This was the official website for the small, homespun documentary Horror Business directed by Christopher P. Garetano.
Content is from the site's 2005 archived pages as well as from other outside sources.
The official trailer for the 2005 documentary Horror Business. Coming to DVD from IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT in 2007.
Take a walk on the scary side with guerrilla horror filmmakers and the bizarre culture that drives them to pursue their dreams. In 2003, filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano began what would become a two-year journey to discover what possesses people to become horror filmmakers. Armed with nothing but a camera and a microphone, Chris traveled all over the United States to visit independent filmmakers on and off their sets. In Horror Business, you will witness that quest unfold and meet some truly independent filmmakers including Mark Borchardt (American Movie) and Dave Gebroe (Zombie Honeymoon), along with monster movie personalities like Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast), Joe Bob Briggs (cult film critic and author), and Sid Haig (Foxy Brown, The Devils Rejects). This timeless essay of popcorn-generation nostalgia and behind-the-scenes moments just may prove "movie making really is no way to spend a life!"
Friday Night Frights at VisionFest ’05: Horror Business directed by Christopher P. Garetano
Written by Ilise S. Carter
On Friday, July 22, VisionFest 2005 presented a double bill of films designed to display the rising stars of independent film. Of particular interest was the festival’s choice to include the often-neglected area of horror. Running the gamut from the small, homespun documentary Horror Business directed by Christopher P. Garetano to the garish thriller Firecracker directed by Steve Balderson, this program was designed to give a sense of the current direction of independent film.
Not for the Faint of Heart!
Horror has long been the unwanted mutant under the stairs of the film industry and, despite the occasional break out hit, has remained a largely marginalized genre since Nosferatu flickered across silent screens. As a result, horror films have long had a reputation for being cheap, low class and accessible to everyone with a home movie camera, a twisted dream and some prop blood – and oddly enough this is mostly true. Perhaps more than other type of filmmaking, horror is truly directed its fan’s appetites.
This fan phenomenon is lovingly documented in Christopher P. Garetano’s Horror Business with interviews ranging from horror legends to homegrown visionaries and every sort of fan in between. Shot with handheld cameras in the collectors’ conventions, the backyard sets and the living rooms where fans and filmmakers gather, the film gives its subjects ample room to explain their personal connections to the world of violence, the occult and fantasy that make up the oeuvre.
This mix of objectivity and affection are what makes Horror Business so much fun. Whether it’s drive-in film critic, Joe Bob Briggs, explaining the three pitfalls of amateur filmmakers (i.e., too many zombies, don’t cast your friends, and lesbian vampires); or Long Island filmmaker “Slave” lamenting the current vapid state of pop culture; or designer Andy Gore showing off his line of serial killer pillows, you can’t help but share in their enthusiasm – even if you do feel a little cooler.
THIS JUST IN: GEORGE ROMERO REVIEWS HORROR BUSINESS!!
"[Horror Business] is a terrific flick. Christopher Garetano has completely succeeded in describing the passions, the adventures- and the misadventures- of crazy people like me who, somewhere along the way, decided they... needed to make movies. Anyone who wants to write or direct should see this film. Those who have never dreamed of being filmmakers should see it for its humor and its pure entertainment value. Two thumbs up- both of them mine because, like the others Garetano has portraited, I basically work alone."
-George A. Romero
Winner- Long Island Film Festival "Best Documentary- Audience Choice Award"
"Chris Garetano's movie is a truly honest look at the independent film making process and the people behind and in front of the cameras."
-Brian Morton, Rogue Cinema
"Christopher P. Garetano has put together a fascinating, often irreverent, often deadly serious look at the world of the indie horror movie in his latest film, 'Horror Business.' And horror film fans should really take a look at this one."
-Elaine Lamkin, Bloody-Disgusting.com
"This disjointed look at the world of underground filmmaking may perfectly reflect the current status of our genre. All horror fans should check out this cool little doco."
"Sharply edited, 'Horror Business' emerges as a perceptive and revealing documentary about the enormous struggles to make creepy celluloid"
-Tony Timpone, Fangoria Magazine
"Any self proclaimed horror enthusiast worth his– or her– salt should do themselves a great service and seek this little gem out."
