Interview with John Migliore, writer and director of "Curse of the Bloody Voodoo Sockpuppet"
Hello, John and welcome to my blog! Please introduce yourself.
Hello, everyone! My name is John Migliore and I'm an actor and a director. My production company is called Survival Zombie Films. I got my start as a zombie in a number of horror movies like Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Land of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead. Eventually, I moved into acting in independent films. You'll see me in a wide range of movies including Raiders of the Lost Shark, Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1, Murder in High Heels, Bloody Ballet, and Jesse James: Lawman to name a few. I've written and directed Poltergeist Encounters, Exorcism of the Dead, and Creature from Cannibal Creek. I'm currently promoting the release of my sixth feature, Curse of the Bloody Voodoo Sockpuppet...
Now, please tell me what you can about Curse of the Bloody Voodoo Sockpuppet!
Curse of the Bloody Voodoo Sockpuppet is an amalgamation of two films I made back in the nineties. The quality of the first was too rough to release on its own, and the second was a little short to be considered a feature film. I also shot new footage on VHS that ties the two stories together. It's really retro, and cheesy as can be! I would call the movie cheap, goofy, and a whole lot of fun.
The story focuses on a former children's television host who turns into a serial killer. He's manipulated by his own celebrity puppet, who may or may not be possessed. Eventually, Dave commits suicide, but that isn't the end of the story. He's soon resurrected by a mad scientist known as Dr. Scissors, who's looking for help with his evil experiments.
Where can people see Curse of the Voodoo Sock Puppet in future (and right now!)?
The movie is available now through Vimeo On Demand. I plan to also have a DVD release down the road. It would also be fun to release the movie on VHS! Still looking into that one...
Where did you shoot? I saw that some of the locations were in Hamilton, and the Starlite Drive In (was that the interior snack bar, too)? Was Cayuga the Cannibal Creek location?
Most of the locations are around Hamilton. Much of the outdoor scenes were filmed downtown in the main core. Some scenes around a house were taken on the central mountain. That was definitely the Starlite Drive In for both interiors and exteriors. The Cannibal Creek location was indeed in Cayuga.
Where DID you get that redhead ventriloquist dummy head?
That belongs to Glenn's mom. He's the one that gets his throat slit in the movie. He snuck it out for the movie...
What movie was that playing on the Drive in screen?
There's a clip I used to cover up the screen at one point. It's from Golden Gate International Exposition Marionettes. You can see it on Internet Archive...
The movie that's obscured by Charlie Boob (and covered in the other scene) is Beethoven!
Where can people download/listen to the ending credits song?
You can hear the song here...
More from Mike Trebilcock and Sematary Spawn here...
And not a question so much as a comment…I’m very happy to see there is a cat in the movie. Cats and B-movies should be together forever.
I love cats! I have two right now. Maybe I can work up to being a crazy old cat lady soon...
You wrote for and directed The Midnight Movie Palace TV series in 2016 — tell me a bit about that and where people can catch episodes now?
The Midnight Movie Palace is a series consisting of six episodes starring Johnny Ghoulash. The show was a showcase for short horror films by independent filmmakers. It was a challenge to produce, but I think it's pretty entertaining and moves along quickly. You can watch episodes on Chop Block TV on both Amazon Fire and Roku. It's also available on the Survival Zombie Films Vimeo Channel. My other show, Partially Devoured Movies, can also be seen in all the same places.
Tell me about Johnny Ghoulash, too.
Johnny Ghoulash was first introduced in Matt Cloude's Midnight in the Mortuary. He appeared in a segment entitled Ghoul Schoul. From there, he went on to his own show, Partially Devoured Movies. The idea of that show was to cut movies down to about fifteen minutes or so, and load them up with a lot of funny gags. Johnny has had a Halloween Special and also appears in a feature film! Johnny Ghoulash Escapes from Creightonville should be released on DVD later this year...
You have an extensive list of credits on IMDb — tell me about your favourite films, whether short or feature length, as well as series (and why)?
