Interviews > Michael Laimo
Michael Laimo
Interview by Athena Schaffer

Michael Laimo’s spine-tingling “Dead Souls” is finally being translated into movie form! (About time, in my opinion…I’ve always thought this one would make a great movie.) Chiller Films brought this shocker to The Chiller Channel this past October. According to Chiller TV’s website: “On his 18th birthday, Johnny Petrie learns he was adopted when he inherits a farm in Maine, abandoned for the 18 years since his natural family died at the hands of his father, the local preacher. Eager for a new life, he leaves home to start over in his new dwelling. However, as he digs into his past, he soon uncovers the horrifying details of his father’s questionable teachings. In a frightening revelation, he also learns that his return has revived decades-old forces trapped in the home and sets in motion a heart-stopping finale to a ritual that already claimed the lives of his family. "Dead Souls" is adapted from the novel by Bram Stoker Award Finalist Michael Laimo. The film is written by John Doolan and directed by Colin Theys; Andrew Gernhard and Zach O’Brien will produce for Synthetic Cinema International.”

The film stars Bill Moseley and Jesse James.

The Crowgrrl recently caught up with Michael to find out more!

How did the deal with Chiller TV come about?

Synthetic Cinema Intl. optioned DEAD SOULS from me, with an aim to pitch it to Chiller for their original movie line. DEAD SOULS was originally pitched to be their first film, but STEVE NILES’ REMAINS won that spot. However the folks at Chiller really liked DEAD SOULS and greenlit late last year for a 2012 release.

John Doolan wrote the screenplay based on your excellent book. Were you a consultant? Did you have any input into the actual script?

John was really great in keeping me up to date on all changes that were made, including the addition of a new character. Once the first draft was done, we all met up for a day at NBC and discussed in more detail the changes that were made. They had a lot of questions for me this day, so we were able to iron everything out.

How true does the movie stay to your spine-chilling story?

If the book were to film as is, about six hours would be needed to tell it all. So we needed to cut some scenes and combine a couple of characters. But in the end, the story itself is very true to the book.

How long did it take to film?

4 weeks.

Did you have any input into the casting?

No…that was all the casting department.

Your inspiration into the original story was from elements of Konstantinos’ “Summoning Spirits”?

Yes, the rituals in the book are based on those real rituals from ‘Summoning Spirits’. You will see some of these rituals in the film.

There is a re-release of your book to coincide with the movie release?

Yes, in trade paperback from Omnium Gatherum Media, and e-book from Crossroad Press.

For people who don’t have The Chiller Channel – will they be able to be able to see the movie somehow? Will it be out on DVD/Blue Ray?

It will be available as a pay-per-view on some providers who do not carry Chiller, and ultimately on DVD and Blu-ray in 2013. Chiller is available in 44 million homes.

Your “Demonologist” was phenomenal, too. Will it be made into a film?

That would be nice…we will just have to wait and see. It is more graphic intensive so a bigger budget would be needed.

You’re probably working on a new story. Can you give us a preview?

I’ve had a number of shorts recently published, with a few more on the way. I have a non-horror novel that I’ve been taking my time with as well.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you’d like readers to know about?

I would urge people to help spread the word about Dead Souls. Chiller has opened their doors to horror authors, and if DEAD SOULS does well, it will carve a path for other writers to have their work translated into film.