UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT – Exorcising Demons, Raising Scarecrows & More – Horror Filmmaker Geno McGahee Speaks

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By Chris Summerfield

It is time we went, ‘Under the spotlight,’ once again here on scared stiff, with the legendary indie horror, writer, director and producer, Geno McGahee. Welcome back Geno.

CS: So I must start by asking how did the, EXORCISM OF THE 7TH DEMON, work out, as am aware it was a movie you wrote and John Reign, directed and produced?

I crossed paths with John Reign a few years back and we were coming together on a project called “UNEARTHED,” but through a series of unfortunate events, it didn’t materialize at that time. He and I maintained contact and planned to do another feature when the time was right and he came to me with an idea. It started out as a vampire idea, but then it shifted through our discussions to a demonic film with several demons, mixing elements of THE EVIL DEAD and THE EXORCIST into a film that was just released this past week. I am thankful that my work is in demand and that I can write and others will produce. I could build a house if you printed out all of my unproduced screenplays and stacked them up. So, going this route with the 7th Demon was a good route for me. John Reign is also very good with visuals and maintaining a vision. The demons and execution of this film is a testament to his skills and to my decision to work with him on this and several other future projects.

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CS: EXORCISM OF THE 7TH DEMON looks a very exciting and frightening movie, are you anticipating this film to do well at the festivals and has it claimed any awards as of yet?

The unfortunate thing in this day and age is that there are so many films being produced and the market does not benefit indie filmmakers. You have Netflix, which has become its own channel and has forgotten all about the indie guys that helped launch the streaming side when it first began and now wants nothing to do with them and then you have the other big dog, Amazon Prime. When you release a film, if Prime does not support it in a way, then it’s very tough to start making money. If you’re buried, you’re dead. There are also a lot of exorcism films and paranormal films and so we need to separate ourselves from them and we have done that with story and execution, but have we done it enough to overcome and make the mark that we hope to make.

We’ve not entered it into any festivals, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that we will. I see there is a lot of hype right now for the film. Hopefully that will translate into success. I really think that this film has a lot going for it and some of the characters merit a follow up but we have to make this one count.

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CS: As regards future productions, the movie that has really got me excited is, RISE OF THE SCARECROWS: HELL ON EARTH, will we be seeing any of the past cast from the original movie and was you tempted to bring back Dicky and possible act as him again, has he was a mysterious and cunning character in the original?

I keep saying that this one is “for all the marbles.” It’s being produced by CINEMA EPOCH and is an official sequel to the 2003 film “RISE OF THE SCARECROWS.” I’m not going to be acting in this one and I won’t be acting again mainly because I’m not comfortable in front of the camera and it’s not something that I excel at, even if I had a great level of comfort. I never thought that I would make an official sequel to it, but thankfully, people loved the first and thankfully, people hated the first. It has made the “Best/Worst list” of a lot of websites and I hold those distinctions close to my heart. This time around, I plan to bring a very good, high quality scarecrow horror film. I am not leaving anything to chance this time. I’m going to do it right.

CS: And will Rise of the Scarecrows, Hell on earth, be related to the original?

It is an official sequel. It happens well after the first, but we learn more about the scarecrows, what they are and how they interact and they will also look more imposing and cool here. The people have spoken and they have demanded “no more fat scarecrows.” Ask and you shall receive. These scarecrows are going to be bad ass, they are going to look great with John Reign’s designs and applications, and it really is do or die here. I need to make this the next notable slasher film so I can get another budget and keep moving forward.

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CS: Now stepping away from the horror movies for the next question, as I am keen to hear if you had considered making your short movie that was a type of conspiracy/mystery, THE LONE GUNMAN, into a feature length, as the short movie is hard hitting and has an amazing plot?

Yes. I have written a few dramas and even a comedy, but horror is a hot ticket it seems or at least, has a built in audience. THE LONE GUNMAN is one of my finest creations and I want to make a conspiracy film for sure. I think it’s in the cards, but I just have to get out there more and have to get more people to know of me and to hopefully like what I do.

CS: Now regards current movies, what were the last three horror movies you watched and was very impressed with?

Hmmm… Modern horror has let me down so much. I am a big fan of the 70s and 80s horror, but let me think… I watched DON’T BREATHE. I sort of liked it. The characters are underdeveloped and the plot is silly and simple, but the last 30 minutes was hilariously bad and I enjoyed it. I saw GET OUT and that film was the best film, horror or not , that I have seen in years. THE STEPFORD WIVES is one of my favorite films and this one did it proud. It was a tribute without being a ripoff and it understood the current climate and was able to put thoughts across in a realistic way. I loved it. I loved how it didn’t go with the redneck racist, but rather the pretentious and patronizing “I’m not racist” racist that we see a lot. KNUCKLEBONES was great monster movie that reminded me of the days when I used to go to Hollywood Video and pick up one of the lower budget horror films. I had a great time with that one.

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CS: Thank you again for taking the time to complete this interview and may I wish you all the best with your upcoming releases.

Thank you.