Friday, May 30, 2008
Interview with Revenant Magazine's Geoff Bough
Fatally Yours had the pleasure of interviewing another like-minded horror journalist, Geoff Bough of Revenant Magazine! Geoff is the “deaditor”-in-chief of Revenant Magazine, an online rag that covers all you could ever want to know about zombies!
With plans for Revenant to become a print publication, it was the perfect time to chew the fat with Geoff and talk to him about his insatiable appetite for the undead!
Fatally Yours: Thanks for letting us pick your brain, Geoff! Your tasty, tasty brain…
Ummm, anyhow, tell us how and when you fell in love with horror films.
Geoff Bough: Well, my parents are old hippies so growing up there were always VHS dubs of films like Halloween, The Howling, Friday the 13th and various other slashers laying around. My Dad is also a HUGE Universal monster movie fan and so I was cultivated on a great horror upbringing.
As a kid in the 80’s, I was always trying to find ways to rent films like Creepshow and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Before places like BLOCKBUSTER and whatnot, there were the little Mom & Pop video shops…they always had the good stuff. I remember watching Night of the Living Dead with my friend when I was 8 and I knew horror and I would be friends for life.
Fatally Yours: Why were you ultimately drawn to the zombie subgenre?
Geoff Bough: I think the horror genre as a whole is an incredibly diverse genre. There are a lot of excellent films that make a lot of statements about society, politics, and things that shape and define our character as people. I look at watching a horror film like going on a rollercoaster, you’re after the thrill and if you don’t get it then you are forever on the chase for one that will…it’s an endless cycle, like zombies!
I think if someone can convey a message about humanity in what some might consider an unconventional method such as zombies then it really opens you up to be much more introspective about your own life and surroundings.. I appreciate all aspects of the subgenre but I like the films that challenge your thoughts on existence or how we go about rebuilding society after an overwhelming tragedy.
Fatally Yours: Why did you decide to start a magazine based on your love for the undead?
Geoff Bough: At the time I started Revenant, there weren’t too many places that were covering just the zombie subgenre. There were places like allthingszombie.com but as a fan, I wanted more than what was offered.
I wanted to read interviews with independent film directors, comic book writers/artists, fx artists, original articles on the zombie mythos that I couldn’t find from just one site. I wanted to go beyond just the films and books and provide articles on how the mythos started throughout history all over the world.
Fortunately for me, my friend John Reppion was on the same page of thought as I was and he was really instrumental (and continues to be) in helping to establish Revenant Magazine by crafting thought provoking articles and reviews.
Fatally Yours: How did you go about starting Revenant?
Geoff Bough: As mentioned above, I wasn’t overly satisfied with the amount of coverage the zombie subgenre was receiving…that’s not to say that sites and publications weren’t doing a great job, I just wanted more than what was offered at the time.
Revenant Magazine was actually conceived from the forums at ATZ by me and a friend Dan Barnes in 2005. Dan had obligations with another publication and sadly had to bow out of the project. My aspirations were too high to let it slip away so I developed the site and created a following online with plans to bring a print version later down the road.
I also have to extend my sincerest thanks to the very awesome Abby Perry (Cutelucca) www.cutelucca.com – who provided some of the very early Revenant artwork.
Fatally Yours: In your opinion, what makes a great zombie film?
Geoff Bough: A unique blend of post-apocalyptic character study, original character dichotomy, good blood and gore/special effects, convincing looking zombies, good acting, vague reason for outbreak, an unresolved ending and sometimes a little sardonic humor.
There have been too many films that have created this clichéd, almost forced explanation for the cause of a zombie outbreak. I have always found it to be much creepier and more convincing when there is little to no explanation for the cause. Given the event, there really wouldn’t be a whole lot of answers, doubt and skepticism would far outweigh fact.
There is also this often unnecessary need to resolve the whole film and make it some pseudo-happy ending. Way to be a buzzkill! The thing about zombies is they’re relentless and virtually never-ending. That’s what is so terrifying about them.
Fatally Yours: If you could have played any zombie character in a film, who would it have been and why?
Geoff Bough: Wow, this is an excellent question…first off if I could play any character in a zombie film I’d have to go with Harry Cooper from Night of the Living Dead…just so I could scream the line “You’re all a bunch of yo-yo’s!” Haha! I still love that line.
As for any zombie? hmmm… tough call, I’d have to go with ‘Blades’ from Dawn of the Dead/Land of the Dead because Tom Savini is a badass and I for one would be terrified of a zombie Tom Savini with a machete.
Fatally Yours: Do you have an opinion on the fast zombies vs. slow zombies debate?
