Phil Anselmo on his Housecore Horror Film Festival
Philip H. Anselmo is known to most of the world as the former front man of heavy metal legends Pantera, and others heavy acts like Down, Superjoint Ritual, Viking Crown, and his latest act, Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals. But he is also known to many in the metal community as an avid fan of the horror genre.
In mid-2013 Anselmo made waves announcing the Housecore Horror Film Festival, a Heavy Metal/Horror Film hybrid festival that took place in Austin, TX. between Oct. 24-27th at Emo’s East, Antone’s and the Dirty Dog. The festival was a collaboration between Anselmo and his biographer Corey Mitchell, and saw the duo bringing some of the best new and classic horror films to the masses alongside special guests director Ruggero Deodato, Coffin Joe, NEKROMANTIK and SCHRAMM’s Jorg Buttgereit and MANSON FAMILY director Jim Van Bebber.
Not content to just put together a fantastic lineup of films, the festival also showcased the best in extreme metal from Anselmo’s own projects to GWAR and Eyehategod, as well as Italian progressive rockers Goblin performing a live score the Dario Argento classic SUSPIRIA.
The festival was a huge success, but before the madness went down, we got on the phone with Anselmo to talk about what spurred him on to sculpt such a mad monster party.
FANGORIA: How did the festival get started?
PHILIP ANSELMO: Well it was more Corey Mitchell’s idea, and he is the writer of my eventual autobiography. He came to the house for one of our first, and initial meetings, and he basically looked around the house and he saw all my horror regalia around and was impressed, and then I showed him my film collection and it blew him away. Really, it was his idea I never thought of doing something like this until he put it in my head, and then he talked about adding bands and I thought sure. Really, when word got out there a lot of people from the horror biz or the music biz stepped forward, and wanted to be a part of this thing because they felt it was different in its approach. That’s how it got started.
FANG: Speaking of your upcoming autobiography, how is that coming along?
FANG: As an artist most associated with the New Orleans music scene I have to ask, why was Austin selected as the location for the Housecore Horror film festival?
ANSELMO: Well, once again, that was a Corey Mitchell idea. But I realize that I lived in Texas for close to 5-6 years, and it’s my second home, and Austin is a great city. I trusted Corey to launch the thing, and I feel good about it.
FANG: Of all the acts or icons you are bringing to the festival which are you most looking forward to?
ANSELMO: Well first and foremost, having guys like Jorg Buttgereit come down and show the NEKROMANTIK films on 35mm: that’s exciting. And obviously Goblin, which is a first round knockout. There is no way we can pass that up, they’ll be doing a set of their own, and then they’ll be scoring SUSPIRIA, which will be mind-boggling. Then there’s Coffin Joe. It’s amazing, today’s modern horror films fans, of this generation, how much they don’t know about Coffin Joe and that’s going to be cool turning this generation on to those legends. But really, and I’ve said this in the past, and I’m not sure if the big announcement has been let out, but we’ve got a lot of submissions from new blood, unknown blood, or under the radar blood as far as directors go in the horror genre. I am excited about showing some of these short films, mid-length films, and feature films from the lesser known folk and even for your super educated horror fans, who’ve been with the genre since the early days. I can’t wait to turn them on to the newer directors.
It’s like turning on a group of close friends, and that’s the whole attitude of this whole thing. It’s almost like an extended version of my living room. If I find a great movie and I want to turn people on to that particular film I invite them in and say, “Watch this, it’ll blow you away.”
FANG: Out of the newer films you mentioned, are there any in particular you are excited about showing off?
ANSELMO: Right off the top of my head there is one full length feature film that I know we have talked about called MOTIVATIONAL GROWTH, and it’s not in my opinion classic horror. But if you are a fan of, say something like a cross between the film itself, NAKED LUNCH or anything Lynch might have touched meets Frank Henenlotter [laughs], it’s that kind of film.
FANG: On the more musical side, Eyehategod will be playing at the Housecore Festival. Their drummer Joey LaCaze has just died, and I was wondering if you had anything to say about his recent passing?
ANSELMO: Oh my God, I’ve known Joey since 1990. I’ve known him for so long, I’ve known his wife for the same amount of time, one of the most quietly talented New Orleans musicians ever. One of the funniest mother fuckers to ever walk the Earth, this dude was a crack-up. When we hang out, it was one gigantic inside joke everything. It’s still kinda heavy on all our hearts. I’m not sure if you know this or not, I’m out here outside of New Orleans. I live on 17 acres. I have a converted barn, I’ve converted the barn into a studio, and the upstairs portion is an apartment and the singer from Eyehategod, and his wife live there, and we talk about Joey quite often. The heart is still heavy. Really one thing that is making up for it, well nothing can make up for it, but as far as them playing the horror fest Dale from the Melvins will be sitting in for Joey, and that is an amazing thing in itself.
FANG: Will there be a Housecore Horror Film Festival 2014?
ANSELMO: We’re going to find out, I’m very reluctant to use the word annual as of yet, because once again it’s year one. It’s a different as far as anything I’ve ever done before, and it’s something I’ve honestly never thought about until Corey brought it up to me. And I’m going in as a fan, but also I’m viewed as the curator of this stuff. I’m really overwhelmed by the participants whether it be the organizers of the event Corey Mitchell and Tammy Moore all of them. The special guests all of them, the musicians all the bands that wanted to be part of this. Either way, it’s different for me, it’s different for everybody, and I think it’s going to be a unique experience. I hope it goes smooth, and if it does I would love to do a 2014 version of it. There has been talk of doing it in a different city every year, even the Europeans have been asking to bring this thing over here.
– Scott MacDonald
An avid fan of horror cinema since convincing an unsuspecting video store clerk to rent him Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood to him at the age of 7, Scott MacDonald has been devouring genre titles since. He’s been making short genre films since he was a teenager, and has directed six which have played around the festival circuit. He is currently trying to finance an arthouse horror feature titled Bad Reputation. Scott writes for EuroCultAV.com and Fang of Joy Magazine as well as Fangoria.com.