SHOCK editor combs his vaults and unearths a classic Cronenberg conversation.
In case you were unaware, this writer – your humble editor – was born in Toronto and currently lives, loves and runs his various enterprises in and around the Toronto area. It’s a fine city, with a thriving film culture, rich history, plenty of attractions, great people, beauty, squalor and has doubled for dozens of international locations in a myriad movies.
But for horror fans, it’s a virtual mecca.
Because here in Toronto, we count among our citizens, filmmaker and visionary Guillermo del Toro, horror icon and Godfather of the zombie, George A.Romero and, our favorite native son, the inimitable David Cronenberg
I’ve been lucky to share space with all of these remarkable talents, three of the most celebrated creators in fantastic film history. In the case of Cronenberg, I have interviewed him several times (one of those chats can be seen on the current Criterion Edition release of his 1979 masterpiece THE BROOD) and because of this, I have a large bank of unused material, words that I recorded and that sat unpublished and unreleased.
In early 2014, on an icy winter’s day, I visited David’s home for an epic sit down to discus his work not as a director but as an actor, primarily his role in Clive Barker’s beloved 2nd feature film NIGHTBREED, in which Cronenberg played a malevolent serial killer (and, in my opinion, stole the movie away from the monsters). But we went in many directions. We talked about politics. The media. Cars. And, as he was in the process of editing it, I got some advance intel on his then upcoming film MAPS TO THE STARS.
For a lifelong fan, it never ceases to be surreal. To sit and watch words come out of the mouths of human beings who, when you admired them from afar, seemed so much more than human. With David it’s an extra thrill to be in his presence because of the cerebral, almost alien otherness he has long projected in the media. Of course, when you’re with him, he is far from this. He’s a very nice man, a father and film buff who just so happens to be one the most innovative and influential artists of all time.
Much of that interview I recorded that day ended up as the cover story of a Rondo Award winning issue of FANGORIA, the magazine I was serving as editor of at the time.
But still, acres of footage remain, languishing in my rather stocked vaults.
Here then, for your listening pleasure, is some of the best “on the record” bits from that conversation.
In this exclusive bit of audio, recorded sitting in David’s spacious dining room (hence the bouncy acoustics), you’ll hear the filmmaker talk about how nervous he was acting in John Landis’ fantastic 1985 comedy/thriller INTO THE NIGHT and how that role led to him casting Jeff Goldblum the following year for his 1986 classic THE FLY.
He speaks about his relationship with his main composer and collaborator Howard Shore.
He’ll talk at length at the love he has for his city, Toronto, where he has both shot and set many of his greatest films.
And he’ll discuss the advent of filmmaking technology and how strongly he believes in the future of its use in making quality work.