-Rees Savidis, JoBlo.com/arrow
"[Horror Business] is an extremely competent, thoroughly engaging film about horror movies and those who love them. It is as inspiring a movie as 'American Movie'"
-Daulton Dickey, FilmThreat.com
"As soon as I heard the first line out of Mark Borchardt’s mouth, I knew I was in for a rare treat… and being a horror film aficionado myself, that treat only got better as the film’s various filmmaker accounts unfolded"
-Bruno Derlin, VisionFest 05
"Horror Business is a flat out fantastic little documentary. It's mandatory viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in the passion that goes behind getting a horror film made."
-Rob G., Iconsoffright.com
"It's a definite must for all you out there that want to know what it means to be a horror filmmaker"
-Ammon Gilbert, Arrowinthehead.com
"Horror Business is a frank and revealing glimpse of what the scene is like today"
-Lee Bailes, Rumourmachine.com
"A Great Distracting " and most informative
-S. Franklin horror movie fan
A little back story about how I came across this documentary, Horror Business. Alcohol had become my too friendly demon and I had finally reached a new low when a concerned friend, my long time partner finally decided to take action and find a program that would successfully show me how to stop drinking alcohol forever. Thankfully the website she discovered LifeBAC, actually offered a program that seemed promising. First of all they didn't demonize excessive drinking and make it seem like a hopeless condition like the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) which defines Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD: a “chronic relapsing brain disease”. LifeBac says that alcoholism is not a disease, but a symptom of a larger psychological issue. Their program combines pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. The use of the medication baclofen which removes alcoholic cravings along with behavior changes via psychotherapy to rewire one’s habits supposedly would lead to a more successful result than the older standard methods which require total abstinance (think of AA and their 12 step program.) Interestingly baclofen was originally developed to help relieve painful spasm, automatism, as well as clonus from a number of neurological diseases associated with spasm of the skeletal muscles. Doctors in Europe have been prescribing baclofen as the primary treatment for people who drink excessively, although it has not yet received approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders. However researchers are exploring what factors are predictive of a favorable response to baclofen when used for treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. I was game. After all Baclofen removes or strongly suppresses cravings for alcohol in 92% of people who try it. Initial clinical trials show that Baclofen has a 65% success rate for treatment-resistant alcoholics, allowing them to return to low- or medium-risk drinking. That’s right, this treatment doesn’t require abstinence although many people do stop all drinking. Baclofen doesn’t affect the taste of alcohol or the pleasure of drinking. It simply removes the addictive components that lead to overindulgence and allows a person to drink in moderation. Now that really was nice. The one downside of the treatment is that Baclofen does require titration which means you slowly increase the meds’ dosage until a person’s cravings are completely removed or controlled. There are some side effects which I was told usually disappear. So my partner planned on creating some distraction by lining up a bunch of horror films for us to watch if I had some rough patches at the start of thr treatment. While choosing the horror movie list she discovered the documentary, Horror Business. To shorten this lengthy back story, suffice to say that the LifeBAc program was a success for me. I now have my life back under control. I have chosen not to totally stop drinking since I do love my artisanal beers, but I no longer binge or even get drunk. The bottom line: check out Horror Business, particularly you are horror buffs or fledging horror film makers.
Have you ever wondered what makes guerrilla filmmakers tick? What is the invisible force that drives each and every one of them to sacrifice a normal life and pursue a position in one of the most competitive arts in the world?
Welcome to the strange universe of Horror Business, a documentary that has been a twenty-four hour a day, seven-day-a-week obsession of mine since I began shooting it in January of 2003. I traveled all over the United States and have shot over 60 hours of footage of the most interesting independent filmmakers alive. You may recognize many of the artists that appear in Horror Business but I assure you that some of them will be heard and seen here for the first time.
What these filmmakers show us is that the dream is alive as long as you continue to press forward. Never give up, no matter what.
