It’s a Horror to Know You: Dante Tomaselli Writer/Director/Composer of Torture Chamber!
1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
I would have to say Horror Express. I remember being incredibly young, burning up with a fever, and watching it on TV in my parents bedroom and all-out hallucinating. The Jesus-like figure terrified me, especially when his eyes would glow and bleed. A close second would be It Lives Again. I used to have really upsetting and violent nightmares about the baby in that movie. I watch it now and don’t feel the same, but at the time….
2. What is the last film that scared you?
The House with Laughing Windows. I saw it about five years ago and it gave me serious nightmares. Evil, bloodstained old women haunt me.
3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.
Tourist Trap. It’s a perfect horror movie. I’m not sure if it’s underrated because true horror fans love it. I vow to direct a terror film with scary mannequins. Frightmare. Dark and creepy British Pete Walker chiller that is all about family sickness. I love actress Sheila Keith. Christie Sanford reminds me of her, actually. This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse. Coffin Joe. This is just the kind of home-grown horror imagery I adore. The shots of our protagonist being sucked into the bowels of hell stand out.
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
XTRO. It’s low budget and so imaginative and that’s good. So bizarre. This movie is out-of-its-mind and I love it for that. I’m not guilty to say it’s one of my favorite films. Amityville Horror 2: The Possession. I watch it every couple of weeks. I love its atmosphere and brooding music and how it confronts, um, taboo subjects. It’s a very well made film. There’s just something wrong about it all, and off-putting, which I like. It doesn’t play by the rules. And Rutanya Alda. I became friends with her when I lived in Manhattan years back. Such a nice lady and in so many memorable films like When a Stranger Calls and Mommie Dearest. My third choice…The Hearse. I enjoy Trish Van Devere. She was excellent in The Changeling, a very warm personality. There’s something about her that I want to protect. The Hearse is fun and has some eerie, stylish moments, otherwise it’s drab and kind of silly. I still love it though. I feel comfortable watching, there’s something comforting, kind of like It Lives Again or Prophecy or The Legacy. Movies I seem to watch over and over.
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
Mixed Signals. I have synesthesia. Sound-Color.
Double Life: A group for Diehard fans of The Cars. Lifelong CARS fan. Growing up, I was the only fanatic in my school and I was a bit of a misfit for it. Those were the days of hair metal bands, which I never really liked. I was more into Depeche Mode and Jean Michel Jarre.
John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness – Opening Titles. I’m addicted, I can’t stop playing the low-toned moody music. Halloween 3 too. I listen to these soundscapes all the time. Kudos to Mr. John Carpenter and Alan Howarth.
DepecheMode.com Depeche Mode. The electronic soundtrack of my youth. As Martin Gore would say, ‘Let’s have a Black Celebration.’
The Last Drive-In. I grew up going to Drive-Ins in New Jersey. I saw so many horror movies there first, The Omen, Theatre of Blood, The Sentinel….
UNK SEZ: Thanks Dante! It’s fascinating to learn which films lead you to become the horror Maestro your are today! Folks, we have a special treat in the form of the brand-spanking new trailer to Dante’s upcoming opus Torture Chamber! I’m sensing something dark, disturbing and deliciously kinder-traumatic! Check out the magnificently creepy splendor below!