It's always tough to pick favourites. I really loved being part of all the films I worked on. I feel lucky and honoured to be included in them all. That being said, there are always a few that stand out. I loved playing The Shape in Kyle Hytonen's short film, Massacre at Femur Creek. It was my first chance to play a masked serial killer, and that's something I'll always remember. The film is also very funny, and I was asked to do some pretty outrageous stuff.
I guess Creature from Cannibal Creek is high on the list for me too. It's a creature feature that I wrote and directed myself. I also play David in the film, which was a little difficult to juggle. This one's special for me because I grew up on monster movies and always wanted to make one. On set, I had to rely on my camera operators during crucial scenes, including one in which I was completely buried in debris! That was a little claustrophobic for me, but I love the way the scene turned out.
I see you were also a zombie in Plan 9 (I was an Associate Producer for this film!), Survival of the Dead, Land of the Dead and Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Any fun stories you’d like to recount about any (or all!) of those experiences? Tell me how I can spot you in each of those flicks, if possible.
Plan 9 was a really great time. Director Johnny Johnson is a great guy and made me feel welcome on the set. I was in the mass zombie scenes toward the end of the movie. This led to me working on some of his other films including FearFighter and Skeleton Key 3 Part 2. Mariah Johnson did a great job on my makeup. I still have the latex pieces she used in a frame! She also tore up the tuxedo I brought to wear in the movie. I still use that tuxedo as Johnny Ghoulash...
In Survival of the Dead, I play one of the zombies that tears Chuck apart at the end of the movie. The synthetic body we were supposed to devour froze overnight, so a job that would have taken just a few seconds actually took a few minutes to achieve. I remember just going at it, biting and ripping, over and over again. It was surreal. A huge hunk of latex got caught in my teeth!
You were also recently in Ouija Shark (as Jill’s Dad)...got any stories?
I did a lot of stuff on Ouija Shark. Director Brett Kelly had a tight deadline that he had to meet, so he asked me to help him out. I worked on the script, originally written by David A. Lloyd. I did all the special effects, and I shot my own scenes. The shark in the movie was made of something like rubber or latex and was basically a hand puppet. Brett mailed it to me and I sent it back to him when all the shots were done! My big scene in the movie was supposed to be a lot simpler, but the film's run time was a little short, so I got the chance to expand it. Turned out to be a great little scene!
Thank you so much for chatting with me, John! For those of you reading, here are some links you might have missed while reading the blog:
Curse of the Bloody Voodoo Sockpuppet On Demand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/puppet
Survival Zombie Films - https://vimeo.com/channels/szf
Survival Zombie Films on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/survivalzombie/
John Migliore on Twitter - https://twitter.com/johnmigliore/
John Migliore Blog - https://johnmigliore.blogspot.com/
And what is MY TAKE, you ask?
Well, I'm glad you did. Those of you who love "bad movies" full of horror and B-movie tropes, practical blood FX, silly writing, random out of context shots, poorly composed framing (on purpose) and long, pointless fight scenes are in for a treat.
Starting with characters from Creature from Cannibal Creek, we have Harriet, who acts as our narrator and has some of the best lines of the film (an honour she shares with the super cheesy mad scientist Dr. Scissors), we go a good 18 minutes before the opening title sequence even begins! Ha!
Snuffy, the titular Bloody Voodoo Sockpuppet, is kind of adorable, much like Puppet Killer's Simon (but a much simpler design), so I completely forgive him all the creative murders.
Also, it's important to note there IS a cat in this film. Wouldn't be a proper B-movie without one, frankly. Obligatory dubbed "meow" is included.
Uncle Skulle stars as himself and brings to mind the grampa character from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and is used to similar effect when one of the victims is brought to Dr. Scissors' lab by his two new zombie assistants (one of which is Dave, Snuffy's "operator," who killed himself in order to try and prevent further murder sprees by the puppet).
The truly creepy puppet in this is that crazy redheaded ventriloquist dummy head operated by the character Rusty (played by John). Ick...
Favourite lines? "I'm dead, now...I'm dead, now...I LIED!
And "...Hats are for sinners."
I also always enjoy a good "science rant."
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