Raymond C. Lai is a director and producer, known for At Your Convenience (2012), Dying to Kill (2016) and Duel of the Dogfist 2: Positive Contact (2013).
Q & A
Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual/personal level?
The Ymir from 20 Million Miles to Earth.
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?
How dare you. All of my ideas are unimpeachable. Next question.
Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
I’m beginning to feel the love of the genre community. Logan Lee & the Rise of the Purple Dawn was really the first “horror” film I’ve made that was met with any measure of success, but unfortunately it hit the festival circuit during the pandemic. Thus, I didn’t have the opportunity to forge in-person relationships with as many of my fellow filmmakers as I would have hoped, but the few that I did mean that much more to me, because we met during a time that has felt like a real-life horror movie. I look forward to forging my way into the hearts of more horror fans and filmmakers in the future.
When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
For Logan Lee I looked a lot towards underground turntablist hip-hop albums like Phantasmagorea by D-Styles, Wave Twisters by DJ Qbert, and of course Deltron 3030 and Dr. Octagon from Dan the Automator. I also looked a lot at traditional Hungry Ghost festival celebrations from around the world, as well as a fair amount of Hong Kong action/horror cinema, especially the work of Tsui Hark and films like The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires from Hammer Studios and the Shaw Brothers. In general though, it’s usually some combination of music, movies, still photography, and graphic and non- graphic novels. Very novel approach, I know.
What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
Smoke all the Purple Dawn I could get my hands on and then probably fall back to sleep.
Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
Pinhead, David Lo Pan, The Xenomorph, The Thing, Nurse Ratched, Vera Cosgrove
Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy, Lovecraft, Practical enhanced with touches of CGI, Post-Apocalyptic.
What scares you, and does it inspire your storytelling?
The loss of humanity and human connection has always terrified me, and it absolutely inspires my storytelling. As a result, connection and the ways in which we seek it out has been a recurring theme throughout most of my work, including Logan Lee.
And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
The Thing is perennial, but Shaun of the Dead is a close second.