Here's the problem with the movie business. There are so many crap filmmakers that just keep on churning out crap, and unfortunately so many good ones that for whatever reason don't keep on churning out the goodness. That right there is the topic of discussion for tonight. So here are 10 directors that I wish had more prolific careers as horror filmmakers; guys that either haven't been very active in recent years or are fairly new on the scene but haven't yet gotten to show off much of their stuff!
1) Stephen Chiodo
What He's Directed : Killer Klowns From Outer Space
The Chiodo Brothers, Stephen, Edward & Charles, captured the hearts of horror fans the world over in 1988 with their debut feature Killer Klowns From Outer Space, a showcase of their talents not only for filmmaking, but perhaps more importantly for their highly imaginative special effects and puppetry skills. Though the Chiodos have been hard at work at the latter over the years, helping to bring films like Critters, Ernest Scared Stupid & Elf to life, Killer Klowns remains their one and only foray into the world of writing and directing. Given how much I love that movie, this fact makes me sad. The good news though? The Chiodos appear to be primed and ready to bring the Killer Klowns back to the big screen with The Return Of The Killer Klowns From Outer Space In 3D, tentatively set for release in 2013. The three brothers will again share writing duties, with Stephen once again seated in the director's chair. I'll believe it when I see it, so for now we can only hope the project does indeed come to fruition!
2) Fred Dekker
What He's Directed : Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad
When it comes to late 80's horror, Fred Dekker was an absolute powerhouse on the scene. In addition to writing and directing Creeps & Monster Squad, two of the most beloved films from the time, Dekker also wrote 1986's House as well as several episodes of Tales From The Crypt throughout the late 80's/early 90's. So whatever happened to him? In 1993, he ventured outside of the horror genre to write and direct Robocop 3, and it would be nearly a full decade after that before he did anything else, making a comeback in 2001-2002 to script a few episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. Unfortunately, that's where Dekker's resume ends. Perhaps he's just no longer interested in the movie making business, but I long for the day when Dekker brings some more horror gold into our lives. I've gotta believe that he's got at least one more great one in him. But hey, even if he doesn't, Creeps & Monster Squad are more than enough to cement him a spot as one of the all time greats!
3) Michael Dougherty
What He's Directed : Trick 'r Treat
Mike Dougherty has had a bit of an interesting career in the film business. In the years between animating the original blueprint for Trick 'r Treat, titled Season's Greetings (1996), and bringing the film fully to life (2007), Dougherty wrote the superhero movies X-Men 2 & Superman Returns, as well as the straight to video Urban Legends: Bloody Mary. Though Trick 'r Treat is one of my favorite horror movies in the past several years, an opinion which is shared by most horror fans I've spoken to, the film nevertheless sat on the shelf for a couple years before finally receiving a home video release in 2009, which I can only speculate is the reason Dougherty hasn't picked up the camera since. There have been rumors of a Trick 'r Treat sequel for the past couple years, and I honestly cannot even express how much I hope those rumors come true. Whether that ever does go down or not, I'd love to see Dougherty contribute some more awesomeness to the genre.
4) Scott Glosserman
What He's Directed : Behind The Mask
In 2006, newcomer Scott Glosserman instantly made a name for himself with Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon, which he co-wrote and directed. Behind The Mask quite quickly rose to power as one of the most respected horror films of the 2000's, with the villain of Leslie Vernon becoming a new genre icon. Glosserman has done a few films since, including a documentary about Wikipedia and a thriller about a group of friends buried in their car under a mountain of snow called The Truth Below, though neither film has ever been released onto home video. It's clear that Glosserman's passion lies in bringing Leslie Vernon back to life, which he has spent the better part of the last year trying to raise funding for. A recent Kickstarter campaign to raise the money came up short, so the fate of Leslie truly hangs in the balance at the moment. The script is written and Scott is all ready to go, so let's hope things work out for the better ... and quick!
5) Tom Holland
What He's Directed : Fright Night, Child's Play, Thinner
Though Tom Holland is an ever present figure in the horror community, most recently showing off his acting chops in Hatchet 2, it's been well over a decade since he has actually directed a feature length film, that being 1996's Thinner. Since then, Holland has done TV work, created a short lived web series and directed an episode of Masters Of Horror, leaving us all longing for the days when he brought us feature length gold like Fright Night, Child's Play and Psycho 2 (which he only wrote). Holland is currently at work on an anthology web series called Tom Holland's Twisted Tales, and he's also set to next write and direct The Ten O'Clock People, a Stephen King adaptation that will mark his return to feature length cinema. I cannot wait, and I hope that film is only the beginning of a big time revival for Holland!
