Name three-to-five directors you would invite to create the ultimate horror anthology film.
Because I’m an eternal optimist, I’m going to limit myself to living directors so that this dream project could actually happen. Maybe I’m just in an Oscar mood, but as I’ve said before, There Will Be Blood really has me wondering what P.T. Anderson would do with a straight-up horror movie, so he’s contributor number one; and as far as I’m concerned the Coen Brothers have already done horror with Barton Fink, but if you’re unpersuaded that they’d be right for our little anthology, may I submit No Country for Old Men’s Anton Chigurh as Exhibit A? So they’re director #2. Next, since they’ve already got pretty solid track records in the genre and since they’re already collaborating on Tintin, I’d bring in Steve Spielberg and Peter Jackson for our third and fourth slots. My final choice is a bit off the beaten track, but as a big fan of Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point, I’d love to see a full-on horror effort from none other than Woody Allen. And there you have it, the ultimate horror anthology film. Or the ultimate compilation of Bud Light commercials, if that’s what they felt like making.
Movies aren’t really my specialty, but if I may stray into books, which I know a little better, Jeffrey Thomas is a pretty exciting author of cyberpunkish Lovecraftiana, and David Wellington, who has a very solid track record with zombies and vampires in my judgment, has expressed an interest in writing something in a Lovecraftian vein. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing those two authors among others in a Mythos anthology!
Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers)
Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Totoro)
Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira)
I couldn’t think of many cool horror directors in particular, but I think an awesome horror animated anthology with these three director/ writers would be amazing. Each I think has proven that they got the chops for straight up horror as well. I really love anthology horror flicks by the way. They were always my tops picks in horror as a kid.
I don’t know if I dreamed this, but I think I remember my brother letting me watch something like… Garfield’s 9 Lives? It was both a comic and cartoon (each slightly different). It was an animated anthology that had some completely terrifying moments. Really, did I dream this Garfield thing up? (Editor’s note: Nope, you weren’t dreaming)
Fred Olen Ray, Don Farmer, Jim Wynorski, Dave DeCoteau and HG Lewis.
GEORGE A. ROMERO
Can I say no one? Ha. For some reason, all of the multiple director anthology films that I can think of have not turned out that well. “Grindhouse” I guess is an exception, but that’s not really a true anthology film in any way (it should have been though). When I ponder this question, I just keep coming back to “Two Evil Eyes” with George Romero and Dario Argento… do we really need another one of those floating around the world?
I love anthology films! Some of my knee-jerk answers have already contributed to anthology movies: Carpenter, Romero, etc, so I need to dig a little deeper here…hmm. How about Neil Marshall, Guillermo Del Toro, Mary Lambert, David Cronenberg, and William Friedkin. Now that would be a movie!
Lucky McKee — for the creep factor
Herschell Gordon Lewis — for the gory humor
Mike Mendez — for the frenetic camerawork and attitude
Geoffrey Wright (whose recent Macbeth adaptation is worth renting) — because he needs to break new ground and I think he would do well with a horror movie
Limiting this to directors who are alive…
1. ROB ZOMBIE
2. PAUL NASCHY
3. JAMES GUNN
4. LLOYD KAUFMAN
5. ALEXANDRO JODOROWSKY
+ a wraparound by JOE DANTE starring HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS as the storyteller
If it weren’t for the Rob Zombie factor, I’d say a Grindhouse 2 involving the directors of the trailers sandwiched into the first Grindhouse would be my call here - I’d love to see if Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving and Edgar Wright’s Don’t could be stretched to feature-length, but I have no interest in Zombie’s SS Werewolves movie (even with that terrific Nic Cage gag). There’s always Robert Rodriguez’s Machete to complete a triple-bill!
I’m not sure that would really constitute an “anthology film” though… maybe Roth and Wright and Rodriguez (oh my) could each do a half-an-hour short (thereby side-stepping complaints about the first Grindhouse’s length) on the same topic. I’m thinking they could each remake a third of the It’s Alive epic saga at half an hour apiece.
I don’t know where that random idea just came from. It’s a scary place inside my brain where it hurts to look.
Do these directors have to be living? I ask because, as phrased, the question is like one of those “Five figures from history you’d have over for fondue.” (And if anyone’s wondering: Jesus Christ, Eve Arden Vlad the Impaler, Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer and Gertrude Stein.). I’m guessing you mean an anthology film to be made now, so my list would run to Michael Almereyda, whose NADJA I (and I alone, it seems) loved; Neil Marshall, as I’m a fan of THE DESCENT; Jaume Balagueró, director of SIN LOS OJOS/THE NAMELESS, who has an incredible eye (and ear) for horror; and finally Mary Lambert, whose SIESTA I liked better than PET SEMETARY (or the hateful PET SEMATARY II) but we really need some estrogen in the horror mix these days and I know the genre is still a going concern for her.
Now where’s my budget?
Joe Dante, Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright would be my top three. Especially the last two directors after considering how their fake trailers in GRINDHOUSE were much more brilliant than the actual two flicks shown.
I think three is a sufficient number of directors for a good anthology; five is probably too many. While I really want to run with three of my most cherished genre stalwarts like Carpenter or Romero, I think I’d actually rather see some non-horror guys take a stab at it. (Especially since my favorite horror directors have been off their game for years as it is.) My thinking is something different: Judd Apatow, Wes Anderson, and Michel Gondry. I guess I’m just looking for a good, weird horror-comedy.
For the ultimate anthology film, I’d like to mix and much some of the men whose work I think would mesh together to make on hell of a theatrical experience. First, I’d take George Romero, who proved he has the chops with one of the greatest–if not the greatest–horror anthologies ever, Creepshow. Then, I’d take two guys who have proven track records as horror masters, but who’ve strayed from the genre for a while now: Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson. I believe both of those guys still have it in them to deliver the goods. And finally, I’d infuse the project with two of today’s most riveting directors: Danny Boyle and Rob Zombie. Of the current crop of genre mavens, I’d predict those two would fit in best with the rest of the bunch.
My ultimate horror anthology would be an international affair that used the short supernatural stories of M.R. James as the basis of the anthology and I’d ask some of my favorite modern horror directors from around the globe to participate. The five directors would be Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan), Robert Morgan (Britain), The Brothers Quay (America), Fabrice Du Welz (Belgium) and Park Ki-hyeong (Korea).
Quite the turnout! Thanks to all of this week’s participating anthologists for their responses. I’m curious; which of the films listed above would you most want to see make it to the screen? Eric excepted. Hater. Please leave your answers in the comments below.