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Q&A with Hannah May Cumming, Director of FANATICO

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
Mary Lou Maloney from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2! I aspire to be that much of a ruthless bitch.

You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
There are no “bad” ideas in horror! I entertain every idea that I have, and sometimes they manifest into something great and sometimes they’re just not worth it, and that’s okay. Some of the most entertaining horror movies were once bad ideas.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
Absolutely. I’ve been a horror fan all of my life, starting with my obsession with Goosebumps at a very early age, to making horror videos for youtube throughout my childhood and adolescence…I love attending horror conventions, screenings, and festivals…I’ve also been a loyal Shudder and Fangoria subscriber for years, and I watch The Last Drive In with Joe Bob Briggs every Friday. The horror community is family to me. I also co-founded the feminist horror collective, Monstrous Femme Films, to showcase our films as well as original reviews, articles, podcasts, and other horror related content.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
My work involves subverting existing horror subgenres, such as the “Giallo” genre with FANATICO, so I watched a lot of Argento, Bava, and Fulci to try to stay true to that style. I would say that in general I look to older films for inspiration, I love everything horror from the 1970s! I’m also really into retro design and fashion, so I just always try to incorporate that into my work.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I would ask Daria out. Who wouldn’t?

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Ghostface, Frankenhooker, Leatherface, Audrey II, and Frank-n-Furter. I feel like we’d have fun.

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy. Stephen King. Practical, ALWAYS! Pre Apocalypse.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar? What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
I like to incorporate social issues into my work, because I’m pretty scared of the current socio-political climate. Our second film, Camp Calypso, deals with misogyny and toxic masculinity, and my next film, Baby Fever, is a pro-choice pregnancy body horror. I actually spent several years of my life in the Bible Belt and am terrified of religious radicalism, which is definitely evident in FANATICO.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
You really can’t ask a horror fan to pick just one favorite…I would say The Brood or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre!