Inspiring Scares (Day 21): Horror Writer/Director David B. Stewart III (“Friday the 13th Part X: To Hell and Back”)

We have discussed slasher flicks, old monster television shows, horror movies trailers, and supernatural thrillers so far on Inspiring Scares here at Slasher Studios. Today, we have horror filmmaker David B. Stewart III with a taste of the macabre and a little zombie action for you horror fans.

“I would have to say my obsession with horror films started sometime in the fall of 1986 when I was eight years old. I can remember sitting in front of my Grandparents’ console TV watching George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead for the very first time on a UHF channels Friday night horror feature. I remember being glued to the TV scared and fascinated, waiting for my parents to come and pick me up. I made them stay until the movie was over.

I knew I wanted to make a horror film of my own one-day. I read all about how they made that movie and in 1993 begged my Grandmother to drive a friend and I to Pittsburgh for the 25th anniversary Zombie Jamboree convention. To my surprise she did. At that convention my Grandmother wound up chatting with Russ Streiner’s Mother in the concession area, she was more than happy to drag him out of the convention to meet us. I was elated. I probably asked him a thousand questions that weekend about filmmaking and he told me everything I wanted to know. Toward the end of the convention he gave me his card and said that if I ever needed advice all I had to do was call. It would be about five years before I ever used that card (when I was in pre-production for Maplewoods aka Operation: Nazi Zombies) to ask for advice, to my surprise he actually remembered me.

In 1994 I had my first job working at a mom and pop video store in my hometown. I must have watched every horror film there. Some of my other muses back then were Bill Hinzman’s Flesh Eater, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Friday the 13th, Halloween and many others. In 1995 my friends and I collaborated and decided to make a movie. Still being in High School this was unheard of at the time, at least where we were from. I wrote a script and we decided to make a fan film feature continuing the then ended Friday series where Jason Goes to Hell left off. Our 97-minute S-VHS feature was called Friday the 13th Part X: To Hell and Back. It is available to watch on Youtube in its entirety.

In 2003 I had the pleasure of making friends with Bill Hinzman who was at the time helping me plan another feature (that is still currently on the back burner). I can remember sitting and talking with him about all his experiences in the business and listening to every lesson he had to give. He was an insightful man who deserves a hell of a lot more recognition for his work, at least as far as I’m concerned. I will forever remember the advice he gave me and appreciate what little time I did have to spend with him. Going from that little kid in front of his Grandparents TV watching him on NOLD to sitting with him in his living room watching it with him was something I could have never foretold and will always remember as one of the best moments in my life. We lost a great member of our community when he passed away this past February and my heart goes out to his friends and family. He will live on forever through his work, if you haven’t seen it, you must.

Currently I am in production on a Nazisploitation/Horror flick, inspired by the infamous films of Bruno Mattei and Lee Frost. I like to say it’s kind of a Hellraiser meets the Third Reich. So be on the look out next summer for previews. For those of you out there seeking to get into film, my advice to you is go for it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Happy Halloween!”

Make sure to like the Facebook pages for both Operation: Nazi Zombies and Friday the 13th Part X: To Hell and Back.