INTERVIEW WITH H.G. LEWIS by Michelle Russo
QM: What age were you when you decided in becoming a film-maker?
HG: I had been in the advertising business and bought a half-interest in a commercial film studio. The studio had only 16mm equipment; I added 35mm. In a slack period, I decided to take a chance making feature films. I was in my early 30s.
QM: What is your favorite horror films?
HG: My favorite horror film (aside from any of my own) is “The Wicker Man,” a motion picture I regard as a masterpiece of horror-buildup.
QM: Do you have any interest in the macabre personally?
HG: I really have no interest in the macabre, except as it relates to box office value.
QM: Any other films that you like?
HG: “2000 Maniacs!” was and is my favorite film. I think this one plays well, even today.
QM: Do you talk to the masses about your film-making?
HG: I enjoy giving seminars. In some ways I regard myself as a private person, but my “film persona” has to be public.
QM: What key factors make up the uniqueness in film-making?
HG: I look for the bizarre, the goofy, the far-out notions. These all have come together in “Blood Feast 2,” a picture that would have been regarded as too outrageous to be shown on a screen had we made it even fifteen years ago.
QM: Do you document your nightmares in your films?
HG: I don’t have nightmares. That’s an odd question.
QM: Who is your favorite film-maker?
HG: I admire John Woo. I used to think much of Wes Craven and John Carpenter, but their latter-day output has been derivative and predictable.
QM: What other hobbies do you do besides film-making?
HG: I’m a tennis player and a scuba diver. I also play an occasional round of golf, but I get bored after nine holes.
QM: What music do you like?
HG: I prefer classical music, but the music I composed for my movies is much more pop. For some I used bluegrass and C and W themes. “Blood Feast” took me longer to score than to film!
QM: Are you featured in any of your films?
HG: I’m in conversations about “Herschell Gordon Lewis’s Grim Fairy Tale,” which I may re-title “Uh-oh.” But you know the film business: 99.9 percent of conversations lead nowhere.