Rodrigo, why don't you start us off with a visual
and describe the place where you are answering
I'm in a former funeral
home where I work and live in the back room where
they used to display the coffins. Now that it has
become the headquarters of 'Rue Morgue', the
place is filled with monsters and all manner of
weirdness. The pussy faced creature from my film
'The Demonology of Desire' gazes down at me from
his perch on a bookcase behind me as I type this.
want to hear about 'Rue Morgue' magazine.
How did that come about and what was your initial
intent with the periodical?
I came up
with the idea in early 1997 and six months later
I managed to squeeze the first issue out. The
magazine was very indie at the time; it was black
and white and virtually a one man production. At
the time genre magazines had not tapped into the
culture of horror, most of them were still
focusing on films and special effects in film.
The idea with 'Rue Morgue' was to explore all the
things that were being overlooked: horror in
music, comics, games, toys, art, history, even
philosophy. Among other things, I think it was
this idea that gave 'Rue Morgue' momentum.
As a founding
editor of 'Rue Morgue' I've
read that you wished to explore horror both in
culture and entertainment. So given that premise
- what do you feel were your biggest
discoveries/conclusions regarding that
sure what my biggest discovery could be but I
suppose that 'Rue Morgue' changed the way I look
at the genre and that has been important for me.
I guess when I grew up I really didn't know why I
liked horror movies and macabre imagery and now I
see that horror is more philosophically rich and
psychologically complex that I imagined, not to
mention that it carries with it unique political,
social and sexual associations. Plus it turns the
classical understanding of aesthetics on its
head. But really there is a lot to write about
this topic, probably a book's worth, so I can
only answer you in a very general way.
So now you are making
movies. What did you learn at 'Rue
Morgue' that has informed your
lot. From watching and critically dissecting
movies either in print or with my peers as well
as interviewing cast and crew for eight years I
pretty much learned the industry from top to
bottom. So I would say 'Rue Morgue' gave me an
advantage. Hopefully that can be seen in my
Thus far you
have written, and directed four award winning
short horror films: the first two
'The Eyes of Edward James' & 'The
Demonology of Desire' you also
produced as well as your two latest films
'The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow'
and 'Curious Stories, Crooked
Symbols'. Do you see yourself as
graduating from the short film status to features
three feature film scripts ready but the one that
has gotten a lot of interest is a remake of the
1972 cult western horror film 'Cut Throats Nine'
which I am currently prepping. That said, the
short film is a legitimate art form that I have
affinity for and I think there is a lot that can
be done with it that's not being done, so I hope
to sneak in a few more shorts and experiments
maybe between features.
For the novice
filmmakers out there, what have been the greatest
lessons you've learned from that multi-hat film
process that you would like to pass on?
what everybody else is doing; set focused goals
for yourself; get feedback from people who know
their shit because not everybody's feedback is
valuable; learn about festivals and which ones to
apply to and in what order. Once your movie is
completely done you've done half the work, the
other half has to do with getting people to see
director, producer - which area do you feel is
your greatest strength?
point probably writing - that's what I've
excelled at since the beginning. The fact that
writing is more or less completely under my
control may have something to do with my affinity
Do you have
any other upcoming projects you want the
racksandrazors readers to know about?
the three features and some scattered short film
scripts, I am working on a new comic book series
which will be very unusual and bizarre. There is
also a full chapel deep in the bowels of 'Rue
Morgue' and I've toyed with the idea of doing
some horror theatre there. I plan on having a
very productive year.
werewolves, zombies, witches, creatures, aliens,
telemarketers...what does it for you horrorwise
Rodrigo and why?
burial because it's the experience of death while
you're still alive. I can't think of a more
perfectly horrifying concept.
What was the
first movie to scare the shit out of you?
of Water' segment from Mario Bava's 'Black
Sabbath' anthology. It was only until after I
started Rue Morgue that I discovered what that
movie was. Seeing that old lady's face frozen in
a rictus of death freaked me out even after all
those years. Then again when I was a kid the
Count from 'Sesame Street' used to scare the shit
out of me. There was something really weird about
his eyes, you ever notice?
pulling into the Rodrigo Gudino Drive In. What
three horror flicks are on the triple bill for
tonight and what goodies are they going to be
serving up at the concession stand?
- chocolate stuffed cats 'The Exorcist III' -
geriatric gumbo and communion wafers 'The Devil's
Backbone' - orphan chili
best Halloween costume you ever had?
The one I
always have which is like an undefined horror
host type guy with a pale face, coat-tails and a
top hat. I used to get more elaborate with
costumes but after so many Halloweens I've
realized that function beats fashion.
you in real life?
I used to have dreams about them all the time and
still do on occasion. Fuckin airplanes...