It’s Time For Bloody Good Horror! An Interview with Casey Crisswell
Like so many people, I’m a podcast junkie. I have a handful of podcasts that I absolutely must listen to each and every week. One of them is Bloody Good Horror, a horror movie review podcast that is very much like hanging out with friends at a bar. They’re currently at 400 episodes and counting. That’s a crap ton of horror movies!
Today I present to you Casey Crisswell of the BGH OG crew. For once, he can talk without Eric, Joe, Jon or Mark interrupting him. 😉 Take it away Casey…
Casey, you’re one of the Fab 5 of the Bloody Good Horror Podcast. Congratulations on episode 400. That’s a monumental achievement. How did you get started with BGH, the best horror movie review podcast on the planet?
My involvement with BGH is completely the fault of Night of the Living Podcast!
Some years ago, I set out to be a writer and did the typical struggle of ‘what the hell am I going to write about?’. After lots of digging around online and lots of forum posts stating ‘write what you know’, I started thinking about what I did in fact know. The first thing that came to mind was I love cheesy horror flicks, so I started out with that on my old blog CinemaFromage.com.
After about a year of that, I was listening to a episode of NOTLP one day and they talked about a new sponsor they had at the time, Eric from Bloody Good Horror and talked about he was looking for writers. BGH had existed with Eric and Mark years before, then went on hiatus and they were coming back. I reached out, Eric called me and we shot the shit for an hour or two one night talking about horror flicks, and the rest is history I suppose!
Podcasting is such a labor of love, especially for folks like you who were there in the pioneer days. Were there ever times when you questioned your sanity and just wanted to call it a day? I’m sure having a support system in the other guys (and now lasses) helped a lot.
It can be a hard road starting out, and it’s a lot like starting out with writing as well. In the beginning, it feels like you’re podcasting to the void. It’s a long time before you’re going to get any meaningful feedback on what you’re doing and as a creative type, that can be really hard to deal with.
Lucky for us, when we started Eric, Mark, Jon and myself had hit off well and we kept pretty regular conversations going about the topic via email. All of us had different parts of the web we liked to dig around in so we were able to spread some of that hard to find feedback around which helped. Thankfully for us, in the way that we mostly strangers hit it off early on, we were able to keep each other pretty excited and down to earth when problems popped up. I’d say it’s important to state that we concentrated on the site pretty exclusively before we decided to work on the podcast, so we already had some time together under our belts before we tackled the great audio beast.
I find that your movie reviews are a lot like my own. We tend to go a little easy on some of the less than stellar flicks. What are some movies that are so bad, they’re good?
I love a lot of cheese in my flicks! I am probably one of the most forgiving critics out there. For me, especially in the low budget film arena, I can look past a lot of technical problems and judge a movie on how much fun I had watching it. One that stands out for me is one I covered on the Cinema Fromage podcast called “The Majorettes”. At first glance, it’s a pretty generic ‘hooded psycho murders high school girls’ flick from the 80’s. When they wind up going places you’d never imagine from the basic premise, it’s just fun to see how far the film makers imaginations went with it all!
Okay, we need to talk about some assertiveness training. Eric and the gang sometimes barely let you get a word in. And you have some real insightful shit to say. What’s the haps?
Ha, yes, some assertiveness training would do well for me! I’m a team player and a ‘don’t rock the boat’ kind of guy. Which is fine for the most part. When you’re dealing with other more dominant personalities, it’s easier to get run over!
But that’s why I like running my spin-off shows. I get to do whatever the hell I want!
Thankfully, with this crew when it gets a little over bearing and I don’t get more than five words in an episode, I can generally say, “Dudes, what the hell?” and it gets sorted out pretty quick.
What’s something about you and the BGH crew that the general public may not know about? It’s time to spill some beans!
Mark really is a beaver! And Jon’s a Democrat!
Other than that, we’re pretty up front on who we are. What you hear on the show is what you’re going to find if you hang with us at a horror convention. Just a lot drunker!
If you had to be trapped on an island for 10 years with one member of the BGH team, including the new class, who would it be and why? By the way, on this island, there’s a waterfall that flows with lager instead of water.
I’d probably go with CC. The biggest problem with life on a deserted island is boredom, and CC knows lots of cool shit that I normally don’t know much about, so we could talk about some awesome stuff!
You’re also a writer (often introduced by Eric as ‘a writer of horror fiction’). You’ve published two short stories, Jackboots for Jesus and Deep Lies the Murky Floor (great titles and fun reads). Any plans for future stories or better yet, a full novel?
It’s funny; over the past fear years I’ve often kind of groaned whenever Eric introduced me as such. I did definitely dabble for awhile there, but I hit a bad spot of depression and lack of confidence a few years ago and kind of gave up for a bit. Wasn’t proud of it, but wasn’t getting healthier as the rejection slips piled up and the love of it faded for me.
But, that’s all behind me now and I’m slowly working my way back to living up to the title. I’ve got some more short stories in the works, and I’m diving into the writing world with a different attitude and a bit of a new angle this time around.
