound and like everything just went to absolute shit and like

James Jay Edwards:

that's Safe Haven

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, yeah, the Safe Haven, Timo and Gareth Edwards I believe that did that. Yeah, that one.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, cuz that one. Oh, man, that one it got Goofy, but like in a really fucked up way. Like when you finally see the beast and stuff, you're just like, Alright, I'm in it.

James Jay Edwards:

Not as goofy as the ones in VHS. 94 I mean, it VHS 94 I think got goofy on every level. But hey, that's me.

Jonathan Correia:

As someone who hasn't watched 94 one of my biggest gripes of vairo was the fact that they had GoPro footage but it was supposed to be on a VHS tape do they actually like address that that's that's one thing I don't like about found footage films that's when it's like okay, that's clearly not shot on a 16 millimeter that's digital but like do they actually like address that? Does it actually look like it supposed to like this

Heather Wixson:

kind of sort of if you sort of take the context of what they set up in the wraparound, I guess in a way they they do sort of offhandedly explain that but not directly if that makes sense.

James Jay Edwards:

The first one is set up like it and this is the ratman one it is set up like a news story with like professional cameras so that when they kind of get away with it, but the the others Yeah, they're like,

Heather Wixson:

yeah, I meant more like in terms of like, why these VHS tapes actually exist

James Jay Edwards:

Yeah, okay. Yeah, they do set that up in the wraparound. But I think Correia you're talking about like it being out of the out of the air, right? You're talking about technology that doesn't exist in 94, or wouldn't be on VHS? Is that what you're talking?

Jonathan Correia:

It's just one of my nitpicks of the found footage genre is just like it's it's little things like okay, no one changed their batteries this whole time. Cuz like oh they're just so happened you just happen to stop right under a light source a good light source you know stuff like that it irks me a little bit but none more so then it's like okay that's like what was it there was that Frankenstein's army and it was like oh yeah this is all found footage that was shot on like a 16 millimeter in the war zone. It's like okay, no way was someone carrying around that much reels and was changing them out in a dark bag and stuff the ticket. I have a hard time suspending belief sometimes with that

Unknown:

I get it also found footage with like a score two, it always is a little weird to me. If somebody went took the time to go back and add score, although

James Jay Edwards:

the score to Cannibal Holocaust is a classic.

Heather Wixson:

That's true.

James Jay Edwards:

What else you guys been watching anything good.

Unknown:

I recently saw Night Teeth, which I think will be out in a few days from us recording this and that's going to be over on Netflix, which is a sort of slick little vampire Wars movie. I wasn't sure at first, like, well, how I was gonna deal with it. And then it kind of got like, it sort of has like these turf war vibes and like Los Angeles and for me, I'm just I'm a sucker for story set in LA. So it's like a minute it was like, Oh, you know, vampires can't go into Boyle Heights. And I was like, I'm in Okay, cool. And I was like, let's do this. But it actually it's, it's it's really fun, and not what I was expecting at all. And I'm just, um, I grew up loving vampire stories so much that I'm like, anytime somebody can do something a little different with it. I'm on board. So that was actually kind of a big surprise for me. I thought that was kind of fun.

James Jay Edwards:

Now, does it do something different with vampires? Because next to zombies vampires are the most fatigued sub genre for me personally, does it do something different?

Heather Wixson:

It is a little a little bit different lore. They kind of set up like this like centuries old sort of rivalry that's going on between like the people who live in Boyle Heights and the vampires and there's like peace amongst them but then one of the vampires decides to like go against it and then it sets up like sort of this like godfather esque hierarchy and I don't say godfather like I'm setting up like this is like a Francis Ford Coppola vampire epic or anything, but it just had a very different energy to it I think because I'm like I love like, you know stories like the Transfiguration that's sort of like they they minimalize it they sort of leave it a little open to interpretation and they kind of just you know they're they're under playing a little bit this is very much in a different direction where you know, it gets very bloody at times and stuff like that. But yeah, it did it just like it didn't quite feel like anything I've seen lately and you know when you watch like hundreds of movies every year you guys know like you just want somebody to come along and like sort of surprise you a little bit so yeah, I was actually pretty pretty impressed with that one. Because I kind of just was in it like oh, okay, I cover it. I came out I was like oh I kind of want to watch this again when it's out. So that was cool. Have you guys watching the Chucky series?

Jonathan Correia:

No, I was going to last night but I ended up building a model for some reason. I don't know why

Heather Wixson:

I I didn't know how well Chucky would work in a TV series setting. And I was kind of worried like we'd have sort of like a downplayed Chucky or anything like that. nope not at all. Like it is full on Chucky madness. The first episode like most TV shows kind of takes a little time to get its footing but I think when it hits it's great and by Episode Four I was like show into it that I was like I was mad that I have to wait to watch the rest of these the series because I was a big fan of cult I love the Child's Play slash Chucky series and I really liked were cult left everything and I was really curious because seeing the previous for this as well how is this gonna play into where cult leaves off because that was like so I just couldn't figure out because like you've got Charles Lee Ray basically in the daughter in the body of his real life tottered you know you've got I think I'm guessing Jennifer Tilly is still being possessed by Tiffany and the dolls and I was like how is this gonna all work um, but I it started to click for me a little bit the second time I watched the first episode where I was like, Oh, I see what they're gonna do with this and it's really clever like I really enjoyed it like the second episode is really interesting because you have this main character kid who finds the Chucky doll and of course realizes like this doll's possessed and he can do things and in the the the lead kid in it he's gay and his dad wasn't really on board with it and you know sometimes his friends make fun of them for it and I what I really appreciated about it, it being a huge seed of Chucky apologist is that there's this really sweet moment where Chucky is talking to the kid about Glenn and Glenda and he's like, you know I have a kid who's no gender fluid and I took me a little time to get used to it and I just was like, oh, we're like we're giving layers to Charles Lee Ray. And then by Episode Four he's full blown, maniacal everything is there's chaos. All kinds of carnage. But yeah, I was really surprised by how much I loved it. So it's been it's been really fun to kind of see people on online to when the episode The first episode aired this week and just seeing their reactions to it. So I was really impressed and they go for it for the gore f bombs galore. I was kind of shocked because I was like, this is like, they have this on USA with full on F bombs and I wasn't expecting that.

