Peter Sullivan Talks ‘Cucuy: The Boogeyman’ Ahead Of SyFy Premiere

October 3, 2018

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

Writer-director-producer Peter Sullivan sat down with us to talk about some of his past projects and his upcoming film Cucuy: The Boogeyman ahead of its October 13th premiere on SyFy.
Starring “Riverdale’s” Marisol Nichols, Brian Krause (Charmed), Jearnest Corchado (Blacklist), Bella Stine (“Peanuts”), Pedro Correa (“Turnt”), and Mick Ignis (Stan Against Evil) as the Cucuy, the film centers on a town whose children have begun disappearing. A rebellious teen under house arrest starts to suspect that a legendary evil, a boogeyman, known as the Cucuy, might be responsible.

Horror Fuel: “You’ve been a busy guy having produced 99, writing 81 films, directing 27. How do you manage?”
Peter Sullivan: “One of the things I do like to do is to bounce between genres. I think that keeps things fresh. I try not to do two movies in a row of the same genre. I try to balance out with a holiday movie, a horror movie, and a thriller.”
Horror Fuel: “The Crooked Man was very creepy, especially the way he moved. How did you accomplish that?”
Peter Sullivan: “I’d like to clarify, I wrote and produced The Crooked Man, I didn’t direct it. What we did is we cast a contortionist who played the central character. Then, we took it to another level with special effects. His arm would bend so far then we would bend it a little further in post.”
Horror Fuel: “I see. Things like that fascinate me.”
Peter Sullivan: “There are a lot of effects in my movies, even more than you might expect.”
Horror Fuel: “I really enjoyed The Sandman. I actually interviewed Mick Ignis who plays the Sandman a while back.”
Peter Sullivan: “Yeah, he’s great. In fact, Mick Ignis is the Cucuy. I love Mick. I was referred to him by the special effects people for The Sandman. One of the special effects guys asked who we were going to get to play The Sandman and he was like, ‘I’ve got a guy.’ When this project came up (Cucuy) it was never even a question. He was down to play him immediately.”

