spider onelong known for his musical adventures as the frontman of metal band Powerman 5000, also took his creative talents down a path similar to that of his brother Rob Zombie behind the director’s chair. After leaving the Powerman 5000 music videos and shorts, Spider hit a major milestone with his film debut in Allegory for RLJE Films and Frisson. The film follows a group of artists whose lives unwittingly become entangled as their obsessions and insecurities manifest monsters, demons, and death.
Bleeding Cool: What is the inspiration behind Allegoria?
spider one: The inspiration behind Allegoria was my own writer’s block, which is the struggle of trying to live a creative life emotionally, financially, and otherwise. Art is a funny way of controlling the artist. In other words, you have no choice. You will create, and that will not allow you to become an accountant or a plumber. That, coupled with the way we look at performers and portray them, is very much in keeping with the vernacular of the horror genre. For me, the tortured artist and the suffering through your concept art made these two worlds a natural fit. We’ve had artists like Van Gogh who cut off their ears or musicians who overdosed and committed suicide. It was not far from a step towards monsters, possession and demons, so it all made sense to me.
BC: Were there any particular artists in mind that inspired this anthology?
A: There’s a bit of a lot of people that I know personally in these characters, myself included. We referenced a quote from Van Gogh at the beginning of the film. He is an iconic representation of what we all consider to be the tortured artist. That was the crux of it all, but it doesn’t matter if you’re an artist, you can relate to this idea of feeling inadequate, ego issues, or insecurities. Knowing many musicians, actors and painters, they all share many of these similar traits. It was not difficult to build these characters.
BC: What are the most valuable lessons you learned from your past experiences that helped you get through this project?
A:: Directing and writing a film are difficult processes no matter how small. There are a million things that can go wrong that you need to address. I remember watching an interview with Quentin Tarantino, and he said something that always stuck with me: “You may not be the most competent person on set. You may not have not be everyone’s greatest experience on set, but what you can do is you can know your material better than anyone.” This was very helpful to me because when you make a movie, the crew and cast will inevitably ask you a million questions. I even wonder things like, “Why is this person wearing a red shirt? Why are we putting the camera here? Why do we use this light? If you know your own hardware better than anyone, you should always have an answer to these questions. It’s been a useful mindset to tackle this kind of stuff.
BC: Speaking of Tarantino, are there any other influences that helped develop your cinema that you want to talk about and what you’ve incorporated into them?
A: Most of the films I have the most affection for are from certain directors during the height of the 1970s. I grew up watching [Stanley] Kubrick and [Martin] Scorsese’s films, which reflect the simplicity of the time. Kubrick was doing amazing things beyond anyone’s abilities at that time, but his job was simple. There were also limits to what a lot of these guys could do, and that aesthetic touches me the most. I don’t have to try to do anything terribly tricky or fancy. I like to compose a good shot, let the scene take over and let the actors do their thing. I’m not counting on post-production with a million edits, throwing things in there digitally, or anything like that.
Allegorywhich also features Adam Busch, Bryce Johnson, and Compton Scout, is available on demand and streaming on Shudder.