Horror Favourites – Lucky McKee

Almost a decade after Lucky McKee burst upon the indie horror scene and became a ‘Master of Horror’ in the making thanks to his directorial debut May, he teamed up with legendary cult author Jack Ketchum for his most shocking and brutal film to date: The Woman, an instant cause célèbre on its Sundance premiere. To celebrate the 4K remastered Blu-ray release of Lucky McKee’s The Woman which is out now from Arrow Video we asked the amazing director to tell us about his favourite horror film.

Check out the The Woman Official Restoration Trailer 4K here:

The Woman (Pollyanna McIntosh, The Walking Dead) is the last surviving member of a deadly clan of feral cannibals that has roamed the American wilderness for decades. When successful country lawyer Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers, Room) stumbles upon her whilst hunting in the woods, he decides to capture and “civilize” her with the help of his seemingly perfect all-American family, including his wife Belle (Angela Bettis, May) and daughter Peggy (Lauren Ashley Carter, Darling). The Cleeks will soon learn, however, that hell hath no fury like The Woman scorned…

Experience McKee and Ketchum’s uncompromisingly twisted vision of the dark side of the American family in a definitive new edition, including a 4K remaster, brand new bonus features, and a bonus disc featuring a brand new restoration of its gut-churning 2009 predecessor Offspring, also starring Macintosh.

Below Lucky McKee took time out of his very busy schedule to tell us about his Favourite Horror Film:

“There will never be a horror film better than THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I first saw the film, at age 17, while attending USC film school. Everyone I knew had grown up with it and had watched it countless times. I hadn’t. The setting for my first experience with it was perfect: The great little 108 theater in the old Lucas building. Pristine print. Full crowd. What unfolded before me countered every expectation I’d had. The audience reaction couldn’t have been further from my own. They all laughed, cheered and screamed. They were having FUN. Me? Transported. Changed forever. My personal faith lies with cinema so it was a truly religious experience.

I’d expected gore and lots of it. There was very little of that. I’d expected a dirtier, grindhouse style of filmmaking typical of the day. This was not that. Stylistically, it was closer to Kurosawa than 42nd street. (If you don’t believe me, take a look at the running sequences in Rashomon) I’d expected to be disturbed but not ripped apart mind, body and soul. When the movie finished and the lights came up, my buddy Todd looked at me, his eyes going wide. “You’re face is completely white”, he said. To put it mildly, I was plain SHOOK. I grew up in an extremely rural environment, so I knew how scary it could get out there in the wide open. I’d seen hints of it, here and there, while growing up. Saw how folks would shut themselves off from the world at large and live by their own rules, good and bad. Seeing a film that captured that so well hit me on a deep, personal level. That first viewing was the kind of transcendent, engrossing, full body cinematic experience I crave. It happens, but it doesn’t happen often enough. If it did, it wouldn’t be as special.

Cut to nine years later, shortly after making my first extremely personal feature MAY. I’m at a pool party and I meet a cheerful, cigar chomping fella around my father’s age. A fella by the name of Tobe Hooper. We hit it off immediately and remained friends from that day until his passing. There were many nights where we’d hang until dawn, watch movies, drink killer coffee and trade war stories (his were better). The first time we had an all-nighter, I saw a chainsaw sitting on his mantle and an old 16mm camera. It wasn’t just a chainsaw, it was THE chain saw. And the camera was the very one he’d used to shoot the film. I got to hold the camera, but the saw I looked at respectfully, with my hands behind my back like a little kid with good manners. These were sacred objects which had conjured a magic that changed me forever. I still wonder how I’ve been so fortunate to experience moments like that. And Tobe? The fella behind the greatest horror film that will ever be made? My idol? Mentor? Friend? The man who scared millions to their very cores? Well, counter to what one might presume, he was one of the sweetest, gentlest, smartest and most insightful people that’s ever been made. Not what one would expect. Over the years I’ve learned that that’s exactly the type of person who is able to identify the depths of human darkness and dramatize it in all its nasty colors. That’s what Tobe did with CHAIN SAW and so many films after and I’m so grateful I was able to thank him for it, person to person.

I miss him.”

The 4K remastered Blu-ray release of Lucky McKee’s THE WOMAN is available now from Arrow Video


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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