Christopher P. Garetano
Director/Producer, Horror Business
"[Christopher P. Garetano] a passionate young man on a mission to destabilize the commercial filmmaking industry with his unconventional, yet socially aware dark vision."
-Robert W., AllZone4DVD.net
Christopher Garetano is the creator of Horror Business.
For over two years, Chris traveled the country attending horror conventions and independent film shoots to gather materials for Horror Business. During that time he captured wonderful footage of both up-and-comers as well as some horror industry veterans.
Along with Horror Business, Chris also wrote and directed several short films, one of which was featured on a compilation DVD by Fangoria Magazine called "Fangoria Blood Drive."
Interview With Horror Business: Producer/Director Christopher P. Garetano
By: Elaine Lamkin
Christopher P. Garetano is a passionate filmmaker and not one to suffer film fools lightly. A graduate of the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York, which also counts director Dante Tomaselli among its alumni, Garetano recently burst onto the scene with his fascinating documentary, “Horror Business”, about the agony and the ecstasy of working in the indie-horror world. A selection of several major film festivals – The New York Horror Film Festival, The Chicago Horror Film Festival, The Eerie Horror Film Festival as well as winning the Audience Choice Award for “Best Documentary” at The Long Island Film Festival – “Horror Business” takes viewers where very few ever go. The stress, the pain, the frustration as well as the joy and satisfaction of creating an indie horror film are all captured as Garetano follows five genre folk around and documents a “normal” day or week in their life. Clearly, “Horror Business” was a labor of love for both Garetano as well as the subjects in his film. And Garetano has much more to share with us…
BD: Hi Chris! Thanks for taking time out of your insane schedule to talk with Bloody-Disgusting for a few minutes. I guess the first stuff to get out of the way are the “exciting” background information questions: Where are you from, where did you attend school, have you always been a horror fan? Basically, the Christopher P. Garetano Story in a nutshell.
CPG: I was born July 7th 1976. I'm a victim of cinema, just like you. I grew up in a family that didn't prohibit my movie watching so I saw everything. I saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre when I was six years old. My folks owned a video store in the eighties and took my three siblings and I to the movies on a regular basis. I was constantly exposed to all types of cinema in my childhood. Neighborhood kids who weren't normally exposed would gather at my house to watch movies like When A Stranger Calls, Rituals, The Prey, Blood Feast, Last House on the Left, and Tourist Trap. It's strange because many of those horror films we grew up on were created with the sole intention to generate a healthy profit for the producers. Therefore, we as artists and film lovers are very different from the men and women that created our infection. We (modern day filmmakers) are making these pictures initially because we have a strong affinity with the material. We love this stuff. Many of those filmmakers didn't love this stuff like we do. Many fans don't realize this cold fact and they should.
I didn't begin to realize this until years later when I studied film and filmmaking (1996-2000) at the School of Visual Arts. It was there where I began to watch many genre films that were made with the purpose to affect people and provoke thought. Films like Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, Rosemary's Baby, Hour of the Wolf, Deliverance, The Holy Mountain, Eraserhead, Taxi Driver, Straw Dogs, Midnight Express… These became and are the type of films that help fuel my inspiration. Also, I think if you're interested in making an effective horror film you must not draw your total inspiration from other inspired horror films. Otherwise, the result will end in a useless regurgitated piece of cinematic vomit, and we don't need that anymore. Modern day "homage" is lame, it's half-assed plagiarism, and it's certainly an insult to our intelligence. Word to the wise: Do your own damn thing. It's best to draw your inspiration from your own life and the world around us.
BD: I read that one of the first horror movies that had an impact on you was a TV-movie that completely freaked me out when I first saw it – “Dark Night of the Scarecrow” with Larry Drake. It’s amazing to me how few horror fans know about this movie. But at the same time, you were more interested in creating the monsters a la Savini rather than making films. Were you the “go-to” guy in your neighborhood at Halloween and what kind of costumes did YOU wear?
