El “Club Zombie”: Noches de terror, cine de culto y risas

Posted on 3 marzo, 2011 por

0


De izquierda a derecha: Zomblee, Jim y Rawshark posando a lo "Shaun of the Dead" /Cortesía de EMB

Eat My Brains es una página británica pionera de noticias, concursos, artículos y reseñas de películas de serie B, terror y toda clase de obras de culto. Una de sus principales bazas son los Zombie Clubs o “Clubs Zombie”, en la que los tres redactores originales, Jim, Rawshark y Zomblee, dan buena cuenta de largometrajes aunados por distintos motivos en pases que llegan a ser maratonianos. InCinema entrevista al trío sobre la web, el ZC, la crítica online y muchas cosas más. Además, en este mismo número encontrarás la entrevista a Carlos Palencia (“Oso55” de Cine Cutre).

Aquí encontrarás la entrevista en versión original

En su página dicen que se conocieron por primera vez durante el rodaje de Shaun of the Dead. Pero… ¿cómo viró la conversación de sus películas preferidas a crear un portal de noticias y reseñas sobre cine terror y de culto?

Rawshark: Todos conseguimos papeles de extra en Shaun of the Dead por distintas vías. Cuando estás en un set de rodaje hay largos descansos entre tomas, así que naturalmente todos comenzamos a hablar de películas de zombies y terror. Uno de esos días, Zomblee trajo un libro sobre ilustraciones de los “Video Nasties“, que incluía The Amazing Mr No Legs, y los tres alucinamos con lo genial que parecía la película. Nos llevó tres o cuatro años verla en Zombie Club, pero lo hicimos al fin.

Eat MyBrains surgió realmente porque los tres acordamos ver algunas películas cuando terminó el rodaje de Shaun of the Dead. El primer visionado fue sólo Nightmare City, pero no tardamos mucho en quedar para hacer pases dobles, ninguno de los cuales estaba preparado. Algunas de películas que vimos durante el periodo inicial fueron Holocausto caníbal y Wild Zero.

En esos momentos yo era diseñador de páginas web, y pronto surgió que Jim tenía los conocimientos de programación necesarios para poder crear un simple pero efectivo Sistema de Administración de Contenidos (esto fue antes de las páginas SAC como Blogspot, WordPress y Tumblr). Partiendo de esto, simplemente nos pareció que lo mejor sería crear una página web que incluyera todos nuestros textos sobre “Clubs Zombie”, al igual que otras reseñas, noticias del mundo del terror de culto, concursos, artículos, Top Diez… Y así nació Eat My Brains.

¿Cuántos visitantes mensuales recibe Eat My Brains?

Rawshark: Tenemos una modesta media de unas 30.000 visitas únicas al mes, algunas veces más si subimos contenido regularmente. Especialmente si es exclusivo.

Rawshark: “Las compañías de cine siempre están buscando extender su repercusión en internet, especialmente con páginas bien gestionadas que hablan directamente con la audiencia objetivo que buscan”

¿Esperaban captar tanta atención en internet al principio?

Rawshark: Realmente no, aunque pensábamos que había potencial. En aquellos momentos aparecían páginas regularmente y Bloody Disgusting fue el portal en el que nos inspiramos para modelar nuestra web.

¿Siguen otras páginas de cine de culto o terror? ¿Cuáles?

Rawshark: Lo hacemos, ¡pero no voy a darles publicidad! Pero, ya en serio, “googleamos” títulos en cuanto oímos sobre ellos y seguimos los enlaces. Obviamente IMDB es un recurso fantástico para encontrar material raro y maravilloso y ahora hay muchas páginas que ofrecen acceso a montones de películas que eran extremadamente difíciles de conseguir hace seis años.

Zomblee: Busco mucho en internet aquellas joyas fílmicas escondidas. Hace años era en sitios como ZeroDayDVD y creo que otra, Giallo Goblin, todavía funciona. Pero las cosas han cambiado con respecto a pedir DVD-Rs, y también es más barato. Siempre me ha gustado Bloody Disgusting: ellos están a la última de todo, y cuando siento que estoy algo desfasado, suelo pasarme por ahí.

¿Cuándo empezaron las distribuidoras a enviarles películas para que las reseñaran?

