The Core, Shudder's new talkshow, feels a bit like a warm hug. If loving horror is an orientation, then here is a place to identify and relate.
The first episode features Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus, the director of brilliant arty body-horror Kuso. He was more relaxed than in other interviews I've seen perhaps because of Core presenter Mickey Keating's obvious sympathy.
Vanilla interviewers will say things to Steve Ellison like:
"As balls to the wall bad taste as you could possible get,"
"You've made one of the craziest movies I've ever seen."
Whereas Keating says:
"It's a gross-out movie, people were offended by it, but when you watch it it's got a lot of heart, it's got a lot of comedy."
He asks insider questions, like "How did you fall in with David Firth?" and "What's the reason film school fucked you up?"
The result is a hilarious and inspiring interview.
A regular feature on special effects is great. (FlyLo: "I like even doing funky textures on the walls, I was all throwin' some beans you saw on the walls back there, and that just has a nice look.")
The next interview, with Venice Beach Freakshow proprietor Todd Ray and two of his 'wonders', was unexpectedly touching. I found it uncomfortable at first, because Ray sat in front of Bubble Boy Bob Heslip and Bearded Lady Jessa Olmstead and did most of the talking. But once they did speak it was obvious the Venice Beach outfit is a million miles away from the exploitative freak shows of old and is forging a progressive discourse on difference and the body.
The Core, or at least this first episode, me feel really good about being a horror fan. The genre delves into the stuff society likes to ignore and yes, it's radical and shocking. But it's got heart.