CPG: I saw that movie on Halloween night when it was aired originally on television. The world was still very mysterious back then. There was no Internet, no cell phones, and only thirteen channels on TV. I think the reason why most of us remember movies like "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" is because when we are young, we're so impressionable and sensitive to that material. It was our very first exposure to the true chaos and danger that is our world. It was scary and exciting, and we as humans have a primal attraction to that excitement. Some of us express that cerebral need for excitement creatively (hence filmmakers and artists), others dangerously (hence criminals), others vicariously (hence sedentary couch potatoes). I began my interest in filmmaking simultaneously with an interest in special effects make-up… In addition, I know of at least a thousand other people that can tell you this same story. It's a simple and common story. I would make-up my friends and we would constantly get together to shoot horror movies on my father's camcorder. I would apply the make-up, direct and shoot. That's all she wrote… I refuse to bore the shit out of you with the rest.
BD: You have said that in high school, you were in a “special program” for “problem” students where you learned about filmmaking and thought you could really do something with film and your love of horror. Do you think that saved you from some dreadful, crime-ridden future like Barnick ;D?
CPG: I was very misunderstood by teachers in school and I got into trouble quite a bit. My guidance counselors (if you can believe this) told me that I'd never get into (or graduate from) a good college (they were wrong about both) and they also told me that I might (if I'm lucky) get a decent paying job doing manual labor. They had a program where they would send the "problem kids" away for most of the day to learn a trade and my trade was film and television productions. It was great because I encouraged the instructor to invest some money in make-up effects which he eventually incorporated into the program. I could have easily ended up where some of my old comrades did (either dead, drug addicted, or in jail). Thanks to my inspirations (human, animal, and cinematic) I have much strength now and I'm smart enough to avoid that idiot lifestyle all together.
BD: The Savini film Scream Greats has obviously been a major influence on you as has Tom Savini. What about Rob Bottin, Stan Winston, Jay Wells, Dick Smith, Robert Hall… I could go on and on naming some of the best SFX makeup artists. Who, besides Savini, would you say has had a major effect on you?
CPG: I grew up in the unforgettable company one of the most tragic special effects make-up artists in the history of the craft, that was Jay Wells. If you speak with other artists that crossed Jay’s path (artists like Dick Smith, Ralis Kahn, and Michael Westmore) they have all taken notice to the extremely talented and dedicated craftsman who died way before his time. I met Jay when I was twelve and he took me in. He taught me about artistic discipline and about life. One time Jay locked me in his make-up shop alone, with the lights off and gave me three hours to apply layers of crepe hair correctly to a Star Trek "Klingon" head dress. I fucked it up and when he came back to the shop he told me to try repeatedly until I got it right or I would never be a good make-up artist. I apply those discipline minded sensibilities (that Jay taught me) to my filmmaking. I'm forever learning and forever a student. He was a big bear of a man and he had a huge heart, and I will never forget him.
BD: At what point did you decide you wanted to create entire films and not just create characters? I saw that you did a short called “Inside” that was included in Fangoria’s Blood Drive compilation. What is “Inside” about and how did being incorporated in the Blood Drive DVD feel?
CPG: I was always interested in filmmaking but it wasn't until I was in high school that I seriously desired to write and direct movies. "Inside" (which came almost nine years after high school) was challenging because it was an opportunity to make an experimental short with no money and finish it in a few days. Unfortunately I was a witness to a couple of horrible suicides in my life, "Inside" was my way of expressing the nature of those ghosts that continue to haunt inside my brain. For what it's worth, I'm happy with the short. Filmmaking is partially a growth experience. You should change and grow with each project. Blood Drive is great because it inspires filmmakers to get off their asses and try to actually accomplish something. More people should support it because so far it's the only real horror filmmaking competition of its kind.
BD: What inspired you to start “Are You Going?”your horror ‘zine written by people in the business? And was it tough getting some of these folks to contribute material? You had Herschell Gordon Lewis, who I KNOW wouldn’t be a problem, Bill Moseley, Ed Neal (that must have been hilarious), among other horror icons. And will “Are You Going?” ever return as after 5 issues you just got too busy?
