Creature Feature Interviews
Mike MacLean (Dinocroc vs Supergator, Sharktopus, Piranhaconda)
Screenwriting is a very difficult field to get into and a common statistic thrown around is that 95% of writers never get to see their work on the big screen. But what are the chances of having 5 of your screenplays produced by the Syfy Channel and be the go-to guy for the legendary producer Roger Corman?
The odds of that happening are minuscule yet there is a man who can flaunt these credentials and his name is Mike MacLean. Over the past 5 years, Mr MacLean has had a tremendous impact on the Creature Feature world after writing such Syfy hits as Dinocroc vs Supergator, Sharktopus & Piranhaconda.
The remarkably down-to-Earth and hilarious Mr MacLean was even kind enough to answer a few questions for me about his movies, his writing habits and what he has coming up in the future. Anyone planning on penning the next Creature Feature goldmine will definitely want to read below:
How did you get into screenwriting? And why?
I could blather on about my love of movies and how I dabbled in screenwriting during college, but ultimately I fell ass backwards into the film industry. I wrote a story called “McHenry’s Gift” which ended up being published in The Best American Mystery Stories (alongside Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke, and Walter Mosley). Someone at Roger Corman’s office read it and shot me an email asking if I’d like to try screenwriting.
2013 has been an interesting year for films.
Creatures Features became a social media phenomenon thanks to The Asylum’s Sharknado which became a major talking point following it’s SyFy Channel première. Sharks were very popular this year as we also saw the release of Avalanche Sharks, Ghost Shark and Sharkzilla whilst Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark was pushed back to 2014. Announcements for 2014 included Sharknado getting a sequel entitled The Second One, Sharktopus getting two vs sequels and a crossover of the Lake Placid and Anaconda franchises!
Meanwhile the two parent genres of Creature Features, Sci Fi and Horror, equally performed far above expectations. The ‘Avengers Effect’ was finally proved as the box office gross for Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World sky-rocketed from their last respective outings whilst James Wan hit a one-two punch with the super profitable Insidious: Chapter Two and mega hit The Conjuring.
But enough of that, on to my Best of 2013…
UK DVD cover
Where do I begin…?*
Profile: Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack (2012)
Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack is a 2012 horror anime based on the titular manga by Junji Ito (Tomie) that ran from 2001 to 2002. Arguably the only creature feature anime available in the UK, the OVA was written and directed by Takayuki Hirao and wins the award for being the most bizarre concepts I have ever seen for a Sci-Fi Horror film. Gracefully short at a mere 71 minutes long, Gyo was produced by the Ufotable animation studio and was released in the UK via Terracotta Distribution.
Kaori is on holiday with her friends when walking fish begin to rise from the sea and invade Japan, bringing with them a ‘death stench’ that smells like rotting corpses. Leaving her friends at the vacation home, Kaori teams up with cameraman and reporter Shirakawa as she struggles to make her way back to Tokyo and find her finance Tadashi. This is where things start to get really weird… Continue reading
Jaws Revenge is a 2012 app game developed by Fuse Powered Inc based on the titular Jaws franchise that is available for iOS and Android devices. The 24MB game is completely free and carries a ‘High Maturity’ age rating. During the game you play as ‘Jaws’ the shark from Jaws and the aim of the game is eat enough people to stay alive whilst your health continuously drops. Continue reading