I can tell you there’s some bigfoot stories on the burner, maybe a necromancer story. Maybe even some non-horror stuff as well! There’s also some definitely plans and ideas for a novel or two out there as well, but that will be down the road as I start to knock the rust off and working back into the groove. There’s even some ideas for non-fiction work as well, such as some old collections of Cinema Fromage articles from back in the day, maybe even a memoir on how one becomes a geeked out middle aged man obsessed with horror flicks! We’ll see!
What book do you think would make a great movie, and what movie that was a book should be erased from the collective conscious?
This is a pretty tough question to be honest! I’m a big reader and there is a TON of stuff from a lot of genre’s I’d love to see get made. I’m a big Sci-Fi reader and I’ve been dying to see a film version of Joe Haldeman’s “Forever War” for…forever. (Yes, I went there.) There’s been lots of hints and almost’s but still haven’t seen it all come together. On the fantasy side, I’ve long been a huge fan of Glenn Cook’s “Black Company” series, and I think that would be fun to see on the screen as well. Plus, those guys were all pretty grimy and would fit in perfectly in today’s “Game of Thrones” world. As for horror, there’s a few that come to mind. I got really excited for the talk of Guillermo Del Torro’s “At the Mountains of Madness”, but at the same time I worry they’d never do it justice. I think Joe Hill’s “Heart Shaped Box” would be great too. That book gave me anxiety!
As for the opposite, I’ve already stated I’m pretty forgiving but man, we could do without “I Am Legend” from 2007. It was such a disappointment. Especially since we already knew the formula could be great with “The Omega Man” and “Last Man on Earth”!
You’re also the host of another podcast, Cinema Fromage. Tell folks about the deeper exploration of less mainstream movies you cover on the show. Thanks to you, I watched Short Term 12 and was blown away. It’s also where I fell in love with Brie Larson.
I actually have two side podcasts, Cinema Fromage as well as The Instomatic, which is where you would have heard about Short Term 12! Both shows are currently on hiatus, but they’re gearing back up for a new return, probably with a bit of a twist on their original format.
For me, I love digging around through the movie landscape to find the diamond in the rough. I usually try to find at least one thing I like about any movie I happen to be watching. Be it acting, writing, camera work, whatever. No matter how low budget or off kilter a flick is, these people put in a lot of work to get this vision out there. Their movie may have problems, but we don’t need to shit on them completely, right?
Regardless, one of my favorite things about being a horror nerd growing up was the hunt for something weird. I grew up in a small Indiana town that had two video stores and not much else. As I started to find other like minded friends that were into horror flicks, we started gathering and holding on to what we could find. Fangoria magazines, HBO Bootlegs, the works. Back then, (early 80’s), you had to work to find that weird cool thing that surprised you and knocked your socks off. It just wasn’t always available to you. Some times, it might take you two to three years to find some flick you read about in Fangoria one evening.
These days, that element is gone. I won’t like; I love having millions of movies at my fingertips at a moments notice! But, that feeling of ‘the hunt’ isn’t there anymore. It’s so easy. So some times, it’s fun to go fishing in the depths of the weird and obscure so you get that emotional payoff to find something awesome.
After all, these days we can pretty much guess how any Hollywood blockbuster is going to play out, right? It’s fun to be surprised!
Time for some quick hits:
Favorite BGH episode?
Tough choice. Probably the My Soul to Take episode, that flick was just ponderously bad!
Least favorite BGH episode?
The infamous Prom Night episode where Eric and Jon almost came to blows. It’s not fun to watch mom and dad fight.
Preferred beverage to imbibe while recording?
Depends on the mood. Generally beer, whichever’s in the beer fridge.
Finish this – Vape is…
First horror movie that scared the crap out of you.
Favorite horror con?
HorrorHound, easy. I’ve met some of the greatest people at that show!
Your thoughts on nudity in horror movies. Should it be mandatory?
Mandatory? Nah. But, I’m not a prude either! If it fits and everybody’s comfortable with it, go for it.
What can we all expect from BGH in 2017 and where can everyone find you to listen to your podcast, catch up on reviews, order some killer swag or become a patron?
2017 should be a good year around the BGH parts. We’ll be adding more writers, more content and beefing up the spin-off casts in the next year. Thanks to the awesome support we get from our listeners through Patreon, we have a pretty great opportunity to do some great stuff coming up.
You can find us at http://www.bloodygoodhorror.com. You’ll find daily reviews and all of our podcast content from the main show and the spin-offs! Also, if you’re ever not sure what you want to watch, try our new web toy Mark the Web Beaver built, http://www.killer-flix.com! You can find links to our t-shirts and Patreon info there as well, or head over to http://www.patreon.com/bloodygoodhorror to find out how you can get access to our 350 back episodes and more goodies!
As for me, keep an eye on http://www.cinemafromage.com. It’s not much at the moment, but there’s some stuff in the works!