Interview: Mick Garris Discusses All Things Horror


Mick Garris is a producer, director, screenwriter, and novelist specializing in the horror genre I have wanted to interview for three years. I’m delighted to say it’s finally happened. We discussed Hocus Pocus, Psycho, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Jackson, Wes Craven, Freddy’s Nightmares, Critters, and more. Watch the full interview below. Enjoy!

About Mick Garris

Garris was born in Santa Monica, California, and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He began making home movies at the age of 12 and started working as a freelance film and music journalist while still in his teens. An avid musician, he was the lead singer of the band Horsefeathers until its demise in 1977.

Garris’ first job in the film industry was doing publicity for Avco-Embassy Pictures, where he produced “behind the scenes” documentaries for numerous genre films. This led to a stint as the host of THE FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL, a TV talk show airing on L.A.’s legendary Z Channel, in which Garris interviewed many high-profile actors and filmmakers.

His big break came when he was hired by Steven Spielberg to serve as a writer and story editor on AMAZING STORIES (1985). Spielberg asked Mick to direct an episode based on one of this stories, and he has been writing, producing, and directing ever since. This led to more work as a director on FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES (1988) and TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1989), and as the co-creator of SHE-WOLF OF LONDON (1990-91). During this period, Garris also co-wrote the screenplays for *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED (1987), THE FLY II (1989) and HOCUS POCUS (1993).

His first feature film as a director was CRITTERS 2 (1988), followed by PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (1990). In 1992, Garris began his association with Stephen King when he was selected to direct the author’s original screenplay for SLEEPWALKERS. Pleased with the results, King chose Garris to helm the epic mini-series based his novel, THE STAND (1994), which went on to become one of history’s most highly-rated television shows.

Garris and King followed up with a three-part TV adaptation of THE SHINING in 1997. Garris went on to direct QUICKSILVER HIGHWAY (1997), based on two stories by King and Clive Barker, VIRTUAL OBSESSION (1998), THE JUDGE (2001) and LOST IN OZ (2002). He and Stephen King reunited for RIDING THE BULLET (2004) and DESPERATION (2006).

In 2005, Garris created the Showtime anthology series MASTERS OF HORROR (2005-06), which featured contributions by him and other leading filmmakers specializing in the horror genre, including John Carpenter, Joe Dante and John Landis. A spinoff anthology series followed: FEAR ITSELF (2008-09).

In 2011, Garris published his first novel: Development Hell. This was preceded by the short story collection, A Life in Cinema (2002), and followed by the novellas Snow Shadows (2013) and Tyler’s Third Act (2013). His new novel, Salome, and another novella, Ugly, will be released in 2014.

Garris returned to his roots as the Creator and Host of POST MORTEM (2010-11), a genre-themed talk show airing on FearNetHD. Recently, he produced and directed another mini-series adaptation of a Stephen King novel, BAG OF BONES (2011), and served as Executive Producer of the feature film UNBROKEN (2014), directed by Angelina Jolie.

He has directed episodes of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and its spinoff, RAVENSWOOD, and WITCHES OF EAST END, and currently has several series and features in development.

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