An EXCLUSIVE interview with Bryn Curt James Hammond, author of "The Complete History of the Howling"!
In this exclusive interview with The Complete History of the Howling author Bryan Curt James Hammond, I discover that Hammond and I have similar, controversial tastes in werewolf films…
…Bryn Curt James Hammond is a media chameleon with a resume that includes journalism, film music critic and special thanks for his contribution to the success of several horror films (2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, Gutterballs). He has also produced such films as GoreZone Magazines: Movie Massacre and GZ Celebrity Ghost Hunt.
Hammond is the creator of GZ (GoreZone) magazine, which dominated newsstands from 2005 to 2010 and redefined what horror magazines should look like, breaking the stereotypical mold and broadening its appeal while courting controversy, which even attracted the attention of Roger Ebert. Bryn finally stepped down as editor in 2010.
Not content with newsstand domination, the best-selling author has launched the A Case for Murder paperback series currently being turned into a docudrama with a second book in the franchise set for release in August (A Case for Murder: Aaliyah Files). He has returned to the horror fold producing Urban Harvest, a slasher film set in London, appearing in Invasion of the Not Quite Dead and penning The Complete History of The Howling.
The Complete History of the Howling is the first book to chronicle the making of all eight feature films in The Howling franchise, as well as taking an in-depth look at author Gary Brandner’s book trilogy which first appeared in 1977, containing interviews with members of each production, as well as never before seen behind the scenes photos.
KHC: The Complete History of The Howling is currently being toured via the Horror Con conventions. How has the reception out in public been so far?
BCJH: To date the direct reception has been really positive, which is a relief! I wasn’t sure what the overall consensus would be on such a varied series. Apart from “The Howling”, starring Dee Wallace, the series has been a pretty mixed bag. The sequel, “Howling II”, is a pop culture phenomenon and is the more remembered entry for all the wrong reasons and it genuinely seems to have a wider appeal thanks to Philippe Mora’s outlandish approach. It’s a cinematic phenomenon we probably won’t be seeing again!
During the Horror Con, many of “The Howling” fans that purchased the paperback were genuinely torn between the original and the sequel, while there was a toss of a coin reaction for “Howling V: The Rebirth” and “Howling VI: The Freaks”.
It was interesting seeing people’s reactions when they thumbed through “The Complete History of The Howling”; everyone seemed psyched by the content. I think they got a real nostalgic blast from the past.
KHC: What is it about The Howling franchise that made you want to tackle the subject instead of An American Werewolf in London or other werewolf films?
BCJH: “The Howling” is a much better movie in my opinion and Dee Wallace’s performance as television anchor was deeply moving and extremely powerful. Wallace is one of the last great celluloid character actresses and “The Howling” really showed off her versatility on screen.
“An American Werewolf in London” is lightweight. Yes, it’s often considered the better of the two evils but I disagree, I found the film disjointed. “The Howling” is a dark dominant force to be reckoned with, with lashings of humor and nods to the genre.
KHC: I’ve seen a lot of publicity for The Complete History of The Howling online, especially on Twitter. How important has it been to get the word out over social media platforms?
BCJH: Social media is still relatively new to me. I am very aware of the power they hold, so to have people retweeting or posting about “The Complete History of The Howling”, good, bad or indifferent is important.
With the likes of Twitter, you can reach your target audience directly and interact with them on a level you were once unable to. It’s extremely personal and a window into the minds of your audience.
KHC: How much depth does The Complete History of The Howling paperback go into? How are the sequels covered?
BCJH: I cover each movie equally and I approached every film with the same level of enthusiasm. I also didn’t want to repeat the same coverage readily available online, hence my decision to ask Philippe Mora to pen the foreword and Bill Forsche to write the pictorial. Other ‘History of’ books seem to only really cover the source film in depth. I feel that’s a real pity; I wanted to break that mold with “The Complete History of The Howling”, and based purely on early reviews it seems I’ve achieved what I set out to do.
It covers the entire franchise and takes a look behind the scenes and speaks to cast and crew from each film. It has original cover art and stills never before seen by the public that were given to me by people involved in the series. It’s really an intriguing look at the franchise that’s seen so many varied directions.
I really have enjoyed the journey working on the book and it gave me the editor’s hat once again due to it being a glossy hardback, so I had to plan the content and how it was going to be delivered, its look etc. It’s been a blast working on it and speaking to people involved and I am really happy with how it’s turned out.
KHC: Philippe Mora of Howling II and Howling III is providing the books Foreword, how did he get involved and who else is involved in the Book?
BCJH: I literally dropped Philippe an email and he obliged with my requests. He’s a great sport and he’s really passionate about the project. He certainly has his tongue firmly in his cheek and it really comes across in our interview and in his foreword.
Bill Forsche has wrote a pictorial and the amazing Nick Benson helped pull people together. I shall be touring with Nick in October (Las Vegas) and hopefully collaborating with him in the very near future.
The Complete History of The Howling hits stores November 7, 2018 worldwide. Get it early via Horror Con’s London, Liverpool September and Bristol November 10th events where Bryn Curt James Hammond is booked as a celebrity guest author.
The Complete History of The Howling will also be on a book tour in Las Vegas from October 23-27th. Bryn Curt James Hammond will be appearing at various venues as a celebrity guest author. The tour will include Sin City Halloween and parade with Nick Benson (The Abyss, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, The Blob and Tales from The Darkside: The Movie). Benson took part in The Complete History of the Howling and helped Bryn Curt James Hammond with pulling together cast and crew in the fourth chapter.
Follow The Complete History of the Howling on Twitter for updates!
By Matt Konopka