Written by Patti Pauley
The iconic Haunted Mansion ride at Disney parks is one of the most beloved of both Disney geeks and horror fans. It is the beautiful balance of vintage Disney in regards to the retro feel inside the ride, and a little touch of horror that makes this ride so popular among theme park goers. The haunted ride where “999 happy haunts” reside opened first in Disneyland California back in August of 1969 and has cultivated a loyal following of fans throughout the world. So much so, Mansion enthusiast James H. Carter II has been working to bring Grim Grinning Ghosts aficionados a lovely documentary appropriately entitled Foolish Mortals completely dedicated to the fan culture surrounding the dark Disney attraction.
In partnership with Monster Movie Media and Octacle, Director and host of Creepy Kingdom Podcast Carter and Executive Producer Ryan Grulich have been working tirelessly to bring this project to light. Over the past few months, Carter and his crew have been shooting interviews across the United States for this highly anticipated doc with fans and horror ambassadors such as Spooky Dan Walker and Lance Henriksen. In addition, the doc will also feature artist Topher Adam, former Imagineer Jason Surrell, Nora See, Tristan Risk, Robert Kurtzman, Dutch Bihary, Sandie Schnieder, Imagineer Terrir Hardin, Axelle Carolyn, and Mike Mendez. Foolish Mortals will also feature the legendary Disney Imagineer and animator Rolly Crump which is a true treat for Mansioneers.
Carter recently was gracious enough to take some time from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about the project:
iH: How did this project begin? When did you start?
JC: I am the host of the Creepy Kingdom podcast which focuses on the creepiness of the Disney films and theme parks. Through doing my show I was able to meet many fellow fans of the Haunted Mansion. The more Mansion fans I met the more I learned how much the Mansion impacted people’s professional and personal lives! Since I wanted to dig deeper I thought this would be perfect subject matter for a documentary! We started shooting the film in July 2016 and as of right now we plan to continue shooting through December 2016.
iH: What is it specifically about the mansion that draws you to it? And whats your favorite display inside the ride?
JC: As a child the Haunted Mansion was a safe place to get a taste of the dark and creepy side of things. So as an adult it’s very comforting to be able to go back one of the places that my love for the macabre began! My favorite scene would have to be the ballroom scene with the dancing ghosts. The illusion of ghosts dancing before me blew my mind as a child! Also there is so much going on in that scene that I almost always spot something new, no matter how many times I ride!
iH: Are you aiming for it to be shown at Disneyland theater? (because that would be epic).
JC: Since our film is unofficial and not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company at all, I never considered the film being shown in Disneyland as a possibility. That being said, you are right, it would be epic! You never know, stranger things have happened…
iH: Once completed and after the theater premiere, where can we see it? Amazon, Netflix?
JC: We are still working out how we are going to distribute the film to the masses but after our premiere screening, which is planned for late March / early April 2017, we plan to screen at film festivals and comic and horror conventions through out 2017. But anyone who contributes $10 or more to our current Finishing Funds Campaign before the premiere will have access to stream the film online! The campaign can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/
The GoFundMe mentioned above has some pretty wicked perks for contributors including a Haunted Mansion inspired mystery box of goodies and just a mere $5 donation gets you an entry into a contest they’re running for supporters that entails a VIP screening and lodging at the 2017 Foolish Mortals premiere in Southern California. Click the link above for a complete breakdown on where exactly the money is being used and be on the lookout next year for this kick-ass little love letter to The Haunted Mansion!