(HorrorSociety): Frazer as you already know I am a big fan of both Red Lines and On Edge. What made you choose to use Doug Bradley (of Pinhead fame) as the main character in both of your films?
Thank you, glad you enjoyed them! I was always impressed with Doug’s performance in the Hellraiser movies and when I saw him give an illustrated lecture called “Behind the Mask” – I just knew he was right for the role of Dr. Matthews, sent him the screenplay and luckily he liked the role and agreed to do it! I wrote the part of the Teacher in “red Lines” for him specifically, and also as homage to the late, great Peter Cushing. Doug has a fantastic range veering all the way into pitch black darkness – that’s why I think of him as the Cushing of the 21st century.
(HS): On Edge. Many people absolutely hate going to the dentist as it is. This short story made me cringe everytime I heard the drills chilling shriek as Dr. Mathews works away on the split tooth, I could almost smell the burning of the tooth. The gurgling sounds that ensue gives hint to what this mans mouth must be going thru. Do you have an underlying hate for dental work that aids in this story?
Oh, not at all – in fact I’m a self-professed “dental pervert”! I love the sights, sounds, smells at the dentist’s – it has always fascinated me. Never had a filling in my life though, so maybe the dentist frightens others more than me because they’ve had more work done. I chose that as my first movie’s subject matter purposely because I knew it would get to the most people – looks like I really got to YOU so I’m happy!
(HS): Red Lines was winner of the best short film at the Fearless Tales Genre Festival USA, how did that make you feel?
In a word – awesome. Tobe Hooper was there and told me the film gave him “the total creeps” – I had to go and get some air and have a quiet sit down after all that, let me tell you! It was a great honour and I’m glad the movie touched some nerves – that’s what it is there for! And it’s a very different animal to “On Edge” which also won some awards.
(HS): You were called “One of the best last hopes for British Horror” from MJ Simpson.com and the even more flattering title of being “the next Clive Barker!” Knowing this do you feel like you have expectations to live up to?
Amazing what people will say when you give them five dollars! No, I’m still working out how to be “Frazer Lee” really. It’s very flattering of course, but I’m just a beginner. If I CAN borrow from Mr Barker for a moment though – “I have (many more) sights to show you!”
(HS): Urbane- your best dream…and your worst nightmare. Here is a terrifying story involving the incubus and the succubus. This is a part vampire, part zombie movie. Now you are using the horror genres most feared (and loved) monsters. How did this come about? Were you influenced by anything imparticular?
I just wanted to deliver something different to all the endless remakes and sequels we’re seeing. When I created “Urbane” it was from the heart – and from a yearning to see something with as much impact as the “Hellraiser”, “Phantasm” and “Elm Street” movies had when they first came out. My fascination with demons, psychosexuality and medicine/surgery are taken to their full extremes in “Urbane”! And I’ve been working on sequel concepts and comic book spin-offs already, so there’s a rich mythology there for me to play with and hopefully scare and entertain you with.
(HS): You received HM&M’s first ever annual Horror Award for Urbane being the most anticipated horror film. How cool was that?
It was very cool indeed, especially as horror fans voted it ahead of the of the new “Saw” movie! Doug Bradley always laughs incredulously, as we have awards, merchandise, but no movie yet!
(HS): You are becoming well known in the horror industry that you already have many fans waiting in line at Horror Conventions just to get your John Hancock. Your most recent one was at Horrorfind in Maryland – how did that go?
Again, it’s amazing how many folks will line up if you bribe them with five dollars! I don’t know, it’s weird – I’m in a room sitting next to Tony Todd, NancyLoomis is over there (my boyhood horror crushette!), George Romero is signing just a few metres away. and I’m nobody! Horrorfind was incredible, just the best time ever…
(HS): Did you enjoy your time mingling among your fans? You even gave a public reading from Urbane…
I really enjoyed meeting a lot of great people – fellow horror fans, and heroes of mine, alike. The Horrorfind staff, all those fantastic costumed dudes. Yeah, and I did my first ever reading (from my book “Urbane and Other Horror Tales”) there, which went down well I think – at least, I wasn’t “booed” off the stage! I shared Matthew Warner’s reading slot and he was very gracious and welcoming – and a great author and reader too. It was incredibly kind of Mike and the crew to invite me there and look after me the way they did. I hope to go back someday and rock Horrorfind once more!
(HS): In 1998 you formed Robber Baron Productions with producer Joseph Alberti with hopes of obtaining the goal of resurrecting The great British horror film. Are you a fan of old classic Hammer Horror films?
Yes, I am! Strangely most of my Hammer DVD collection is from the USA though, as you guys get all the best extra features and original aspect ratios compared with the bulk of the European releases. Yeah, I’m a Hammer geek, bring it on. Used to watch double-bills of stuff like “Captain Cronos” and “Dracula: Prince of Darkness” when I was a little boy on a Friday night. The BEST times.
(HS): What was the first movie you ever worked on? Have you ever wanted to dabble in acting?
The first movie I ever worked on was as a background extra in a movie starring Robert Lindsay as singing-dancing coalminer – now that’s REAL horror!!! I did some acting over the years on stage and as a TV and film extra – crowd scenes in “Judge Dredd” and stuff like that. It was a good way to be on film sets and learn the ropes. I took an acting class too, as I feel it’s important to understand actors in that way if you’re ever going to direct them competently.
(HS): I’ve read that your dream project would be doing a biography on occultist Aleister Crowley. Who would you get to play this part? If you could have any actor who would it be?
Any actor? Oh, then it would have to be Crowley himself! No stranger to acting – he used to put on shows with his Scarlet Women – so I’m sure he’d be perfect as himself! Seriously though, it is a dream project of mine, and I’d love to show “three ages of Crowley” in the film – boyhood, adulthood and old age – so I’d have the challenge to find two or three actors to bring the legend to life. He’s a fascinating character, no two accounts of his life and adventures are the same.
font color=”#990000″>(HS): Is there a director out there today whom you admire, or someone who has made a great impact on you?
There are so many directors I admire. And even the bad ones have something to teach you – how “not” to do it! Recently I’ve been bathing my eyes again in the films of Guillermo del Toro – he’s a master. Clive Barker and Don Coscarelli are heroes of mine too. And I’ll always admire the unique visions of Argento, Cronenberg, Lynch, Kubrick, Carpenter. So much fantastic stuff out there and always more to discover. I’ll always have time for a director who has style and tells a compelling story.
(HS): You are currently working on a project called “13 Souls” can you tell us a little about that?
I was hired by a German producer to write the screenplay for “13 Souls”, based on a story by Italian master of horror Umberto Lenzi. It’s a really cool project – a twenty first century spin on all those Vincent Price classics with lots of suspense, creepy atmosphere, and above all some real proper scares and gore! I hope it gets funded and made – I’d love to see it in a darkened movie theatre.
(HS): Lastly, I have to ask “what is your all time favorite horror movie? One that scared you silly yet impressed you at the same time?
Ah, that would have to be “The Haunting” by Robert Wise. Scared the crap out of me, but blew me away at the same time! And a timeless testament to the “less is more” school of filmmaking with no CGI or massive budgets to get in the way of a good chilling story well-told.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to all of us here at Horror Society, it was a pleasure. We will wait anxiously for the big screen debut of Urbane, and wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors. Thank you so much! Keep up the great work, see you at the movies! Beast witches, Frazer.