Darkness Dwells is proud to present an interview with Martin Powell regarding C.H.U.D. and his contribution to the C.H.U.D. Lives Tribute anthology.
Darkness Dwells: Thank you for talking with us! Do you remember the first time you watched C.H.U.D? If so, how did the movie affect you?
POWELL: I vividly remember snatching the VHS from the shelf at a local video store, attracted by the box art. Of course, kids today can’t appreciate how exciting the advent of Home Video was, making it possible to see more movies than ever before. During that period, slasher films mostly dominated the horror genre which I’m not of fan of, but I’ve always loved monsters, especially the Frankenstein series of Universal Studios. Movie monsters were rare during those days, but C.H.U.D. certainly had ‘em. Very cool ones, too.
DD: How did you approach writing your story for C.H.U.D?
POWELL: When I started thinking about my story, I knew wanted to portray the creatures in a rather sympathetic way, but still make them terrifying. The trick was to expand upon the movie itself, without trying to redundantly imitate it. While I was re-watching my DVD copy of C.H.U.D., it occurred to me that they didn’t really get into the creatures’ heads or explore what the mutation experience would be like, so I went in that direction.
DD: What was your biggest challenge writing it?
POWELL: Well, I’m a full-time writer with a seven-days-per-week schedule, so the biggest challenge was just finding the time to write it. When editor Eric Brown first approached me to be a part of the anthology, I very reluctantly turned him down and immediately I regretted that. Deciding that sleep is overrated, and I’m an insomniac anyway, I messaged Eric back and said if he’d still have me, I’d be delighted. Otherwise, I knew I’d be missing out on something very fun.
DD: Your story, “Monstrous Me” has an element of body horror to it. Is this something you enjoy writing about?
POWELL: Well, sort of. Although I’ve never been a fan of visceral gore for its own sake, but metamorphosis in horror has always fascinated me. Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a trailblazer in the genre, and Bram Stoker’s poignantly eloquent and ultimately terrifying transformation of Lucy Westenra in DRACULA is brilliantly conceived. Kafka achieved some very disturbing psychological effects, too. All of those inspired and influenced me.
DD: If you ever had the chance to either write for another 80s horror movie tribute anthology, which movie would you choose and why?
POWELL: Probably American Werewolf in London, because it also deals with metamorphosis. Also, I’m a big fan of Fred Dekker’s MONSTER SQUAD.
DD: Man, those are two great movies and would be fun to write in their world. Do you have anything coming out soon that readers can check out?
POWELL: I write nearly a dozen weekly online comic strips for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., which will be collected as printed volumes by Dark Horse. My Amazon Author’s Page has zillions of my graphic novels, children’s books, and prose fiction available all the time. Also, I’m writing a new horror prose novel, The Witch of Cypress Creek, to be released in 2019.
About Martin Powell:
Martin Powell has written hundreds of stories in numerous genres for Disney, Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Capstone Books, among others. Nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for his work with Sherlock Holmes, he has written many of the most popular characters in the industry, including Superman, Batman, Popeye the Sailor, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Tarzan of the Apes. Currently, as the author of almost a dozen different ERB online comic strips, and the critically acclaimed Jungle Tales of Tarzan graphic novel from Dark Horse, Powell has written more Edgar Rice Burroughs characters than any other contemporary writer. He received the coveted Golden Lion Award from the Burroughs Bibliophiles in 2017 for his on-going contributions to the legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Visit Martin and his work online: