Hey ghosts and ghouls! It’s been a while, but I’ve been working on something really fun for you all…I got to interview Mike Hickey of Fright Hype! Fright Hype is a web series put out by our amazing friends over at CryptTV, and it’s an incredible source for all the horror news you could possibly ask for.
Mike’s an awesome force in horror -he finds all the good stuff out before we do so he can put it out there for us all to find out in a fun, quick, beautifully produced way. I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his love of horror, but we got into some hilarious antics along the way.
Taylor Terrible: So tell me a little bit about yourself, your interest in horror, and how you got into it and all that good stuff!
Mike Hickey: I’ve always been into it since i was a kid, I mean it started because I was always a big fan of Halloween in general, it was always better than Christmas as far as I was concerned, I was always really into the classic monsters more than anything else like I really like Dracula and the Wolfman, those are my favorites, and I LOVE the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, I used to get the Disney cartoon and watch it every year.
TT: What was the film that got you into horror movies? What was the ACTUAL one that you saw that made you say “this is my new favorite thing ever”?
MH: I think I have to go with the Legend of Sleepy Hollow!
TT: The cartoon version?!
MH: Yeah! I used to watch a bunch of horror comedies when I was a kid until I was old enough to watch horror movies…Haunted Honeymoon, I think it was called, with Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner…
TT: I love Gene Wilder…he’s like his own horror character as a person
MH: It’s so good! But I remember this movie where they were a couple and they were radio drama actors in the 30s and they went on their honeymoon to this crazy castle…and there was another one with Sherman Hemsley from the Jeffersons that was a haunted house film, Transylvania 65000, Monster Squad…HOCUS POCUS, all of those kind of films really eased me into the genre, and then when I was old enough, I got into Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Francis Ford Coppola version, The Lost Boys…I’m a really big Lost Boys fan, so it was up until vampires weren’t cool anymore that I was really into vampires.
TT: So where did the idea of Fright Hype come from and how did you start it?
MH: I’ve been really into- the last few years- watching the guys who do Film Riot and for a while they had a show called Film State, which is very similar in concept to Fright Hype, but it was about all different genres of movies, but obviously as a really big horror fan I thought it would be really cool to make something to get just horror news. I remember back to when I was younger, when I was a kid, I was really into all movies, not just horror movies, I remember watching Entertainment Tonight (back when it was actually about entertainment and not just like a gossip show), I knew I could do something like that so I said “well, I will!” But that was a couple of years ago and I kind of just sat on it. It was when I left a production company that I started to plot it out and plan it…and then I ended up being really busy and not being able to do it. Then, last fall, it was really weird, I tried to get a Kickstarter off the ground in fall of 2014, and it failed, but I ended up getting in touch with Chad Armstrong of Legless Corpse, whose part of the Crypt Family, and then went back to him with another short that I made and was like “hey if you could help promote it…” and he eventually passed it along to Jack at CryptTV and so I started a relationship with them. I knew they were looking for original content, and what I did was I made an episode of Fright Hype (exactly what the show is, but you know, slower and worse), and I sent it to Jack and said “let me know what you think” and he said “I love it, let’s do it!” And we started a podcast last year, the podcast is really cool because Fright Hype is only about two and a half minutes, and I want to talk about more!
We got into talking about Universal Monsters and his podcast for a good 5 minutes. One big thing I learned about Mike is that he absolutely ADORES universal monsters…The Mummy especially. He also defends Tom Cruise in Interview With the Vampire to the ends of the earth.
MH … the show got shorter, we added the podcast, and that’s what the last 39 weeks have been, but that’s where it came from! We were talking about how Fright Hype is SUCH an important part of my week…as much as I need to do things that make more money…but that’s where all my passion is.
TT: What is your favorite horror film of all time?
MH: I just talked about this yesterday on HorrorAmino! …For that, I said American Werewolf in London, because that generally is. I’m a BIG werewolf fan…I’m wearing an American Werewolf in London shirt right now…but The Wolfman (the original), but it varies, like, I love Trick ‘r Treat, I love Friday the 13th, but I would say my go-to because it’s a perfect movie is American Werewolf in London. But I saw American Werewolf in Paris before I saw American Werewolf in London, which I think helped me appreciate American Werewolf in London more.
TT: What does horror mean to you? What is it in your every day life?
MH: Huh…it’s…everywhere. It’s a lifestyle, you know? It’s an escape…a lot of people on the outside looking in at horror fans and the horror genre kind of get a little spooked…
TT: Yeah, they think we’re all serial killers!
MH: Well for me, it’s always been a form of escapism. Like, I know that I’m not going to be attacked by a werewolf, but watching a movie about that is a kind of escapism because it takes you away form your actual shit that you have to worry about. So being able to go into these over-the-top, horrific scenes in your head, you know, it’s an escape from ACTUAL fears.
^^ I absolutely LOVED this. What an awesome thought for us horror fans that are so used to being called crazy…we’re escaping from things that TRULY scare us. Taxes to me are much scarier than any ghost. I’d rather hang out with Freddy than look at my student loans. Am I right?
TT: What’s your most-anticipated horror film of 2016?
MH: Well I’m really looking forward to The Witch, The Conjuring 2…I LOVED the first one….I love James Wan’s work but I love it even more when he’s doing haunted house stories like the Conjuring and Insidious and Dead Silence when he’s dealing with ghosts.
TT: Dead Silence is SUCH an underrated movie.
MH: It’s so good! That nursery rhyme? That Mary Shaw makeup? UGH.
We went on to talk about both of our plans for our horror rooms in our houses- he showed me all of the cool stuff he got from his Horror Block subscription, and he has an adorable skeleton that lives in the corner of the room. He’s also gone to Transylvania to collect legitimate Dracula memorabilia!
TT: So my next question: how do you associate with “weird is good”?
Mike had been telling me all about a softball tournament he and his friends compete in every year, and his plan for this year was to get jerseys made with werewolves on them. He considers this insane…I consider this awesome.
MH: I mean, I always joke that the main reason is that I’m deathly afraid of pickles. I don’t like to be around them. They’re disgusting. Also, when I eat any kind of candy, I always have to eat the blue ones last. But I mean, I’ve always been a horror kid. I remember being a kid and trying to convince my friends that I had really been attacked by a werewolf to freak them out. Any clubhouse or tree house…I tried to turn it into Monster Squad. I’ve got a bunch of weird idiosyncrasies with myself, but for the most part, it’s like…I took my girlfriend to TRANSYLVANIA this summer. When the CryptTV Facebook group first started, I think I was on my trip, and they posed the question “what makes you weird?” and I said “well I’m kind of on a trip in Transylvania right now so maybe that’s what makes me a little bit of a weirdo.”
I have to say, with such an awesome web series with great content, I knew Mike Hickey was a crazy awesome guy to begin with, but getting the chance to talk to him changed EVERYTHING. Between talking about what shape chicken nuggets are best, his interest in hockey, and of course his love of horror, watching Fright Hype will forever be so much more than just a show about horror news- it’s a great guy doing what he loves!
If you’re a horror fan looking for some quick, quality horror news, check out Fright Hype! And until next time, my ghosts and ghouls….stay spooky! <3
For more information on Mike Hickey and Fright Hype, check out his facebook page atwww.facebook.com/frighthype, twitter at twitter.com/frighthype, and his channel on CryptTV at http://crypttv.com/originals-spotlight/fright-hype/