6) Peter Jackson
What He's Directed : Bad Taste, Dead Alive, The Frighteners
This is a pretty obvious one. And obviously, Peter Jackson has been incredibly prolific in the years since he made his two gross out masterpieces, creating magic with little films like the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and King Kong. But goddamn, how awesome would it be if Jackson pulled a Sam Raimi and made a return to the genre that he cut his teeth in? It's been nearly two decades since Jackson last made a horror film, and I know for sure that I am not alone in hoping that he one day gets his hands bloody again. It's quite possible that he has absolutely no interest in that, after winning Academy Awards and all, but a fanboy can dream. And this fanboy will continue to dream.
7) Eli Roth
What He's Directed : Cabin Fever, Hostel, Hostel Part 2
I feel like Eli Roth has been absolutely all over the place in the last several years, except behind the camera. I've seen him interviewed in countless documentaries, sometimes ones that don't even have to do with the genre, and he's produced several films, including 2010's The Last Exorcism. Of course, he also appeared in friend Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, as the Nazi hunter known as the Bear Jew. So even though he's seemingly everywhere of late, it's been several years since Roth has directed a film, with 2007's Hostel sequel being the last one. Perhaps he's just taking the Tarantino route of not spreading himself too thin, but damnit I want me some more Eli Roth directed horror flicks. Most upsetting of all is that Roth has been rumored to be directing several different films over the past couple years, including an adaptation of Stephen King's Cell, all of which have mysteriously dropped off the face of the earth. It was recently announced that Roth will soon return behind the camera for The Green Inferno, a Cannibal Holocaust-esque horror flick, which I hope like hell doesn't suffer the same fate. Less talking and more movie making, Eli!
8) Tom Savini
What He's Directed : Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Tom Savini has proven himself to be a jack of all trades in the genre. Whether he's handling the special effects for some of the best kills in some of the best horror movies of all time, bringing to life iconic characters like Dusk Till Dawn's Sex Machine, or even directing, Savini is always impressive. But it would seem that his true passion of late is acting, as Savini has not only stopped doing makeup effects, but he also hasn't directed more than a couple shorts since 1990's highly impressive and fan acclaimed Night Of The Living Dead remake. He's clearly got a talent for making movies, so I really can't figure out why he instead lends so much of his time to acting in crappy low budget horror flicks. Less being a jerk at conventions and more movie making, Tom!!
9) Scott Spiegel
What He's Directed : Intruder, From Dusk Till Dawn 2, Hostel Part 3
I've always loved Scott Spiegel's work and have always considered him to be one of the most underrated filmmakers in the genre. Spiegel is mostly known for writing Evil Dead 2, but he has consistently proven himself to be an exciting filmmaker with a fresh and fun vision that's all his own. Even if the films he makes aren't exactly perfect, I always have a lot of fun watching a Scotty Spiegel flick, and if it were up to me the world would have a whole lot more of them. So bring it, Scott!
10) Brian Yuzna
What He's Directed : Bride of Re-Animator, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4, Return Of The Living Dead 3, The Dentist, The Dentist 2, Beyond Re-Animator
Brian Yuzna is another guy that I can't help but feel is underrated as a filmmaker. Much like Spiegel, his films aren't always the best, but they do always manage to entertain. I'm a big fan of Silent Night 4, Return 3 and the Dentist films, which is why I'm bummed that Yuzna hasn't done much since his heyday in the 90's. He's directed a few films here and there, with the last one being 2010's Amphibious 3D (no idea what the hell that is...), so he hasn't exactly been totally off the map of late, but I think he deserves a lot more work than he's been getting. Hey by the way ... Did you know that Yuzna helped come up with the story for Honey, I Shrunk The Kids!? I rest my case!
So then. What filmmakers would you like to see more from? Leave a comment and let me know!
**UPDATE : Totally forgot to put Tommy Lee Wallace on this list, the dude who directed IT, Halloween 3 & Fright Night Part 2. He hasn't directed a movie since 2002's Vampires : Los Muertos, which is a damn shame if ya ask me!**