Orgininally published at FunWithHorror.com on Dec. 20th, 2011
As someone with a lot of inside perspective what are your three most favorite horror films?
“My number one is John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN. I love the free flowing opening shot. I love the dialogue between Jamie Lee Curtis and her friends. I like the slow pace and the editing. My second pick is EDWARD SCISSORHANDS by Tim Burton. I love the performances by Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder. My third is DARK CITY. I love the noir look of the cinematography. And, the finale is very special. I love the wardrobe and the play on shadows. I also love the witty dialogue from William Hurt. I notice something new every time I see it.”
During the last five years, what horror film blew you away?
“ATTACK THE BLOCK. I like the use of humor in horror and I love the social commentary. Whenever movies are set in an urban environment it seems they are spoofs, but this wasn’t. I love the dialogue that Joe Cornish wrote and his use of slang in that dialogue.”
During the last five years, what horror film failed to deliver what you had expected?
“Any PG-13 rated horror movie. I feel like horror movies should be rated “R..” When you rate a horror movie PG-13, you lose the artistic viewpoint, and it seems like the studios are limiting themselves or holding back. It feels like you’re trying to approach the masses which takes the focus off of the art and puts it on profit.”
What piques your excitement with up and coming horror comics you have reviewed (or might be reviewing)?
“DC Comics relaunched The New 52, starting from scratch, from the first issue. With DC, their horror comics are a major surprise. Titles from DC Universe really take you by surprise, as well. I was a big fan of Alan Moore’s work on SWAMP THING. Scott Snyder is now taking SWAMP THING to a whole new perspective.”
What piques your interests with newly published graphic novels?
“There are two. One is called GREEN WAKE. It’s drawn by Riley Rossmo and it’s written by Kurtis Wiebe. What I really like about that series is that it takes on so many different forms. Rossmo’s work is very stylish and easy to follow, even though its done with non-linear story telling. Also, the HELLRAISER comics from BOOM! Studios. I really like that Clive Barker has returned to the HELLRAISER series and after all these sequels its Barker in control again. He and co writer Christopher Monfette are currently behind the HELLRAISER franchise. It’s the return of Kirsty Cotton and Pinhead. They are playing a deathly game back and forth. Kirsty is obsessed with trying to destroy Pinhead and the Cenobites. I really like the direction that the series is taking. I was a fan of the HELLRAISER novella and the first two HELLRAISER movies. The other sequels are iffy; but, these comics went back to basics and have made an epic storyline for Pinhead.”
What do you consider the “next big thing” readers will discover in horror comics and graphic novels?
“There are several that I can’t talk about. But, HACK/SLASH is a really interesting ongoing series that fans should check out. If you love FRIDAY THE 13th you will love these horror comics. It follows Cassie Hack, and Vlad. The WALKING DEAD comics are heading to their 100th issue, which is a huge milestone in the comic book industry. The zombie apocalypse has continued through to the 100th issue! That is such a rarity to see.”
How did you become an expert with evaluating horror comics and short films?
“I learned how to read by reading SPIDERMAN, BATMAN, and The X-MEN growing up. I stopped reading comics in high school but came back to them in college because of BATMAN: HUSH. It was written by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Jim Lee. It was phenomenal artwork. It revisits Bruce Wayne’s best friend from childhood. All of the villains from years past team up and are ordered by HUSH. I haven’t stopped reading comics since. I was really in to the horror comics of MARVEL: GHOST RIDER, SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE, MORBIUS, THE LIVING VAMPIRE, and THE NIGHTSTALKERS. Those Marvel titles are what got me in to horror comics.”
What provided your inspiration for making your short film, Dreamland?
“DREAMLAND started when I was in film school and I was studying 3-D animation. I was really inspired by Jean Cocteau. His film, ORPHEUS, is one of my favorite films of all time. I consider it horror. The plotline features a guy who goes to Hell to get back a loved one. I wanted to use a similar plotline for DREAMLAND but to do so with no dialogue. It’s very experimental. I tried to use black, white and grey with yellow as the primary color. What I really liked and what separated me from the other film students was that I wanted a score instead of a soundtrack. So, I worked with my friend Steven Soto, who is a musician and guitarist. I told him my version of the story and he gave me some tracks for the film. I thought I was making a short animated horror movie, but in sending it to animation festivals and showing it to people at school, they saw it as a chick flick that would also appeal to guys. I actually had a meeting with NICKELODEON about DREAMLAND. I had applied for an animation job there and got to show them my film. It also has its own IMDB page. The fact that it has gotten noticed and viewed means a lot to me. I’m very proud of the project!”
Do you have plans to make more short films?
“I still draw in my spare time. I’m learning Toon Boom, which is a 2-D animation program. I’m trying to come up with a storyline for the project. With DREAMLAND, I tried to make it very cinematic. I want to bring the same cinematic effect to any future projects. But, I still need to find the right story.”
Did you start your website, ‘Writer Without Fear,’ prior to beginning your tenure with FANGORIA?
“I started my website when I came on board with FANGORIA. It’s another place for people to read my reviews and interviews. I write about other things there, as well, but it’s mostly a place to showcase my work for FANGORIA. I was always reading FANGORIA in high school and now I write for them. I wanted to create a place where people could see what I do there. The title is a play on DAREDEVIL: MAN WITHOUT FEAR. The other title that I considered was “Nightmare on Elmhurst,” because I live on Elmhurst Street, but I thought ‘Writter Without Fear’ was much more fitting.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring horror journalists?
“When I was in film school it was like the opening scene in SCREAM 2. Mikey and Randy are in their film class arguing about sequels and who knows more about film. I was always debating with other film students, and I was always telling other people why their interpretations of film were wrong. Horror journalists should know what they are talking about because there’s always going to be a jerk like me trying to one up you. When I was trying to build my writing portfolio, I had a meeting with WIZARD MAGAZINE (before they became an online-only publication). They suggested that aspiring writers have a site dedicated solely to their writing so that your portfolio is available to people when you are asked for a writing sample. They also said that if you do have a blog try to get people to comment on it because it shows that people are interacting with your work and that you are getting traffic to your site.”
You can find Jorge Solis at: www.writerwithoutfear.com