Rawshark: Comenzó cuando acudimos al festival británico de terror FrightFest. Allí repartimos flyers sobre nuestra web y algunos llegaron a  las manos de un puñado de relaciones públicas que asistieron. Uno de los primeros concursos que organizamos fue de navajas de Alta Tensión y a partir de entonces las distribuidoras de películas y relaciones públicas nos encontraron y empezaron a mandarnos todo tipo de material.

¿Cuán bien debe irle o qué debe hacer una página web para que le envíen películas y artículos promocionales?

Rawshark: Se nos aproximaron porque teníamos una página atractiva y reseñas bien escritas. Nos lo tomamos en serio, organizamos los concursos justamente e informamos a las compañías más relevantes sobre cuántos participantes habíamos recibido, y obviamente, los datos de tráfico de nuestra web.  Las compañías de cine siempre están buscando extender su repercusión en internet, especialmente con páginas bien gestionadas que hablan directamente con la audiencia objetivo que buscan.

Zomblee: Las empresas de relaciones públicas que llevan la publicidad para la distribuidoras generalmente están muy interesadas en que hagamos concursos, saben de otras ocasiones que captamos mucho tráfico y suelen acudir a nosotros para cierta clase de películas.

Zomblee: “Las empresas de relaciones públicas están muy interesadas en que hagamos concursos y suelen acudir a nosotros para cierta clase de películas”

Aproximadamente, ¿cuántos ingresos publicitarios obtiene Eat My Brains mensualmente?

Rawshark: En realidad no nos interesa la publicidad: llevamos Eat My Brains por diversión, y preferimos eso a tener muchos pop-ups y anuncios de páginas web de póquer. Podrías decir que somos el primer Facebook de las páginas de terror. En realidad sólo recuperamos los costes, pero si alguien quiere publicitarse, ¡que se sienta libre de contactar con nosotros!

¿Cómo vino la idea de hacer el Zombie Club?

Rawshark: Como hemos mencionado antes, el Zombie Club estaba antes que Eat My Brains, aunque constituyó la parte principal de nuestra página inicial, a la que añadimos reseñas de películas y el resto de material. El Zombie Club es la razón principal por la que los tres nos reunimos y vemos películas, y eso es de lo que va Eat My Brains.

Zomblee: Como ya ha dicho Rawshark, comenzamos a quedar tras Shaun of the Dead para ver películas y fumar y beber un poco. Ese fue el  génesis del Zombie Club, pero no lo supimos que hasta un tiempo después, cuando comenzamos a escribir sobre lo que habíamos visto durante esas noches.

¿Por qué hicieron otra web sólo para Zombie Club?

Rawshark: Porque es un nombre demasiado bueno como para no comprar la página. Y si tienes la web, deberías hacer algo con ella. Además, tener una web exclusiva para el Zombie Club nos permite jugar con él, subir citas aleatorias y tener fotos de cabecera especialmente dedicadas a las películas que hemos visto, en vez de diluir su impacto con nuevos lanzamientos y banners de concursos. Nos permite mantenernos a la onda y ser de culto.

¿Cuál ha sido su Zombie Club favorito?

Rawshark: Para mí la Noche de la Noche de las Películas de la Noche fue una de mis favoritas, así como la  Noche de Weng Weng y La Noche de la Fuerza. Realmente, podría seguir y enumerar muchos, cada noche ha tenido algo especial.

Jim: ¿Puedo interrumpir? Recuerdo que nos reímos muchísimo durante la Noche de Atlantis, particularmente al final. Y prácticamente todas las noches con Al Cliver son un éxito, especialmente si se cae (como lo hizo en Devil Hunter) o tiene que pasarse toda la película fingiendo que sólo tiene un brazo (como en Cannibals). La verdad es que tienes razón, Rawshark, la lista podría seguir y seguir.

Zomblee: La Noche de las Serpientes fue bastante espectacular. Calamity of Snakes y Killer Snakes. Calamity… es completamente delirante. Y Killer Snakes es en realidad bastante buena, lo cual no es siempre algo buen en ZC, pero funcionó.

¿Y el peor?

Rawshark: No estoy seguro, creo que algunos de los peores “Clubs Zombie” son aquellos en los que vemos películas más conocidas. Nos interesa más encontrar filmes tan extraños y raros que ninguno  los hemos visto nunca.

