Continuing our week of exclusive interviews with several of the industries’ key names in horror, today we have the first installment of my 2 part interview with writer/producer Sammy Montana (Writer-“THE HAUNTED CAVES”, Producer of the “HALLOWEEN” films)! Beyond the break you’ll Sammy talks with us about his original graphic novel “THE HAUNTED CAVES”, breaking into the industry, and his experience with comics personal and professional.
THEoDEAD: First off thank you for your time again, Sammy. I greatly appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview with us. Before we get into why don’t you introduce yourself to the readers who may not be familiar with your work whether it be in the film industry or in the comic book community.
Sammy: Sure, well I work production and development as a producer for the “Halloween” film franchise. Initially I got approached by a guy for the “Haunted Caves” (graphic novel). He had a script for the comic and wanted to do a graphic novel for it so we talked back and forth for quite awhile on whether it would work as a graphic novel or not, at first we thought we might end up getting somebody else actually, and I pitched my idea for the story and my take on the graphic novel, and they went for it. We talked to Devil’s Due Publishing about putting it into graphic novel format and they ended up going for it and publishing it.
THEoDEAD: I actually got to read “The Haunted Caves” and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. Now I did hear that the story was in development for a film, what’s going on with that? Is it still kind of in pre-production limbo?
Sammy: Michael made a trailer to the movie to try and help sell the idea, and we went back and forth with negotiations for the film, but then Michael had some personal issues come up and he was dealing with that. At the time we weren’t done with negotiations so that kind of took up our time. And then it honestly kind of fell by the way side. We had other projects that we were dealing with in other genres, action, horror, comedy stuff. So then we kind of fell out of touch.
THEoDEAD: That’s too bad. I got to watch the trailer and from what I saw it was very good, I really enjoyed the look and feel it had going for it. I know there were a lot of people who saw it and really dug it. It’s to bad that that kind of fell through.
Sammy: Yea, I’m definitely if he’s wants to get back in touch I’d love to continue talks because it’s really cool. There’s so much in the graphic novel because we had such a limited amount of time because the story is like 48 pages, so we had a limited amount of time to put the story on paper. So you had to figure out what to put in there and what not to put in there. And there was much more that I wanted to do with the graphic novel. I wanted to delve deeper into the characters but a lot of things had to be cut out because we were on a time crunch. So in the end I thought it turned out good but I think it definitely could have turned out much better. But yea I liked working with the artist and it was a lot of fun.
THEoDEAD: Well hopefully that works itself out because I know a lot of us would be looking forward to seeing the movie happen. Recently I got to sit down and talk to Joe Harris (“Ghost Projekt”, “The Tripper”, “Darkness Falls”) and one of the things that we kind of got onto the topic of is that with comics finally breaking through to the mainstream after so many years of being kind of this closet thing where people really didn’t want to admit that they read them, as to where now it’s this cool thing. I know that as a kid myself I got made fun of for my interest in the genre. So tell me what was your experience with comics at an early age? What got you into the genre?
Sammy: Well I grew up reading comic books, and I still read them, but now the comics I read are slightly more edgy. Like I read “Spiderman”, and that’s edgy now too but not to edgy. But edgy enough to where they’re not kids comics. They’re more like mid teens to late teens. So when I started out it was like anyone can read “Spiderman”. And then a friend of mine actually got me into them. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but I’m pretty sure it was one of the “Spiderman’s”. This was back during the time where “Webb of Spiderman” and “Sensational Spiderman” were still running. So it was quite awhile ago. And I read them and got hooked. It was very very addictive. I’m a very visual person so that appealed to me. It’s almost like you’re watching a movie only it’s static that’s the only difference. So that’s what I thought was so good about it. So then I started reading “Spawn” when it first came out, and Image when their big hype was coming up like “Youngbloods” and all the other ones. So I basically grew up reading comic books, but then I went on hiatus for awhile because I got caught up with work and everything and I didn’t want to buy comic books if I didn’t have time to read them. So I just caught up, read a whole bunch, and then I took a hiatus for about 2 and a half years. But then about 2 years ago I thought I’d just walk into a comic book store and I ended up getting into it again.
THEoDEAD: That’s how they get you isn’t it?
Sammy: Yea definitely.
Stay tuned here to BD for the conclusion of my one-on-one with Sammy as we continue to bring you exclusive news, interviews, and previews you won’t find anywhere else.