Exclusive Interview With Mark Dossett

Mark: Hey how’s it going?

The Ward: Good Mark, how about you?

M: Good good, so tell me a little bit about The Ward.

W: The Ward came into being because we noticed that most other sites dedicated to the horror genre have been a little slanted in ratings lately, so we wanted to start this blog to help share un biased reviews and discuss the horror genre.

M: Right, so let me ask you this so I know how im talking with here, what would you say are your top three horror movies of all time?

R.T.K.: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the original, The Shining, Friday the 13th.

M: We are definitely on the same page, The shining is, for sure, in my top three.

W: Nice! I was reading a little but about your movie, The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom, can you tell me a little bit about what got you to write this film and where you got the idea?

M: The concept was based on an actual event back in the 80’s when I was a kid. There was a rash of abductions of women who worked at the Hampton Coliseum Mall  in Hampton VA. A guy dressed as a security guard was grabbing women when they got off work late at  night. I remember he would slash their tires and wait across the parking lot and show up when they would start walking back inside to call for help. That terrified me as a kid when my mom and I would walk out of the mall…I was always worried something like that would happen. That’s where the “inspired by true events” statements comes from.

W: Who were some of your earlier influences in film making?

M: Stanley Kubrich from an earlier time, but more recently Ti West, because I saw house of the devil, which is another throwback to the 80’s, is a movie people either love or hate because its what they call a slow boiler, there might not be a Jason chasing people around but it still stacks up. I have seen interviews where Ti West mentions the shining a lot and the timing in that movie and what they did that era is amazing, I think what was most terrifying about that movie to me was the idea of a family turning on its self and how jack was the head of the household and the protector and he then becomes their worst nightmare and that’s creepy because that is a reality for some people. I dare any one, no matter how old, to watch that movie and not be creeped out, I mean those two girls in the hall way? It’s a very unnerving movie. and that’s what im looking to accomplish in my film. I want to do for homes what jaws did for beaches. That what Halloween did for me when I was a kid.

R.T.K.: That’s what Scream did to me!

42ndego: That’s what Childs Play did to me.

W: What is your opinion on the current state of horror?

M: A couple of new films that have come out are pretty good,
for example, have you seen The Innkeepers?

W: Yup

M: Well when I saw house of the devil, I couldn’t wait for that to come out, but when I saw it, it wasn’t anything like House of the Devil, and I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. Plus they are doing all these new reboots and there is a lot of new CGI stuff coming out that isn’t scary like that one film with, what’s the name of Tom Cruise’s ex wife?

W: Katie Holmes?

M: Yeah, she was in that movie with the little girl in the house with the gnomes.

W: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark?

M: Yeah that, some of it was ok some of it I was a little confused on.

R.T.K.: Mark, I have to tell you, I hate that movie beyond all rational thought. I love Guillermo Del Toro but I hate that movie.

M: Haha, yeah that is a perfect example and I believe a lot of new movies lack a good solid story and several movies also have the problems with huge gaps in reality.

W: I have also noticed that a lot of acting now is not convincing, and when something traumatic happens they are far too  nonchalant about it and It makes you wonder how could someone who makes a film look back and so oh yeah that is good or they are just putting out crap for no apparent reason. Switching topics, how do you feel about Eli Roth as a film maker?

M: I really enjoyed the first hostel; I haven’t really kept up on what he’s been up to since.

W: A lot of producing, right now he’s helping out Ti West on his new film The Sacrament,  and he’s also working on his own movie, The Green Inferno, which is an homage to one of his favorite movies, Cannibal Holocaust.

M: Yeah, I really think it’s cool when movie makers help others out like that. That’s how Ti west funded his first movie which helped him become the name he is in horror now. Something I noticed while I was going through crowd funding, that actually made me kind of mad, was that David Fincher (fight club, seven) he has a new animation film he’s working on and he’s going to his fans to get crowd funding for this project and it seems a little selfish to do that and try to pass it off as a independent film, that happens a lot, they say its independent but it’s got Bruce Willis in it and cost 5M
dollars, how is that independent? For some one like David Fincher to expect you to pay 10 bucks for a movie ticket , god forbid you’re thirsty, its easy to spend 25 dollars on a trip to the theatre, to expect you to pay for that and ask you to cover production cost? I think that’s pretty rude. I’m even a fan of his work, but that is rude.

W: did anyone question his motives as to why he went to his fans for production costs?

M: when I first read the article on nofilmschool.com, they asked what everyone thought about the idea and everyone was pretty much on the   same bandwagon. That’s why I think it’s so cool when someone like Eli Roth helps out in a producer role for someone like Ti West.

W: Back to your film, is this the first thing will be shooting or have you done previous projects?

M: I have done some shorts and some commercial stuff that I hate, I wasn’t happy with the film I was making so I decided I was going to make something that I wanted to watch. And the support in the horror community is amazing, just with the little trailer I shot, a lot people seem to be interested in it.

W: Yeah, and we really appreciate the fact that someone is out there making a movie for the horror fans not just another quick thing they can throw out to make money, that’s why a lot of these straight to DVD films are all, in some way, Paranormal Activity rip offs because they saw it make money they think they will make money too and you can easily see through that. So the fact that you are putting such an effort to bring the community a film we can enjoy and a film you’re proud of is much appreciated.

M: and that right there is just even more motivation and inspiration. To hear you say that and the fact you wanted to talk to me, I gotta tell ya that’s a great feeling for a film maker, that there are people
interested in the story you have to tell.

W: Yeah man it’s all about community , which has been slowly fading away as far as conventions. This whole genre has so many fans but not really a place for fans, filmmakers, and others to just have a conversation about the one unifying aspect which is horror movies and horror culture.

M: Have you guys seen that documentary, American Scream?

W: Is that the one where they are following the guy who builds haunted houses?

M: Yeah, he got laid off from his I.T. job with a years severance pay and decided to put it all into a commercial haunted house and follow his dream of just scaring people and having fun.

W: It’s always good to see someone use a massive midlife shock like that to pursue their real dreams.

M: The most liberating thing I have done is walking up my manager with my keys and name tag and saying “im done” he said “oh you’re going home?” I said “I’m never coming back”, it was scary but also liberating at the same time because I hated what I was doing so much. So I really identified with that documentary.

W: We will definitely have to check it out. I think we are going to wrap up. Anything else you’d like to add?

M: Well thank you again guys I just want to say I couldn’t believe how really cool the people in the horror genre are and people like you and the community are really inspiring me to get this thing funded, thanks again guys, keep doing what you’re doing, it’s really cool and I hope movies become better because of conversations like this.

For more info on Mark and his upcoming film, The Torment of Laurie Ann Cullom, check out his Twitter!


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