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Mental Health and Horror Doc Drops New Slate of Interviewees, Plus Director’s Statement

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | Exclusives

From Jonathan Barkan (The Horror Collective, DREAD, Bloody-Disgusting) and producer Andrew Hawkins (Insect, In Search of Darkness) comes MENTAL HEALTH AND HORROR: A DOCUMENTARY, a feature-length exploration of the positive impacts the genre can have on those living with mental illness. The film will assemble fans, critics, historians, and professionals from both the film and mental health industries to discuss the topic in depth. The documentary is currently in production and will be shot throughout 2021 with an anticipated 2022 premiere.

“When the idea of this documentary came into my mind, it refused to let go. I have been dealing with mental illnesses for a long time and horror, which I’ve loved my whole life, has always been there as a means of support,” says Barkan. “There are two goals with this documentary: the first is to let that person in the middle of nowhere, the one who loves horror but has no support system or access to mental health resources, know that they are not alone. The second goal is to actively fight against harmful stereotypes and stigmas that our community faces on a daily basis. Horror has been the black sheep of cinema and society for too long. It’s time we show how powerful, important, and helpful the genre can be for countless people around the world.”

Though some big names have already been announced, Rue Morgue is pleased to report that the following interviewees will be featured:

Breanna Whipple (Heavy Horror)
Chet Zar (The Blob)
Geretta Geretta (Demons)
Issa Lopez (Tigers Are Not Afraid)
Simon Boswell (Lord of Illusions, Santa Sangre)
Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives)
Lucky McKee (The Woman)

Barkan will be directing, along with Hawkins and David Lawson Jr. (Spring, The Endless, Synchronic) as executive producers, with Alice Collins (Fountaine and the Vengeful Nun Who Wouldn’t Die), Zena Dixon (co-host of the Bloody-Disgusting Podcast), and BJ Colangelo (Labrys, Deathcember) serving as producers. Also on the team are Art Director Jason Kauzlarich (FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards), DP Shane Izykowski (Snaggletooth), and Editor Lindsay Ragone (Drag Race Canada).

The film’s initial Kickstarter campaign will launch on June 23rd with several pledge tiers directing funds toward supporting mental health foundations and charities aiming to help marginalized communities.

Check out Jonathan Barkan’s director’s statement below, and for continuing updates on MENTAL HEALTH AND HORROR: A DOCUMENTARY, visit the official website.

Rocco T. Thompson
Rue Morgue's Online Managing Editor, Rocco is a Rondo-nominated writer, critic, film journalist, and avid devotee of all things weird and outrageous. He penned the cover story for Rue Morgue's landmark July/Aug 2019 "Queer Fear" Special Issue, and is a regular contributor to Screen Rant, Slant Magazine, and other cinema-centric publications.