The Horror Drunx
Pitch Black catches up
with Mortimer A. London
of The Horror Drunx
In December 2002, a light bulb went on over Horror Drunx founder Mortimer A. Londonís head. The idea was simple enough: Mortís friends would photograph him drinking a 40 oz. beer, during daylight, at as many horror movie sites as possible, then post the images on the web. After posting a series of shots that included a toast at Bela Lugosiís grave, Mort was flooded with requests for Horror Drunx shirts, buttons and thongs.
Soon, photos alone didnít satisfy Mr. London. For instance, there was a bout with worms, caused by drinking a mixture of beer and dirt from the Evans City Cemetery in Pennsylvania, a shoot location for the original Night of the Living Dead. Then, after viewing the Dawn of the Dead remake, a disgusted London decided to start a group that openly opposed horror movie remakes. This led to the first Horror Drunx chapter being formed in 2004.
Four years later, the organization consists of over 60 chapters with more than 65,000 members and associates. The Horror Drunx are now also active in many horror-related areas besides opposing horror film remakes. Enjoy this interview with Mortimer A. London, then learn even more by visiting www.TheHorrorDrunx.com.
Horror Garage: Thatís a great picture of you on the site. What happened?
Mortimer A. London: Oh, the one where I'm all beat up and bloodied? Usually I don't talk about it, but the truth of the matter is I don't remember. I can extrapolate what happened from the various clues left me and tales told by those who witnessed the incident, but that is an imperfect science. Was alcohol involved? Yes. Were insane amounts of alcohol involved? You betcha, Tiger.
The clues are it was the day after Halloween, so knowing me I probably got pissed off at some pumpkin kicking amateur class King For A Day Halloween ruiners. Whatever really happened, I was told that several people in a group got me angry enough that I punched them repeatedly in the fist with my face. This doesn't surprise me, because I like when the odds are against me -- it makes me stronger and I fight even harder. I was also told that they looked a lot worse than I did when it was over, and I can sleep well at night knowing that I ruined Halloween for several Halloween ruiners.
But it's a great picture, isn't it? That picture alone has gotten the Mort Man some amazing tail on more than one occasion.
Horror Garage: Can you please give a brief history of The Horror Drunx? Who, what, where when, why...?
Mortimer A. London: Well, the name itself started off as a obscure reference that only me and a few close friends got... Think back, and one thing that almost all of the great horror movies have in common, is there is a drunk in them. They need the drunks to have a story. Without the drunks, Dr. Frankenstein would have had no one to slip a few schillings to go steal body parts someplace... Boris Karloff's monster would never have had the chance to say "Wine Goooood!"... Dracula would have no one to protect his coffin in daylight hours... Henry Hull would have no one to rent him a room in The Werewolf of London... Edward Lionheart wouldn't have had a posse in Theatre of Blood... There wouldn't be any drunk misbehaving teenagers for the guy in the mask with a knife to kill... No one for Jerrod to get to work for him in the House of Wax. It goes on and on...
Also, if it wasn't for the drunks in horror movies, there would be no one for the authorities to sweat the truth out of in the last reel and tip them off to where the monster is hiding. And those villagers would never have the guts to form a drunken belligerent mob and storm the castle with torches if it wasn't for booze. Basically, without the drunks there would be no horror movies. They need them to succeed. Horror movies also need the drunks for comedy relief because they don't take themselves seriously like the Burgomasters and the Van Helsing types. So, the drunks are the great unwashed masses and the unsung and completely necessary element of all good horror movies.
Also, going right along with that, there is a lot of snobbery, greed and elitism in the horror community and we were sick and tired of that mentality. We are the antithesis of that. So we chose a name that all those types of people would immediately look down on because we don't want those people around trying to get involved with us and buzz killing our good time. And we also wanted a name that would underline that we were the bad kids of horror. So yeah, that is why we are called what we are. We changed the name to "Drunx" and invented that word to differentiate it from specifically being all about booze. We trademarked the word so we can make it mean anything we damn well want it to mean. Horror movies is our main intoxicant, our "anti-drug" as it were. There are sober Drunx as well as the alcoholic variety, just like the rest of society. Me personally, yeah I likes me a drink once in awhile. So it was just me and some friends, getting together and loving to watch horror movies and having a drink or two. That is how it started. I know all of our imagery seems to be booze-oriented, but the truth is every time I see a monster holding a booze it still makes me laugh. It's the joke that never gets old because there is always a new twist on the punch line.
Horror Garage: According to the manifesto on your web site, The Horror Drunx are against horror movie remakes and sequels. What kind of heat has the organization taken for this? Extrapolating this, are you also against remakes and sequels outside of the horror genre?
Mortimer A. London: The only real heat we've gotten is from the horror newbies and horrorfannys that haven't developed any good taste in films yet and don't know their ass from a hole in the ground, so we consider the source. Well, that and there are a few unoriginal hack filmmakers that no doubt wish we weren't around to piss on their remake parade. Big time! The anti remake thing is general rule to live by, because you have to look at who historically makes them...
