Jason Hughes is a writer who wears many other hats. Besides writing books, the horror fan also works on screenplays, he is into special FX and even went to school on that, he screen prints and owns his own t-shirt company, impressive huh. One of my favorite highlights about Hughes is he has written a sequel to the movie Christine and I’d like to see that crazy car come back in his story, because it’s about time we see the Fury roll again! Check out my latest Versus with writer Jason Hughes.
Brian S- First off Jason, how'd you get into writing?
Jason Hughes- I've been writing since a very young age. Every since I basically knew how to write, I took Horror films and wrote a little short (about a page) story based on them. The Exorcist was my first film to "re-adapt" in a few paragraphs.
Brian S- Who are your inspirations?
Jason Hughes- Stephen King has always been an inspiration. The first book I read by him was The Dead Zone when I was a kid. I've been into his books every since. At first, I saw his film adaptations, such as Carrie, Christine and Firestarter. I thought he was a Director or something. Then, in around the third or so grade, I discovered his books. Also, I've always been a fan of Horror films (literally since age one), so I try to pull inspiration from Stephen's characterization and graphic Horror imagery from films of the seventies. Mostly the realistic, disturbing stuff.
Brian S- Any relation to Howard Hughes? I know that was cheesy but I had to go there
Jason Hughes- Haha... No.
Brian S- Ok, tell me about your latest book.
Jason Hughes- My latest book is called WITHOUT NOTICE: The Final Evictions of Graywall Monument. It is about a young woman who walks in on her fiance cheating on her with her best friend. Needless to say, she splits. Her mother is very ill and ends up passing away, so Amanda is left on her own and moves into an apartment building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A strange series of murders unfold during her stay. She is already paranoid about her neighbors and others that hang out in the parking lot of the complex. Finally, on one fateful night, she finds out who has been doing the killing... and she could be his next victim. The reviews have been great so far. You can get you copy from the link below, at Panic Press and it will be available soon at Barnes & Noble, etc.
Brian S- You also write screenplays, tell me about these.
Jason Hughes- I've written around nine or ten so far. I was also hired on by a few to write for them. The first screenplay I wrote was a prequel to The Amityville Horror, called 112 Ocean Avenue. It is a True Crime/ family Drama that (as we all know) ends in Horror. There are no ghosts, or evil spirits at all. Just a lot of drugs, fighting and of course, murder. It is being read now by American - International Pictures (who released the original The Amityville Horror).
I wrote a sequel to Christine (John Carpenter, based on the Stephen King novel), called Christine II: Immortal Fury. It takes place in the present, in Rockbridge, California. It is based more of off the novel, but has parts from the original film as well. I bring back the ghost of Rolan D. Lebay (not seen in the original film). I had the honor of talking with Keith Gordon (played Arnie in the original film) about my screenplay last year. He gave me helpful pointers on getting it out there (thanks, Keith!)
I wrote a television series called Sanitarium, about a haunted sanitarium where the patients are possessed and the (corrupt) staff thinks they are just "crazy" until really weird stuff starts to happen.
I have a remake of the classic Twilight Zone episode called The Beacon, about a haunted lighthouse on a closely bonded island. Most that are fans of the series (should) have seen it already. I added my own twists to the film. This is important for the next few screenplays that I am going to mention, so I'll start here... I review Horror films for Horrornews.net. Out of all of the films I reviewed that I hadn't seen already, I recieved one called Blood Stained Romance, by Travis "Mudd" Miller and loved it. I saw that he was thinking about redoing The Beacon (he loves The Twilight Zone, such as myself), so I approached him about writing it. I would not have done so if I didn't love his first film as much as I did. From there, I went on to write more for him, and we've collaborated on one.
Travis liked The Beacon and working with me so much that he approached me to write another film for him that American - International Pictures hired him to write and direct. He had his own projects going, so asked me to write it. It is an Exploitation film called Dead Girls Don't Cry. I tried to make it the sickest, most depraved piece of work I had not only written, but had ever seen. American Inernational Pictures deemed it," the most shocking film ever to defile the screen" and "destined to be banned." That's exactly what I was going for when writing it. It has Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist, Helter Skelter, Rob Zombie's H2) and Stacey Dixon on board along with some others. It's going to be fucking sick... "The next generation of Exploitation."
From there, Travis hired me to write another one called Cannibal Hookers 3D. It is about a motel that gives men what they want, for an appetizing price.
Travis and I collaborated on a film called Blood Cove. It is about a woman DJ that is stalked, due to a recent mistake that she made and tried to run from. That's all I'll say as of now. It has received good reviews by those who have read it. It is being produced by William Clevinger (Penance).
Just recently, I was asked to join the writing team for the second season of the Scream Queen Campfire series by Jonathan Moody. I am writing two episodes. He and I are tossing ideas back and forth now. One will be kind of campy and the other wiill be pretty brutal (the kind of Horror I usually write). Author Joe Knetter is among the writers and Eileen Dietz also stars in an episode.
Brian S- Where can the horror fans purchase your work?
Jason Hughes- Most of it is on Amazon. I am featured in several anthologies, such as Nocturnal Illumination, Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror, A Library of Unknown Horrors, Soup of Souls, Quakes and Storms and others. I have articles in Twisted Dreams Magazine and an anthology I edited called Moral Horror. It has since been banned, but is still on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I am reworking it be re-released as Immoral Horror with a different cover, through a different company. My latest (as shown in the link a few questions above), WITHOUT NOTICE can be purchased at Panic Press...
Brian S- Where can the horror fans find you on the net?
Jason Hughes- I have a facebook, myspace(pretty much dead), IMDb page, Masters of Horror page, Nextcat page, LinkedIn page and Writer's Cafe page. You can google, "Jason Hughes Horror Author" and several will come up. My facebook page is the most active as of now.
http://www.writerscafe.org/Jason%20Hughes?z=77107 - Writer's Cafe
http://moh.spruz.com/profile/Jason-Hughes-/ - Masters of Horror
http://www.nextcat.com/jasonhughes - Nextcat
Brian S- You also have a few other gigs don't you! Screen printing, special effects artist, and hardcore West Memphis Three Supporter. Tell me a little about these.
Jason Hughes- I attended and graduated the Tom Savini Special Effects Program in Pennsylvania, along with the Dick Smith course (actually got to learn from Dick, himself, which was an honor) Tom has been an idol since I've been into Horror films. I got to hang out with him every other day for over a year. It was a dream come true. I've worked on a film with him, worked at his haunted attraction, TERRORMANIA, for two years in a row and met some amazing people, which I am still friends with today.
Speaking of college friends, check out my bud's hand crafted Horror merchandise at Bazooka Jenn's. She has Horror collectables that you will not find anywhere else.
I have been a West Memphis Three supporter since the night the documentary, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robinhood Hills aired on HBO in 1996. I, just as many Horror/ Metal fans, could be in their shoes (or cells) as we speak. It is a terrible injustice. I've attended rallies and print t-shirts to support their freedom and legal funds. See www.wm3.org for more details. This interview would be a novel if I explained it all here. A new trial is set for them in December, 2011. I'll be there.
I have a shirt company called Casual - Tees - Clothing: Avengers of the First Amendment. I sell mostly offensive shi(r)t(s)... and WM3 suppport shirts, to donate to the cause. My shi(r)t(s) can be seen on such bodies as Devanny Pinn, Tara Cardinal, Rebekah Herzberg (ScreamTV) Linnea Quigley and many more. We sell shi(r)t(s) to support Horror, gore & Metal. "LIKE" the facebook page and order some shi(r)t(s)! Casual - Tees - Clothing exclusively sells the official GOLGOTHA (prelude to ACID BATH) WET DREAMS of the INSANE shirts. Designed by Boone Businelli (original Guitar Player) and in association with Dax Riggs.
Brian S- What's your favorite scary movie?
Jason Hughes- As of now, it is Murder - Set - Pieces (UNRATED), with Nick Palumbo. It pushes every boundary, is banned in the U.S. and beyond and is relentless from beginning to the end. That's my kind of Horror. True Horror, and no Comedy added.
Brian S- Would you like to say anything to the horror fanatics checking this out?
Jason Hughes- Support true Horror, down with re-makes and look for my work now available and coming soon in paperback and celluloid form. Stay sick, keep it brutal and FREE THE WEST MEMPHIS THREE!