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The AV Interview: John Migliore (Ouija Shark, Ouija Shark 2, Creature from Cannibal Creek)

This one fell through the cracks, as we get ready to publicly launch our soft opened sister platform to the masses. If you haven’t watched Ouija Shark 1 or 2 before now, I hope our interview helps that along.

Interviewed by: Troy Anderson

Interview Key

Questions in Bold

Answers in Plain Block

The AV Interview: John Migliore (Ouija Shark, Ouija Shark 2, Creature from Cannibal Creek) 1
  1. What makes Ouija Shark 2 a different experience for you as a director and actor?
    John Migliore: As an actor I’m worried about everything from how I look to remembering my lines. As a director, I’m worried the character I’m portraying may suffer from me wearing too many hats on the same day. I like having roles in my own films, but it does put a lot of strain on the situation. It’s also tough reviewing the footage and knowing that I may have blocked it differently if I had been looking through the lens instead of standing in front of it…
  2. What speaks to you more? The creature feature or the supernatural haunting movie?
    JM: I love both of those genres so much! The creature feature is a favourite from childhood. I grew up on Godzilla, King Kong, and Gamera. Even today, I’ll pop in a giant monster movie just for comfort. On the other hand, supernatural haunting movies are the only ones I find truly spooky. I don’t really get scared watching slasher movies. The supernatural stuff gets to me a whole lot more. I guess if I had to choose it would be the creature features…
  3. Having watched Ouija Shark during the Pandemic, I was shocked by how much changed in Ouija
    Shark 2. On a lower-scale budget, does the need to raise the stakes feel even more pressing?

    JM: I think sequels in general need to raise the stakes at any budget. Though, it certainly does make it harder to do that on a micro-budget scale. It’s a balancing game of giving people a little of what they already got the last time, but something new and different too. I went a little crazy with this one. I wanted to make something people would enjoy and embrace, especially if they already like the first movie. I hope the changes are shocking in a good way!
  4. If I’m not mistaken, you’re formerly of the Troma camp. How did that shape your directing career
    and what was it like having Lloyd Kaufman in your movie?

    JM: I did work as an extra on both Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 and Volume 2. It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot about directing from watching Lloyd on set. In fact, I’ve learned something from every director I ever worked for in my weird career. In particular, I was blown away by Lloyd’s ability to manage such a huge group of people in some really wild scenes. I’m so glad Lloyd was able to shoot a cameo for my film. He’s so funny, and a real supporter of independent cinema…
  5. Why do you think Gen Z responds so off-puttingly to Indie Horror? Mind you, I’m talking of the
    Troma style vs. their beloved ‘elevated horror’.

    JM: There’s a real push these days to make everything deadly serious. Fewer and fewer comedies seem to come out all the time. Indie horror can sometimes be hard to take seriously because of the limitations. Back when I was a kid, spaceships sometimes had strings on them. We just laughed and moved on. I think it’s important to know what kind of movie you’re watching. You probably know what you’re getting into ahead of time and set your expectations accordingly…
  6. With video stores all but dead, the Drive-In circuit crest falling back Post Pandemic and streaming
    services fighting for their lives; where does the Low Budget Horror Movies of today and tomorrow find their audiences next?
    • JM: That’s a tough question. I don’t really know. I think streaming thrives on new content, so there should always be some demand there. I think people are more willing to watch low budget films when they can get them for free on Tubi or Plex. That still generates some revenue. There’s still a hardcore group of physical media collectors out there too, especially for horror. Something new will probably come along. I certainly couldn’t have predicted the rise of streaming sites. We’ll see…
  7. I’ll ask you this directly because it spurred debate among my staff. Would you consider Ouija Shark 2 to be more horror or dark fantasy?
    JM: I think it leans closer to dark fantasy. I’ve been calling it a horror comedy. There’s nothing really scary in the movie. In fact, when it was released theatrically in Japan it had a G rating. The fantasy elements are more pronounced for sure. I wasn’t trying to scare anyone…
  8. Would you be willing to make an R-rated take on Jabberjaws? I mean after that R-rated Winnie the Pooh movie, anything should be on the table.
    JM: Ha! I agree that anything should be on the table. I didn’t love Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, but that doesn’t mean others weren’t into it. The market is so wide these days. There’s probably a lot of movie fans who would love a crazy take on Jabberjaws! Hook me up with the rights and a budget! It would be fun to do…
  9. What was it like working with your family on Ouija Shark 2?
    JM: It was great to work with my family. We were all shut in due to pandemic restrictions and it gave us something we could do together. Those were tough times for everyone. Having a creative project to complete was a good distraction. Most of the actors I work with are also close friends, so when we
    were finally able to add them to the mix it was like extending our family…
  10. What are you working on next? I love the Ouija Shark concept and wondered if had something just as imaginative in store for audiences.
    JM: I completed a paranormal dinosaur movie for Wild Eye Releasing earlier this year. I hope they release the title and poster art very soon. That film mixes monsters with the occult. I think fans of Ouija Shark will get a kick out of it. Right now, I’m working on a Bigfoot movie! It’s also for Wild Eye. Hopefully, people will embrace that it’s totally bonkers. There’s talk of another Ouija Shark film too. It be great if everyone came along for the ride…

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