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Home | Interviews | Interview: Amanda Gusack | Barbie Wilde

Interview: Amanda Gusack | Barbie Wilde

It’s that time of year again to give thanks to everything that is Horror and beyond!

I give thanks to : Horrornews.net, Fringe, Preston&Steve, Paranormal Activity, Metallica, South Jersey School of Aikido, Scoobie Doo, Those crazy Moondogs, Captain Lou Albano R.I.P., Werewolves Field Guide, Zombie Bill Murray, Ghostbusters remake, American Dragon, Facebook, Scare Tactics, Rob Zombie, Couples Retreat, The Monkees, The Wizard of Oz, CHOP, Hardcore Wrestling International, TheJamCouncil, El Hijo Del Anto, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Death Kotegashi, Steve Ignorant, The Men Who Stare at Goats, T-Rex, Season’s Pizza, Quentin Tarantino, Family Guy, MMA, MMG not MSG, Iron Maiden, HBK, Hinds Brothers, Logan’s Run, Monstermania, Sopranos, The Dark Knight, Frankenstein and AJ.

The Shades of Death Road is a 2 hour and 1 minute drive from where I live. I’m curious to make the road trip up North Jersey to Warren County. I’m not a history buff but I do like history, especially when it’s disturbing history. “The Shades” is a two lane road, seven miles long, draped with low hanging trees and it’s as scary a place as you would ever want to visit. It’s been featured in Weird, NJ. There have been sightings of the dead walking down the road and vanishing into the fog. This is what ghost stories are made of and conveniently so, since the road sits just off of Ghost Lake.

There is an eerie mist that settles on top of the lake from time to time, and sometimes apparitions can be made out through the mist. This area is called Great Meadows, and the mysterious vapor is known as the Great Meadows fog. Is it your mind playing tricks on you? Perhaps… but this place is rich with tales of the dead. There was an old man brutally beat to death with a tire iron from his own vehicle. Another story tells of a woman beheading her husband and burying his head and body on opposite sides of the road. These among other grizzly tales plague this area. I just map quested directions to this forbidden land. I’m not sure when exactly my journey will take place, but do wish me luck.

If you caught my recent interview with Barbie Wilde ( female Cenobite from Hellraiser 2 ) then you might be interested in a few more things she had to say, this time on the topic of the paranormal :

“ After years of being very superstitious and having the bejeebers scared out of me as a child by my adorable, but extremely paranoid lapsed-Catholic mum, I’ve tried very hard of late to escape “magical thinking” of any kind. I found your recent interview with Robert Curran, the author of ‘Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts’ very interesting, especially in light of my own research into the “human monsters” amongst us, namely serial killers.

However, when I was writing my vampire novel I realized very quickly that it’s impossible to eradicate the supernatural from these things without the core idea suffering in some way.

I guess the best thing I could say is to quote Shakespeare: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167) We don’t know half of what’s going on “out there”, and what may seem weird and supernatural now, may come down to a very simple explanation once we have the technology and knowledge to figure it out.

Saying that, did I ever tell you about the time I saw that well-known God of Arcadia, Pan, in my bedroom when I was 12 years old? Scared the bejeebers out of me, too! (It was a dream, of course. What the hell Pan was doing in Spokane, Washington is anyone’s guess.)

And do aliens count as supernatural, because I think that it would be rather presumptuous to think that we are the only planet in the universe that’s produced intelligent life forms? “

Yeah, Robert Curran really put the mythology of the werewolf into a beautifully written book. Lycanthropes jump out of the pages with information. It’s my understanding that a class in Glendale, Arizona is doing a project on the book. It’s seems to be getting a good amount of buzz. Robert even said that he caught up with Dan Ackroyd and his dad on a radio program and they were familiar with his books. I’m not saying I believe in werewolves but I’m not saying I don’t.

It’s a relief to hear that even Cenobites have nightmares. I’m sure you were responsible for more than a few 12 years olds to wake up screaming or at least in cold sweats. At 12 years old, I wasn’t dreaming of the God of Arcadia. I had an on-going dream saga where I started floating, totally weightless, and I had no control and no way to stop as I floated out of bed and through the house and eventually out of the door. I don’t know what it meant, but I remember those dreams feeling some real. It was horrifying. I’m sure I looked it up in a dream book a long time ago, but I forget. Do aliens count? I’m of the opinion that they do.