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, I'm sure they beep it when it's on.

Heather Wixson:

No they don't. Nope.

James Jay Edwards:

Do they show it like after 10pm or

Heather Wixson:

I think it's because they air at 10pm Yeah, so yeah, but no sci fi and USA both were unedited and I was very surprised by that.

Jonathan Correia:

That's awesome.

James Jay Edwards:

Did you get one of the Chucky dolls that they were sending out?

Heather Wixson:

I did and I was really surprised because like sometimes I get stuff and sometimes I don't and so I you know it's just one of those things where it's like whatever that's fine you know I wasn't too worried about it. And then it showed up at the door and you know bless my FedEx Delivery guy because he sent it up perfectly in front of the door. Right looking at the door and I was like oh he knew he knew

James Jay Edwards:

Waylon our pal Waylon who has been on the show three times and he he's one of the iHorror writers he got one and I think Squires got one John Squires another ex iHorror guy I've been having fun looking at people post at seems like did they tell you to post pictures when you got it just to jump it seemed like everybody you got one has posted about it

Heather Wixson:

yeah no they'd I didn't even know that that was coming like they usually like when they're their stuff coming to the house like you'll get an email saying oh we just want to confirm your address and most of the time they're not really specific and because like the Halloween Kills because I got a Halloween Kills drop this week too. And it was just originally they were supposed to come to my house on Thursday with Michael Myers and then traffic was just bananas so they just dropped off the package on Friday which was fine you know because I don't really post like stuff about me with the stuff I don't know I'm weird like that. And so I was like just give me my box and stuff it's cool and but I had no idea that that like a full blown Chucky doll was like gonna show up at my door and the thing is like $500 when I looked it up

James Jay Edwards:

it's really cool what they sent I am I'm on some weird mailing lists that no one else in my groups are on so I don't know how I got on him but I have never gotten anything as cool as a Chucky doll but like

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, I was kind of shocked that we really are. And the thing is also too it's one of these things where like look, I understand sort of one of the perks of the game or whatever the job and I'm always always grateful but also also like I literally have an entire room like since the beginning of the pandemic especially of just boxes of stuff that I don't know what to do with

James Jay Edwards:

do you get for your awards voting Do you get all the books that they send you

Heather Wixson:

yes

James Jay Edwards:

yes I have a bookshelf full of these books in there for like you know Roma the Irishman you know

Heather Wixson:

that Irishman book like you could kill somebody with that it is it is like 40 pounds of book

James Jay Edwards:

well all the Netflix books are like that the Netflix sends them out in these you know reinforced cardboard and they're like hefty coffee table books. But who has that many coffee tables? I mean they send two or three of them a year for different movies. But yeah, I mean and I love these books yeah you know I'm running out of space

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, the one year the the year that Universal is pushing I think it was Us and some reason I ended up actually getting two copies of that one. So I actually I'm whatever it's been a few years they can yell at me if they want but I actually sent the extra one to a teacher friend of mine who teaches film studies because I knew that the next year she was going to be teaching Us to her class and I just thought like that would be like a really amazing resource for her to have. So I was you know, she's a critic too and she's like a film producer and stuff like that. So I was like, I was like I can't be that mad at me but I'm like I don't need two and I feel like somebody should get some really good use out of this. And she actually did use it last year in her class when they were because like they were virtual and stuff and then everything but yeah, but at least I felt like it was somewhere good that like you know could get something really good out of it as opposed to being awesome on my bookshelf.

Jonathan Correia:

Have you guys watched Midnight Mass at all?

James Jay Edwards:

Oh, no, I need to get to that yet. I need to get to it.

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, I have to say I again I went blind as hell all I knew I didn't I don't even think I watched a trailer for it all. I knew it was Mike Flanagan. And it was cult stuff.

James Jay Edwards:

Well, Whalen had recommended it to us. Yeah. When we had talked with him on on our last episode way back when so Um, I need to make time for that because Waylon's recommendation and Flanagan

Jonathan Correia:

let me let me tell you it is absolutely incredible. I think it's his best one that he's done for Netflix so far. And that saying a lot because I absolutely loved Bly Manor

James Jay Edwards:

better than Gerald's game?

Jonathan Correia:

Well of his mini series thing so

James Jay Edwards:

okay because Gerald's game is the gold standard of Stephen King adaptations for me

Heather Wixson:

see I'd actually put Midnight Mass up in terms of like one of the best things that like Mike Flanagan's done period

James Jay Edwards:

pretty bold statement with that catalog I'm gonna check it out.

Heather Wixson:

Yeah

Jonathan Correia:

I need to rethink a lot of my rankings with his other stuff because I was only contextualizing it with his Netflix series but yeah it's it's really high up I mean for me personally Of course it's gonna be high up there when the show in the first five minutes features not one but two Neil Diamond songs like come on. It's like Flanagan was like hey Correia you're gonna love the shit out of this. But yeah, dude I didn't know anything how they handled the mythology. Like you were saying Heather earlier about Night Teeth. There was a very different take on a known thing. There was definitely a lot of moments where I sitting there just going like Say it Say the word say the word. You guys know what these things are? Just say what it is. But they never do. And I'm not gonna say what they are because it's really cool. But really powerful performances. Especially the priest I can't remember the actor's name

Heather Wixson:

Oh, Hamish Linklater

Jonathan Correia:

yeah he for like the first half of it I was like I can't tell if he's just playing a really goofy character or if it's just some like weird acting thing but then when he gives that sermon in like the third to last episode, I think you know the sermon I'm talking about that's that's what I knew. I was like, holy shit this guy is an incredible actor if he went from like that the performances that he's been doing to this insane change and shifting character but yeah, apps I can't recommend it enough I'll probably end up watching it again after Hooptober is over

Heather Wixson:

I always tell people like it's to me it feels like the best Stephen King adaptation that's not an actual Stephen King adaptation. Yeah, like it it really just dials into like this sort of small town feel I mean it just every character matters every line of dialogue matters in that show.

Jonathan Correia:

And it takes its time too like you could say it's a slow burn but it didn't feel like a slow burn it felt like it was just taking its time to like actually flesh out all these characters all of them have these varying levels of debt even Henry Thomas's character who barely says much very early on he actually reminded me a lot of my father which I didn't realize until like later this series and then all sudden I turned my fiance was like is Henry Thomas remind you of Joe and she's like because of the mustache? I was like Well yeah, but you know just very quiet barely says anything it takes place in New England right? Like it's got to

Heather Wixson:

No it's actually off the coast of Oregon I believe.

Jonathan Correia:

Okay, I mean, yeah, that's just west coast New England in it, though.

Heather Wixson:

Very true.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, absolutely phenomenal. Everything about it absolutely loved and like it goes to some like hard like philosophy and discussions on like life and death and there's some like very Carl Sagan esque philosophical discussion that's hap that happens like, Man was that that show his monologue heavy? That was like an actor's dream. I feel though getting those scripts

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, we call those talkies in our house but that's what I loved about it because honestly like I was really I was really upset that it was only seven episodes I wanted the full ten, like I felt like we still should have had three more even even though everything was perfectly paced and it there's a certain point like Episode Five where I'm like how will we only have two episodes left and then and then it you see it and then it makes sense but at that point I was just like why why do we only have one more you know, only a handful episodes left like how could this is possible but Flanagan knew what he was doing.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, cuz like, like I wanted more. But I also feel like they might have overstepped or overstayed their welcome if they had gone further, you know, I don't know what else they could have explored. I understand there might be like a few loose ends here and there, but like, overall, I think they did what they want to do, and they did it really fucking well.

James Jay Edwards:

Let's, let's move on to the reason we're here. Because we can't we were running long and we need to talk about Heather's book.

Heather Wixson:

You know, it's a book.

James Jay Edwards:

But before we get into the book, I want to ask you something that I asked of all of our guests, and it's gonna be a little weird because usually, if we have composers on I say, when did you how did you get into composing? How did you get into cinematography? So let me ask you the same way that I asked Ama Lea when we had her on How When did you know that you were a horror fan? Like what age and what movie did it for you?

Heather Wixson:

You know I mean it's such a basic answer but it is Nightmare on Elm Street when I grew up always always been like around horror because I grew up with a single mom and in the 80s and you know babysitter's were expensive back then and so she was just like the mom who just took me to everything. So you know, at age three It was like I was seeing an American Werewolf in London in theaters which I don't recommend three three year olds to see you know, there's she that we were always going to the drive and especially because that was like a really great way to see to movies for cheap and things like that. And then also as I mentioned, my best friend who lived two houses down her parents are really into like horror sci fi so like at her house we I was maybe age five and she was like sex and we were watching movies like Alien and The Thing and Salem's Lot and like that was just like normal. And you know, so it was just it never really occurred to me that other kids weren't watching the same things. And then it was like and then it really hit me when I finally got to see Nightmare on Elm Street because it was one of those like our parents wanted to see it first to see if we could handle it and then they were like, I don't know and then I took months of begging and I finally got my mom to agree to let me watch it and I just love like for as terrified as I was a Freddy Krueger at age like six and a half or whatever it was my first thought maybe almost seven I there was something really that fascinated me that hooked me and I loved the way it challenged me. And even back then I could sense because Nancy was also living with her mom like there was like this like kinship that I felt. And I was just talked and it was like one of those things like when every time we would go to the video store. The first place we would always like head to is right to the horror section. And a few years later, that's when I discovered Terror in the Aisles, which is the the movie clip movie with Donald Pleasance and Nancy Allen

James Jay Edwards:

introduced so many people to so many great movies and that is why I think everybody who knows about Alone in the Dark found out about Alone in the Dark.

Heather Wixson:

Oh, absolutely. Because that was like my Bible as a kid. Like I would go find the copy of Terror in the Aisles, and I would like look at the cover and try to figure out find the names of the titles I hadn't seen. And I would go looking around the video store for them. Ironically, most of them weren't in the horror section. But it did open me up to a lot of things. Although again, I don't really recommend like renting Vice Squad when you're eight like that's a little too much but that's what I did. Like that was around the same time I saw Suspiria which also kind of mentally scarred me and it's one that my best friend never let me forget that I would actually rent that movie. Because it still terrifies her to this day. But yeah, so it was just like I was completely I was always like the weird kid who liked horror and wrestling. And a lot of my friends didn't know what to do with that my guy friends knew what to do with that because I was the cool girl who wasn't all like uppity and girly about things where I was like yeah, let's go pretend to be you know Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat and get dirty and wrestle around in the dirt and stuff and whatever or go watch the weird movies Um, so yeah, it was just it was just always kind of there and it's funny because like my mom sort of grown out of it a little bit, but like when I would go home to visit she'd always try to put something on it was horror to make me feel like I was like at home or something. Even I know she was hating because I remember like one year it was like I remember when Scream came out and I thought she was gonna love it because it was so different and like unique and it blew my mind and so like we we took her to see it like the second night cuz I went the opening night with my ex and then we took her the second night to see it. And I was like, Oh, she's gonna love this and like the look of horror on her face the entire time. And she just is like, why would you take me to this and I was like, oh boy, okay, but you know cut to how many however many many years later I'm visiting at home and she's like, Oh, I just found Scream 4 on TV. I know you like those movies. And I was like, Oh, that's nice. So yeah, I think it's just always been there like I was the person who like my friends wouldn't come play at my house because I had a Freddy Krueger poster in my room and it scared the crap out of them

James Jay Edwards:

Now when you were you know watching these at age six or ever did you know they were movies? I mean, could you see the figurative zipper up the back of the monster or you know,

Heather Wixson:

you know what changed that for me? It was the behind the scenes for Thriller because um, as I mentioned, my best friend he worked for a district Warner Brothers. They had like distribution centers for all of their music labels. So it was called Wheel which was Warner, Electrica and Atlantic. And so they had he he worked at the we a distribution center because we live right near O'Hare. So a lot of things was easy to ship stuff there and all that kind of stuff. So they had a big distribution warehouse there and so He was bringing home stuff all the time. So for as much as we were like exposed to movies, music was also huge too. And we didn't have cable because I grew up like in a trailer park and they didn't have like cable in there. So we'd have to rely on people to like tape things for us and stuff like that. So everybody was like, kept talking about the Michael Jackson killer music video, we hadn't seen it. And they finally released a VHS tape of it, and he brought it home. And we watch it scare the crap out of us. But right after they had that behind the scenes, like mini doc about it, and that was when it clicked, that the monsters were these creations of these people, and that there was real artists behind these things like that was my first introduction to Rick Baker. And I had no idea that there was like, all of these really talented people behind these kind of things. Which then kind of like made me even more obsessed with it. Because then I was like, always trying to, like I was like the weird kid who's always trying to like, connect directors and you know, writers and like artists and things like that, when most kids like, you know, they just went to see movies. You know, they didn't care that Steven Spielberg produced it. They just wanted to go see Goonies, because it's a fun movie. Where it's not like me, I was like, oh, but he produced this. And he did Gremlins and like how, you know, it was just weird, like how my brain kind of started to compartmentalize certain things. Which is why I think I was always kind of destined for this, even if I didn't know how to get to this point back then. But I just kind of always knew that, like, somehow, horror would factor into it. I just didn't realize like how that would would ever happen. I'm still figuring out how it happened to to.

James Jay Edwards:

That's a great segue into the book, because this book, your book is it comes out this Tuesday, the 19th correct.

Heather Wixson:

The 20th, the 20th. I mean, technically, if you've pre ordered it, through the publisher, people already have copies of it. Okay, it's sort of an arbitrary release date at this point. But that's when it officially like will get launched on Amazon and things like that.

James Jay Edwards:

Okay. But the book is called Monsters, Makeup & Effects, and the subtitle is Conversations with Cinema's Greatest Artists. And you've been interviewing these people for a long time. I mean, this book, this is not a small little pamphlet, this is almost 500 pages.

Heather Wixson:

Yes, it is

James Jay Edwards:

how many artists are in it. I mean, there's dozens

Heather Wixson:

each book is going to be at least 20 artists. We I've collected a little over 80 interviews now. So the first two books are going to both be 20 artists each. The third and fourth volumes are probably gonna be loaded with a couple extra interviews. Also, because some of them turned into turned into like sort of tribute pieces. Because of just factors that came up like one of the artists I'd really been trying to talk to you for years because I started all of this back in April 2016. And unfortunately, we've lost several key figures in the in the FX industry since then. And one of those people was John Carl Buechler, who he was somebody who came up in so many conversations that I had, because he was the guy when people got to Hollywood, he was always willing, you know, a lot a lot like Roger Corman, he was always willing to give people a chance to come in, hone their skills, get better, get that set experience, and just really be creative. You know, even if he couldn't pay them a lot, he always paid them. And that was one thing that I thought was interesting is one of the people that I interviewed for his tribute was Kane Hodder, because they were such close friends and everything like that. And even though he's not technically part of the FX industry, I think your pain still had so much, you know, insight into how John was in that world. But he was telling me you know, a lot of these times when like shops would be with, be between jobs, like, you know, most of the times like they would just shut the shop down for a few months to tell you to go find work elsewhere. But john beekler was not that guy, like he took care of his people. There were times where he didn't have money to pay people. And so essentially, he was like taking second mortgages out to keep people paid during those down times, which he didn't have to do. And he wasn't you know, I wouldn't call him the world's greatest artist. But I would say he's probably one of the most influential because we have so many artists who have gone on to become these mega talented people in the industry because of him in also because of the way that he was able to diversify himself in the industry as well as a director and a writer and things like that. To me his he has this huge legacy and I didn't want to ignore that simply because I couldn't interview half so for example, Book Two we're gonna have a tribute to him in there because I just felt like he needed to be represented.

James Jay Edwards:

Okay, I want to know a little bit about how can I put this the methodology for writing this book because clearly you interviewed all these people. But this doesn't come across as an interview, but it's like, there and I haven't read it cover to cover because it's 500 pages. But you know, I kind of

Heather Wixson:

It's a lot, I get it!

James Jay Edwards:

you know, it is but yeah, especially because you know, I haven't had it all that long. But um, it you're basically letting these people tell their story in their own words. And clearly you ask them a question, and then just let them go. And then you'll pop in as the you know the Morgan Freeman narrator saying and then so and so did it you're not really Morgan Freeman, more like Richard Dreyfus in Stand By Me, I guess, you know, yeah, a little setup. And then let them continue. I think it's a great way it's not just asked question, get an answer, ask question get answered, you're, these people's stories are in their own words, and you kind of guide it, how these interviews go, is it just like that, you would just basically get them talking and roll tape?

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, for me, you know, one of the important things for me when I was doing this is I didn't want to center myself in this project in any way, because it wasn't about me, that was one of the things like because we have a signing coming up in November, st Dark Delicacies, you know, and I said to the artists, when I emailed them, just to let them know, like, we're doing this, blah, blah, blah. And I said, you know, Look, guys, like, this book doesn't exist without you. But it could exist without me. So for me, it my biggest priority has always been making sure that this book is about the artists that you're reading. And so I wanted to pull myself out of out of it as much as possible. That was one of the reasons I wanted to call it talk about the Conversations as part of the title. Because it really was, it wasn't, you know, and there's a few exceptions, and I'll get into that, but most of it was just me sitting down and just talking to people in just a very conversational way. Because if you kind of come at people like sort of a very dry q&a way, like, you're not going to get real sort of responses, you're going to kind of get sort of limited to where you're what you've asked, and so I just wanted to like, just let people go with it. Because one, you know, so many of these folks, when they get interviewed, they just get interviewed about like, well, how did you make this? And how did you make that, and there's some, you know, there's some conversations that sort of touch on those things a little bit, but that wasn't really the point of it, I just wanted to talk to them about their experiences, you know, the things that they've, you know, that influenced them as artists, you know, like sort of their own creative processes, you know, for some of them who have branched out outside of the effects industry, like what motivated them to do that. And things like that. And I will say this, there are a few exceptions. Um, one of them is there's an interview in Book Two with Chris Wallace, who it's funny because I right now I have a very low just to keep my dogs kind of quiet and there's a little bit of noise in the room I have The Fly actually playing very quietly right now. But he's one of my all time favorites. And but most people don't realize that he has almost complete hearing loss. So to sit down with to do an interview with him is impossible because it's very painful for him. And I've you know, obviously I don't want to put somebody through something that's going to make them uncomfortable. So for Chris, he and I, we would go back and forth on email over the course of several months. And so I had asked him like a set of questions he would answer I would kind of take you know, look at his responses kind of figure out if I was having a conversation with him, Where would I go that and so that was kind of the back and forth with him. And then the other one that's a little tougher, which will be coming in Book Three or four is I sat down with the Chiodo brothers who are amazing and I love them and they're such sweet guys, but they're, they're really funny when they get the three of them together to talk because they're the kind of guys who like they, you know, they're brothers even they know everything about each other, they finish each other sentences they talk over each other, that's really hard to transcribe into just a fluid conversation like a fluid chapter. So it was one of those I realized like with them, I'm like, I'm gonna have to stage it more like a q&a and just hope people are accepting of that but also because I didn't want to like take away from what one of them might have said that may not work like I just wanted to feel like it was the real conversation that I had with them. So there are a few exceptions, but I feel like for over 80 interviews if there's a few of them that sort of play by a more traditional q&a style, like hopefully people will be you know, okay with that, you know, and be okay you know, and realize the other 80 or so interviews are standard and, you know, had a lot more meat on their bones, I guess is the best way to put it.

