By Christine Caprilozzi , Sr. Editor
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Philip Anselmo (Pantera, Down, Superjoint Ritual) and Corey Mitchell (best-selling author of â€œTrue Crime,â€ and heavy metal and horror journalist), the demonic duo behind Housecore Horror Film and Metal Festival. My goal was to get the story behind this hybrid horror and heavy metal monster. What I found was not just a music legend and best-selling author organizing a horror extravaganza. The festival is the brainchild of two insanely hardcore fans on a mission to share their horror knowledge and enthusiasm with the world.
Horror News Network: So from the background Iâ€™ve read, the two of you came up with the idea to create Housecore Horror Film Festival while working on Philâ€™s autobiography. This is really a horror and metal beast of a festival. How did you go about really spearheading and taking on such a huge project?
Philip Anselmo: Well it has been a work in progress. Even as we inch towards the date, weâ€™re making sure we have all our â€œIâ€s dotted and â€œTâ€s crossed. But it has all be done with a great deal of passion for the genre.
Corey Mitchell: Between myself, Philip, and Tammy Moore (HHFFâ€™s Creative Director), we have a ton of experience in music and horror. The thing about this venture is that it is a film festival first and foremost. Phil and I were just thinking about putting together a bunch of films that people donâ€™t necessarily get to see, or have seen. We really wanted to showcase movies that go beyond what has become expected of horror films, and show what Phil and I both really dig. We came up with this idea a while back, but it was about two years ago where we said â€œokay, how are we going to do this?â€
We pretty much just put the word out in Austin and got a tremendous response. Since the initial start of this, Iâ€™ve written a novel, and Philip has recorded a solo record and gone on a few tours. But weâ€™re just hardcore horror fanatics and now weâ€™re going full throttle. Weâ€™re trying to bring great horror and metal to as many people as we can.
Philip Anselmo: I have to add that thereâ€™s been a ton of people reaching out to us who want to be a part of it. Itâ€™s overwhelmingâ€¦in a good way.
Horror News Network: You guys are really creating more of a three day experience, not just a festival. I know the full lineup of movies and bands havenâ€™t been announced, but were you aiming for it to be a bit different so every day was a totally different from the day before?
Philip Anselmo: Yeah I definitely think so. I mean Iâ€™m a lover of everything going all the way back to the black and white classics that made up this genre. We really want this to be a reflection of what we love.
Horror News Network: There are some really stellar classic film choices here like Fulciâ€™s â€œZombieâ€ and of course â€œCannibal Holocaust.â€ Some of the choices are not familiar to the casual horror fan?
Philip Anselmo: Thatâ€™s a great point because people may come for the music and be exposed to these films for the first time. We have Coffin Joe who has been around forever, and he went completely under the radar for most horror fans. Itâ€™s just amazing how many films this guy has actually done. So I think there will be something for everybody really.
Corey Mitchell: One thing for me that is important is to bring people something theyâ€™ve never seen before, or maybe they have but maybe not with a hundred other people in the room with them. For me personally, I really wanted to give people choices. I didnâ€™t want it to be just a schedule, but an event where people have to make choices, and maybe to the point theyâ€™re going to be upset they missed a few things. The good thing is that itâ€™s three days that youâ€™re just completely assaulted with horror.
Weâ€™ve just announced that weâ€™re bringing Goblin in to score â€œSuspiriaâ€ live. So, you can have that choice, or see another film you wanted to see at Sundance you missed, or see the original â€œEvil Deadâ€ on other screens.
Horror News Network: Not sure where youâ€™re at with deciding on the Independent films and that lineup. But what has that process been like filtering through the submissions?
Philip Anselmo: I have to say we have been getting just excellent submissions from independent, new filmmakers out there. They are really trying desperately to break new ground and do something different. Iâ€™m personally really excited to about that. For someone like me who is a true horror fan, thatâ€™s encouraging.
Corey Mitchell: Also encouraging, is that weâ€™re getting submissions from all over the world. Weâ€™re talking about fifteen different countries.
Philip Anselmo: We have a screening committee of seven members that screens films for us, however, we are such fans that we have actually been watching every single submission that comes in.
We have a panel and a voting system of one star to five stars. Corey and I are pretty much on the same page as far as content goes. We watch the films and then regroup to discuss. Some arenâ€™t horror in a classic sense of horror, but are really fucking great films.
Corey Mitchell: Itâ€™s really weird because Phillip and I are really on the same page. Iâ€™ll watch a film and shoot him and email that I just watched this great film and his rating will already be on there that he loved the same one. Itâ€™s been a really smooth process. As Phil said, some of these smaller budget films have a really great story behind them.
Horror News Network: I want to switch gears a bit and talk about the music. Obviously, some really amazing bands so far Down, Crowbar, Eyehategod, Warbeast. Are you also looking at new underground metal bands?
Philip Anselmo: Yes. We are looking even into different styles of bands because there are so many sub genres. There are also a lot of bands reaching out who want to be a part of this thing. Itâ€™s still in progress, but there will be more announcements.
Corey Mitchell: Itâ€™s been amazing how many people have come out whether itâ€™s musicians, filmmakers, and even volunteers who have come out and just want to be a part of this. Most of this has been done through our social network. Thereâ€™s really been no advertising and we have volunteers all over the country.
Horror News Network: With this festival being sort of a full on assault of brutal films and music, why do you think it is that heavy metal and horror often have the same fans?
Philip Anselmo: Heavy metal has hugely been influenced by horror, they go hand in hand. I sometimes even equate horror movies with certain metal albums. When I think of â€œEvil Deadâ€,â€ I think of Slayerâ€™s â€œHell Awaits.â€ Itâ€™s subject matter that usually makes the horror connection.
Itâ€™s no doubt that Housecore Horror will feature everything from classic horror, to fresh new independent films, to the obscure that even dedicated fans of the genre may never have heard of. Either way, from the fervor and knowledge that this team possesses, the films promise to be top notch quality.
Whether you talk to Philip and Corey for two minutes or two hours, it becomes crystal clear that this is NOT a business venture for the pair. Housecore Horror Film Festival is a labor of love born out of a brotherhood built on trust, humor, and a deep seeded affection for horror genre.
Horror fans would do well by getting themselves to this â€œassaultâ€ on your horror and metal senses. Brace yourselves Austin, as October is only six months away.