Marc Selz: Getting Buggy with Satanic Panic’s Charming Leader. By Brian Kirst
Director/writer Marc Selz has proven himself to be a modern master of horror with his mighty scare flicks, Short Cut Road, the highly regarded The Rockville Slayer and the delicious sounding Satanic Panic. Despite the fact that he is busy prepping for Satanic Panic’s upcoming October 13th release date, Selz recently took a few devilish moments to answer some fiery questions for this intimate Horror Society piece.
Brian: Okay, Marc, who were your first creative influences – George Romero’s black and white cemetery creepers – the Road Runner’s wild and wooly dashes – a photo happy, tap dancing aunt?
Marc: I would have to break that up in a number of different categories and on budget levels. On a big budget studio scale I would have to say Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg and Brian De Palma. On smaller independent scale I would say George Romero, Bob Clark and early John Carpenter. I would also have to say that the early eighties Canadian slasher flicks like My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night, Terror Train, and Happy Birthday to Me had a really big influence on me.
Brian: Love da’ Birthday!! Speaking of classic slashers, your films seem to take horror film clichés and give them a more focused, psychological bent. Do you find that you approach each project with a certain motivation or with a particular goal in mind?
Marc: I think it’s more the motivation part for me that makes me want to do more. I’ve watched a lot of slasher films in my time and after watching them, I’d find myself thinking that they could have done so much more with the characters and the movie. Sometimes, the simple straight forward storyline works, but there’s always room for more. That’s the part that motivates me…the idea of making a movie that gives the audience what I think could have been added to a movie to make it more interesting. I like to make smart/psychological slasher movies and that’s what motivates me.
Brian: Cool! – If you had to take a ‘Short Cut Road’ to see one band or musical artist whom would be worthy of that blood n’ terror in your book?
Marc: Ahh…hands down, the original Van Halen with David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, Eddie and Alex Van Halen!!!
Brian: Go ahead and Jump!!! – Was there a particular story or event that influenced The Rockville Slayer?
Marc: Rockville came together from a number of thoughts that were put down on paper earlier in life and just the thought of not knowing who you really are and knowing that things aren’t always what they seem just made it easy for me to write the movie. I still wish that they would have kept the original title, which was “Unaware”, which made much more sense.
Brian: Ah-h, distributors …. What was the most interesting or unusual event that occurred on the set of Satanic Panic?
Marc: There was a time when our still photographer took a few shots of the camp fire from one of the scenes in the movie and when reviewing the shots, we noticed a bizarre image in the fire which made everyone a weary. Off-set, there were a number of deaths of people that I knew and on a few occurrences when either buying food, or props or checking the number of emails in my inbox, the numbers 666 would somehow keep popping up, whether my bill was $6.66 or I had 666 emails or the cost of some props were $666.00 even…Strange.
Brian: You’re even creeping me out! – Everyone knows the business of making films is a rough (if not almost impossible) one. What keeps you pursuing your passion – pure insanity, a loving family, that one last drop of Jack Daniels in the bottle?
Marc: For the love of horror…my family on the other hand would have to say pure insanity.
Brian: Well, family knows best! – Lastly, any words of advice (IE: Never force an actress scared of dark places down a pit with bugs) or future projects that you’d like to tell us about? And thanks – this has been better than having a 666 tattooed on my forehead any day of the month!
Marc: Always in horror, you need to force an actress who’s afraid of the dark in a pit with bugs…that’s the first rule…you get a true performance that way. Method actors love that, that’s for sure. I had a vision quest of making three horror films the way I wanted to, and I have done just that. I would have to say you first need to be able to afford to take the time and get the funding to do what you want to do. After that go after your dreams and just do it. Don’t listen to the negative people; you may just have the next big hit in your hands. Thanks for your time. Please check out Satanic Panic coming on DVD on October 13, 2009!