It's a Horror to know You Jon Clark!
What is the first film that scared you?
Halloween 3, I know it gets a bad rep and all that but when I saw it, it was on TV (edited for TV at that) I was just a little boy, maybe six (who didn't know or CARE that the film didn't have Michael Myers in it). It was the opening scene where the mechanized man walks into the hospital and makes the "C" with his thumb and forefinger, then QUIP, plugs it into that poor dude's eye sockets. There's that, which is pretty damn horrible and terrifying, but what does he do next? He wipes his fingers off on the curtain! Damn, that' s just cold. As was always the case when I was a kid, pretty much right after that scene, it was time for me to go to bed (thanks mom!). So of course all that night I knew, just knew for sure some creepy dude was about to open the door and come for my eyeballs!
What is the last film that scared you?
A few months ago, I was on my computer working during the day with no one in the house, and sometimes I open up a little window on the screen and watch movies or TV while I work, usually when I'm inking. It just plays in the background. I decided to have a mini marathon of the syfy show Paranormal Witness. Each case has the real people telling their stories. Sometimes they have videos of what they saw, sometimes they have police officers(!!) saying "this was real." Watching episode after episode gave me this awkward feeling. Just this cumulative effect of woah, man, something is really going on out there, this stuff is all real! I just got really creeped out and had to put something else on, like a comedy, you know… just until people came home… yeah, better with people around.
Name three horror films that you feel are underrated:
It's 1983, network TV, primetime, I'm in third grade, alien "Visitors" arrive. They are our friends. They just need our help. Oh, and they eat rodents, oh and they want to eat us too. This is V: The Miniseries baby. There is so much good about this show. I love the concept of the resistance. Julie's rise to prominence and unwanted power. The scene where the older Jewish father Abraham tells his son why we must hide the scientists breaks my heart. Even the scene when Elias's brother dies in front of Caleb, I don't know, it's borderline ham-handed but I get sucked back in each time to believe in the pain there… He was the doctor! And horror? Dudes and dudettes, my kid mouth gaped down like Diana's when she ate that mouse, and when Donovan kicked that guy's face off, it was nuts!
The Dead Zone. Yup, the one by Cronenberg. It's a movie that I find myself putting on all the time. There's an intensity and profound sadness to Walken. (on a side note: in my heart of hearts I believe that the comic book character John Constantine: Hellblazer was based off Walken in this film, has to be) The whole sequence with the serial killer "gazebo" is scary, intense, and shocking. Look at the details. Look at his room, it's the same from when he was a little cowboy. Herbert Lom, wow. Martin Sheen, on fire!
Near Dark. Vampires in Texas and no one says vampire. There's a sweet love story (that I buy right into) and the whole thing really makes vampires seem real. Of course you gotta duct tape up the windows because: vampires! Added bonus: I've read the screenplay and it's not written like any other script I've read, it's horror film poetry. I leave you with exhibit A and B: "Is this shit kicker heaven or what?" And Homer.
Name three horror films that you enjoy against your better judgment:
This one was the hardest one to answer, because well, if I love something, I love it. I go with my feelings and let go of the critical judgments.
The Crazies remake. (this was surprising because I'm usually a purist and George Romero is a hero of mine) I saw this in a second run theater with a friend the first time around, and I thought it was pretty good. I watched it again just recently and liked it even more. There are some really great suspense moments. That pitchfork scene being one. It kicks off right away and doesn't really stop. Eisner did a great job with it. I gotta give him respect.
13 Ghosts. The William Castle original. It's just goofy fun and I can watch it with my son. It's a live action Scooby Doo movie. There's a lion ghost! And I love William Castle anything.
Prince of Darkness. I've read and heard the arguments. Here's how I feel about this one: It's like old Star Trek, yes, the acting can be over the top (or underwhelming for POD), yes, the effects are mostly cheesy (I mean The Thing vs. POD, how the mighty have fallen) BUT, we're talking about something here. There is a solid story here. There is a big huge frightening concept about the nature of evil, where it is, what it wants. There is a science vs. religion argument here, and it's creepy. And I love it! I regularly re-watch the opening 45 minutes. I mean a month won't go by without me re-watching it. The idea that the church has been hiding a demon/antichrist in the basement for centuries, I don't know, maybe it's just because I think that's EXACTLY what they'd do… !
Name three favorite non-horror films.
A Simple Plan (also works in the underrated section) This movie is so freaking good! I don't know where to begin. The concept, the acting, the script, the direction (Sam Raimi!). Scenes turn and head into dark dangerous places that leave my head spinning.
Singing in the Rain. I am the biggest horror nut in the world, but hear me out. This is a case of the most talented people in the world firing on all four cylinders and then turning on the rockets too. You've seen baseball, this is Babe Ruth, you've seen basketball, this is Michael Jordan. These people are the best dancers, comedians, singers, choreographers, there's romance, spectacle, old school Hollywood. I LOVE this film.
The Sandlot. Again and again. Call me a softee. When they play baseball at night under the fireworks with Ray Charles playing in the background, my eyes well up. "You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!" Sandlot 4-eVer, 4 eVer.
Jon Clark has his first horror comic THIN coming out on September 7th through American Gothic Press. THIN is an unconventional horror story about an overweight woman who attempts a miracle weight loss cure and finds herself in a nightmare without a way out. It's intimate, visceral, and horror fans (especially Kindertrauma fans) should love it. THIN is available for preorder HERE and make sure you like THIN's facebook page HERE to keep up to date! Check out a preview of THIN below!