Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay's blog

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: LEWIS TEAGUE

The skills to become a successful mainstream filmmaker are not always the same skills that make for a great horror film. There are exceptions in the case of directors like Steven Spielberg and Sam Raimi, whose style and execution elevated the horror films in which they worked. Another, lesser known name in those ranks is journeyman director Lewis Teague.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: WILLIAM FRIEDKIN

One of the true but unspoken shames of the horror convention industry is that, if you make one horror film that is moderately well known, you will be able to live off that moderate level of fame for the rest of your life, signing autographs and paying the bills when you’re unable to continue a career or move into a more populous genre of film. William Friedkin may be one of the only film directors who made one of the most iconic horror films in American history, and has never in his career settled back on that comfort.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: LARRY FESSENDEN

There is no better friend to the independent horror filmmaker that Larry Fessenden; his work as producer and actor in many of the early films of the new indie horror movement, and his dedication and devotion to horror filmmaking as one of the only places left for a true film auteur, have made him something of a patron saint to the independent horror filmmaking world. It’s just the icing on the cake that he also happens to be a great filmmaker, too.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: Bob Clark

It is unusual that a filmmaker who made classic entries into the horror genre would be as well-known for creating films (and film franchises) that fall into so many other genres. Bob Clark is the unique and versatile filmmaker who stakes claim to that honor more than nearly any other director.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: JIM ISAAC

Jim Isaac began his career in film the same way that many horror filmmakers do, by working in the world of effects. Like Robert Kurtzman and Chris Walas (with whom Isaac would later work on “The Fly”), other effects gurus who made the move up to director, Jim Isaac began as a creature technician in films such as “Return of the Jedi” and “Gremlins”.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: DANIEL MYRICK

Daniel Myrick never intended to be a horror film director. After graduating the University Of Central Florida School Of Film in 1994, Myrick partnered with fellow UCF graduates Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale to create the biggest horror film phenomenon in recent history until “Paranormal Activity” (the film that took its groundwork and continued on), the found footage film “The Blair Witch Project”.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: STEVE MINER

Director Steve Miner has had more than an interesting directing career; he has had several interesting directing careers within the span of a single artist’s lifetime.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: Tobe Hooper

Poor Tobe Hooper. A promising young Austin filmmaker from the beginning of his career, he made a college film called “eggshells” in 1969, a counter-culture film of its time, but the career for which he is known really began with 1974’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This is the film that would put him on the map in the history of horror forever, but would also be the stumbling block for him as he tried to grow as a director.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: GEORGE A. ROMERO

The counterculture film movement never had a better representation than that of writer/director George A. Romero.

Horror Icon Mini-Marathon: LARRY COHEN

Some filmmakers always work in the same genre or sub-genre because they have a subconscious connection to the material at hand; Hitchcock’s story of being taken down to a jail as a child was certainly scarring enough that he spent his entire adult life making films about wrongfully accused men trying to clear their name. But there are other filmmakers who make, quite literally, anything that crosses their mind.

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