Thursday, Oct 6 2022

Allegoria - Spider One Interview


Allegoria - Spider One Interview

By Jessica Dwyer

Allegoria is a return to the twist
ending and cautionary tale anthologies of old.  But there's a connective
tissue between the stories that adds another layer to this blood soaked stories
of tortured (literally) artists and characters that dwell within.

Spider One has written and directed
a creepy, effective film with Allegoria (now streaming on Shudder) and it was a
pleasure to speak to him about his first feature length film.  I've been a
fan of Powerman 5000 for a while and their music videos always stood out to me,
especially Supernova Goes Pop (which Spider directed.)  Anthologies also
hold a special place in my heart, so this was a really fun chat.



JD

I loved Allegoria and I have
got a ton of questions. How influenced were you by anthologies from the genre?
Because anthologies and short stories are, I think, some of the most difficult
to get right. And you nailed it and I'm just curious. Oh yeah, I got exactly
what you were doing with this and I loved it. First off, what's your favorite
anthology, either series or film that you've seen?

S1

Yeah, it's interesting that you
mentioned anthology because I guess I've been saying, yes, it's an anthology
but it's not really an anthology. Right. Because traditionally anthologies are
stories that don't necessarily connect. right? So although Allegoria is in that
anthology structure, all the characters and scenarios and they connect and it's
kind of a fun watch because you don't realize it at first and then all of a
sudden you're like, oh yeah, that's that and that person, that person. So that
was really a fun part of doing this. But as far as the influence, interestingly
enough, big influence on this project. Not necessarily an anthology film, but
Night Gallery. Yeah.

JD

Serling is a god.

S1

Yeah. So the aesthetic of that show
and I guess because it is a series, it is essentially a very long anthology,
right. Even as a kid in revisiting a lot of those episodes as an adult, there's
such a strange tone to that show. Much different than the Twilight Zone. You
know, The Twilight Zone dealt with dark subject matter but it felt a bit more
fun and Night Gallery was just I don't know why, it was just like terrifying to
me just the opening with those paintings. So that really was an influence in
sort of the kind of feeling I wanted to convey with Allegoria. Just sort of
like this overall uncomfortable nest when you're watching it that everybody in
the film is just a little off and everybody in the film is struggling a little
bit with something.  To me that I can point to is remind me of the most
direct line to the film.

JD

Well, and one thing that as I was
watching it, there were a few things that really stood out for me and I would
love to get your insight into this if I'm off base. So you start off with the
teacher looking in a mirror and this is also the same with the artist. It just
seems to go where you're looking at yourself and you're trying to summon
something and you're opening yourself up to something coming in. 
Manifesting something and creating something and going too far with it. And
also there's this bit of artistic ego in there as well. And I just was curious
if that was what you were going for and how much that fed into the stories.

S1

Yeah, I mean, you're dead on. And I
think these scenes and I realized that there's something in this movie, there's
more than one scene there's, I think at least three moments when people are
looking at themselves in the mirror. And I think that's a powerful thing, and I
think it's something that we can all relate to because I think that there is
well, I don't think I know we've all had those moments when we were alone,
bathroom or wherever, and we're looking at ourselves and you have this so many
questions like who are you? Or you don't recognize yourself or something. Is
there some process that goes along with with with your with your reflection,
you know, and when you then, you know, you you also couple that with these artists
that are raging egos or raging insecurities. I think this is like ripe for a
tale of terror, because there is nothing more frightening than human horror
that we can all relate to these things. We can all relate to feeling desperate
and feeling inadequate or whatever it is. We could live to 100 years old and
may never be chased down the street by a guy in a hockey mask with an axe, but
we can all certainly relate to the feeling of these feelings of inadequacy.

Yeah, I think you nailed it. And I
think you are asking those questions when you're looking at yourself that you
may not ask otherwise. Yeah. So to expand on that and have that then manifest
real life horrors, monsters, demons or otherwise just seem like a natural
progression for me.

JD

Well, I love that answer, but also
one thing that I kind of took from it, too, especially with the first part, and
it kind of progressed as well, was with actors specifically. I don't want to
say they have an emptiness within them that allows them to fill it, but you're
basically giving yourself over to possession when you're an actor, because
you're letting a character take you over. And I really kind of dug that aspect
of it.

S1

Yeah, I think you're right. I think
actors are very unique people in general, to be able to do what they do, and it
takes a certain skill and it takes us clearly a certain skill, but it does take
a certain ability to not be yourself. And what is that? But if not possession.
Right. As well as most art, I think art possesses you. I really think if you
are truly driven to be creative, it is really, at a certain point, is not your
choice. And I think that was a driving theme behind this movie, is that you are
controlled by your art. You are not controlling the art. So there's a lot of
questions in the film to me that I don't necessarily feel I don't feel a
responsibility to answer. But there's a lot of things in the film you could
ask, is this actually happening or is this just in the madness of the mind of
the artist?

JD

Exactly. Yeah. So I was curious.
With anthologies and with short stories. I always wonder. As a director and a
writer. Is it tougher for you to do a short tale or a longer version because
you have the limitation of time. But you also have in a way, the limitation of
time is helpful because it allows you to know okay, I have this much time to
get the story out. How did that work for you? What's your take on that
challenge?

S1

Yeah, it'd be hard to say which is
more difficult. But there is you're right. There is a there is a unique challenge
in conveying an idea quickly. You're relying on which I think it works great,
certainly for horror, that you're relying on concepts to represent other
things, which clearly in the title, Allegoria is really where is it a longer
format. You can use many things to explain scenario or why a character is doing
what they're doing. When you're trying to condense an idea into five or six
minutes, it's almost like comedy. It becomes like writing a joke in a certain
sense. You have to have a set up punchline or a twist a punchline, which isn't
really always easy to do and have it be effective. Yeah, it definitely comes
with its own set of challenges. And I think that's why, for me, connecting the
story and sort of reverse engineering this idea and it was really the funnest
part of scripting this film, to connect the dots between these people was
really a blast to do.

JD

And I also love one thing that I
always took from the old school anthology movies like Tales from the Crypt and
Doctor Terrors House of Horrors. There's always a morality tale. And that's why
I love your title, because the Allegoria is perfect for this, because there
always seems to be like a morality tale or some message within the story. And I
really love that.

S1

Sci-fi and whore are always representing
something else. I mean, science fiction is still most famous for that,
especially in the 50s and 60s when you couldn't show certain things, you
couldn't say certain things outright, but you would represent concepts of
racism or other injustices in the world by using robots or whatever. And I
think that horror does the same thing. You can represent struggles in life by
using these fantastical ideas and images.




Allegoria is available to stream on
Shudder now!
































































(cross posted on Fangirl Magazine)