Interview : Ian Carpenter and Adam McDonald -Shudder’s Slasher : Flesh and Blood

Welcome to the first Scare Magazine Interview Series with The Wasteland Reviewer!

I’m getting a chance to have a special interview here with some of the creators behind Shudder’s shows Slasher: Flesh and Blood. We have Aaron Martin here, the creator and executive producer, Ian carpenter, our showrunner and Adam McDonald, who’s our director. I appreciate all of your time and you all coming on the show today!

I guess to start with Aaron, our Creator here, what inspired the creation of the show?

Aaron: Well, this season, I was inspired by spending Christmas with my family a couple years ago. And as much as I love them, by the time I spend a week with them, I wanted to kill them, as everybody does. And then, you know we were given development money for a new season. And I thought, what if we took that feeling that everybody understands and actually make it happen?

So, you know, it’s very relatable thing that I think all of us have probably felt at some point. So at least, there’s that way to connect with the show right away. Now, I guess for Ian and Adam, how did you both get involved in the show inspired you to get involved in this process?

Ian: Well, it’s a lot like, Adam, I like the way you tell the story the way it starts. It’s we went. They had a special screening of the pilot of the first season. And we both knew Aaron. I had worked with Aaron for him many times. And Adam and I were pals that were sort of like Adam, always been on a horror kick. He was getting me back to it. And I was like, well, this is happening. Let’s go, we got to go see it. And so, we did watch the pilot of the very first season loved it. And then you know, we’re kind of sitting around and going like, oh my god, imagine if we could work on something like this. And then cut to several years later, season three is happening. And I have an interview, get the job. And I hear that at the exact same time Adam, and I really close friends at the exact same time they’ve been chasing Adam as a director, you know, neither of us knowing that this was happening. So, I think we both found out within four days of each other that that that we’d gotten it and you know, we were we were thrilled.

Adam: Well, it was great. It was really fun for me because I made a film called Back Country. And then, you know, I didn’t know Aaron would see it. I had no idea. But then a friend of mine Enuka Okuma, who was in the first season said she saw the premiere I think in LA Aaron if I’m wrong, all together. And then the new calls. I don’t know where she goes. Aaron Martin went on and on and on and on. She loved Back Country. And I was like, oh, wow, like that. Really? It just that. So eventually, he came to me and said would you like to maybe take a look at doing maybe a Slasher season? I’m like, yeah, yeah. So, I went out and I pitched in. And sometimes you go to job meetings, and you’re just like, man, I just hope you get it and you’re so full of passion for it. So, it was easy, cuz I was a fan of the show. But that’s how I got involved.


Awesome. And it sounds like you’re very passionate about this. And I got a chance to watch some of the beginning of the season and very much so that awkward, uncomfortable family dynamics and then throw in some blood. And now thinking about how, why this show is something that people should go out to see. I would like to hear from each of you. What do you feel like the biggest thing about this new season that makes us a must-see series on Shutter?

Aaron: For me, it’s I mean, obviously Shutter’s fans are fans of horror and they’re gonna have all you know, the gnarliest kills that we’ve done across the series. There are some really insane ones that are coming up. But if you’re also if that’s not your thing you love, love a good mystery but you know the show’s as much of a murder mystery as it is a slasher movie. So, we try to put any, you know something in there for everybody. You can look away when the slasher stuffs happening, but you can keep watching it for all the emotional soap stuff

Ian: To add to that, you know, I mean, it’s a very clear draw, that we are as excited about as the fans presumably are, you know, we have David Cronenberg in the show. And he is, it is not some little, tiny walk on part. It’s huge, it’s pivotal. It’s, to whatever extent courtesy of flashbacks it’s through throughout the show. And it’s a big juicy role that requires a lot of them and, you know, and a huge emotional range and all that kind of stuff. And, and people had been responding to that. I mean, I’ve had fans that have been like, you know, writing to me and going like, you know, when he’s screaming and yelling, how scared they are and all that and he, anyway, we yeah, we’re, we’re in love with it, love with him. And they would say, you know, he just brings something really great and subtle and fun to the part.

Adam: I would say I don’t think there’s anything on streaming or television like it. I’m a fan of horror. I digest horror all the time. And it’s something really unique to Aaron’s writing to Ian’s writing. And I don’t think their imaginations match to be honest because it’s so extreme to get this great character development in great arcs for these characters. And when some of them meet their demise, it’s like the Agatha Christie novel goes complete martyrs’ horror craziness. And I just think it’s so unique. So, I think there’s a lot for everybody to enjoy.

Awesome. And I know after watching some of the show already, I was pretty excited. Seeing David Cronenberg in there was definitely something that got me super excited. Now, I think I know Aaron, you had mentioned spending some time with the family was a bit of an influence on this show. But what are some maybe other films or series that you all drew inspiration from to put into this new season?