James Jay Edwards:

So you have four volumes planned of this, um, who are some and I know this is gonna be a bit like asking you to pick your favorite child, but who are some of the standouts that are in this volume one that is releasing this week.

Heather Wixson:

You know, um, for me First and foremost, Tom Burman was high on my list. And I had actually been interviewing or I've been emailing him since the beginning. And I didn't get responses. And I don't even know if I had the right email address. And it just wasn't clicking. And I wasn't hearing from him. But like Planet of the Apes was such a huge influence on me as a kid. And I was like, well, gosh, if he is still here, I want to hear about that I want to hear about Planet of the Apes. I love Scrooged. I love Sloth from Goonies. Like there's so many characters that he did, like basically, the work that he and his wife did on Nip/Tuck basically revolutionized how far you could start taking special effects on television, particularly like basic cable and things like that. And so, just after a few years, I wasn't getting him. But then I also realized, like, oh, gosh, you know, I really want to get some more interviews with female talent, because I want to make sure that it's not just you know, sorry, gentlemen, like a sausage fest up in here, where it's 80 interviews with dudes. And I knew his wife actually had a really interesting background because she came from like, a fine arts, like study, like she had set out to have a completely different career and ended up in special effects. So I reached out to her, and I finally heard from Bari Dreiband-Burman and so they she actually invited me to come up to their house, to meet with her to do her interview. And it was like, I show up at the door, and Tom just opens the door, and I was like, Oh, my God, okay, I'm not freaking out. And then, so we just kind of chatted a little bit. And it was funny, because like, after we were done, like, she was like, showing me some stuff in their workshop and everything. And I got to see, like one set of the original appliances from Planet of the Apes that they still had. And I was just like, Oh my gosh, and they're like, you can touch it. I was like, Oh, my gosh, that's so cool. And so I just kind of approached him and said, you know, would you be interested in doing this too? And he's like, Yeah, sure. And so that was my in you know, a little bit with Tom. Um, but it's great because what I learned from both of their stories is they're so different than how they approach things because Tom his dad, Ellis Berman, senior, like, you know, was an effects guy. So he almost had this legacy that he came into. Were Bari, like I said, she came from a fine arts background, which is a which is why I think they work together so well, because they're both focused on different things. But talking to Tom was like a dream because like, I was hearing like, all the stories of like, when him and John Chambers were working with like the CIA, which is basically some of the stuff that you see in the movie Argo, which is kind of cool. And then just getting to hear about, like, his stories with Richard Donner. You know, which, again, is a kid from the 80s like, Richard Donner was, like, such a huge influence on me as a movie fan. So he was really one of those, like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm doing this. I mean, all of them really are. But like, especially just for the legacy of like, I can just still remember how I felt the first time I ever saw Planet of the Apes and just being able to sort of indulge like seven year old me who's like on the inside, just freaking out, like, Oh my gosh, you're really getting to talk about all this stuff. So that was a really big one. Ve Neill is another one that I absolutely love because she's just so freaking cool. She's just one of these people who like, you know, coming up in an industry at the at the time that she did you know, there was maybe like two or three other women doing the stuff that she was doing, and that she was able to sort of hang in there with the boys club, and then do everything on our own terms. And then and I always joke with people because you know, everybody likes to, to nitpick, you know, on Twilight, which is fine, it's fine. I don't care. I have no sense of affection towards the movies, but they're you know, Ve Neill is technically the first person to ever give us sparkly vampires through The Lost Boys. So whenever we get mad about sparkly, you know, sparkly vampire so it's like, well, we actually had them in 87 because she just thought it would be fabulous to add glitter to all the vampire blood and Joel Schumacher agreed. So I that's like one of my little favorite things is like you know, she actually did sparkly vampires before Twilight.

James Jay Edwards:

Did she do the sweat on the sexy sax guy though?

Heather Wixson:

I don't even think she had to I think that was all natural

James Jay Edwards:

that was real

Heather Wixson:

that was authentic. But yeah, and she's you know she's won several Oscars now she's been I think she was nominated 8 times she's won three she's won multiple Emmys. She started her own school and I just being a girl, you being a woman who has worked in a field that up until recently was kind of primarily male dominated. Um, there was a lot that I really related to with the stories is that she told and her talent is just incredible like she made Mrs. Doubtfire look real in a way that didn't like wasn't scary. It didn't look like a you know, like a drag queen. Like as she put it, like, there was something authentic to the way that that character looked. So that was really cool. And then of course talking to like, somebody like Screaming Mad George was just like a mind blowing experience because of all the stuff that he's done. And he was super tricky to kind of coordinate with because he's back in Japan now. And so I had to be up at like 4am to do that call. And I usually go to bed at like 4am to, like, get on my game and like, be ready to do this kind of an interview at like that hour of the day. And it was it was really, really tough. But it's interesting, because you mentioned how everything's framed, and I had a couple people come back to me like, because one of the things I do with all of these is everybody gets to see their chapter before it goes to print because I don't want to make anybody upset. I want to make sure everybody's happy with with, you know, what's out there. You know, I want to, you know, get anybody mad at me or anything like that. And I've had a few people saying like, Well, you know, there's just a lot of me talking here and I'm like, well, that's kind of the point. Like, you know, they're not, I mean, yes, you need the segues and things like that. But ultimately like your stories are the reason people are gonna be reading this it's not me trying to prove how smart I am by like putting this connective tissue together and like in terms of like different movies and stuff, like there's some of that in there. But ultimately, it really was just about representing their voices here in a way that felt authentic. But again, didn't feel like it was about me.