CPG: I started Are You Going? in September 2001 and it was after a family tragedy that shook me up pretty bad. I felt a ton of energy coursing through my body and I decided to use it positively. It still came out on paper as a very macabre story. I wrote a screenplay for a "slasher" film titled Are You Going? and I needed a way to bring some attention to the project so I created the magazine. The idea was to have people in the horror business write articles for the magazine as well as document the chronological journal of my progress on the making of the film. It wasn't too tough wrangling people together because there wasn't anything happening in terms of horror at that time… It's very different now and it's only been five years. I will bring the mag back one day and I promise that it will be exactly what I originally envisioned it to be. Right now you can go to ICONSOFFRIGHT.COM and check out some Are You Going? articles that were never printed. The icons boys (Rob G & Jay Alvino) are cool enough to keep my magazine on life support. As for the slasher film, my head is in a much different place now… There are too many important stories to tell.
BD: Just a comment but I read you worked as a PA on the Hugh Jackman film Someone Like You which co-starred my cousin, Ashley Judd. Small world. Is that how you started once you graduated film school?
CPG: I was working for Panavision NY as a Camera Prep Tech and I received a lead for a job as a production assistant on that film. I was pissed off because they had me standing in the freezing rain, directing traffic far away from the set, and I wasn't learning anything about movie making. It's now my strong opinion that the only way you're going to direct films is by directing films. Don't buy into the "work your way up" bullshit. Get a camera, start shooting and don't stop. Don't ever stop.
BD: How did Horror Business come to be? And how did you choose the subjects you covered? Were there other people you wanted in the documentary as well that timing or schedules prevented?
CPG: It just felt right at the time. I was truly interested in telling a fresh story and there were no honest (documentary) reflections of this type of guerilla filmmaking. It was always my main intention to focus primarily on obscure filmmakers although I did want to interview a few heavy hitters as well. There were also modern filmmakers that I spoke with who I admire immensely… people like Larry Fessenden, Jim Van Bebber (the Manson Family), Damon Packard (Reflections Of Evil) and Dante Tomaselli (who I'm shooting another a documentary about). I hope to meet up with the rest of them for Son of Horror Business.
BD: And the fact that there are no “names” in Horror Business plays a big role in how fascinating the film is. The average filmgoer has NO idea what goes on in making a film much less a low-budget indie film. Was that part of your reasoning in not having any big names participate in Horror Business?
CPG: It's the obscure "No Name" filmmakers that interest me because they are deep in the trenches fighting for a life that they believe is possible. For us guerilla filmmakers everyday is a struggle and a battle for confidence, and a hope for a brighter future. Rich filmmakers are mostly complacent and really have no interesting stories to tell. One way or another, it's the hungry filmmaker that will blow your mind. As inexperienced as some of them are, if they're truly hungry they're bound to fascinate you.
BD: I’ve read you shot a ton of footage that never made it into Horror Business. What plans do you have for Son of Horror Business? Will any of that extra footage make it into the sequel or will Son of… be a completely new film?
CPG: Son of Horror Business is all new footage and it furthers the statement I'm making with Horror Business.
BD: Who can viewers expect to see in Son of…? There are SO many new indie directors, some really making an impact on the horror scene like Ti West, Alex Turner and Nick Palumbo. Will any of them be in the sequel? And will the format be the same – just following the subjects around and letting viewers watch what goes into making an indie film?
CPG: Son of Horror Business is going to be quite different than the first and with documentary films like this I'm discovering that you must let them grow during the filmmaking process otherwise it will feel forced and mediocre. I've captured some truly incredible moments and many of them were spontaneous. In other words, these great moments weren't driven by a set of ridiculous questions. On set I'm like a ghost, I never get in the way. Sometimes I like to shoot things that normally wouldn't be the center of attention. Other times things happen so spontaneously that in your wildest dreams you could never plan for the best stuff. It's a documentary and the idea is to document the unique qualities of "the moment." I have a group of great filmmakers and personalities so far that include Nick Palumbo (Murder Set Pieces), Debbie Rochon (cult movie actress), and more obscure (but extremely interesting) filmmakers like Alan Rowe Kelly (I'll Bury You Tomorrow), Paul Solet & Jake Hamilton (“Means to An End”), Biff "ELIAS" Juggernaught (Lovecracked), Scott Goldberg (They Day They Came Back), and John Toranni (Alpha Dead). There will also be updates on everyone that appeared in Horror Business. If you're a moviemaker and you think your story might fit in this film, write me an e-mail at email@example.com. We'll talk about it.
