man is the warmest place to hide.

eighties horror you might have missed

interviews

Rodney Ascher's documentary feature Room 237 (2012) is not only a search for hidden meanings within THE SHINING, it is also an exploration of our relationship with the films that we love and demonstrates how an exceptional film can inspire methodical analysis, even obsession. Room 237 also extends the techniques that Ascher experimented with in his first film, The S From Hell (2010), a documentary short about the Screen Gems title card from 1964. Both films rely on a series of unseen interviewees as narration, recontextualized footage from other films, a synthesizer score and superb editing. I talked with Rodney about eighties horror films, electronic music, Errol Morris documentaries, and of course, Room 237...

Mark Irwin is responsible for some of the best horror cinematography produced during the eighties. His earliest work was on low- and no-budget films (including many documentaries for the National Film Board of Canada, NFB), so it makes sense that he would become known for his usage of low-light, lens flares, and other vérité techniques. Coming up through the ranks in the late 70s, he worked on many genre films, including those with Wes Craven, William Fruet and Ed Hunt, but his crowning achievement during this period is his work with David Cronenberg. Starting in 1979 with Fast Company, Irwin was the director of photography for all of Cronenberg's work into the mid-80s: The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, and The Fly...

Nell Dickerson worked on several horror films during the eighties, including Night Life, Rockula and Critters 2. She's worked in both the lighting and art departments, and has been an art director. These days, Nell is also an architect and photographer. We asked her to discuss working in the horror genre, specifically her work in the lighting department on Vamp (1986), starring Grace Jones...

In 1984, Charles Bernstein composed the score for Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street and established what is probably the most recognizable theme of 80s horror film. During his music career, Charles has worked on over 100 films (in a variety of genres), won an Emmy, scored a documentary about Maya Lin, taught courses at USC and UCLA, and written two books on film music. Quentin Tarantino has used cues from his scores in Kill Bill Vol.1 and Inglorious Basterds. Some of the other horror films he has scored include: The Entity (highly recommended), Deadly Friend (which we discussed a few weeks ago), April Fools Day, and Cujo. Charles was kind enough to take some time to discuss his score for A Nightmare on Elm Street with us, including some details about the synthesizers and unique sound design he used to construct it...

Last week I wrote about the amazing poster for Chopping Mall (1986) and a little bit about the artist behind it, Corey Wolfe. Corey was actively involved in creating artwork for movie posters and VHS covers for various film companies during the eighties. He also painted the original (non-photographic) poster for Re-animator (1985). In our first interview here at Man is the Warmest Place to Hide, Corey talks about how the Chopping Mall poster came about and gives us a glimpse into what it was like to be a poster artist at that time.