An artist comes in many forms… Some can craft words into impactful stories and songs. Some can take colors and make a new world of beauty, terror and so much beyond your wild dreams.
For Mark Phillips, he is a man who has taken his love of horror and an ancient talent of a blacksmith to create replicas, recreations and new nightmares of some of the most iconic tools of the trade in horror. Join us as we enter “The Night Market” and talk with “Nightmares Unlimited” infamous Dr. Frankenstein and artist Mark Phillips!
Terror Time/ Jay Kay: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule and work… I have called you the “Blacksmith of Horror” when we spoke at “HorrorHound Weekend”, You take an aged art form of metal work and construct creative as well as faithful replications and re-envisioned nightmares. Why go down this road and learn this trade?
Mark Phillips: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a make-up FX artist, but have always been more fascinated by the iconic killing devices of cinema’s most notorious maniacs. However, coming from a small town, information and resources were very limited, so I decided to start fabricating with materials and repurposing existing objects. It was far easier as a child to get my hands on this kind of stuff.
TT: Speaking of growing up with horror and the nightmares that come with it. How personal has this journey been for you?
MP: It’s been extremely personal for me. I grew up in a pretty broken home and horror was my escape. When things were tough, I could throw in a horror movie, work on some art, and escape for a couple of hours or so. I made a lot of art!
TT: It is amazing how much it crosses over and is so personal throughout your life. When did your passion and art become the business “Nightmares Unlimited”?
MP: I started building small haunted houses in my bedroom when I was 8 years old. My best friend Willie and I would make our family and friends go through them. By the time I was sixteen years old, I was designing and constructing full scale professional style haunts. In 2000, I was hired to do my first fully professional haunted attraction. I needed a name for my newly formed business, and “Nightmares Unlimited” was born.
TT: With a name I would think comes with a plan. How has that ride been in taking it to higher levels and developing the business aspect as well as your creative process?
MP: It was that first job that got me into making props. I wanted a metal Freddy glove and at the time, options were very limited and quite expensive. Now, being an artist, I decided to make my own. It was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but when I finally finished it, I absolutely loved it. It was pretty terrible, but I made it. It was my baby. I still own it and it hangs on my shop wall as a reminder of how far I’ve come. It also was the beginning of the building bug, that follows me to this day! That’s what sparked the prop side of Nightmares Unlimited. I figured if i am looking for real prop replicas, I couldn’t be the only one. I thought that I might be be able to make some money doing this.
TT: Which of franchise has yield the most creative influences and breaking the mold of horror art and props?
MP: Freddy’s glove has really influenced me creatively. It has so much potential for concept designs and fusions from different franchises. My first true horror love, was the glove, and being the first replica that I built, holds a special place with me. As far as art mixing with killing machines though, the Phantasm sentinel is mixes art and mayhem beautifully.
TT: We see a variety of horror weapons recreations and replications of iconic props like the “Re- Animator” Needle, Battle Axes, “Hellraiser” Puzzle Boxes, “Phantasm” Spheres, and of course Freddy’s Gloves, on your Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NightmaresUnlimited). I would say for me, the “Nightmare on Elm Street” glove that Freddy wears and does terrible things with maybe you biggest play toy and influence. Am I correct on this and if so how did Wes Craven’s work impact you and talk about your mind going wild in the different versions of these gloves?
MP: As I was referring to earlier, I believe Freddy’s glove has untapped potential. In 2002, I started thinking of the “What ifs…?” I designed and built my first concept glove that year. The Medieval Dream Demon. In 2003, I merged Freddy and Jason when the movie came out. It has a hockey mask backplate, F vs. J across the knuckles, and machete shaped blades.
TT: What has been your favorite so far?
MP: As it stands now, my personal favorite is the Phantasm glove. But I have a full arm and shoulder piece in process right now that is going to be my Steampunk Freddy. It has lights and moving gears and clocks and is quickly becoming something more than I imagined.
Terror Time / Jay Kay: Stop by again tomorrow to “The Night Market” for Part Two of the interview with “Nightmares Unlimited” artist Mark Phillips. Until then the best way to learn more about us is by liking our Facebook page. Ordering is as easy as contacting us through www.facebook.com/NightmaresUnlimited, emailing me direct at email@example.com, or calling us at 315-771- 7373.
You can follow jay @HorrorhappensRS