BD: You are also working on a documentary on director Dante Tomaselli. What can you tell us about that? I’ve heard it will be a feature-length film but not a typical documentary. Tomaselli is very private – how did you manage to talk him into letting you “invade” his life?
CPG: Dante saw Horror Business and heard my ideas for The Horror of Dante Tomaselli. Dante and I have a mutual respect and understanding… I needed to achieve this (on some level) before I began work on the film. It's going to be a visual essay on the struggles, inner torments, and triumphs of Tomaselli himself. We'll hear his voice and travel through his imagination. At moments we'll be grounded with personalities (Felissa Rose, Danny Lopes, Adam Barnick) that are related to Dante's work in some way- then it's back to the acid trip.
BD: I read that you met Ed Neal while attending a showing of Horror Business in Austin. Now I’ve spoken with Ed numerous times as well as interviewed him and he HAS to be one of the funniest people alive! But I’ve also heard you are hoping to cast him in a dark role as a Vietnam vet, which he really is, in an upcoming film you are working on. What can you tell us about Ed as well as your upcoming film?
CPG: I'm so exited to work on this film. It's titled Misfortunate Son. I won’t say too much at the moment aside from it's based on a documentary project that I began shooting last year. My subjects (US Marines) traveled to places in the world that I couldn't have access to so it evolved into this semi-fictional tale based on many hours of interviews. As of right now Edwin is quite interested in the role of "Blake" ( a Vietnam vet living in modern day suburban America). Blake is also very psychotic, by the way. This would be Ed's most involved role since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'm interested in Ed for his talent. For those of you who don't know, Ed isn't a one hit wonder and he's quite a well versed actor. He's also a veteran of the Vietnam War in real life so he will bring quite a large amount of realism and wisdom to the table. I'm currently in the casting and early pre-production stages of the film. It's going to be a unique horror film and it will regard many current issues.
BD: You are also working on a documentary which I know is going to have me in floods of tears – “Angel’s Gate” – about a woman caring for disabled or dying animals. How did you get involved in something so heart-wrenching? And is there a way readers could help Susan Marino and her project via donations or something?
CPG: Angel's Gate started with my girlfriend Lisa's love for animals. On 4th of July we were driving along a back road and noticed a deformed creature crawling out of the woods. She screamed to me to "stop the car!" It was a small chihuahua with a displaced shoulder… We first went to an animal hospital then eventually arrived at Angel’s Gate… I walked in the door and it was total chaos. Animals were everywhere in this suburban home. There was so much texture and movement. It was very sad and exiting. We met Susan and almost immediately I proposed a documentary. It's going to be very different and graphic, and it will reveal the true nature of Angel’s Gate. I'm working with some very talented people on this project… Trevor Cook, an artist and animator, is collaborating with me on many animated sequences as well as the extremely talented Robert Galluzzo who is composing the music. Rob will also compose the music for Misfortunate Son and The Horror of Dante Tomaselli.
BD: What is your opinion on the state of indie horror right now? In my opinion, the studios are putting out garbage and losing money at an alarming rate. Do you think someone will burst out of the indie scene and save horror?