James Jay Edwards:

Well that's that's what it is. It's um, it's their stories and then you pop into add context every once in a while.

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, cuz I also feel too because like sometimes if somebody you know, I know like there's gonna be horror fans, they're gonna read this and movie fans, but I want somebody who maybe isn't as familiar to be able to pop in and like they may not know every you know, every single movie that the Stan Winston, you know, crew worked on. So it's like, sometimes you have to remind them like, Oh, so Invader From Mars was going on now, while this was going on, and that was going on. And, you know, things were crazy when they were doing Monster Squad, because then Predator came in last minute. So it's kind of like just sort of setting the stage a little bit for people. So they kind of get an understanding of like, oh, okay, this is how this flies.

Jonathan Correia:

And I definitely want to applaud the fact that this is a focus on their lives and their careers. Because like you were saying, I do own a couple effects books and whatnot, especially from Tom Savini.

Heather Wixson:

Oh, yeah, the grand illusions, books, like of

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, I love those books. But they always course just mainly focus on you know, the art, which is awesome. And I'm so happy to have those books. But um, I was really appreciating your book on just hearing their stories and how one project led to another. I will admit, I jumped to the Ve Neill chapter, huge fan of her She's the reason why I watche Face Off for so long. Becaus she just seems like the cooles person ever. But, but yeah, i was just so cool. Seeing like not only her story, but like like, you know, especiall working in the industry, it i crazy how one project can lea to another. And it's not alway about like, one thing, you know it's not like, Oh, yeah, thi director like me, it might b some random crew member o somebody else. And it was coo seeing those connections happe between all these differen films that were like, so iconi and dear, but also seeing like the connections where it's like oh, yeah, I did, I did a coupl episodes of this TV show, whic led to this big movie, you know it's always very interestin seeing those develops, so it wa really cool. hearing that fro their voice

Heather Wixson:

Thank you. Yeah, that was also one of the things I wanted. Again, somebody who may be, you know, even if not interested in special effects, maybe they just have like a general interest in like movies or something like that. Like, I want them to understand, like, so much of this industry is about relationships, and people can be in denial, you could be so talented. But if you don't have relationships, you're not going to go as far as somebody who is able to build those connections with other creatives working out here. So for me, it was kind of showing people like you talent is fantastic. Vision is great, like dedication, of course you want that you want you know, that grit, you want somebody who wants to really, you know, put put their stamp on, on the work that they're doing. But ultimately, it doesn't mean anything, if you're not going to be able to like take it any further. And I think for me, it's like the one thing that I've been grateful for, in being a part of sort of this core entertainment journalism world, you know, for the last 14 years, is that I've always been really conscientious about being good to people. And most of them, you know, most of the time it's, it works out where I've, you know, I've made some really fantastic connections, you know, made some, you know, long lasting relationships with people, you know, sometimes it blows up in my face, too, you know, that's just being a human being and, you know, that's the experience. But ultimately, like, I'm just a big believer that like you put whatever you put out into the world you're gonna get back and you know, if you're somebody who people don't want to work with or people think you're this or that like that can be really detrimental. And it's funny because one of the chapters in, you know, and he's super, he owns it now because that's just kind of who he is. But like one of the people who sort of had that kind of reputation with Steve Johnson and I love Steve, Steve and I are friends. So we joke about this, but like, he's been known to be a little persnickety, a little uppity, like, you know, he kind of, and he'll tell you, like, you know, don't go out and do a ton of drugs and waste all your money, because that's where I ended up where you know how I'm not living in a mansion these days, because I blew it all in the 80s in the 90s. So he's more of a cautionary tale in a way. But also, he made some of the craziest creature, creepy creatures and Cree creations we've ever seen, too. But you know, he'll tell you like, yeah, I kind of blew a few relationships here or there. And it ended up curtailing certain aspects of his career. And but he owns it now. And he's got a good sense of humor about it. But I get a sense sometimes, like, through this sense of humor, there is probably a tinge of sadness about like, gosh, you know, maybe if I had just done this, things would be different. But I know he's done some effects stuff in the last few years. So he's kind of coming back into the fold and stuff. But he's a really fascinating character, because he's very blunt, and very honest about everything. And that could be a lot to take, because I will tell you, the, I interviewed him before, because years, back in 2015, I did a entire magazine, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Fright Night. So I interviewed him, and we had a great conversation and stuff. So when I set out to do the series, you know, I went to him and he'd already the stuff was going, you know, in the works with his rubber head series, so and he was like, Well, I don't know, he's like, I already have my own books. And I was like, I get it. But you know, you you may not see you, you might see your career differently than I'm gonna see your career. So you know, we can promote your book in here, it's fine. And he was like, Okay, fine. And then I wouldn't we tell the story, we actually told the story a flashback weekend, because they had our Fright Night reunion a few years ago in Chicago, and I was there to co host. And the day that we did our interview, we were on Skype. And so basically, Steve comes on and he was just like, okay, I quit smoking today, I hate everything. How are we going to do this, where I'm not going to want to kill myself by the time we're done. And I was like, Okay, um, you know, and I'm, I can pretty much roll with the punches, but I kind of froze for like, a minute, I was like, Oh, my God, what am I gonna do, because I don't want him. I don't want him to be at this level, the entire interview. And so I just kind of figured out a way to kind of sort of approach things from a different angle. And by the end, he was like, you know, that was really fun. And he was like, this is one of the best interviews I've had. And he was like, I feel like, this was great. And I was like, oh few. So I knew if I could do that, I could do anything. You know, basically, at that point, I was like, I've got it covered. So I survived that one. But we joke about it now. And you were good friends and stuff. But it was, it was one of those where I was like you sometimes you just catch people on the wrong day. And you're like, oh, I've stepped into it now.

