G&C: Speaking of Steven King, are we ever going to see a film version of "The Tailsman"?
MG: I hope so. I wrote a script that everybody was really happy with for a four-hour miniseries that could have been really something unique and hopefully wonderful. I haven't been involved in the feature machinations, but they've gone through several writers and directors.
G&C: You not only write screenplays, but you've written a short story collection "Life in the Cinema" and your first novel, "Development Hell" is about to be published by Cemetery Dance. Each one of those formats uses a different writing muscle; do you prefer one format over the other? Is one easier to write than the other?
MG: I just like writing. But screenplays, if they are to be produced, have to follow certain formulae. You have to take budget and production into account, write roles that will attract good actors. There are hundreds of people standing between the page and the screen with a screenplay. With fiction, you write for the page, and that's the be-all and end-all. The work is your own, for better or for worse.
G&C: Development Hell looks like it expands on storylines you visited in your short stories, particularly "A Life in the Cinema" and "Starfucker". Is the protagonist in "Development Hell" the same one from "Life in the Cinema"?
MG: Actually, A LIFE IN THE CINEMA and STARFUCKER are, in somewhat altered form, the first two chapters of DEVELOPMENT HELL. I really wanted to revisit that nameless character. I'd written a couple more of the stories that picked up where each preceding story left off, and Steve King told me it read like a loose novel. So, I made it a tighter one.
G&C: I've read a partial list of Directors that you have lined up for the second season of Masters of Horror. You have John Landis, Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, Ernest R. Dickerson, Brad Anderson, Tom Holland, Joe Dante, Yourself, and Stuart Gordon. Can you tell us who the remaining three Directors are going to be?
MG: Peter Medak is shooting now, and Rob Schmidt and Japanese director Norio Tsuruda will be shooting the final episode of the season in Japan.
G&C: I thought it was a brilliant idea to bring Takashi Miike onboard last season, but Showtime banned his episode (Imprint). Is Showtime afraid of an FCC clampdown like Network Television has to deal with or was it something else entirely?
MG: It's a very intense episode. Once you see it, you'll probably understand their thinking. If they FCC can fine CBS for some Janet Jackson nipple, this one might throw them into fits. But the DVD will be complete and unexpurgated.
G&C: If I can make a suggestion for Season 3, how about letting Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik) and Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock) each helm an episode. That should make Showtime's head explode!
MG: Suggest away. We haven't had a good exploding head since SCANNERS.
G&C: You explored the taboo subject of Necrophilia in your short story "Forever Gramma", so what do you think of the equally taboo subject "Girls and Corpses Magazine? Should we be banned?
MG: You ain't worth your salt if you ain't been banned...
G&C: I feel you can't get a true measure of a man until you've been to his house, take a look at the books he reads, the films he watches, and then take a look in his refrigerator, only then will you know what kind of man he is, for you have gazed at his soul. So, Mr. Garris, what was the last book you read, what was the latest DVD you bought, and what do you have in your refrigerator?
MG: The last book I read was Scott Smith's THE RUINS (I'm reading James Crumley's THE LAST GOOD KISS now), I just bought DOUBLE INDEMNITY on DVD, and all the fixin's for a damn fine smoothie are in the fridge.
A big Thank You to Mick Garris for managing to squeeze us into his already hectic schedule and for consenting to do this interview. His new book "Development Hell" is being released by Cemetery Dance, and can be ordered from their website or Dark Delicacies. His anthology show "Masters of Horror" airs on Showtime and is available on DVD at fine retailers everywhere. Mick Garris's new book, Development Hell can be ordered at cemeterydance.com.