CPG: Mark my words and never forget them. You're paying witness to the beginning of a wonderful new cinematic revolution. There are people that will change things very soon and I'm one of them. You could and should be one of them too because we certainly need to form an army for it to work properly. If you're the type of passive filmmaker with no balls and no courage, you're not going to like what I'm about to say, but I don't care what you think, so fuck you in advance. There is a major soft spot in the armor of the big dragon and now is the time to strike. In all honesty, I don't feel everything that comes out of the "BIG" studios is bad; however it's time for a major change. Filmmaking is finally back in the hands of the people again and I see too many "people" screwing it up by making ultra-derivative and mindless cinema. Put down the script for that goddamn zombie or vampire movie you have planned and write something from your heart. Something that means something! If you really insist to tell a "zombie" or "vampire" story it better be spectacular. Otherwise please donate your camera equipment to someone who intends to put it to good use. There is so much happening in the world, and in our lives… Everything hasn't been done. Next time someone tells you it's impossible to be original you should cut their fucking tongue out and flush it down the toilet. There's a world of great source material out there… Find it. You cannot buy originality. Modern Hollywood has proven that. Now it's our turn to prove it. History shows us that in filmmaking lack of money usually inspires timeless creativity. Don't listen to people that tell you "you can't do it." Surround yourself with people that say "I can."
BD: And remakes – what is your take on that? There are SO many horrifyingly wonderful books, short stories, original scripts but the studios seem blind to anything original.
CPG: If the remakes are spectacular then why not? David Cronenberg's The Fly and John Carpenter's The Thing are great examples of how remakes can be superior to the originals. However, most of the modern ones have been unnecessary aside from pulling in a major profit for the ailing studios. You're right, I can look through any great collection of short stories and find inspiration for an incredible horror film… Maybe the studio heads are illiterate.
BD: And not to create a War Between The Coasts but what is your opinion about the indie films coming out of LA versus what is coming from the East Coast?
CPG: Many West Coast filmmakers are originally from the east or elsewhere, they just relocated. Paul Solet, Jim Van Bebber, Damon Packard…They're all talented guys on the West Coast and I know you will continue to hear more about them. We're all in this together. There should be no competition among us. This is our war, let's say something… nobody's saying anything. The funny thing is you can be in a small town in West Virginia and make an impact, you don't have to be anywhere near a major city. That's how we all need to be making films… in places where those commercial directors don't have access to…Places they don't even know about. They'll be locked up in their studios shooting in artificial environments while we're out there in the real world making movies that mean something. We all have wonderful studios in our backyards, in our towns, our cities… write something around what you have. Make it happen, and make history.
BD: Have you seen any movies lately that gave you hope for the future of horror?
CPG: In the past few years, Brad Anderson's The Machinist as well as Session 9 were terrific as was Dante Tomaselli's Satan's Playground. Also Jim Van Bebber's The Manson Family and Larry Fessenden's Wendigo and Habit. Cookers was also a very well done horror film. I recently saw Eli Roth's Hostel and it's #1 in the country. Hardcore horror is obviously what these people want so expect to see quite a bit more of this.
BD: What are some of your all-time favorite horror films?
CPG: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1973), The Haunting (Robert Wise), The Shining (Stanley Kubrick) Altered States (Ken Russel), Wait Until Dark (Terence Young) , Day of The Dead (Geroge Romero), The Thing (John Carpenter), Last House On The Left (Craven), The Final Terror (Andrew Davis), The Exorcist (William Friedkin), Videodrome (Cronenberg), The Beyond (Lucio Fulci), The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock), Nosferatu (Werner Herzog), Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski), Alien (Ridley Scott), An American Werewolf in London (John Landis)… Just to name a few.
BD: Do you have any favorite horror novels or authors?
CPG: Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Harlan Ellison, Chuck Palaniuk, Harold Schecter, Clive Barker, HP Lovecraft, and Stephen King. My favorite horror novel of all time is Richard Mathison's I AM LEGEND. I hope that upcoming film adaptation is worth checking out.
BD: What is one thing no one knows about Christopher Garetano that you think they should know?
CPG: I've already told you too much.
Horror Business Award
Rogue Cinema honors Horror Business with Cinematic Excellence Award! Check out their site at: www.roguecinema.com
Horror Business DVD
Horror Business released on DVD March 13, 2007...
You can order now at Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, and other major online retailers!
Jan 14, 2007: Angels Gate Update
Chris is on his way home from a 4 day trip to New Orleans with Angels Gate. Their mission: to help ARNO (Animal Rescue New Orleans) and bring some special needs animals back to NY. Chris was there to document the efforts and was shocked to see the Katrina devastation firsthand.