Jonathan Correia:

Yeah, but you can definitely tell with how people are telling their stories and the things that they're talking about in this book that you put your heart out there. Like there's a lot of personal details in in these retelling of their lives and their careers. That it felt like a very natural conversation. So like you were saying how they're inputting, you know, essentially putting good vibes out there you can you can feel that in the end how they talk, and it comes through in the writing. Definitely.

Heather Wixson:

Oh, thank you. Yeah, I will say, um, I don't know if you guys have gotten to the chapter for David Leroy Anderson. But he so he is married to Heather Langenkamp in real life. And they had actually met each other because of Shocker. So they have a really fun little meet cute story. But I thought so I wanted to interview him one because I loved Cabin in the Woods. And I love the fact that we just get like all these amazing creatures and crazy characters and things like that. I was like, Well, yeah, I got to talk to this guy. And then I also thought it was really fascinating to how he's basically watched his life. elements of his life get played out for New Nightmare too, which I thought was that was really funny and interesting. Because you know, that movie basically mirrored a lot of their lives in the early 90s, because Heather was dealing with a really scary stalker for a long time. So much to the point where I think it was, I think it might have been Alien three, I can't remember. I think it was Alien three, because I believe it was Alec Gillis, who called them called him to ask him if he wanted to go to London for six months, and they both just wanted to escape and they were like, yes, we're going let's just do this. And so when I started the interview with him and he's a fantastic human being, I adore him. I adore his dad Lance, who's also in the His first book, so we were just having this conversation, and we get up to Star Trek. And he was like, you know, whether he's like, I'm gonna have to finish this another day, and which I'm always open to, you know, I'm really flexible with people, because especially we could be talking for a few hours. And I didn't think much of it. And he was like, can we connect, like in a couple of weeks? And I said, Yeah, sure, of course, you know, anything you need. And so a few weeks goes by, I get an email, we set up our second interview, and we start talking about Star Trek. And he started, you know, he's talking about, like, he's sitting in this meeting, and he gets a phone call, and it's his son was in college, and he was overseas, and he had a medical emergency. And, you know, so I'm thinking we're just gonna have a typical conversation. As it turns out, over the course of those years, his his son ended up battling a brain tumor, you know, very, you know, kid in his 20s having to deal with all these major issues, which also put a huge like, sort of wrench into how things went in their home, because that meant, you know, if Heather was working, David needs to be home, or vice versa. Because they needed to be take care of their son, Atticus, who had, you know, surgeries, and recoveries and things like that. And at a certain point, Atticus was even working in their shop while he was in recovery. In fact, he got to go to the Emmys that the year that they won for American Horror Story Hotel. So because Atticus actually did appliances for Lady Gaga, which was kind of cool. And so you know, we're having this conversation. And then David basically tells me like, you know, one of the reasons we had to stop where we were, he's like, because we just celebrated the one year anniversary of losing Atticus. And I was just like, whoa. And so we talked a lot about that, and I wasn't expecting it. And I will tell you, there's a lot of that conversation, because I just kind of let David talk. While I was on mute, because I was crying. And I was, I had no idea. And I thought of Heather being at all these conventions, while her kid's at home sick. And she's out there putting on a brave face for fans, you know, because she knew that she needed to do that in order to provide for her family, and what kind of strength that must have taken for both of them to like have to go out there into the world and still be these people, while they're dealing with the stuff that they're dealing with at home. And so one of the things we sort of ended up kind of treating the last half of his his chapter as a tribute to Atticus, and the things that they sort of learned about themselves and learned about their son and learned about life through this whole process. And that, to me, ended up sort of being like the most moving of the chapters that I did, because I think it made me sort of really appreciate the things that I have. And I was just sort of stunned. And I will say the best compliment that I have received from anybody in this whole process. And I don't mean to make it sound like I play favorites. But I sent David his chapter to read. And it just so happened to be the day before Father's Day. And so he actually emailed me on Father's Day, and he's like, Heather, like, this is the greatest Father's Day gift I've ever been given. He's like, thank you so much for this. And that really moved me and that's I think, I've always treated this seriously in the fact that I want to make sure people's lives and their careers and their legacies are being honored. But to know, like, how important this became to certain people, that's when it felt like that's when it got real for me where I was like, okay, like there's this, there's a purpose to this. And then it might just not be, you know, me trying to throw out some stories for the sake of telling stories, like there's something real to this in a way that I just hadn't felt before. So and again, it's one of those things where I tell people, I'm so grateful that people were willing to sit with me and be open with me and be honest with me and share the things that they did with me because they didn't have to. But people got very candid with me. And I I appreciate that. And it was one of those things too. Also, as I was going through the process of like, What was that for me? Or is that for the book? Because sometimes we'd have sort of stories, where I think it was, in some ways them sort of exercising some of these past feelings and things like that. But yeah, I just I wasn't expecting that experience. And then last week, Heather actually tweeted about it. How she was so surprised about reading about her own husband, because there were things she didn't even know. And I was just like, I and I cried, I'm such a sap. But I just wasn't expecting that at all because it wasn't like I'd asked anybody to tweet about the book or anything like that. And to me, I was like, wow, I surprised your wife who you've been living with for 30 years, almost like, that's pretty cool. So yeah, it's just been a real like, I just I still can't believe I've gotten to do like all the stuff that I've done.

James Jay Edwards:

I saw that tweet from head from Heather Langenkamp, and I was like, Yeah, she's gonna be on our show.

Heather Wixson:

Thank you.

James Jay Edwards:

We, we have to stick a fork in this because we're running super long.

Heather Wixson:

Oh god, I'm so sorry. I'm

James Jay Edwards:

here. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. This is great. These are this is a great interview. In fact, we need to have you on for every volume that comes out.

Heather Wixson:

You got it I will be back

James Jay Edwards:

have you on for all four

Jonathan Correia:

what is the release schedule looking like?

