The following is a brief interview with Hoff Matthews
RS: How did you first come across Maniac Cop 2 and what was the process like for putting together this comedy show/screening/Q&A?
HM: I think I first got introduced to the Maniac Cop films through Jamie Russell's Book of the Dead, a really great book on the history of zombie movies. (Maniac Cop 2's not exactly a zombie movie in the Walking Dead sense, but the title character is zombie-ish enough to warrant a mention.) And then this Q&A came about because I got in touch with the company Blue Underground about screening rights for the films they distribute and ended up corresponding with William Lustig, Maniac Cop 2 director and Blue Underground founder. I took the opportunity to ask if he'd be willing to make a guest appearance at a screening of one of his films, and he was nice enough to say yes.
What is the difference between a great, campy horror film and one that makes you roll your eyes?
It's a fine line, for sure. I think the important thing is going for the gusto, really working hard to show your audience something special instead of using irony as an excuse for lazy filmmaking. Like, Maniac Cop 2 has a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about its subject matter, but it's still well-made and has a great cast, genuinely impressive action sequences, etc. And then there's something like Thankskilling, which is totally primitive on a technical level but super committed to being as absurd and weird as possible. You've got to put in the sweat one way or another.
What's the most frightened you've ever been in a movie theater?
I think a lot of the movies that have scared me most were the ones I saw on home video as a kid, like The Shining or Stephen King's It. But The Babadook definitely had me on edge while I was watching it, and so did Paranormal Activity and The Strangers. I saw What Lies Beneath in theaters back in 2000 and loved it, even though it doesn't seem to be very fondly remembered now. And I recall being freaked out by the scary parts of Fellowship of the Ring, like when Bilbo turns into a monster for a sec. That got me.