It’s ridiculous to think that “we” are “it” and there’s nothing else. We are but a small spec in an infinite universe. In some form… there is intelligent life out there. It may be even closer than we think. Our telescopes can only see so far. There could be something or someone, just beyond where are we are capable of seeing, and they are looking back at us. Why is it so far fetched to believe that there is another Earth and another human race?

Oh, maybe it’s not called Earth and maybe they are not called humans, but when I look into the night sky…. I can only imagine. As for little green men, well I’m not sure about all that? There has been many books written on the subject. I just got two books from a friend of mine. He goes by the name of Skeet Slander. You’ll hear that name again in this column but there are some things I just can’t talk about yet. He is one of my most intriguing contacts.

The titles are The UFO Enigma – A New Review of the Physical Evidence (Peter A. Sturrock) and Dimensions -A Casebook of Alien Contact (Jacques Vallee). I have my reading cut out for me. I actually have another book in the mail to me, There is Life After Death: Compelling Reports From Those Who Have Glimpsed the Afterlife ( Roy Abraham Varghese / www.warwickassociates.net ). I’m a slow reader but look for me to do a book report on this one.

I went to the movie house to see Paranormal Activity and it met my expectations. I didn’t jump out of my seat but the film engaged me and kept me on the edge of the seat. I’d much rather see a movie like this that doesn’t hide what it is. It’s a guy with a camera filming in his home. I compare this movie to the Blair Witch Project, which is a group of people in the woods with a camera. It’s that simple. It’s not a guy with a camera and no budget trying to film a psychological thriller with the psychology. You know who you are. It hate those movies that try to be something that they’re not.

From the very beginning know what they’re job is and they do it. Another movie along these lines would be In Memorium. I can’t officially comment on it yet because I haven’t seen it but I’m hearing great things about it. I’m in the midst of doing an interview with the director of In Memorium, Amanda Gusack. I think she’s going to turn Paranormal on it’s ear.


Horrornews Exclusive Interview
Director : Amanda Gusack ( In Memorium )

MIKE JOY : What is In Memorium about?

AMANDA GUSACK – In Memorium is about reconciling your regrets before you die.

MIKE JOY : Do you think the success of Paranormal Activity will help you or hurt you?

AMANDA GUSACK – People seem to be talking about In Memorium again, so we’ll see…

MIKE JOY : Do you believe in ghosts?

AMANDA GUSACK – Yes, but I don’t know whether I believe that they’re souls of people who died or projections of our fears.

MIKE JOY : What is the key to directing a “caught on home video” type of film?

AMANDA GUSACK – Continuity is really important. Keeping things natural…allowing for imperfections in composition. Since the entire film was shot through ‘locked down’ cameras, we had to map all the action out in advance to make sure we caught what we needed…but not too pretty-like, see?

MIKE JOY : What kind of budget and shooting schedule were you working with?

AMANDA GUSACK – I can’t say the budget, but the schedule was 18 days.

MIKE JOY : Do you have a favorite scene from In Memorium?

AMANDA GUSACK – I like the ghost. J

MIKE JOY : Are there any movies or directors that inspire you creativity?

AMANDA GUSACK – Chris Nolan, Wes Craven, James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Gore Verbinsky… THE RING, TERMINATOR 2, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, POLTERGEIST. And HAPPY GILMORE.

MIKE JOY : Do you have any interesting behind the scenes stories from In Memorium?

AMANDA GUSACK – A wall fire started when we were shooting the ghost’s ‘burn imprint’ in another room. Other than that, the cast and crew were always interesting. Good times, Mike. Good times…

MIKE JOY : Where can people see In Memorium?

AMANDA GUSACK -They can’t yet, but we’re working on it. Keep your fingers crossed, and thanks to those who’ve requested it…

MIKE JOY : What’s next for Amanda Gusack?

AMANDA GUSACK – Lunch, dinner, dessert, and breakfast. And hopefully another film.


Moondog has given me no feedback. Torture may be an adequate form of discipline. I’ve been busy at work building a social network for Unexplained Confidential. You can now follow my personal and professional rants on www.twitter.com/joyhorror so jump on board. If anyone experiences any type of paranormal activity with their turkey, please contact me.

Happy Thanksgiving

Later F’N’ Later,

– Director of Unexplained Confidential
– Chief HorrorNews Interviewer

Originally posted Thanksgiving 2009

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