cotty Milder loves zombies. He loves blood and guts and chainsaws and rabid dogs and U.F.O.s. He loves cigarettes and movies and freaking people out. He loves Stephen King books and ghosts and being just a little bit different.
He hates fruit. He’s terrified of fruit. Mainly citrus – it makes him terribly uncomfortable.
I arrive for lunch late and look for Milder for a split second. At 6’4”, 250 lbs, he couldn’t get lost in a crowd if he tried. We order lunch and pay. His soft brown eyes suggest that he’s a gentle giant. His wallet says he is a “Bad Mother F*cker”. He lights a cigarette.
Milder is a 28-year-old graduate filmmaker studying at Boston University. Upon reading this description, one might envision a pretentious boy with nerdy dreams of becoming the next Lucas or the next Aronofsky.
“I just want to do horror,” said Milder. “Ever since I can remember I’ve loved horror. As a kid I used to go to the library to read and reread everything I could find on vampires and ghosts and the mythology of werewolves. I never thought it was weird until my high school teachers started requesting parent-teacher conferences. It took me a long time to realize that I could do something valuable with this knowledge. I could actually make a career out of it by becoming a screenwriter and a director.”
Milder has been writing since he was a child. “My work has been compared to Stephen King,” said Milder modestly. “I’m a small town guy with a small town mentality. I could write novels about the bizarre shit that happened to me growing up.”
Having been raised in the hidden military city of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Milder is no stranger to oddities with which he uses to fuel his writing. His town houses the laboratory where the first and second atomic bombs were created and he lives not far from where they were detonated. He was struck by lightning when he was 10-years-old. He was raised in a house he believes was haunted – that is of course until said house burned down in a draught fire in 2002. His family and he barely escaped in time.
He has written journalistic pieces for local papers about extraterrestrial cow mutilations in Colorado. If you ask him what his parents do for a living, he can’t answer because he doesn’t know. Their jobs at the laboratory are highly classified.
He used to have a mullet.
“Scotty, have you ever experienced just one normal day,” I ask. He laughs and lights another cigarette. I guess not.
“I just want to carve a niche of intelligent horror movies,” said Milder. “I’m a big fan of Cujo, The Stand, Night of the Living Dead and Lost. My stuff is too quirky to be mainstream and it’s not weird enough to be independent.” His last film, Something Red, highlighted the friendship between a zombie and a little girl. It was well received at several New Mexico film festivals. Since that time, he has gone on to write hundreds of scripts and has directed dozens of movies, each one more bizarre and outlandish and creepy than the last.
As we finish lunch I watch him walk away, lighting a cigarette as he goes. The world is full of future James Camerons and Stephen Spielbergs. What the world is lacking is more Scotty Milders.