Kicking off October we have horror blogger supreme, Miss Amanda Tullos from mandysmorgueofhorror.com. Amanda is the sole editor at her website where she shares her love of all things horror. Through a series of mean-spirited tricks, I somehow convinced her to share her talents as a contributor here at Left Hand Horror, and the rest is horror history. She still thinks our “binding” contract is a real thing, so no one tip her off. I’ve designed a series of questions, each more devious than the one before…or was that the movie Saw? I can’t recall, so let’s start the effing interview.
1. Anyone that loves horror enough to start and maintain a horror site has to love this stuff legitimately. What first got you into horror?
When I was younger my brothers and I used to watch scary movies all the time. It was a fun feeling to sit in the dark with a bowl of popcorn and let your guard down. It was when I got older that I really started to understand horror and its messages, symbolism, and sometimes…its humor. It wasn’t until one night when my dad called me down to the living room to show me an awesome movie that he had enjoyed as a kid. That movie, Dawn of the Dead, completely hypnotized me. Hearing my dad tell me stories about being in the drive-thru and watching people puke out their windows from fear and disgust–that’s what hooked me. I was amazed and I knew that I wanted to be involved with something that could affect people’s emotions like that. Hopefully, one day, I will produce something as equally creepy and effective as George Romero did.
2. How have you seen the horror genre change for the better over the years?
That’s a tough question because lately it seems like the genre is full of predictable remakes. When you look back at what horror used to be like, the classics it produced–there’s no comparison to how it is today. However, there are a few rare gems that have come out recently that have given me hope. Films like Cabin in the Woods, Let the Right One In, and Shaun of the Dead (to name a few) have shown me that there is still intelligence in horror. And with the development of technology and effects–things obviously look a lot nicer and prettier (in a creepy way)than they did years ago. And although the found-footage subgenre has been done to death lately, there are a few cases where it was done right (Paranormal Activity, V/H/S). I am a big fan of Ti West’s work because I feel like he truly understands the genre. He makes his films extremely subtle and there’s an amazing build-up throughout the film that is really beneficial for the audience because we get to know the characters and feel so deeply for them. That’s the stuff I love watching–not torture crap like the Saw films. I’m a huge horror nut but that doesn’t mean I want to watch people shitting into each others’ mouths and squashing newborn babies. Horror still needs to have some bit of class and I’m afraid that some filmmakers are losing sense of that.
3. Straight up: your favorite horror movie and why?
That’s like asking me to pick one of my children! I have SO many that I adore but I would have to say Dawn of the Dead. It’s the film that made me fall hard and it was so smart and more than just a horror movie. The Shining is a close second though!
4. You’ve pulled in some cool interviews, including ‘Holliston’ director, Adam Green. How approachable are these guys in the industry?
I’m still getting used to the whole interview thing and it’s difficult because I’m so shy. Adam Green is awesome and so open and responsive to his fans to start with, and that’s one of the reasons why I love him. When Holliston was coming out I thought, “How fucking cool would it be to interview him for my blog?!” So, I wrote to him on Facebook and he responded right away, giving me his publicist’s info. I didn’t hear back from her until after I wrote a review of Holliston–which Green said he liked–and I’m convinced that’s what got me the interview! It was the most exciting and nerve-wracking experience of my life! I totally fangirled out and was a dork but I got through it and he was so excited to talk about his work, which made it even more fun. I think if someone is really interested and genuinely in love with what they do–they’re going to want to tell people about it. So, the best thing you can do is ask and most of the time, people will agree to an interview. Twitter also makes it easier to get in touch with people too. It’s still a learning process for me but I’ve noticed that people in the horror industry are excited to talk about what they do as long as you’re interested!
5. What’s the best thing about having a website dedicated to horror?
I love having a website dedicated to horror because it’s a place for me to express my love of the genre. It’s also awesome to interact with other people in the community and get their feedback about my reviews and writing in general. Interacting with other bloggers is definitely beneficial; I’ve learned so much since starting my blog back in November. I love knowing that there are other people–esp girls–out there, just like me! We’re all friggin nuts!
6. Long-term, you want to write for some of the larger horror outlets, what keeps you moving forward with so many small and mid-sized horror outlets out there?
I feel that if I keep to my blog and interact with the community as much as possible, it will pay off in the long run. I can get my writing out there and get noticed by people who matter. It’s been a little difficult for me to post lately because of grad school BUT I still try to keep myself writing. Writing for a blog is helpful because it’s helping my writing grow and I’m learning how to improve myself. It’s also awesome to receive press releases and inquiries about reviews, etc.
7. Michael Myers versus Freddy Krueger – who wins?
When I was younger I probably would have said Michael Myers (I was him for Halloween one year) but now, I think Freddy would win. Krueger has the supernatural element of being able to attack you in your sleep; although, I doubt Myers sleeps. I think that Freddy is more vicious and he has better resources than Michael does. It’d probably be a better fight than Freddy Vs. Jason!
8. Most bad ass horror character ever?
These questions are difficult! There have been so many awesome characters throughout the years in horror that there’s no way I can choose just one. Recently, I saw The Loved Ones and fell head over heels for Lola Stone. It was refreshing to see a female in a man’s role. She was so vicious and unforgiving; I’d definitely be afraid to run into her on the street because I wouldn’t stand a chance. She’s terrifying because she’s realistic. People like her can and do exist!
9. You’re definitely one of the prettier horror site owners, how much creeper email do you get? I don’t get any!
Aww, aren’t you sweet. So, far it hasn’t been TOO creepy but the creepfactor is there. I don’t know what people expect is going to happen by emailing me and discussing my appearance rather than my writing. However, I don’t really mind it. Sex sells and I’m really hoping to bank on my looks in the future haha. If people want to read my stuff because I am good-looking–so be it. I just hope they’re enjoying what they read too!
10. You also write part-time for my site, what do want all the readers to know about you?
I’m a down-to-earth girl who genuinely loves horror–every part of it. This isn’t something that’s a phase for me. I live and breathe horror on a daily basis and I truly want to make a life out of the genre. I want to write horror novels and write for Fangoria or Rue-Morgue, or any of the online horror outlets. And I have a mouth like a truck driver!
You can visit Amanda at her website: mandysmorgueofhorror.com
Follow her Tweets @LivnDeadGrl87
Friend her on Facebook at Mandy’s Morgue of Horror