From Mega Tours to Directing: Spider One Talks Film Debut Allegoria
Written and directed by Powerman 5000 frontman Spider One, Allegoria is a non-traditional, cerebral horror anthology. Starring John Ennis, Scout Taylor-Compton, and Spider’s co-producing partner, Krsy Fox, the segments follow various artists as they chase the muse, often with terrifying results. While the anthology eschews the usual wrap-around, the sinister stories are linked. All is revealed by the chilling conclusion.
Spider One chatted with us while on tour about his debut film, what he’s learned from his older brother, Rob Zombie, and future filmmaking projects.
What’s the transition been like from making music to stepping behind the camera and directing?
It’s been exciting because it’s presented a new set of challenges. I’ve done music for so long that I feel like there’s nothing that’s been presented to me that I haven’t seen. There are no more nerves. I can play a show in front of 10,000 and not be nervous at all.
With a film, it’s great. I’m nervous and uncertain again. I’m facing situations that I’ve faced for the first time. It’s very exciting to now be in this position and even presenting the film. We screened it in LA right before I left for tour. I haven’t’ felt that nervous in a long time. I welcome this challenge and this journey.
Is there a particular segment in Allegoria that you’d consider your favorite?
I really love them all. I love the section with Marcus the painter. I didn’t know why until my producing partner, Krsy [Fox], said, “You’re Marcus. You’re not an asshole like him, but you’re so that guy.” Maybe there’s a certain connection I feel to that one, but I also love the John Ennis one. But the moment I’m most excited about is the end scene, where Brody (Fox) and Hope (Josephine Chang) have that really uncomfortable conversation at the bedroom door. That was one of those scenes where, when I wrote it, I knew if we didn’t nail it, the movie would be a failure. When the scene was delivered, I knew we had it. It made everything else make sense. I have an affection for that scene.
It was also satisfying to screen the film with an audience. You’d hear people [in the audience] when they would realize a connection. Creating a non-traditional anthology was fun.
Did your brother give you any advice when you started directing?
Not directly. His advice to me has come through by observing him. Rob is one of the most uncompromising people I’ve ever known. I’ve used that as inspiration. He’s someone who has a vision and makes sure that comes out. I think that’s to be admired. It’s a very difficult thing to make movies. It’s been a great help to me to have him as an example of someone who does things his way. I’ve tried to use that as advice.
So much of your film is about art and finding inspiration. Where do you turn to for inspiration, especially for a film like this? Did you turn to other horror anthologies?
Not necessarily horror anthologies in film, but what I did use as a big inspiration was the old Rod Sterling show “Night Gallery.” It’s an anthology TV show. There was something really unnerving about “Night Gallery.” There was a certain tone about it that I wanted to try to capture for Allegoria. “Night Gallery” was never filled with overt gore or jump scares. I wanted to take that approach for my film. Everything is just a little off.
What was it like working with Scout Taylor-Compton? Was it her idea to play a mad sculptor, or was that already in the script?
We’ve been friends for years. I first met her on the set of [Rob Zombie’s] Halloween II. Over the years, we’ve stayed in touch. I feel incredibly fortunate that she agreed to do this. She’s one of the most charismatic and warm people that you’ll ever meet. She has a quality about her that I feel is underserved. I wanted that initial quality where she makes the guy feel like he’s the only person in the world. She has that engaging quality to her. That’s the closest to the real Scout I’ve ever seen. That’s what she’s like. She’s a very positive and welcoming person.
Do you currently have any future film projects in the works?
We’ve already wrapped the second film. I co-wrote the next one with Krsy and directed it. It’s called Bury the Bride. It’s bonkers. It’s intense. If Allegoria is cerebral, this next one is physical. We’re editing it now and hope to have it out next year.
Thanks so much for chatting with us!
Allegoria releases On-Demand and on Shudder on August 2.
Brian Fanelli is a poet and educator who also enjoys writing about the horror genre. His work has been published in The LA Times, World Literature Today, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Horror Homeroom, and elsewhere. On weekends, he enjoys going to the local drive-in theater with his wife or curling up on the couch, and binge-watching movies with their cat, Giselle.