Magazine article Screen International

Colin Geddes, Shudder

Magazine article Screen International

Colin Geddes, Shudder

Article excerpt

The AMC-backed streaming service is not for the faint of heart and specialises in horror, which gave Jeremy Berkowitz a timely opportunity to chat to lead curator Colin Geddes.

Geddes, the brains behind the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness section and a beloved programmer, curator and juror of many a festival, waxes lyrical on what scared him as a child, epoch-defining classics and why horror fans are so diehard.

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How did you get into horror movies?

My parents made the mistake of telling me about when they went to go see a Roger Corman retrospective before I was born. That was the spark that got me to investigate horror films, genre films, exploitation films... let me read the right comics and watch the right TV. I've always been attracted offthe beaten path and abnormal or paranormal.

Is there a movie, TV show or comic that still horrifies you to this day?

I'd have to go with the old American TV series The Night Stranger with Darren McGavin. I would stay up late at night to try and watch that on an old black and white TV, playing with the rabbit ears on the weekends. Every episode always had a monster, which I stayed up for because I was tough enough to deal with monsters, but every once in a while one of those demons would creep into my nightmares for sure.

How did you find your way into TIFF?

I started as an audience member. I did a Canzine [Toronto-based festival] on Hong Kong cinema and that's when some of the programmers at TIFF began to come to me for advice on a marginal ethnic cinema. That eventually got me my first programming gig.

Is there anything from any of those programmes that you still feel is revolutionary to the horror genre?

Definitely. We had Dario Argento to the festival. I had the world premiere of [Eli Roth's] Cabin Fever. I also discovered Alex Aja with Haute Tension. Most recently I had films like Insidious and Oculus.

And this led you to Shudder?

They were looking for someone who had a grasp on horror cinema. They came to me to see if I was interested in being involved. I get a kick out of curating and leading people to films that I think they'll like, so I got involved.

So, I notice on Shudder there are lots of categories with awesome names like 'Weird Science' and 'Zombie Jamboree'. …

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