Zomblee: Rawshark tiene razón. Soy culpable de traer algunas películas apestosas al Zombie Club muchas veces.  Cuando digo “apestosas”, probablemente me refiero a películas bastante aburridas, completamente artificiosas, que no es lo que queremos en ZC. Por ejemplo, una película como Rolling Thunder: promete mucho, tiene un monster truck gigantesco conducido por un tipo llevado por la venganza en Paletovilla, EEUU. Pero nos dió menos de lo que esperábamos, y eso fue tedioso. Es mucho más divertido ser testigo de la incompetencia a la dirección, guiones penosos, malas actuaciones y los obligatorios pechos.

Jim: Sí, y tampoco hablamos de Las colinas tienen ojos Parte 2 bajo ninguna circunstancia.

El equipo de EMB durante el estreno de "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" /Cortesía de EMB

¿Y su entrevista favorita?

Rawshark: Para mí sería la primera: la de Shauna MacDonald de The Descent. Estaba muy nervioso. También los cara a cara con Neil Marshall y Greg McLean fueron bastante especiales, además de conocer a Guillermo del Toro, quien me enseñó unas cuantas páginas de una de sus famosas libretas. Un verdadero caballero.

Zomblee: No hago muchas entrevistas, pero viajé a Alemania con el único propósito de entrevistar a Pier Luigi Conti, alias Al Cliver, de Zombi 2 y montones de películas terribles. Fue una experiencia bastante extraña, ya que había sido operado, lo que le dejó susurrando, y contestaba mis preguntas en un inglés forzado. No hace falta decir que descifrar mi grabadora no fue fácil. Pero siempre quise conocerle. No poque sea un gran actor (que no lo es), sino por su extravagante e impresionante repertorio.

¿Qué necesita una película para ser reseñada en un Zombie Club?

Rawshark: Generalmente, necesita ser una película independiente con montones de ideas extrañas. O que tenga algunos ninjas en ella.

Jim: Una cabeza explotando o una buena decapitación ayudan, al igual que lo hacen algunos artilugios especiales o armas inusuales, como zapatos con pinchos. Los secuaces enanos son un plus.

Zomblee: Y tetas. A 27 minutos y 43 segundos.

Las películas nuevas obtienen cientos de críticas en todo el mundo. Pero las antiguas de serie B, obviamente, no reciben tanta atención. ¿Cómo se siente al ser una referencia para los amantes del cine de terror y de culto?

Rawshark: Eso está volviendo y convirtiéndose en una moda. Hay un número creciente de clubs de cine y sociedades en Londres proyectando películas de este tipo (como el Duke Mitchell Film Club, Cigarette Burns, etc…). Nos gusta pensar que estuvimos a la vanguardia de todo ello.

Jim: “Una cabeza explotando o una buena dencapitación ayudan, al igual que lo hacen algunos artilugios especiales o armas inusuales, como zapatos con pinchos”

¿Hay alguna pelicula que nunca, jamás, reseñarían?

Rawshark: Algo tipo August Underground no es para nada mi clase de películas. Aunque si conseguimos un redactor que quiera hacer una reseña, no vemos por qué no. Aparte de eso, no nos veo posteando una reseña de Mamma Mia! en el futuro próximo.

¿Alguna vez han pensado organizar un Zombie Club compuesto por películas realmente malas (realmente irredimibles) para ver qué pasa?

Rawshark: Muchos de nuestros “Clubs Zombie” tienen películas realmente malas, y son algunas de nuestras mejores noches. Por ejemplo, ya hemos visionado cuatro películas de Bruno Mattei.

Jim: ¡Creo que ya habremos visto cinco o seis! Todas las veces decimos “nunca jamás”, pero siempre repetimos.

Zomblee: Sí, nada puede ser peor que Bruno Mattei. Hemos visto una de sus últimas películas, Jail: A Woman’s Hell: una de “mujeres en prisión” rodada en Filipinas que es realmente terrible, pero en sentido gracioso. Creo que hay una línea muy fina entre este tipo de material y películas que simplemente son dolorosas. Como Hacked Off.

¿Qué hay planeado para el siguiente Zombie Club?