Heather Wixson:

Well, this one is October, I know initially we were going to plan to go like every six months. But I've also in the meantime, my publisher, who is amazing, he actually has lined up other book projects for me as well. So there is something some other stuff that I'm working on that might have to take a little bit of precedent. So I might bump volume two back a little bit, just want to give a little more space. but too also give me a little time to kind of focus on this other project before I have to start jumping into promote that one, like I've already finished the manuscript for book two. So it's done. It's you know, it's, it's, it's out there. But I want to make sure that like I'm not short, like I'm not gonna shortchange the other stuff that I'm working on, because I have to start promoting that one. So I might try to wait till like, July or August. But then once I kind of get to that, then I can, like, we're thinking, all of them should be out before like the end of 2023,

James Jay Edwards:

we'll have you on for any of your other projects too, be on anytime.

Heather Wixson:

I have to be a little a little sort of nonspecific about those, because one of them I think it's gonna get announced in December, so I don't want to step on anybody's toes with that. But I've just I like, again, it's it's one of those things just, I'm so grateful for my publisher to who's just been amazing and so supportive. And like, I'm just I'm thrilled, and I can't believe I'm here. Finally, like I've been doing this for so long. I'm just like, well, I'm like I it's like the first finish line of four. So it feels good.

James Jay Edwards:

We'll have you on for any project you do.

Heather Wixson:

I would love that. That would be amazing. Thank you.

James Jay Edwards:

No problem. Thank you for joining us here and for rearranging your schedule to fit ours. This is this has been an awesome interview. And even though it has run long, but that's my problem as an editor Actually, I'm just gonna let this one go probably and we'll just have a long episode. And if people don't listen to it, they don't listen to it.

Jonathan Correia:

They will if they started listening, like you've been a great guest, Heather. Thank you so much.

Heather Wixson:

Well, thank you.

James Jay Edwards:

This book comes out this week. You said Wednesday, which is the 20th so by the time this posts you it will have been last week so go and get it. Guess what, I have a book coming out this week too. Not a whole book. But I have an

essay in a book called 2020:

The Year of the Asterisk that comes out Tuesday on the 19th It's a bunch of essays from people about their lockdown experience and I've only read mine but I'm pretty sure mine is going to be the most depressing one in it because it's about watching my dog die while I was in lockdown I know I know didn't mean to bring the conversation down but anyway

Heather Wixson:

if it makes you feel any better we lost three of our cats during all that

James Jay Edwards:

You know what i i actually follow you on Twitter and I did see all of that and it was just it hit home for me too because I also lost a cat about a year before that to diabetes so I Why can't pets just live forever?

Heather Wixson:

That's what I'm asking like I I actually kind of almost understand that people who clone their animals to be real can I be a mega millionaire and start doing that like is that my life's goal now Yeah,

James Jay Edwards:

man yeah maybe so yeah so if while you're at the bookstore picking up Monsters, Makeup & Effects

Volume One look for 2020:

The Year the Asterisk and pick that up as well. So for us Let's see our theme song is by Restless Spirits so check them out hey Correia, did you see that Paul? The guitar player for Restless Spirits got married?

Jonathan Correia:

I did he got married and they put out a new music video. Yeah, their new single

James Jay Edwards:

they also they bought a new tour van and I joked with him that that's the nicest tour van I've ever seen. So they must have signed to a label and he kind of shrugged it off. And then they announced they got signed to some indie. So yeah, things are happening. And congratulations to Paul and Jamie on your nuptials and have a have a happy life together. Our artwork is by Chris Fisher. Nothing's going on with Chris, but I'm sure that his Star Wars fan film will be out soon. Heather where can people find you if they want to keep up with what you're doing? Like on the socials?

Heather Wixson:

Yeah, I'm basically just hanging out on Twitter. So I gave up Facebook like eight years ago and I've never been sad about it. So I'm basically over on Twitter over @TheHorrorChick and then also we have an account set up for the book as well which is @MMEFXBook. So you can go follow over there. A lot of times I like I'll post like a lot of BTS photos and stuff like that, but mostly just like, buy the book, please.

James Jay Edwards:

And everybody buy the book. You can find us at the Eye On Horror Facebook, the iHorror Twitter, the Eye On Horror Instagram. The iHorror Facebook the iHorror.com. I guess is what that is. What else Correia, where else can you find us?

Jonathan Correia:

Well, I think he hit them all Twitter, Facebook, you know, Instagram. We haven't been posting that much. But you know, if you go click on our links, we have a Linktree where we'll have links to all of our social medias as well as some other fun articles. We'll have links to our guests stuff as well. And also, don't forget, if you are in the Los Angeles area, Heather's doing a signing at Dark Delicacies on November 6th of her book. So definitely come out. I see on the site that it says TBD on guests.

Heather Wixson:

So far, the only one that we have confirmed is Ve Neill. Oh, it's one of those like everybody's back to work now. Yeah. And also some folks still have, you know, some of the older folks have like some COVID concerns, which I totally understand. So we're kind of waiting. But so it might just be me and Ve-- Oh, that sounds fun-- hanging out that day. But it should be a blast. So if you don't want to come off for me come out for Ve. I basically is what I've said,

Jonathan Correia:

Oh, I'm coming out. I already have it bookmarked on my calendar.

Heather Wixson:

Thank you.

James Jay Edwards:

I'm in San Diego. So I won't be coming out. But I'll be there in spirit with Correia. So yeah, we will see you in a couple of weeks. So for me James Jay Edwards.

Jonathan Correia:

I'm Jonathan Correia

Heather Wixson:

and I'm Heather Wickson.

James Jay Edwards:

Keep your Eye On Horror.

Intros, but with Heather Wixson!!!!
Malignant Reviews
Lamb Reviews
Don't Tell a Soul Review
VHS 94' Review
Anthology Exhaustion
Oh Gourd, Correia is Bitching About Found Footage Again.....
Night Teeth Review
Heather Sells Us on the Chucky Series
Midnight Mass Reviews
Heather's Introduction to Horror
Becoming a Monster Kid
Monsters, Makeup & Effects Vol. 1
Methodology of Writing
Future Volumes
Getting Personal
Future Writings
Outros