|Voices Interview (By Robbie Ridenour)
Hey all. As the film critic here at AB-Tech I was able to have a chat with the webmaster of my favorite homepage ARROW IN THE HEAD. His real name is John Fallon and he has to be the one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. His site consists of interviews, movie reviews, and many more goodies. I must go to his site (literally) sixty times a day! His film reviews cover mostly the horror genre, which is his favorite, and he holds nothing back in his reviews. If he likes or hates a film he goes into a great detail why. His reviews can also be very funny and witty, but he still remains respectful to the film he’s reviewing by not straying away from the topic at hand with mindless babble. His reviews never get boring needless to say. On the side, John is also an actor and scriptwriter, and will soon be directing one of his own script’s called Red Hours. So without further due, meet John Fallon (aka The Arrow).
1-First off, thank you for doing this interview Arrow. I feel as if I’m in the presence of a God.
Arrow: Thanks dude, I’ll take that as a compliment.
2-Tell us about yourself, and what lead you to start your own web page?
Arrow: To make a long story short, I’ve always been a film buff and that lead me to “Film School.” Influenced by my uncle’s advice (he’s a TV producer) I then went on and took three years of “Theatre School”. I then had my own variety TV show (called “Kaosbar”) and kept working on screenplays at the same time.
One day out of the blue, my good buddy Berge Garabedian (aka JoBlo) aware of my knowledge of the genre asked me if I wanted to run a horror section on the his extremely popular movie site “JoBlo’s Movie Emporium”. Since I love the genre and wanted to keep my writing fresh, I said yes but under two conditions: 1- That he wouldn’t censor me ( I can be a bit out there in my reviews) and 2- That he would trust me and let me do it my way. Regular critics don’t understand or respect the “horror” genre and I wanted to give it the attention it deserved while at the same time entertaining the reader. He agreed to my terms and I came onboard. I never expected “Arrow in the Head” to become this popular.
3-It seems horror films are your cup of tea. Why? What attracts you to the genre, which many consider pointless and tasteless? (As a side note: Horror is the shit!!!!!!!!!
Arrow: The whole taboo factor first got me interested in horror flicks. When I was a kid my parents wouldn’t want let me to watch them, therefore I went behind their backs and viewed as many I could. I eventually got hooked.
Yes, horror is an underrated genre and I still don’t get it. Its so broad and creative! Horror can be cheesy fun (The Convent), subtle and engrossing (The Others), exploitive and shameless (Friday the 13th), in your face (Dawn of the Dead), over the top (Dead Alive) and it can also be used as a metaphor in regards to some of today’s social concerns (example: The Fly was really a statement about AIDS). Only the Sci-Fi genre comes close to being that vast .
Lot’s of today’s brightest filmmakers started out dabbling in horror. Why? Because the genre is flexible and is perfect grounds to experiment. Sam Raimi is a good example. He began with the wild and unique “Evil Dead” and now he’s making “Oscar” caliber pictures like “A Simple Plan” (and the upcoming “Spiderman”).
At their best, horror films takes chances and bring us to places we would never go to in reality. At their worst they can still manage to entertain us in a “so bad, it’s good” way. You rarely lose! They’re perfect escapism and I for one enjoy being scared.
4-You always ask this question to someone you’re interviewing. So for the record, what’s your favorite horror film?
Arrow: I’ve been asked that question many times by fans of the site and I was never able to answer it. I just can’t pick one. I will say that Halloween, Near Dark, Nightmare On Elm Street, Suspiria, American Psycho, Angel Heart, The Vanishing (the original), The Crow, The Hitcher, Aliens, TCM, and Friday the 13th are on top of my favorite list.
5-Who’s the coolest celeb you’ve ever interviewed?