Rawshark: Estamos esperando para publicar el siguiente par de artículos, incluyendo la Noche de Rock’n’Roll Nightmare, que es un doble pase con esa película y Blood and Roses. Otra que todavía espera su turno es la Noche de Peter O’Brian, con The Stabilizer y The Intruder, dos películas maravillosamente extrañas de Indonesia.

Jim: Lo bueno de Zombie Club es que siempre hay montontes de películas entre las que escoger. Tengo algunas películas esquivas de ciborgs en el horizonte, además de que nunca nos hemos adentrado en el género Brucesploitation. La lista es interminable.

El foro de la página sigue fuera de línea. ¿Lo han abandonado?

Rawshark: Esperamos actualizar el aspecto de la página este año y puede que consideremos reabrir el foro en ese momento.

Están buscando redactores . ¿Qué otros cambios tiene planeados para Eat My Brains?

Rawshark: Nos hemos tomado un descanso recientemente, pero nos sentimos con suficiente energía para hacer crecer la web de nuevo, de ahí que busquemos redactores. Estoy seguro de que mantendremos el mismo formato, pero estaría bien ver más noticias subidas regularmente.

Jim: También nos ha alcanzado por fin la revolución de los medios sociales, poniendo widgets de Facebook y Twitter en cada página. También podéis seguirnos en Twitter (@jimeatbrains para mí y @rawshark72 para Rawshark). Y en un futuro próximo esperamos cambiar un el diseño de la página, hacerla un poco más moderna y puede que añadir un sistema de comentarios y  sindicacción RSS. Lo estamos desarrollando.

 

In your “about” page you state that you first met at the Shaun of the Dead shooting. But how did the conversation sway from your favourite media to making a news and review portal of all things horror and cult?

Rawshark: We’d all got zombie extra roles on Shaun of the Dead through separate avenues. When you’re on a film set there are long breaks between shots, so we naturally all got talking about various zombie and horror movies. On one of the days, Zomblee brought in a Video Nasties artwork book that included The Amazing Mr No Legs and all three of us were blown away with how great that film looked. It took another 3 or 4 years to finally see that film at Zombie Club but we did it in the end.Eatmybrains really sprang about because the three of us arranged to watch some films together after shooting on Shaun of the Dead wrapped. The first one we held was a single screening of Nightmare City, but it wasn’t long before we were regularly meeting up to watch double-bills, none of which were written up. Films seen during the early stages included Cannibal Holocaust and Wild Zero.At the time I was a freelance web designer, and it soon emerged that Jim had the necessary programming skills to be able to put together a simple, but effective Content Management System (these were the days before free CMS sites such as Blogspot, WordPress and Tumblr). From that point it just seemed the right thing to do to set up a website to include all of our Zombie Club write-ups, as well as other reviews, news from the world of cult horror, competitions, features and Top Tens and Eatmybrains was born.
How many monthly visitors does Eat My Brains get? What’s the total?
Rawshark: We tend to average a modest 30k unique user visits a month, sometimes more if we’re regularly posting content, especially exclusive stuff.

Did you at first expect reaping that much attention on the Internet?

Rawshark: Not really, although we knew there was potential. Websites were popping up at the point quite regularly and Bloody-disgusting.com was a site we looked at to see how we could model our own site.

Do you follow other cult/horror film sites? Which?

Rawshark: We do, but I’m not going to give them any publicity! But seriously, we generally just Google titles as we hear about them and then follow the links. Obviously IMDB is a fantastic resource for finding weird and wonderful stuff and there are a lot of sites now that offer access to films that were extremely hard to get hold of six years ago.

Zomblee: I do a lot of hunting around for those hidden gem movies, years ago it was sites like zerodaydvd.com and I think another one, giallogoblin.com, is still going. But things have moved on a bit from ordering DVD-Rs, and a bit cheaper too. I’ve always quite liked BloodyDisgusting.com – those guys really stay on top of things, so when I feel like I’ve been out of the loop, I tend to stop by there.
When did the distributors start sending copies of movies for reviewing purposes?
Rawshark: This really kicked off for us when we attended the UK horror festival FrightFest. When there we started flyering our site and these flyers were picked up by a handful of film PR people who were also attending. One of the first competitions we ran was for Switchblade Romance (aka Haute Tension) penknives, and from there, film distributors and PR companies found us and started sending us all kinds of stuff.
Also, you’ve made some competitions. What (or how well) does a website have to do to be sent movies and promotional items?

