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An Interview with Ed Hunt, Director of Halloween Hell

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2015

Films directed by Ed Hunt on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Halloween Hell - in a few words, what is it about?


Halloween Hell is about a borderline psycho Dracula wannabe, who sets up a pay per view reality TV show, based on the premise that there is a devil doll that has a history of summoning a Demon from Hell on Halloween's when there is a full moon. The Demon has a history of killing people in a gorey fashion. Dracula, played by Eric Roberts, in a way that I really like and appreciate, offers 6 young contestants $100,000 if they can stay locked in a room with the Devil Doll all 24 hours of Halloween, when there will be a full moon. At first, some are worried or scared and one thinks it is a joke, but the Demon first invades their minds and then begins to attack them, and the survivors have to resort to understanding the voodoo that created the Demon to battle it.


Beneath all the horror, Halloween Hell is also a satire on reality TV shows - so your personal thoughts on the subject?


Some reality TV seems to me to be cruel and sadistic, and draw entertainment from the sufferings and misfortunes of the people on TV. Halloween Hell pushes this a bit more, and through the character of Dracula goes into the psychology of those who view and make reality TV.


Other sources of inspiration when dreaming up Halloween Hell?


I am sure that there are lots but none I am conscious of now.


You haven't made a movie in about 25 years - so what made Halloween Hell the perfect comeback vehicle? And how did the project fall into place, actually?


It was a project that could be done on a low budget with limited resources and a short shooting schedule. I believe it has a strong possibility to appeal to horror movie fans and deliver a satisfying horror experience to them. I think it is a bit different and unique.

I wrote the script and Herb Linsey the producer and I put the project together a piece at a time until we had everything needed to make the movie.


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?


I'll leave it to others to comment about that. I don't have a good vantage point to comment on that.


You of course have to talk about the effects work in Halloween Hell for a bit?


The practical FX that were done on the set (except for the Demon) were greatly enhanced with computer generated FX. It was the first time I worked with this kind of computer FX and I think Shaun Piccino did a really excellent job with these computer generated visual FX. Some of the things that can be done with computers now used to be out of reach.


Halloween Hell stars everybody's favourite Eric Roberts - so what was it like working with him, and how did you get him even?


It was great working with Eric. He has real Star Quality. I worked with Christopher Lee, Robert Vaughn. Susan Strasberg, Jose Ferer and others who have that something special that I call Star Quality. I think it is a special kind of intuitive intelligence that goes on in the actor's mind and the camera captures it and puts it on the screen. When you are directing actors who have it, or even when you are talking with them about the script you know it right away. Also Eric has a huge amount of experience and talent and wants to have fun on set. He's very warm and friendly AND A TEAM PLAYER. Very inventive. The ultimate professional. I really liked what he did with Dracula.

Crystal Lujan our casting director got Eric for us. He read the script, liked it and like the role of Dracula. I am very glad he is in the movie.


What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?


They are new comers except for Eric. Paul Stanko who plays Toby the cowboy, in my opinion, has star potential as do others in the cast, especially Lola Klimenteva. It is a very diverse cast, I think they probably all have promising careers in front of them.


Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The shoot was short and difficult because it was short.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Halloween Hell yet?


Some horror movie fans and fans of my earlier movies have been very positive.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Right now I am working on a stage play called Fart Zombies Go Ballroom Dancing - it is a comedy.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and what can you tell us about your early days as a director?


When I was at UCLA I was a Chemistry major and a movie fan. I toyed with the idea of changing my major to Film. There was a premier of a movie in Westwood. Louis Malle was the director. I watched him get out of a limo with Briget Bardot and Jeanne Moreau. That helped me to decide. I changed my major to film, enrolled in a screenwriting class and began to seriously study movies.


My early days in film making were very wild and eventful. I worked at every crew and staff position, shot and edited, cut the sound and negative on several very very low budget movies. Very quickly after leaving UCLA I was throughly experienced in the basic technical side of film making. Some of the movies I worked on as crew were shot in a weekend or 4 days, very much like the movies depicted in the movie Ed Wood. None were as bad as his though. There were lot of drive-in movies being made then. It was when Roger Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here] was King.

On some of the first movies I directed (WHICH PURPOSELY DO NOT APPEAR ON MY RESUME) I got the job directing because I promised to operate the camera, light the movie, edit it, cut the sound and the negative for less money than a few hamburgers would cost now.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Halloween Hell?


I have directed 10 movies that appear on my resume. I started directing professionally over 45 years ago. My most well-known movie is probably Bloody Birthday which starred Jose Ferer and Susan Strasberg, Starship Invasions, which I also wrote and directed and which was distributed by Warner Bros and starred Christopher Lee and Robert Vaughn, UFOs are Real, which I co-wrote and directed and which won a prize from the Academy of Science Fiction and Horror and was shown a lot on Fox TV and at UFO conventions. Plague won the Grand Prize and Best Screenplay at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain. I co-wrote and directed it. The Brain has quite a cult following of avid fans which it has built up solely by word of mouth on its own.


Many of your films are of the horror and science fiction variety - are these genres especially dear to you, and why (not)?


Yes. I have always been interested in science and UFOs for a very long time. I have grown to respect horror as I studied horror movies that I admired.


You seem to have quit the filmmaking world about a quarter of a century ago - why was that, and what did you do in the meantime?


I spent a lot of time taking care of my sick mother until she died in 2009. I traded the stock and commodities markets and studied technical analysis which is basically the study of charts and chart paterns to predict future prices of stocks and commodities. I wrote a book about filmmaking which is sold on Amazon and a manuscript for a book on screenwriting, which is unpublished and I did a tremendous amount of research for that book studying successful movie that I admire. I also wrote several screenplays, some of which I want to make into movies.


In your experience, how has indie genre filmmaking changed over the years?


What used to exist has been virtually destroyed by new technology and something new is growing in its place and young people understand that new thing far better than I can explain it. Things have been turned upside down but people keep making indie movies.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I would not, others can do that.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Kubrick, Bunnuel, Romero, Hitchcock, Godard, Truffaut, Lang, Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here], D.W. Griffith, Orson Welles.


Your favourite movies?


Dr Srtrangelove, 2001: A Space Odessy, Belle de Jour, The Reainmator, Intolerance, Metropolis, Nosferatu, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Flesh Gordon, Little Shop of Horrors (Roger Corman's original), Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane, Vertigo, Bridesmaids, Borat, The Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Sideways, The 400 Blows, Birdman, Interstellar.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


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I deplore what I call corporate movies, movies that could have been written by anyone of 50 writers and directed by any one of 30 directors, usually with comic book super heroes.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


No, just thank you for your interest!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD