It was recently announced that director Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play) is involved with a horror-themed cruise called the Ship of Fear. The event will take place during Halloween 2013 and is going to be a mix of a horror convention, rock concert, and a party on the ocean. We recently interviewed Tom Holland, who talked about launching this venture and what we can expect:
How did you become involved in launching a horror-themed cruise?
Tom Holland: David Chackler has been a friend of mine and my music supervisor since Fright Night. He suggested doing a horror-themed cruise on the ocean and I thought it was a great idea because you can party the whole time without having to worry about driving home [laughs]. This is party-oriented and done safely. David had access to ECP because he had been doing these themed cruises for smooth jazz and I thought it was a great idea.
Why did you think now was the right time to move forward with this venture?
Tom Holland: Usually, you’ll go to a horror convention and Friday night you really get revved up, Saturday is really terrific, but it really slows down on Sunday. I thought this cruise would be a way to marry serious discussions about the horror genre in the day and party every night. You can also feel the interest in the fans growing and there are multiple generations of horror fans now. We’re starting to have a large enough fan base to really support people putting money into so that it runs smoother and becomes a real business.
You recently launched the website Twisted Curios to showcase horror artwork. Is your interest in horror art something that will be incorporated into this event?
Tom Holland: I’ve always been into horror art and I think it’s getting better. With all of my work with special make-up effects, I’ve grown an aesthetic appreciation for how they sculpt pieces such as werewolf hands other types of creatures. I started to see more and more of it appearing at horror conventions, such as Monsterpalooza. The thing I have been pushing for is to get more makeup people and effects people involved in this event.
I’ve seen other companies try and fail at launching a horror cruise. What has been done to avoid making the same mistakes?
Tom Holland: We have this huge organization behind us [ECP] and it’s a big undertaking. This is not a small roll of the dice and I give a tip of the hat to them because it’s a huge chance that we’re taking. No one has tried it that is as well established as ECP and the cruise company are.
Did it take much convincing to get ECP interested in the idea of a horror cruise?
Tom Holland: They saw the potential. In the past, people put together a convention for a quick buck and they would fall apart after a couple of years. You can feel over the last two or three years that the horror conventions are being run better. I think that ECP senses the same thing I did. They have that business down to a science and they are music oriented. My interest is in having the directors and actors added to the mix so that we can have some serious panels.
The guest list is already pretty extensive. Do you plan to add more guests over the course of the year?
Tom Holland: We’re going to add to it. We have Alice Cooper and Dee Snider, which will be terrific at night. I’m also interested in what goes on in the day, though, so I’m working to get the makeup artists so we can have them make up a number of the guests for the Halloween ball. We’ll also be adding artists all through the year.
How has the response been since the cruise was announced last month?
Tom Holland: There was an explosion of sales off of Alice and Dee. There’s a hardcore Alice Cooper group and we’ve been working with social media to reach out to horror fans. The music fans all seem to be following Alice Cooper directly, but now we’re starting to get more of the horror fans which seem more reachable through social media and horror sites.
We’ve posted some details about Ship of Fear below and you can learn more at: http://www.shipoffear.com
“Launched by ECP, the world’s largest independent cruise production company, and StarVista, THE SHIP OF FEAR (a full ship charter) departs on its maiden voyage from Miami, FL on October 28, 2013. The Carnival Victory will sail Halloween week with stops in Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Freeport before returning to Miami on November 2nd. Horror/thriller network Chiller has joined the cruise as a presenting sponsor, running extensive promotions on the network, onboard events and establishing co-branding opportunities.
THE SHIP OF FEAR will pay homage to the horror genre in all forms; from daily panels and classic horror film reunions (featuring appearances by many of the genre’s biggest names in front of and behind the camera) to costume contests, live talent demonstrations and more. The non-stop fun features appearances by stars Zach Galligan (“Gremlins, Hatchet 3”), Reggie Bannister (“Phantasm” series), R.A. “Leatherface” Mihailoff, Ed “Chucky” Gale, Kane “Jason” Hodder, Tony “Candyman” Todd, Belinda Balaski (“The Howling”) and directors Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play), Don Coscarelli (“Phantasm,” “The Beastmaster,” “Bubba Ho-Tep”), Mick Garris (television’s “Masters of Horror,” “The Stand,” “Freddy’s Nightmares”), Joe Dante (The Howling, Piranha, Gremlins), and Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary) as well as live musical performances by Alice Cooper, Dee Snider and Corey Feldman and Truth Movement. On the Ship of Fear, the terror never ends!
Cruisers aboard the Ship of Fear will also be able to go behind the scenes with some of Hollywood’s best special effects and make-up artists and join performance artists such as the irreverent steam-punk, zombie hunting team, League of S.T.E.A.M. Horror fans will be captivated by illusionists, nightly movie screenings with Q&A’s, an amateur horror film festival, party it up during “Screech on the Beach” (held on Carnival’s own private island), a Zombie Prom on Halloween night and meet with many more surprises.”