Rawshark: As mentioned above, we got approached due to having a fairly good-looking site and well-written reviews. We took it seriously and operated the competitions fairly and fed back to the relevant companies on how many entries we had received, and obviously our web traffic stats. Film companies are always looking to expand their reach on the Internet, especially with well-run websites that speak directly to the target audience they are reaching for.Zomblee: The PR companies who handle publicity for film distribution are generally very keen for us to run competitions, they know from the past that we get a lot of traffic and obviously they tend to go with us for certain types of film.

How much advertising revenues does Eat My Brains obtain monthly, approximately?
Rawshark: It’s not really about the advertising for us – we run Eatmybrains for our own amusement and would rather do that than have a lot of pop-ups and poker website text adverts. You could say we’re the early Facebook of horror websites. We only really cover costs, but if anyone wants to advertise, feel free to get in touch!
How did the idea of making Zombie Clubs come about?
Rawshark: As mentioned before, Zombie Clubs were around before Eatmybrains, although they did form the core part of our initial website from which we also built in film reviews and all of the other stuff we post. Our Zombie Clubs are the core reason for the three of us as we get together to watch movies, and that is what Eatmybrains is all about.Zomblee: Like Rawshark said in the first answer, we just started hooking up after Shaun of the Dead to watch movies and, you know, drink and smoke a bit. That was the genesis of Zombie Club, but we didn’t know that until some time later, when we started to write about what we had watched during those evenings.
Why did you make another website <http://www.zombieclub.com/> , only for Zombie Club?
Rawshark: Because it’s too good a name not to buy the site. And then, if you’ve got the site, you might as well do something with it, and having a Zombie Club exclusive site allows us to play around and post random quotes and have header images specifically devoted to the films we have seen rather than get diluted by new releases news and competition banners for new films. It allows us to keep cool and cult.
Which has been your favourite Zombie Club?
Rawshark: For me Night of the Night of Movies Night was one of my favourites, as well as the one Weng Weng Night and Force Night. I could go on and list a lot really, every night we’ve done has featured something special.Jim: Can I chip in? I remember us laughing incredibly hard throughout Atlantis Night, particularly at the end. And pretty much any night with Al Cliver featuring is always a winner, especially if he falls over (like he did in Devil Hunter) or has to spend a whole movie pretending he’s got one arm (like in Cannibals). Actually you’re right Rawshark, the list could go on and on.Zomblee: Snake Night was pretty spectacular. Calamity of Snakes and Killer Snakes. Calamity…is completely insane. And Killer Snakes was actually really quite good, which isn’t always a good thing at ZC, but it worked.And the worst?

Rawshark: I’m not sure really, I think some of the lesser Zombie Clubs are ones where we watch better known films. We’re more interested in finding films that are so strange and rare that none of us have ever seen any of the films shown.Zomblee: Rawshark is quite right. I’ve been guilty of bringing stinkers to Zombie Club many times. When I say stinker, I probably mean a fairly dull, competently made movie, which isn’t what we want at ZC. A movie like Rolling Thunder for example – it promises a lot, it’s got a massive monster truck driven by a revenge-fuelled dude in Hicksville USA. But it short-changed us, and was just dull. It’s much better fun to witness directorial incompetence, lousy scripts, bad acting and obligatory breasts.

Jim: Yeah, we don’t talk about The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 under any circumstances either.


And your favourite interview?

Rawshark: For me it would be one of the first – an interview with Shauna MacDonald from The Descent. I was actually quite nervous. Also a face-to-face with Neil Marshall, Greg McLean were pretty special, and also meeting Guillermo del Toro who showed me several pages of one of his famous notebooks. A true gentleman.Zomblee: I don’t do many interviews, but I did travel to Germany specifically to interview Pier Luigi Conti AKA Al Cliver, from Zombie Flesh Eaters and lots of really awful films. It was quite an odd experience as he had undergone an operation, which left him whispering, and answering my questions in strained English. Needless to say, deciphering my Dictaphone recording wasn’t easy. But I had always wanted to meet him, not because he’s a great actor (he really isn’t), but had an outrageously impressive repertoire.
What does a film need to get reviewed in a Zombie Club?
Rawshark: Generally, it needs to be an independent film with lots of strange ideas. Or it needs to have some ninjas in it.

