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Jul 31, 2020

My guest today is a household name among horror fans, and the director of one of the most talked about horror movies of recent times, Terrifier! 

Terrifier’s star, Art the Clown is on the fast-track to slasher stardom and is without a doubt, the most iconic movie slasher in decades. All you have to do is observe the rampant fan art and the alarming number of tattoos of Art to know, that this is a true horror icon, and he’s just getting started. 

The character of Art the Clown has actually been developed by Damien over the course of 3 films. Having started as a minor character in a short called The Ninth Circle, Art then went on to star in his own short (also called Terrifier) before being adapted into a full length feature called All Hallow’s Eve, which compiled the two previous shorts into a VHS style anthology, bookended with another wraparound story, also starring Art the Clown. 

The many iterations of Art the Clown have allowed the character to be polished and refined to the point where it seems we horror fans just might have gotten the next great slasher franchise we’ve all been waiting for! I chatted with Damien extensively about the long awaited Terrifier 2 and what it holds in store for us. Here for your listening pleasure is Damien Leone. 

So, I did an interview with Damien in Dread Central a couple years back shortly after he made Terrifier - definitely check it out if you enjoyed this conversation but I’m going to start with some key takeaways from that conversation because they really hit on some great lessons in horror filmmaking. 


  • Make something that stands out and gets people talking. In a market flooded with unoriginal copycat concepts, your film needs to have something notably different that will get people talking. In the case of Terrifier, this was the strong special effects (hand crafted by Damien himself) and the grisly but inventive violence.


  • Learn a complementary skill. Damien’s background as a special effects makeup artist not only opened doors for him in the way of meeting producers, but enabled him to make Terrifier shine above larger budgeted movies as he did all the effects himself.


  • Deliver the gore but be classy about it. The gore in Terrifier stood out chiefly among most other recent horror entries, but despite its brutality, Damien still showed artful restraint through the use of cutaways and editing, even during the film’s centerpiece hacksaw scene. To avoid getting into Hershell Gordon Lewis/torture porn territory, show the audience what they want to see but avoid holding on the shot for too long. It’s a fine balance that can make or break the efficacy of your kill scenes.


Thanks as always for listening! Check out the show on Instagram at @imnicktaylor or on Twitter at the same handle. Dont forget to subscribe and if you dig this episode, why not write us a review? If you don’t dig it, no worries on the review. 






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