Friends, on the Saturday Frights podcast as well as Facebook page, we have shared an awful lot of love for the films and even the podcasts of Mick Garris. I think it is easy to understand why as not only is his Post Mortem podcast one of the best shows for anyone interested in the horror genre – Garris in my personal opinion is one of the nicest people working in show business. Obviously it doesn’t hurt that he also happens to be a fantastic writer and Director – bringing us the likes of Critters 2, Psycho IV: The Beginning, The Stand, Riding the Bullet, Nightmare Cinema, to say nothing of being the one behind the Masters of Horror series on Showtime – as well as the legendary dinners that brought about the series. It was these dinners which started back in 2002 when Garris asked John Landis (An American Werewolf in London), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, Joe Dante (The Howling), Don Coscarelli (Phantasm), John Carpenter (Halloween), Larry Cohen (It’s Alive), Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), Bill Malone (House on Haunted Hill), and Guillermo Del Toro (Crimson Peak) to a gathering. Not to get a touch maudlin but of that very first dinner – in which it was Guillermo who dubbed the gathering the ‘Masters of Horror’ – we have lost Cohen, Hooper, and just recently Gordon… a true blow to the horror film genre.
Now Mick Garris back in ’79 began hosting a program on the Z Channel entitled the Fantasty Film Festival – an interview show that featured the likes of William Friedkin, Harlan Ellison, Douglas Trumbull, John Boorman, William Shatner, and Steven Spielberg to name a few. It was in 1982 however when he was able to moderate a round table discussion of sorts with none other than John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, and John Landis – where they touch upon the challenge of special effects as well as the MPAA and the results of test screenings. As I understand it, this was done to push the release of An American Werewolf in London and the upcoming releases of both The Thing and Videodrome – airing on the Z channel.