1. Some studio assigns a remake to some new producer or director that doesn't fully know their craft yet, but the studio knows that a remake has a pre-sold title, so even if the film ends up sucking they'll make their money back on the opening weekend if the ad campaign is big enough. Meanwhile, the director or producer is probably not a horror fan at all, and is only doing it because someone finally gave them the money to make a movie.
2. Remakes are made by hacks who can't come up with an original idea to save their own lives but have somehow found funding. They are not fans of the genre, and think that everyone who is must be a idiot mouth breather and thatís who they gear them towards. So they make some crappy exploitive remake because they know they can turn a quick buck and get rich off the rubes.
3. Very rarely are remakes done by accomplished and talented filmmakers, because those people are too busy making well-crafted, intelligent, good films. The only exception is someone like Peter Jackson who loves the genre and has a burning desire to remake their favorite film of all time and show it the respect it deserves. That is why his version of King Kong makes our tiny list of acceptable remakes, but that is a major exception to the rule.
It seems like most remakes that are any good were made in the 1950s or earlier. That's for a reason. People were more likely to be artists and craftsmen then, not someone out for a quick buck.
And yes, we are against remakes of all genres, not just horror, for all the same reasons listed above. Remakes are almost always done by someone who is in effect saying, "The original film and all the people who made it suck, therefore it should be remade," which shows no respect to the original filmmakers or the public that embraced the original film.
We don't take credit for being the first people who don't like remakes, but the general rule was people just shrugged and accepted it, putting up with the crap. We don't accept it, won't put up with it, and are the first that had the attitude to become very loud and vocal about that fact. We've seen the world change for the better since we've made our stand and a lot of people who were quiet about it before have realized that they can have a voice now. We welcome them to stand beside us: BOYCOTT HORROR MOVIE REMAKES. A hit to the bank account is the only thing the money grubbing hacks understand.
Horror Garage: A lot of the ideas in your Manifesto seem to be very similar to some of the ideas found in punk rock circles. Is this a happy coincidence, or was punkís philosophy the foundation that the Horror Drunx Manifesto was built on?
Mortimer A. London: No, we based our Manifesto on having scruples and doing the right thing. You have to stand for something and having scruples is a good place to start. The fact that we are loud and activists about it is what made it political and sociological... That is the major thing that we have in common with the punk rock movement... The old ways didn't work and made a mess of things, so lets try this new way.
Horror Garage: Do you find you draw a large segment of your membership from the punk community, or more a diverse cross section of horror fans?
Mortimer A. London: Across the board, our membership is pretty diverse. The people who get it, get it and the people who don't, don't. Just like the people who like rainy days instead of days at the beach sunbathing, or pistachio ice cream instead of vanilla. We realize we aren't for everyone though and don't try to be, because who wants that? Most of THEM are the people who made the horror community suck to begin with. 99% of anything you can mention sucks, it is only the cream that rises to the top. If we wanted to make a fast buck, which we don't -- we are self-funded and do it because it is something we believe in -- or just wanted to do it as a vanity thing to get our names out there -- which we don't, that is why so many of us use aliases... it is about the bigger picture, not the individual or who has the biggest memorabilia collection -- we may as well call ourselves Rue Morgue Magazine or Fangoria.
Horror Garage: How are some of the ways that The Horror Drunx seek to educate the public as mentioned in the Manifesto?
Mortimer A. London: The public can only be educated so much to the causes the The Horror Drunx care about. To become more educated, they would have to care about the subject matter as much and as passionately as we do, and the truth is -- that for the most part -- they don't. We realize that. So all we can do is what we do, write articles, tell the truth, and try to get into the general consciousness. We don't just do it by taking a very public stand and talking loudly because listening to that gets old fast. Zealots are annoying, and we try to not take ourselves that seriously all the time -- we do, after all, have a sense of humor about ourselves or we wouldn't be called "The Horror Drunx." So, we often get our message across through humor, and we do it through audacious acts that make people say "Oh-my-gosh! Did they do what I think they just did?!" Horror movies are, after all, about fun for us, even if we do take our fun seriously.
A very wise person once told me that if you want to effect change, you have to do it from the inside. If we yelled and screamed and carried protest placards outside the some movie studio gates or corporate building, the people that worked there would either find another way around us or use us for publicity of some kind. Even then, once they are inside those corporate buildings with their soundproofing and double-paned glass, they aren't going to hear our screaming voices once they get in the elevator and ride up a couple floors. If you reeeeeally want to change things, you put on your camouflaged disguise, you get a job at that corporation, and you do an honest days work to quietly change things from within. That is another reason why you see a lot of the writers on www. TheHorrorDrunx. com and a lot of our members using aliases.... You would be surprised who some of them really are, and how many are already effecting change from within. Plus the fact that we can be pretty political in our stances on certain "studio products" and "studio operating procedures" -- if a lot of the people at those studios could identify our members that work there changing things from within, they probably wouldn't be working there very long. People fear change. Egos become involved. And anytime finance and money enters the equation, peopleís assholes always slam shut, especially the greedy tight asses.