Arrow: My most satisfying interview was with writer/director “Eric Red”. Not only has he been a huge inspiration for me in terms of writing when I was in film school, but he also a very cool guy. I interviewed him over the phone and we talked for over two hours. I couldn’t hang up! It’s not everyday you get to chitchat with one of your idols. The interview wound up being so long that I had to put it up on the site in two parts. Asia Argento (a real sweetie), Christopher Lambert, Todd Farmer and Mick Garris (another very groovy dude) were also an immense pleasure to talk to. 95 percent of the talents I have interviewed were class acts. The other 5 percent came in with a heavy dose of a-hole behavior. But overall I can’t complain.
You’re an actor as well. Anything you’ve been that we here at A-B Tech might’ve seen you in? Also, anything on your plate at the moment?
Arrow: I’ve been acting in English and French here in Montreal for a while. I’ve just started to broaden my career to the States. I recently guest starred on “Big Wolf on Campus” as a psycho bully, and I have a small role in the upcoming Katie Holmes flick “Abandon”. I also have two big American projects lined up for next year, but I’m not at liberty to discuss them at the moment. I’m hoping that 2002 will be the year I fully break out on the US market.
Would you like to branch into other areas of filmmaking besides acting?
Arrow: Funny you should mention that. I’ve recently finished working on my first “professional screenwriting gig (meaning I got paid) for a Studio. It’s an action-oriented screenplay I was hired to doctor (which I wound up fully re-writing) and it’s in the casting stage at the moment. I was strictly a gun for hire on that gig. I’m more excited about bringing my own “horror” script called “ The Red Hours” to life. A studio is presently looking at the screenplay and if all goes well, I’ll be directing it next year. The horror genre has been my specialty for so long; it’s time for me to contribute my own film.
I’m a big fan of your website, I’ve read every single review you’ve written. What I like most is the way you break the film down into its basic parts. The story, the lowdown, etc…. Do you find it easier to write a review this way?
Arrow: I decided to break my reviews down that way because I wanted to cover the essential horror film ingredients. If you read my early reviews, you’ll see that they were initially meant to be short capsules. As time went on I began to feel more comfortable with the process of reviewing. I found my vibe and the capsules became full-length reviews. I don’t think it’s easier to write a review the way I do it. I have to pay so much more attention to the film and I have to jolt down lots of notes in order to get all the info right (like the amount of tit shots that are in a movie).
What were some of your favorite films of 2001?
Arrow: Memento, Mullholand Drive, The Hole, The Others, Jeepers Creepers, Session 9, Ginger Snaps, and Horror.
The worst movie you’ve ever seen?
Arrow: I think “Children of the Living Dead” might be it. What a lousy piece of… you know the rest.
Is it time consuming to run a web page? Do you have time to yourself?
Arrow: Balancing my impending directorial debut, my acting career, and the page is quite a hat trick. Toss in there my very lively social life and I will admit that time for me isn’t a novelty. Sometimes I don’t sleep for days due to all the work have to do (got to love coffee). I will admit coming close to shutting the site down recently due to everything else in my professional life picking up. But I love working on Arrow, and I love covering the conventions and I love the fans. So I’m toughing it out.
Any advice to someone who wants to start a web page. How dedicated must you really be?
Arrow: My first piece of advice is don’t do it for the money cause there isn’t any to be made (you do get free DVDs though, if you play your cards right with the studios). Do it cause you love it. If you want to be taken seriously, get your own domain and stay away from “Geocities” types of free web space. Also listen to your fans, update regularly and don’t let the seldom insulting e-mails get to you (you’ll never please everybody). As for the dedication angle, it all depends on how you function and what you want to accomplish. Personally, I’m a perfectionist so I sometimes spend days (on and off of course) on one review. It can be very time consuming. All depending on the quality you want to put out there.
And on a final note, what’s your opinion of school? Do you think its helps one develop their personal abilities?
Arrow: To be honest High School didn’t do much for me when I was there. I was to busy skipping classes or getting into trouble to care. But once I got to study subjects that interested me (like acting and film) that’s when I really learned and grew. So I would say yes, school helped shape me into the man I am today, made me practice my trade before applying it on the job market and is of course still the best place to meet chicks. Stay in school, if only for the charming ladies!