Adam: Well, it’s actually not something you think about when you come to horror. But during early on in the pandemic, when we were locked down up here, I started rewatching a lot of old movies. And I kept watching Douglas Sirk films, and they’re so in a great way highly melodramatic. They’re beautiful. The way that they’re shot is almost theater, like and so when we were talking about, I was like, what if we make this season like a Sirk movie? And again, try to juxtapose that beautiful, classic look with you know, horribly bloody murders?

Ian: It’s, uh, you know, I don’t know how much it’s funny. I’ve gone back to rewatch a bunch of stuff lately. And two things have been there, and I go, afterwards, I’ve gone oh, are these are these informing what’s going on? And so, the two things for me are once a series once a movie, Marianne, which, for me, is the scariest series out there. It’s the only series that ever has scared me and made me like, pause and you know, my wife and I are both going like holy smokes, and taking a breath. And the craft in that movie is so good. So top notch, it’s amazing what they do with sound with the direction and uh, you know, I think we’re really, you know, plug your ears, Adam, but I think we’re really blessed to get to work with that, um, two years running now, like, I really do think he is, you know, he has a unique connection to the camera. Like there’s not for me, there’s not a director out there working in the genre that is more viscerally connected to the camera. Even when we’re doing something like Adam was talking about, you know, defined by cirques approach which is, which is very different. There’s a set of stillness. And as we pivot the season I watch, I watch you know, Adam work with that. And there’s just there’s not an unloved frame, there’s not an unloved scene, there’s, he’s just bringing sort of dexterous fanaticism to everything. And then the other film for me, the other thing is The Invitation, which I know is a film, Adam and I both love like crazy. And I think there’s something there really that Aaron birthed in the early seasons of a film that the horror lives in character. And, and, and I think this is what Adam and I, as we were brought on to this are chasing and celebrating with Aaron is, you know, the guy is a great inventor of character, amongst many other things. And, you know, I can see when I look at both those projects, I go, huh, had those been because I saw them between doing this and I find myself wondering, oh, were they dribbling in here as we did it.

Adam: But to echo what Aaron said when and Aaron said, you know some of inspiration this year. It’s the look Douglas Sirk I got excited for that juxtaposition of the horror to go along with it. But there’s even to like, instead of the aesthetic alone the craftsmanship of his films, he would do these dolly handoffs a lot and use mirrors. A lot that got me really inspired. So, I went through the whole season and pick moments where you know, I’d be in a room one of the scenes I said I want to mirror here but why as I just watch, so we’d like pull turn put and in there the person was for a certain reaction that was an homage to Sirk and what Aaron and him are inspired by. So, I got really excited about that and using the crazy handheld along with that, like using the camera to feel what the characters feeling. A lot of the time if there is a character in the show that is only shot your coverage is only in handheld no matter what we’re doing as almost like a hint to their personality.

I thought this would be a fun little question to wrap up with each of you is what’s your favorite horror film?

Adam: I mean, the one that I guess the one that really made me feel uncomfortable in the last 10 years or so was The Strangers. And it just, it wasn’t that it was even that gory or anything. It just was the feeling of dread that was consistent throughout that movie. And then the end of it’s just so bleak. So that’s that that was the movie I keep going back to when I talk about horror movies that I love.

Ian: Oh, yeah. Mine. I mean, I, the one I’ve watched the most is Evil Dead. I’ve talked about that many times. I know. It’s the same with Adam and I and I can feel it. I mean, I really feel it with what Adam does. And actually, we have a beautiful reference in this season. But my favorite is Dario Argento his Opera and that that movie for me just feels and felt extreme and a very stylized way I cannot believe the insane directorial invention in it like I think about that, that gunshot through the eye hole and cutting to inside the eye hole and watching a bullet travel along it like it’s so insane. And then as a former theater guy, the fact that the whole thing revolves around opera and has these sort of incredible, you know, exaggerated but beautiful, organic performances. And that movie for me is just so special.

I’m a huge fan of Argento as well and recently just watched a screener for a new film, The Last Matinee which is heavily influenced and there’s even an Opera poster in the background. I’m like, I caught that reference. So, there you go.

Adam: You may be categorized as that Evil Dead is always a cornerstone for me. So, I usually you know, it’s Evil Dead, but my favorite film of all time, which is also a thriller and couldn’t be categorized as horror is The Chaser, a Korean film. That I mean, rocked me. I’ve seen it so many times. And I think it’s an amazing movie. So, it’s scary. It’s more of a thriller, but I have to say a horror, I’d say the evil that their first one.

I know. I remember watching the Evil Dead for the first time and just being blown away by it. And there’s a fun little documentary out Hail to the Deadites for all of you Evil Dead fans out there if you haven’t gotten a chance to check that out. But this was a this is a great talk. I know didn’t have too much time, but I really hope everybody who checks us out goes and checks out Slasher: Flesh and Blood. It’s a great show. It’s an exciting time so go right over to Shudder. It’s streaming right now. And I want to thank Aaron, Ian and Adam for all your times and I really appreciate getting a chance to talk with all you.

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