Horror Fuel: “We’re big fans of Mick’s. Can you tell us a little about Cucuy: The Boogeyman?”
Peter Sullivan: “The Cucuy is a mythological Boogeyman largely from Mexico and the legend of the Cucuy is that he comes in the middle of the night with a sack. He brings bad children to his cave and eats them. It’s largely a story that is told by parents and grandparents to their children to frighten them into behaving. If you misbehave the Cucuy will get you. That was our way into the story. The Cucuy basically preys on misbehaving children, so let’s have a lead who is on house arrest and she can’t leave and the Cucuy comes to her neighborhood and she is helpless to stop it.”
Horror Fuel: “Sounds great. Who plays that role?”
Peter Sullivan: “Jearnest Corchado. She’s a relatively new actress. This is my first time working with her. She’s absolutely wonderful. Her mother is played by Marisol Nichols, another wonderful actress. The uncle is played by ‘Charmed’ actor Brian Krause, he’s the police chief and all these children are going missing and he’s not sure why or how.”
Horror Fuel: “Did you use more practical effects or CGI in this one?”
Peter Sullivan: “A lot more practical. One of the things we did in Sandman was we covered the suit with a lot of dust and dirt. In this case, the creature makeup and Mick were so fantastic we didn’t have to do a lot. The special effects/makeup department did a tremendous job. The created puppets and all kinds of things. It all looks really great on screen. We did as little CGI as possible.”
Horror Fuel: “I love practical effects.”
Peter Sullivan: “As much real on set I can do, I will.”
Horror Fuel: “While writing it, what inspired you?”
Peter Sullivan: “We’ve been doing the Boogeyman genre for a while now, The Crooked Man, The Sandman, Finders Keepers. It’s sort of become our niche. We’re always looking for new characters. What excited me about the Cucuy is that there hasn’t been a definitive Cucuy movie that really explored a lot in popular culture. It is something fresh and we could do the first definitive Cucuy movie. Zeroing in on that boogeyman opened up a lot of possibilities and now we have an interesting lead because of our protagonist that has to be in trouble. What’s her crime? What did she do to deserve to be punished? A very interesting story started to emerge. We had a largely Latino cast and they all knew the legend of Cucuy. It was something that they all grew up with.”
Horror Fuel: “I had not heard of the legend before. I look forward to learning more about the Cucuy.”
Peter Sullivan: “It’s very much a cultural boogeyman. It’s very popular in Latino culture, but it hasn’t really been explored on the big screen or in popular culture. Interestingly enough, about a week after we wrapped I got a phone call from a friend of mine asking if I had read Stephen King’s new book yet. I said ‘no’ and sure enough, it’s about the Cucuy [laughter].”
Horror Fuel: “Well, you had great timing.”
Peter Sullivan: “It was a complete coincidence. It was like ‘wow’ It was literally a week before the book came out.”
Horror Fuel: “How close is Cucuy to our boogeyman?
Peter Sullivan: “They’re very close. One comes out from under the bed, the other from in the closet. The Cucuy goes roof to roof and stalks from above. One of the things about Cucuy is that it goes by different names. But one of the names Cucuy goes by is Krampus. It’s the same idea where you have Santa bring the presents and Krampus takes the bad kids away. There is a mythological link between Cucuy and Krampus. They both have the same origin, this dark figure with a large sack over its back, taking misbehaving children.”
Horror Fuel: “I look forward to seeing him in action. When will viewers get to see it premiere?”
Peter Sullivan: “It’s going to be on the SyFy Channel on Saturday evening, October 13th.”
Horror Fuel: “You just had another movie come out, A Tale of Two Coreys.”
Peter Sullivan: “Yeah, it came out earlier this year. We used quite a few cast members from that film in this one because they were such a talented group of performers. That film was a great experience.”
Horror Fuel: “Was Corey Feldman involved with the film?”
Peter Sullivan: “Yes, Corey Feldman was one of the producers on the film. I produced and was a co-writer on it. I sat with him a number of times before we started production. I talked to him about different stories and things that happened and things that he had made public. It was really important to me that he endorsed the script for the integrity of the project and the way that he needed it to be told. It’s an interesting and tragic story. People come to Hollywood in search of stardom and fame. As we are now learning, there is a dark side. It’s really bad when you think about the children that are prayed upon. ”
Horror Fuel: “It is very tragic. The things that happen to some children is simply heartbreaking. I’m glad to hear that you made sure that the Coreys’ story was accurate.”
Peter Sullivan: “Lifetime ran it a few weeks after it premiered. Intercut with Corey’s interview. Each commercial break Corey would come on and talk about the scenes you had just seen in the movie. ”
Horror Fuel: “It’s so horrible that they had to go through those experiences.”
Peter Sullivan: “There is a lot of dark subject matter in the film. But I think it’s a fantastic movie. It’s not a fun movie.”

Horror Fuel: “Besides Cucuy: The Boogeyman what do you have coming out?”
Peter Sullivan: “I have two Christmas movies coming out on Lifetime. November 21st I have My Christmas Inn starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict. That movie reunites her with her parents from “Sister, Sister.” She inherits a bed and breakfast in Alaska from her Great Aunt and it’s about the journey that takes her on. On November 25th, also on Lifetime, we have Jingle Belle starring Tatyana Ali about a jingle writer who has to go back to her small town and help with a musical.”
Horror Fuel: “It will soon be the season won’t it?”
Peter Sullivan: “My company has two coming out on Hallmark, and two on Ion, so it will be a busy Christmas season for us.”
Be sure to tune in for the SyFy premiere of Cucuy: The Boogeyman on October 13th. Kick off the Christmas season with Peter Sullivan‘s holiday films (you can find a list here) and follow Peter on Twitter for updates on films and more.

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