Mitch Penman is the proud new owner of Gates of Gore and if you wanna know all about his love for horror and metal, read this great interview that I got to conduct with him below.
Kristy Langford: What are your favorite horror movies?
Mitch Penman: It's so hard to narrow it down to just a few. But here is my top ten.
9.Return of the Living Dead
7.Nightmare on Elm Street
6.Texas Chainsaw Massacre
4.The Omen 1,2 and 3. I'm including these together because you can't have 1 without the other 2.
3.Dawn of the Dead
And my number 1 pick, the movie that I could put on repeat until the end of time is..........................Phantasm. That's the one movie that I could never live without. I just wish they would release it on Blu-Ray.
KL: How did you first discover the world of horror?
MP: I remember when I was a little kid, and my mom used to read a lot. One day I picked up one of her books, and it happened to be The Omen written by David Seltzer. So I opened up the book, and there happened to be pictures in there. So the first picture I remember seeing, was the Nanny (Holly Palance) hanging from the noose at the top of the building. Being only 8 years old, it was extremely scary, but knew I liked it. I was drawn to looking at all the pictures, but my mother took the book off me and hid it because she knew I liked it. Lol
KL: Who are your biggest horror influences?
MP: Stephen King and George Romero are my top 2. Killjoy from Necrophagia also. I remember listening to Season of the Dead for the first time and was totally blown away by all of the horror in his music. I've been a TOTAL fan ever since
KL: What is your opinion of all the horror remakes?
MP: I'm not a real big fan of horror remakes. Just for the simple fact, that if it's that good the first time, you should just leave it alone. Although I do like the Dawn of the Dead remake and Rob zombie's Halloween remake. I also like the Salem's Lot remake. But it no way is it as good as the original. The good ones are far and few between.
KL: Are there any horror movies that you feel need to be remade?
MP: Well a couple of movies I fell need to be remade are The Stand (Stephen King) for one. And another one is The Mist. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love Stephen King. But his movies after the 90's have been less than stellar. Especially after you have read the book.
KL: What is the most fucked up movie you have ever seen?
MP: I would probably have to say Pieces by director Juan Piquer Simon. The reason is probably because this was the first GORE filled movie I ever saw. I remember going the the video store and seeing the box on the shelf. I was about 15 at the time. So I took the box up to the counter and the guy didn't even want to rent it to me because I wasn't 16. He eventually did and when I got home and watched it I was in shock. I didn't know movies like this existed. But boy, I wanted to rent them all after that. Lol
KL: Has a movie ever freaked you out so much that you just couldn't ever watch it again?
MP: No, there is never been a movie that freaked me out so bad I could never watch it again. But, I do have a good story about my mother. When the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 1974, (I was 6) my mother, and my babysitter went to the drive-in theater to see it. In the meantime, my father and I went to a baseball game in Pittsburgh. So when we got home, every single light in the house was turned on and she was hiding in the bedroom with the door locked. Even in the basement and the attic the lights had been turned on. LOL. To this very day, my mother has never watched the movie again, and she will very rarely talk about it. Now you have to remember, my mother was in her early 20s at the time. So she was still very timid when it came to scary stuff. But it definitely makes for a great story.
KL: A lot of people prefer story over too much gore. What is your opinion on this?
MP: As much as I love gore. I gotta have some kind of story line to keep me interested. It doesn't have to be anything deep and elaborate. But you gotta give me something. Lol
KL: Would you rather watch a horror movie in the theater or at homw and why?
MP: I definitely have to watch my horror at home. I wanna be able to put my feet up and kick back with no distractions.I don't really frequent the movie theater that much. And when I do go, I get there early and get a spot in the back row. I get distracted really easy. So I don't want anyone sitting behind me.
KL: What was your first experience with metal?
MP: Well I guess that depends on what you consider metal. If you mean heavy-metal my first experience was Christmas morning when I was 11. My parents bought me Ted Nugent's Cat Scratch Fever as well as a few other artists. They bought me The Cars, Shake It Up, The Stones, Tattoo You and a Juice Newton album. Lol. When I think about that I laugh every time.