Nov 06: Chris in Canada
Chris will be traveling north to Toronto to visit the set of George Romero's latest film DIARY OF THE DEAD! Chris is thrilled and honored to document the legendary director in action... Look for it in SON OF HORROR BUSINESS...
Oct 06: Cottonmouth Update
Chris is working non-stop to edit and complete "Cottonmouth," his short film adaptation of Steve Bissette's classic comic... Check back for future announcements on its premiere...
Horror Business Coming to DVD
Image Entertainment has officially acquired the DVD rights for Horror Business in North America. Release date March 13, 2007. Check out the new cover art below.
Angel's Gate Update
In addition to shooting his Horror Business sequel and writing the screenplay for South Texas Blues, Chris is also working on a non-genre doc...
Angel's Gate will tell the story of the first residential animal hospice and rehabilitation center, which happens to exist right in our own neighborhood on Long Island! Angel's Gate has been in operation for over 14 years. Its founder, Susan Marino, has overcome many challenges to turn her home into a sanctuary for sick, elderly, and abused animals. Chris has begun to shoot more footage and plans on seeking production to create a full-length feature about Angel's Gate. If you are an animal lover and want to learn more about this amazing story,
Mar 06: DeadPit Radio
Check out this Kentucky-based horror radio show. There is an interview with Chris available as of March 31st. You can listen to the show online at http://www.deadpit.com/
South Texas Blues
Bloody-Disgusting.com was the first to break the news about Chris' latest project in development, a docudrama called SOUTH TEXAS BLUES that will chronicle the story behind the making of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the summer of 1973.
On Valentine's Day 2006, Dave Gebroe's romantic horror-comedy Zombie Honeymoon was released on DVD. After you watch the film, don't forget to check out the bonus features where you will get a sneak preview of Horror Business. Zombie Honeymoon was one of the films that was documented in Horror Business and we wish Dave and the Zombie crew all the best.
Are You Going?
The Icons of Fright website has resurrected material from ARE YOU GOING? MAGAZINE. AYG has been on hiatus while Chris was focused on completing Horror Business. If you would like to read some past interviews- some of which have never been published including an exclusive pre-Hostel interview with Eli Roth- then go to: http://iconsoffright.com/AreYouGoing.htm
Chris is hard at work shooting footage for SON OF HORROR BUSINESS, the sequel to HORROR BUSINESS. In addition to updates on all of the filmmakers featured in the original documentary, SON OF will also introduce us to some new guerilla filmmakers... yes, there are more of them! Look for SON OF soon after the release of HORROR BUSINESS on DVD in 2006...
Chris is also currently working on two totally new documentaries...
THE HORROR OF DANTE TOMASELLI is a visual journey that chronicles the life and works of filmmaker Dante Tomaselli ( DESECRATION, HORROR, SATAN'S PLAYGROUND, and the upcoming film THE OCEAN).
ANGEL'S GATE is about the first residential animal hospice in the United States where two people have dedicated their lives to caring for sick and disabled animals. Both inspiration and heartbreak come from this amazing place and Chris is capturing all of it to tell the real story.
Thank You Texas!
Thanks goes out to the Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek in Austin for the Horror Business screenings... with a special thanks to Kate Garland for all of her hard work in arranging the event! We had an awesome time in Texas and we will definitely be back so look out for future screenings in the Lone Star state. Also thanks to Joe Bob Briggs for being a part of the Drafthouse event!
And many thanks to Ed (Neal) for being our tour guide around Austin and bringing us to the Chainsaw house! That was truly a dream come true for Chris.
World Premiere at VisionFest 05
On July 22, 2005 Horror Business premiered at New York City's Tribeca Cinemas to a packed theater for a very receptive and enthusiastic audience. Thanks to the entire VisionFest staff especially Bruno Derlin and Mark Doyle for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank everyone who came out to see the premiere of Horror Business. Your attendance and warm welcome of my film made it such a special event- I will never forget this. I'm busy preparing for the many screenings to come so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail.
See you soon,
Christopher P. Garetano, Director of Horror Business