Jim: An exploding head or a good decapitation helps, and so do special gadgets or unusual weapons, like spikey shoes. Midget henchmen are also a bonus.

Zomblee: And boobs. At 27m 43s.

New movies get thousands of reviews worldwide. But old B movies, obviously, don’t receive such attention. How does it feel being a reference for horror and cult movie lovers?

Rawshark: It’s coming back into fashion and there are a growing number of film clubs and societies in London showing films of this ilk (such as Duke Mitchell Film Club, Cigarette Burns etc). We like to think we were at the forefront of that.

Is there a film you think you’ll never, ever review? Why?
Rawshark: Something from August Underground is not really my type of film at all – although if we get a writer who wants to do a review, then I don’t see why not. Other than that, I can’t see us posting a review of Mamma Mia any time soon.
Have you ever entertained the idea of making a zombie club comprised of only really, really bad movies (truly irredeemable ones) just to see how it goes?
Rawshark: A lot of our Zombie Clubs have really, really bad movies – they are some of the best nights we have. For instance we’ve now screened four Bruno Mattei films.Jim: I think we might have actually done five or six now! Every time we say never again, but every time we keep going back.Zomblee: Yeah, it doesn’t rally get much worse than Bruno Mattei. We watched one of his last films, Jail: A Woman’s Hell – a WOP flick shot in the Philippines, which was truly terrible, but in an amusing kind of way. I think there’s a fine line between this type of stuff and the movies that are just painful. Like Hacked Off.
What’s planned for the next Zombie Club?
Rawshark: We’re still waiting to publish the next couple of write-ups, including Rock’n’Roll Nightmare Night which is a double bill with that film and Blood and Roses. Another one still waiting to go live is Peter O’Brian Night with The Stabilizer and The Intruder – two wonderfully strange films from Indonesia.Jim: The beauty of Zombie Club is that there are always loads of films to choose from. I’ve got some dodgy cyborg movies on the horizon, plus we’ve never really dabbled in the Brucesploitation genre. The list is endless.
The Eat My Brains forum is still down. Have you abandoned it?

Rawshark: We’re hoping to refresh the look later in the year and may consider reopening the forum then.You’re looking for new writers . Do you have any changes in store for Eat My Brains?Rawshark: We’ve all been taking a bit of a break recently, but we feel energised now to grow the site again, hence looking for writers. I’m sure we’ll keep to pretty much the same format, but it would be good to get some more news posted more regularly.Jim: We’ve also finally caught up with the social media revolution by providing Facebook and twitter widgets on each page. You can follow me on twitter too – @jimeatbrains for me and @rawshark72 for Rawshark. And in the near future we’re hoping to reskin the site a bit, make it more modern, and maybe add a comments system and an RSS feed. We’re still developing that.In your “about” page you state that you first met at the Shaun of the Dead shooting. But how did the conversation sway from your favourite media to making a news and review portal of all things horror and cult? 

Rawshark: We’d all got zombie extra roles on Shaun of the Dead through separate avenues. When you’re on a film set there are long breaks between shots, so we naturally all got talking about various zombie and horror movies. On one of the days, Zomblee brought in a Video Nasties artwork book that included The Amazing Mr No Legs and all three of us were blown away with how great that film looked. It took another 3 or 4 years to finally see that film at Zombie Club but we did it in the end.

Eatmybrains really sprang about because the three of us arranged to watch some films together after shooting on Shaun of the Dead wrapped. The first one we held was a single screening of Nightmare City, but it wasn’t long before we were regularly meeting up to watch double-bills, none of which were written up. Films seen during the early stages included Cannibal Holocaust and Wild Zero.

At the time I was a freelance web designer, and it soon emerged that Jim had the necessary programming skills to be able to put together a simple, but effective Content Management System (these were the days before free CMS sites such as Blogspot, WordPress and Tumblr). From that point it just seemed the right thing to do to set up a website to include all of our Zombie Club write-ups, as well as other reviews, news from the world of cult horror, competitions, features and Top Tens and Eatmybrains was born.

How many monthly visitors does Eat My Brains get? What’s the total?

Rawshark: We tend to average a modest 30k unique user visits a month, sometimes more if we’re regularly posting content, especially exclusive stuff.