Now if you mean thrash metal, it is Possessed, 7 Churches. At the time I discovered this album I was no longer allowed to listen to heavy-metal music. So one night (when I was about 16) I was laying in bed listening to it hoping my mom wouldn't come in and check on me. Because at this time of my life I was no longer allowed to listen to anything but Christian music. I was so blown away by this album that the next day I went out looking for more. It was truly a pivotal moment in time for me.
KL: Who are your favorite music artists of all time?
MP: Well OzzY is my all time favorite. Even though I haven't really liked anything he's done since the No More Tears album. But I started listening to him when I was 13 so he is my #1. # 2 would be Pink Floyd. They were such an awesome band. And they have such a great story. #3 would probably be The Doors. #4 would be Elton John (don't laugh) Lol. And #5 would be the almighty NECROPHAGIA!!! Killjoy is such a talented artist. I just love that band.
KL: What was the first metal album you ever bought?
MP: The first metal album I bought with my own money was AC/DC For Those About To Rock. I was so excited. Seems like yesterday I was saving my allowance to get it.
KL: What was the best and worst concerts you've ever been to?
MP: I have been to so many concerts in my life. But some of the ones that stick out as being the best, were ones I was at when I was younger. I saw Megadeth on the Peace Sells tour with Overkill. That was at the Phantasy Theater in Cleveland. They both recorded live albums that night. Overkill recorded the infamous "FUCK YOU" album. And Megadeth recorded the live album that they didn't release until 2011 with the box set. OzzY for sure. One show in the 90's he told everyone to come up to the front of the stage. So everyone did. Lol. It was a good time. Anthrax on the Among The Living tour. The first Lollapalooza tour with Ministry, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Janes Addiction. And I saw Pantera and White Zombie. That was a really memorable show. I was right down front for that one. And let's not forget King Diamond on the Abigail tour. That was another memorable one. I got to meet King before the show. My list is really long for great shows I've seen, but we'll stop there.
Some of the more shows I was disappointed in were Ratt about 7 years ago. Stephen Pearcy's voice was horrible. He talked his way through half the songs. It was bad. Saw Bob Dylan a few years ago. That was bad too. I mean let's face it. The guy could never really sing anyway. But this was beyond bad. He basically embarrassed himself. I had a bad OzzY show back in 05'. He was really sick and had a vaporizer brought onstage between every song. He should have just stayed home that night. I've seen OzzY over 30 times. So that's probably why he's on here twice.
KL: What is your opinion on the huge comeback that vinyl has made?
MP: I think it's awesome that vinyl has made a comeback. I listen to vinyl at my house all the time. We have three turntables here. I mean, as much as we all like clarity, there's nothing better than dropping a needle on something like Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. And then at the other end of the spectrum, you have to love the sound of bands like Venom, Bathory, Black Sabbath. I don't mind the occasional skip, or the dust crackling to the speakers. It gives it that nostalgic feel that I think we all like when we listen to vinyl.
KL: Are there any new albums that you are looking forward to in the new year?
MP: Well I'm definitely looking forward to the new Megadeth album. Death Angel has a new one coming out in April. I've always been a fan of theirs. Devildriver is supposed to come out with a new one too. Tool, if Maynard gets off his ass. And Testament is working on a new one. I absolutely love those guys. And the new Anthrax has got me pumped up.
KL: Now that you have full ownership of Gates of Gore, what would you like to see in the future for the company?
MP: Well as far as Gates of Gore goes. I want to see more people getting involved. I'm really hoping that the Trail of Satan trilogy will get moving along so we could start some kind of production. I think the script is so great, and with the right people, I believe that could happen. I'd love to be able to get Bill Schotten or Fred Vogel involved. Those guys are geniuses. I have such respect for them. And Mary Goff, with her outstanding artwork. With the right combination, we can definitely make this happen.
KL: Are there any final words you'd like to say to end this interview with?
MP: Well first of all, I would like to thank you Kristy, for making me a huge part of the Gates of Gore. It is such an honor. It's been so exciting throughout the year, to be able to read the scripts you have written before anyone else. I'd also like to say thank you to all of the people that actually support you. Because without you, the Gates of Gore would not be possible. So I'm very excited to see what 2016 will bring. Hopefully, it's more horror and gore than all of our minds can comprehend.