While the concept of a Hollow Earth may seem absurd, scientists and politicians previously took it seriously.
Owen Egerton is a skilled author and also a filmmaker of horror films like Mercy Black and Blood Fest. In his new novel Hollow, a professor of religious studies mourning the loss of his son becomes fascinated with the concept that an advanced civilization lives in the Earth’s core.
In episode 444 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, Egerton states, “Hollow is the coming together of two interests, one being the Book of Job and the other the Hollow Earth Theory.” “Who knew those two would cross paths?” However, I believe they were meant to be.”
While the concept of a Hollow Earth may seem absurd, it was once taken seriously by scientists and politicians, and still has some fervent supporters. “In almost every book event I did for Hollow, there were one or two people in the back of the room who were extremely happy that I had written this book, and I think they were very disappointed when I started to say that the Earth is not hollow.” , recalls Egerton.
Egerton even offered to go to the North Pole on a Russian icebreaker as part of an expedition to find an entrance to the Hollow Earth to prove his idea. (According to Hollow Earth legend, huge holes known as Symmes Holes can be found near each pole.) Unfortunately, the trip didn’t happen, at least as far as he’s concerned.
“It was in and out of being able to happen,” adds Egerton. “It was funded and then had to be supported by individuals donating money, and it’s floating around.” Who knows, though. We may not hear from them for a few years, and then they will emerge from the South Pole, changing the globe.”
While writing the book, Egerton dismissed the Hollow Earth Theory as harmless nonsense, but subsequent events led him to reevaluate his position. “I was applauding people’s ability to believe what was clearly not real when I wrote about the Hollow Earth,” he explains. “However, as the romance progressed and Donald Trump was elected, I began to realize that these conspiracy theories weren’t all that charming and that power could shift in many terrible ways.”
In episode 444 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, listen to the full conversation with Owen Egerton (above). Also, below are some highlights of the debate.
About the Alamo Drafthouse, Owen Egerton says:
“It exposed me to a group of like-minded idiots, and it was also my film school.” I would stay and watch these weird photos, some of which were cinema masterpieces and some that Tim League had acquired as drive-in movies. Tim League had a phase where he literally learned about a drive-in that was closing and acquired all of his movies. He wasn’t sure what they were. He drove to Oklahoma, broke down the truck he loaded all these prints in, and basically said, ‘Once a week, anyone can get in for free — since I have no idea what these movies are, because they’re unlabeled — and let’s just observe them and find out as we go along.’
About directing, Owen Egerton says:
“One day I got a call from Jason Blum, who said, ‘Yes, we want to buy this script.’ “That’s fantastic,” I replied. Only one thing remains. Another group was interested in him and was willing to let me lead.’ ‘Oh, you want to drive, huh?’ he says. ‘Yes, I said. ‘Have you done that?’ he said. “Yeah, my first picture was shown at Fantastic Fest a week ago,” I say. “Send me the link,” he says. I’ll watch it at lunchtime. So I did, and let me tell you, that day was not an easy one for me. ‘What’s up?’ I wondered. Jason Blum is watching my movie! He contacted me later that day and said, ‘Let’s figure it out.’ We’ll find something out for you. Let’s start.’ ”
On terror, Owen Egerton says:
“I think when bigger studios get excited about horror when they see what a low-budget movie can do — it kind of breaks the rules and freaks people out by giving them something out of line — all too often a studio comes in and says, ‘Let’s take this and clean it up, and let’s polish all the rough edges, and let’s give people something a lot safer and a lot more commercialized.’ And you’ll see this happen over and over again with a number of scary franchises and IPs. However, I believe that horror is in a good position. The horror genre is far from over. It’s still going strong. It’s really good. And I don’t mean simply in terms of monetary gain. More voices, more various points of view are flowing into these stories, which only adds to the smorgasbord delight.”
Hollow, according to Owen Egerton:
“The ideas I believe will work best for me start with an uncomfortable question.” And the question for me was: What is at the center of the universe? These terrible things happen, people suffer, people are lonely and people are separated from each other, but there is also beauty – sunrises and babies.
Both things exist at the same time, and I was trying to figure out what that meant. ‘Does the cosmos have a heart at its center?’ This, in fact, is the question posed by the Book of Job. … I read several versions, and Stephen Mitchell’s translation, as well as his comments on it, had a profound impact on me. There are several articles and opinions on the subject. I keep coming back to the same question: “What does it mean for the cosmos to be cruel and beautiful?”