Geoff Bough: I guess I am of the more traditional persuasion. I favor the shambling undead to the tenacity of the runners. I think they would both be scary as hell but my suspension of belief has some bounds. I’m no medical expert but if anything, as the body decomposes it certainly doesn’t gain dexterity.
Fatally Yours: Have you been impressed by any new zombie flicks lately?
Geoff Bough: Indeed I have! Andy Davis’ recent film 2 was absolutely amazing and we have picked it up as the first official selection for the 2008 Revenant Film Festival! It’s a great film about 2 survivors and the mental anguish and emptiness they must deal with during and after an outbreak. I am really excited to have it be a part of our event this year.
I just saw some of Marc Price’s Colin which so far has been really excellent. It’s a very different film and tells the story of a man named Colin from his perspective as a zombie. It doesn’t have much dialogue which really adds to the ominous tone of an outbreak. I think in the event there wouldn’t be a whole lot of talking going on in favor of more action.
Spencer Susser’s short film I Love Sarah Jane totally blew me away. Definitely the best zombie short film I have seen in a long time.
I have yet to see [REC], which I hear is amazing so I am on the hunt to procure the Spanish version.
There are a ton of zombie films coming up that I am looking forward to seeing…Stone’s War, The Dead Matter, World War Z, Dance of the Dead, The Book of Zombie and tons more.
Fatally Yours: Where do you think the zombie subgenre is headed in the future?
Geoff Bough: I think the future lies in the independent market. If it’s any indication of the popularity of these films with indie zombie films playing major film festivals like SXSW, Cannes, Toronto International Film Fest, Sundance, Seattle International Film Festival, Screamfest, Toronto After Dark, etc…a lot of these films are getting distribution deals from major studios at these festivals.
I think there is a kind of lackluster originality in Hollywood horror lately and it’s getting better but I think indie horror is a breath of fresh air.
There are also a TON of totally kickass original comic books and zombie fiction that have been optioned for film rights as well. Films like World War Z and Tag are in the works and we’re in for some good times as zombie fans!
Fatally Yours: Are you involved with a lot of the zombie walks and other horror events in your area? If so, what has been your favorite event and why?
Geoff Bough: Revenant is based out of Seattle, Washington which has a ton of hardcore zombie fans. I developed www.seattlezombiewalk.com to help organize local area events. We have a Seattle walk planned for October 4th to promote our film festival this year and I am also coordinating the Seattle zombiewalk for World Zombie Day on October 26th! I work in partnership with local zombiewalk organizer Miss Cleo – www.myspace.com/seattlezombiewalk to organize walks.
As for my favorite event so far…2 years ago we did a zombiewalk here in Seattle to an outdoor screening of Shaun of the Dead. It was through a very eccentric neighborhood here in Seattle and it was a lot of fun.
Fatally Yours: Can you tell us about the film festival that Revenant is hosting in October?
Geoff Bough: We are hosting the 2nd annual Revenant Film Festival here in Seattle on October 11th 2008 from 4pm to midnight at Seattle’s Museum of History And Industry. We’re an all independent zombie film festival and so far we’ve received entries from all over the world! We’re accepting entries until July 1st so if anyone out there has a project that you’d like to submit for consideration, check out www.revenantfilmfest.com for more details.
We will have some very exciting films this year that you might not see anywhere else!
If I may also take a moment to extend my virtual donation pot, ha! W are accepting sponsorships for the event this year which are only $50 and include the option to screen a 1 minute commercial or logo placement on screen at the event, a very unique advertising opportunity! If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, check out the sponsors page at www.revenantfilmfest.com
Fatally Yours: Name your favorite zombie films.
Geoff Bough: Dellamorte Dellamore, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue, Shaun of the Dead, Zombie, Night 90’, The Beyond, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Dawn 04’, Dead Alive, ‘2’.
Fatally Yours: Besides zombies, what other horror subgenres/movies do you enjoy?
Geoff Bough: I’m a HUGE fan of the genre as a whole. I am particularly fond of ghost stories and hope that there are more interesting ghost stories in the works. I also have a love for werewolf movies and I am about to start a script for a werewolf film.
Fatally Yours: What do you have planned for zombie-lovers in the future with Revenant Magazine?
Geoff Bough: We are in talks to bring a print version of Revenant Magazine to the masses. It has always been my intention to bring the project to print and I am hoping that everything will fall into place and people will have our putrid mag in their rotting hands in the near future.
In addition to all of the awesome content and interviews that we always have, we will continue to keep our readers in tune with the undead.
Fatally Yours: Thanks for such a great interview, Geoff! I wish I could eat your brains to gain your knowledge…!!