Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay's blog

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: MARY LAMBERT

Though women are the primary on-screen stars of both the music video and horror film industries, it is a much different story behind the camera. Female directors are a much smaller percentage than should be represented by population or by talent. One woman filmmaker who was able to carve out a successful career in both was director Mary Lambert.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: GLEN MORGAN

Until very recently, film and television were antagonistic entities; television was the inexpensive stepchild of film, and the creators of each were unlikely to be found working in the other. It changed in 2005, when Geena Davis and Glenn Close decided to appear on television series, and the act of creators and performers crossing back and forth between the two mediums is relatively common. But in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, it was unusual that a creator could easily jump back and forth between film and television. One creator who did was Glen Morgan.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: WILLIAM LUSTIG

Years before popular indie filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez were paying loving homage to the grindhouse films which they remembered and loved from their youth, there were directors from the grindhouse era that were still producing great and shocking films long past the heyday of the exploitation and grindhouse film boom. One such director, influenced by classic exploitation films and arguably one of the beacons of preservation for the entire movement, is William Lustig.

Best of 2013 - Chris and Kathy's Take

Top 10

10. Warm Bodies
On the podcast, Eric called it adorable; we would have said whimsical and charming. Regardless, if your cynicism is stowed in the overhead compartment during viewing, this should be a pretty enjoyable experience.

9. Mama

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: JACK SHOLDER

Sometimes, the best horror filmmakers are the ones who never wanted to be horror filmmakers. A filmmaker who wants to make great drama, thrilling suspense, or penetrating comedy can often bring elements of those genres to a horror film that elevate it above the expected entry in the genre. Jack Sholder always said that he didn’t set out to be Wes Craven; he wanted to be Jean Renoir. And although neither of those is true, because he is very much his own filmmaker, there are elements of both within his work.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: FREDDIE FRANCIS

Given that the horror genre is one that is driven primarily by the image and the experience rather than the dialogue or plotting, it comes as no surprise that many cinematographers have made their way to directing by working on low-budget horror films. It is rare, however, that a cinematographer is as well known for his entries in the horror genre as he is for his cinematography in classic mainstream films. Karl Freund was one of the first, and Freddie Francis is a close second.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: TAKASHI SHIMIZU

It’s hard to have a definitive horror hit in America. It’s even harder to have a definitive horror franchise in America. And it’s most difficult of all to create a franchise in a country other than America, one which has a distinct culture and flavor that doesn’t translate easily, and have it become such a runaway success that the film is remade as an entirely new and successful remake series for American audiences. Takashi Shimizu is one of the few filmmakers who has been able to do it.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: RONNY YU

It is often the case that the directors who have become synonymous with well-known films in the horror genre often had no interest or expectation to work in horror to begin with.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: CHARLES BAND

It’s hard to create a horror movie that will connect with audiences enough that the property is seen as a potential franchise starter; and even if that happens, it is unlikely that the director or writer is brought back for subsequent installments, because the producers aren’t interested in paying higher wages to the people who made them a success. So when a single writer/director/producer is in some way responsible for no less than fourteen different film series, he must be noted, regardless of the quality of all the franchises. And that producer is Charles Band.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: Adam Green

Usually, horror filmmakers end up descending into the work-for-hire world of television direction after their career has waned a bit and the studios are no longer calling. In the case of Adam Green, he began in television, made his segue to the big screen, and used that clout to go back to television for the most popular work of his career.

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