Did you at first expect reaping that much attention on the Internet?

Rawshark: Not really, although we knew there was potential. Websites were popping up at the point quite regularly and Bloody-disgusting.com was a site we looked at to see how we could model our own site.

Do you follow other cult/horror film sites? Which?

Rawshark: We do, but I’m not going to give them any publicity! But seriously, we generally just Google titles as we hear about them and then follow the links. Obviously IMDB is a fantastic resource for finding weird and wonderful stuff and there are a lot of sites now that offer access to films that were extremely hard to get hold of six years ago.

Zomblee: I do a lot of hunting around for those hidden gem movies, years ago it was sites like zerodaydvd.com and I think another one, giallogoblin.com, is still going. But things have moved on a bit from ordering DVD-Rs, and a bit cheaper too. I’ve always quite liked BloodyDisgusting.com – those guys really stay on top of things, so when I feel like I’ve been out of the loop, I tend to stop by there.

When did the distributors start sending copies of movies for reviewing purposes?

Rawshark: This really kicked off for us when we attended the UK horror festival FrightFest. When there we started flyering our site and these flyers were picked up by a handful of film PR people who were also attending. One of the first competitions we ran was for Switchblade Romance (aka Haute Tension) penknives, and from there, film distributors and PR companies found us and started sending us all kinds of stuff.

Also, you’ve made some competitions. What (or how well) does a website have to do to be sent movies and promotional items?

Rawshark: As mentioned above, we got approached due to having a fairly good-looking site and well-written reviews. We took it seriously and operated the competitions fairly and fed back to the relevant companies on how many entries we had received, and obviously our web traffic stats. Film companies are always looking to expand their reach on the Internet, especially with well-run websites that speak directly to the target audience they are reaching for.

Zomblee: The PR companies who handle publicity for film distribution are generally very keen for us to run competitions, they know from the past that we get a lot of traffic and obviously they tend to go with us for certain types of film.

How much advertising revenues does Eat My Brains obtain monthly, approximately?

Rawshark: It’s not really about the advertising for us – we run Eatmybrains for our own amusement and would rather do that than have a lot of pop-ups and poker website text adverts. You could say we’re the early Facebook of horror websites. We only really cover costs, but if anyone wants to advertise, feel free to get in touch!

How did the idea of making Zombie Clubs come about?

Rawshark: As mentioned before, Zombie Clubs were around before Eatmybrains, although they did form the core part of our initial website from which we also built in film reviews and all of the other stuff we post. Our Zombie Clubs are the core reason for the three of us as we get together to watch movies, and that is what Eatmybrains is all about.

Zomblee: Like Rawshark said in the first answer, we just started hooking up after Shaun of the Dead to watch movies and, you know, drink and smoke a bit. That was the genesis of Zombie Club, but we didn’t know that until some time later, when we started to write about what we had watched during those evenings.

Why did you make another website <http://www.zombieclub.com/&gt; , only for Zombie Club?

Rawshark: Because it’s too good a name not to buy the site. And then, if you’ve got the site, you might as well do something with it, and having a Zombie Club exclusive site allows us to play around and post random quotes and have header images specifically devoted to the films we have seen rather than get diluted by new releases news and competition banners for new films. It allows us to keep cool and cult.

Which has been your favourite Zombie Club?

Rawshark: For me Night of the Night of Movies Night was one of my favourites, as well as the one Weng Weng Night and Force Night. I could go on and list a lot really, every night we’ve done has featured something special.

Jim: Can I chip in? I remember us laughing incredibly hard throughout Atlantis Night, particularly at the end. And pretty much any night with Al Cliver featuring is always a winner, especially if he falls over (like he did in Devil Hunter) or has to spend a whole movie pretending he’s got one arm (like in Cannibals). Actually you’re right Rawshark, the list could go on and on.

Zomblee: Snake Night was pretty spectacular. Calamity of Snakes and Killer Snakes. Calamity…is completely insane. And Killer Snakes was actually really quite good, which isn’t always a good thing at ZC, but it worked.

And the worst?

Rawshark: I’m not sure really, I think some of the lesser Zombie Clubs are ones where we watch better known films. We’re more interested in finding films that are so strange and rare that none of us have ever seen any of the films shown.

