|Film-maker/World Wide Weird-Host: Merlyn Roberts (Right) with Robert Englund,|
I had met Merlyn at Horror Con 2015. It's safe to say that Meryln Roberts is a horror fan! He helps to run horror screening events (World Wide Weird) and is a creative soul, himself. Here is an Interview with the man himself:
Tell the world about: World Wide Weird?
World Wide Weird is a concept I came up with after getting into some really great Facebook horror/DVD Collector groups and realising how many people out there were just as passionate about horror/fantasy and other crazy fun stuff. But really I'm not that much of an online person being a bit of a technophobe and love meeting people in a pub over a pint wherever possible! Luckily there is great pub called the Haggerston in Dalston, Hackney, the area where I grew up, and the owner had offered me the chance to do film nights there in the past. I hadn't taken him up on the offer as I really hadn't thought of what I could do differently to other film clubs/nights in London.
But then a bout of insomnia hit me and the the name World Wide Weird hit me thinking of all the conversations I was having online with film fans world wide and how cool it would be if we could really meet and watch films together discuss them and maybe trade collectibles.
So I created a facebook group with the intention of advertising my free monthly film events, which are double bills of cool rarely seen genre films from around the world. So far we have shown some classic Gialli, Paul Naschy films and next month we have a Halloween special showing two films from Brazil's master of terror Coffin Joe! I mainly want to show more underground non English language 60s-80s horror and fantasy from around the world. I really love Spanish and Italian films, but have favourites from everywhere. We won't totally exclude British and North American films though as there are so many amazing underground gems that don't get enough love!
As well as showing the films we have informative talks and discussions about them just as my facebook friends and I do. Then the idea came to encourage people with their own small scale film events and conventions to share their events on World Wide Weird and possibly collaborate in the future. Additionally I'll be inviting film makers with horror shorts to come and present their films before or between the double bills. The events are held in the Haggerston on the third or fourth Sunday afternoon every month. So far it's going really well with lots of support!
What was your involvement on Island of the Blind Dead (2015)?
The Blind Dead came about, because I'm a huge fan of Armando Ossorio's Blind Dead series and Emma Dark had kindly made a costume for me and I customized a Halloween mask to replicate the look of the Blind Dead. I had been on holiday to Corfu before and the locations reminded me of the films, so the next time I went I packed the costume. Fellow filmmaker Emma Dark and I then just started to run with ideas and improvised scenes with some local friends of ours. The idea was to create a faux trailer in a grindhouse style for an imaginary fifth film in the series.We both played in and took turns in using the camera, which was a tiny digital camera. It was a really fun project to work on between drinking beers and laying on the beach. Somehow it turned out really well mostly because of the fine editing work from Emma Dark!
What got you into Horror films?
I've been into horror as long as I can remember! I really think It's something I think you are born with and is affected by your parents and surroundings. As soon as I could read I was reading ghost stories, horror comics and anything on myths and legends form around the world. I started writing my own, often quite gory, horror stories from about the age of seven. The first horror film I saw was Hammer Films' 'Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires' at the age of 8 and that was it from then on!
What are your future film-making plans?
I'm always writing or working on small collaborative projects, but my big film project over the last four years has been an epic fantasy feature 'Serurta' set in 1000Bc Britain. I'm producing it with my longtime film-making partner and friend Steven Lyons. We still have a way to go on that, but have several horror scripts and and ideas to work on as soon as time and budget can be found!
And what was your involvement on Seize the Night (2015)?
On Seize the Night I helped out as a Production Assistant, did some First AD work and Catering, whatever was required really. It was a really cool project to work on, actually freezing most of the time! I also played a werewolf henchman called Jacy and got my butt kicked by Eva aka Emma Dark!