Interview: Director Conor McMahon | Tommy Knight (Stitches)

Thank you both so much for sitting down with HorrorNews.net, it’s such a pleasure getting to talk with you both about the film. Love the movie and the untraditional approach to clown genre. This movie had great satire, fantastic gore and special effects. CM- You also directed “Dead Meat” for Fangoria Gore Zone. I notice you take such an artistic approach to your gore scenes. Watch the colors & shot style while- where do you find inspiration from? How do you make something so beautiful out of something so macabre?:

CM: I guess the first time I saw anything like it was as a kid “Evil Dead 2” it was the first time I’s seen horror and comedy mixed together. It triggered something in my brain and that’s how I start a project “if it will give me enough gory death scenes”. It’s always the starting point, with this I start thinking about clowns and their instruments and about how to push each death as far as you can go.

JT: As a director you’re very versatile, you have many types of films to your credit. How do you prepare yourself from one project to the next?

CM: I think it whatever interests you, horror is always the one that I want to do. If projects come along and you feel you can bring something to it, then why not?

JT: Your directorial debut was a short called “Brain Eater”, how do you feel you’ve evolved?

CM: That was a short made in college. (laughs) A feature is a much bigger challenge. What I’ve found with short films is you can cut them back as much as you want to make it work. But a feature is a much larger project and you a lot longer you have to keep people interested.

JT: Clowns are always an interesting topic of discussion. What was it like for both of you to make this film?

TK I actually loved it, it was a breathe of fresh air. I’ve never done a proper horror before. Seeing some of the death scenes I was blow awayby it. I’d never seen anything like it!

CM: It was really one of those things when you have it practically as opposed to C.G it just brings everyone onboard. Some days it’s a long shoot and it really just reenergizes everyone.

TK: (laughs) I’d be in my trailer and hear someone was getting their head blown off and run to set!

JT: Great way to end a long day! (laughs) Now Tommy this was your first horror comedy/horror film. Do you see yourself going in this direction as an actor?

TK: I’d love to, Im working on a BBC show about delinquent school kids. But it’s something that I’d love to do. I loved being on set and the whole vibe behind it.

JT: We love to hear that! Now you’ve been acting for about eleven years. Have you found it difficult to make the transition to a child actor to now the hero as a grown man?

TK: It’s probably the opposite for me. In English we had to clock up 15 hours of school a week. So while Id be working on a show along side of the adult actors who had similar hours I’d have to have school as well. So once I turned 16 I had 15 extra hours a week to focus on what I was doing and it made it a bit easier.

JT: So did anything freaky happen on set while you were filming? We love to hear about set spooks!

CM: It’s funny when you’re doing a horror film, it’s the opposite in the sense that it’s never what the final result it. There was some talk that a hostel someone was staying in was haunted, (laughs) but that was just a rumor?

JT: Coming to work on this film did either of you have any fear of clowns? It’s such a widespread and common fear

TK: No, but I know a lot of people that do and I completely understand it. The over happiness of a clown…no one’s that happy.

CM: (laughs) It was more like we were exploiting other people’s fears.

JT: The opening scene with the clown death double tap was brilliant, it was great vindication for people who fear clowns.

JT: Any nightmares from doing this kind of film?

CM: It’s more having fun. I find this stuff not scary. I get excited seeing the heads being made. It’s fun, the real world is scary!

JT: It definitely desensitizes to it when you love it so much.

TK: My mom always used to tell me when I was little that it was just people in make up on a set standing in a room with cameras. And it’s true when you’re standing it set it was be a scary moment but you aren’t really there.

JT: Connor horror has obviously been something that you’ve loved for a while. Tommy is this a genre you were into before the film?

TK: I’ve always been a gore fan. I love it! The more twisted the better. Connor did an incredible job writing it.

JT: Conor- sequel options? We’ve got all these fantastic clowns to explore and Stitches on his way back?

CM: It’s something we kind of half joke about but secretly hope we get to do it! (laughs) There were some ideas thrown around “Time traveling Stitches” where he goes back to get revenge. Ross talked about going back to mid-evil times and seeing where the clowns came from. There’s so much history behind clowns to explore.

JT: It’s something we loved seeing with such defined characters in horror satire. Looking at films like “Ginger Snaps” and “Ginger Snaps back” prequels work. You could even follow in the “Child’s play” route and have “Bride of Stitches”! (laughs) I’d be there for the premiere!

CM: (laughs) Yeah!

Everyone has to ask you both “What’s your favorite scary movie”?
TK: Have you ever seen a Spanish film called “REC”?

JT: All three!

TK: There’s just something about a subtitled movie that draws me in. Certain parts are just incredible, it’s my favorite.

JT: Have you seen the third:

TK: I haven’t

JT: A bride with a chainsaw and zombies

TK: (laughs) What?!

CM: For me, at the time that I saw it “The Exorcist”. Anything that has to do with the devil and super natural. It’s the one film types that when I turn it off I still be scared for the next day. Like thinking that I’m hearing things. Even ones like “Paranormal Activity” , like those kind of movies just scare me.

TK: That was a brilliant one.

JT: Last question, you had mentioned “Evil dead 2”, are you going to see the remake? Do you like the recent horror remakes?

CM: Yeah definitely, I’m curious to see it.

TK:Yeah

Conor, Tommy thank you both for talking with HorrorNew.net. You both did a great job on the film and I hope we will see more of you soon!

Interviewer: Justin Tyme
Interview: Director Conor McMahon | Tommy Knight (Stitches)

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