Zomblee: Rawshark is quite right. I’ve been guilty of bringing stinkers to Zombie Club many times. When I say stinker, I probably mean a fairly dull, competently made movie, which isn’t what we want at ZC. A movie like Rolling Thunder for example – it promises a lot, it’s got a massive monster truck driven by a revenge-fuelled dude in Hicksville USA. But it short-changed us, and was just dull. It’s much better fun to witness directorial incompetence, lousy scripts, bad acting and obligatory breasts.

Jim: Yeah, we don’t talk about The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 under any circumstances either.

And your favourite interview?

Rawshark: For me it would be one of the first – an interview with Shauna MacDonald from The Descent. I was actually quite nervous. Also a face-to-face with Neil Marshall, Greg McLean were pretty special, and also meeting Guillermo del Toro who showed me several pages of one of his famous notebooks. A true gentleman.

Zomblee: I don’t do many interviews, but I did travel to Germany specifically to interview Pier Luigi Conti AKA Al Cliver, from Zombie Flesh Eaters and lots of really awful films. It was quite an odd experience as he had undergone an operation, which left him whispering, and answering my questions in strained English. Needless to say, deciphering my Dictaphone recording wasn’t easy. But I had always wanted to meet him, not because he’s a great actor (he really isn’t), but had an outrageously impressive repertoire.

What does a film need to get reviewed in a Zombie Club?

Rawshark: Generally, it needs to be an independent film with lots of strange ideas. Or it needs to have some ninjas in it.

Jim: An exploding head or a good decapitation helps, and so do special gadgets or unusual weapons, like spikey shoes. Midget henchmen are also a bonus.

Zomblee: And boobs. At 27m 43s.

New movies get thousands of reviews worldwide. But old B movies, obviously, don’t receive such attention. How does it feel being a reference for horror and cult movie lovers?

Rawshark: It’s coming back into fashion and there are a growing number of film clubs and societies in London showing films of this ilk (such as Duke Mitchell Film Club, Cigarette Burns etc). We like to think we were at the forefront of that.

Is there a film you think you’ll never, ever review? Why?

Rawshark: Something from August Underground is not really my type of film at all – although if we get a writer who wants to do a review, then I don’t see why not. Other than that, I can’t see us posting a review of Mamma Mia any time soon.

Have you ever entertained the idea of making a zombie club comprised of only really, really bad movies (truly irredeemable ones) just to see how it goes?

Rawshark: A lot of our Zombie Clubs have really, really bad movies – they are some of the best nights we have. For instance we’ve now screened four Bruno Mattei films.

Jim: I think we might have actually done five or six now! Every time we say never again, but every time we keep going back.

Zomblee: Yeah, it doesn’t rally get much worse than Bruno Mattei. We watched one of his last films, Jail: A Woman’s Hell – a WOP flick shot in the Philippines, which was truly terrible, but in an amusing kind of way. I think there’s a fine line between this type of stuff and the movies that are just painful. Like Hacked Off.

What’s planned for the next Zombie Club?

Rawshark: We’re still waiting to publish the next couple of write-ups, including Rock’n’Roll Nightmare Night which is a double bill with that film and Blood and Roses. Another one still waiting to go live is Peter O’Brian Night with The Stabilizer and The Intruder – two wonderfully strange films from Indonesia.

Jim: The beauty of Zombie Club is that there are always loads of films to choose from. I’ve got some dodgy cyborg movies on the horizon, plus we’ve never really dabbled in the Brucesploitation genre. The list is endless.

The Eat My Brains forum is still down. Have you abandoned it?

Rawshark: We’re hoping to refresh the look later in the year and may consider reopening the forum then.

You’re looking for new writers . Do you have any changes in store for Eat My Brains?

Rawshark: We’ve all been taking a bit of a break recently, but we feel energised now to grow the site again, hence looking for writers. I’m sure we’ll keep to pretty much the same format, but it would be good to get some more news posted more regularly.

Jim: We’ve also finally caught up with the social media revolution by providing Facebook and twitter widgets on each page. You can follow me on twitter too – @jimeatbrains for me and @rawshark72 for Rawshark. And in the near future we’re hoping to reskin the site a bit, make it more modern, and maybe add a comments system and an RSS feed. We’re still developing that.

 

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