FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG Interview With Chillerama Co-Director Adam Green
By James Whittington, Monday 8th July 2013
The superb shocker Chillerama was given its UK Television premiere in March on the Horror Channel and can be seen tonight at 10.55pm. This comic horror anthology was directed by four of the most talented directors around at the moment; Adam Rifkin, Joe Lynch, Adam Green and Tim Sullivan.
Here Adam Green talks about this and what he thinks of the state of horror at the moment.
HC: Your story for Chillerama could be looked at as being controversial by some, how did you pitch it to the other directors?
AG: Actually, Adam Rifkin pitched me the title (The Diary Of Anne Frankenstein) when the four of us first met up to discuss potentially doing this project. He said, "Green, you’re Jewish- you should do Anne Frankenstein." I said, "But Rifkin, you're Jewish, too. Why don’t you take that one?". He replied, "Yeah, but what if instead you did it?" And that was sort of it. Though the phrase "The diary of Anne Frankenstein" is a joke that’s been around for decades, I have to admit I was still scared to death of it at first. I mean, who wants to touch that title with a ten-foot pole? Unfortunately, we live in a world full of people who literally seek out reasons to be offended and who love nothing more than to be “outraged” so that they can get attention. Especially coming off of Hatchet 2 and all of the controversy I had just lived through with that film’s public battle with the MPAA and its assassination from cinemas here in the US… the last thing I wanted was to be put in the spotlight for ridiculous negative reasons again. However, right there in that first meeting I immediately came up with the idea of doing a piece that would be a complete mockery of Hitler and not something that could possibly be taken seriously even for a moment. I started getting really excited about doing a true black and white Universal Monsters style film and once I had the idea of casting Joel David Moore (who knows not a single word of German) as Hitler and surrounding him with authentic German speaking actors who would play it straight… I was no longer afraid of the title but truly inspired by it. Hell, I was going to get to make my own Frankenstein Monster! How could I turn that down? As a Jewish person, I reviled in the fun of making a clown out of Hitler and I channelled my inner Mel Brooks (one of my biggest comedic idols) while I wrote the script. The interesting thing about Anne Frankenstein is that the Frank family is only in the movie for a few seconds as part of the set-up. I barely even made reference to the holocaust or the atrocities that took place in World War 2. In fact, though it may be the most controversial title in Chillerama, Anne Frankenstein is probably the tamest piece in the film and the least offensive segment of all. I’ve seen the film with audiences all over the world and only once has someone ever said they were offended by it after watching it. The guy was a self-proclaimed Neo Nazi who accused me of “painting the Fuhrer like a clown”. As the son of a Hebrew teacher, I considered that moment a victory. There is a fantastic documentary on the DVD and Blu-ray release of Chillerama where the cast, crew, and I discuss not only how we technically made Anne Frankenstein but all of the thought that went into the delicate process of making a comedy set in one the most horrific and devastating time periods our world will ever know. I highly suggest checking it out.
HC: To me its Monty Python at its creative peek meets classic Universal horror, would you agree?
AG: Wow. That’s a very big compliment and yes, that was exactly what I was going for. I walk away from every screening feeling so incredibly proud of the piece. Reviews, awards, and accolades… those are all nice. But as a comedian, there is no feeling of accomplishment greater than hearing an audience howl with laughter to the point that they drown out the film itself. You can’t fake laughter like that. There are no politics or agendas behind that kind of uproarious laughter. It’s the most primal and real reaction you can hope to get and when it happens universally across oceans and language barriers… it’s a wonderful thing.
HC: Do you think the horror genre is in good health at the moment?
AG: I’m excited to see what the next decade will hold. Looking back, filmmakers my age who came onto the scene in the past ten years or so were saddled with some very difficult hurdles. Not only was the “trend” all about remakes over originals (both with the studios who churned the remakes out and the fans who supported them in droves) but we also saw the indie financing industry take a nosedive with budgets and distribution as internet piracy wreaked havoc on us. There was never a harder time than this past decade to get an original (decent budgeted) horror movie made and distributed. But now that remakes have kind of run their course (at least as far as being the only horror films studios will finance- they’re now out of recognizable titles to remake!) and people are starting to see the light about internet piracy (on both sides of the coin)… I am optimistic that more and more original horror movies will get a chance to be made and to be seen. I hope that this next wave of new horror story tellers has an easier time getting their movies made than my generation had and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table. As a genre- we’re always alive and well. Horror will never die and we will always survive the passing trends because we’re a “community” unlike fans of other genres. Just walk by the “sleepy queue” for FrightFest and look at the die hard fans standing in line over-night for tickets (not even knowing 100% what the programming will exactly be yet). It’s the true horror fans like that who always make this an easy question for me to answer. “Are we in good health?” Well, who needs health when you’ve got the living dead as part of your community? Of course we’re fine! We’ve got zombies! The rest of ya’ll are f***** though.
HC: You must have been pleased that Chillerama got its UK premiere on the Horror Channel?
AG: I’ve had a very special connection with the UK audience ever since Hatchet first premiered at UK FrightFest in 2006 and so I’m always especially excited when a new film of mine premieres across the pond. The Horror Channel has been incredibly supportive of my career over the years so this is like a double-win. Who knows? Perhaps Holliston will wind up on the Horror Channel when it arrives in the UK? You never know!
HC: Would you like to be part of another anthology film such as the recent ABC's Of Death?
AG: I was approached for ABC's Of Death when they first started putting the project together but I passed. I was in the middle of post-production on Chillerama when they started assembling their team of directors and the thought of doing another anthology film at that time just wasn’t appealing to me, as fun as the project sounded and as terrific as the people behind it were. While I can never say “never”, right now another anthology just isn’t in the cards for me. Remember, with Chillerama I didn’t just write and direct a segment. My company (ArieScope Pictures) also produced it and put the money and distribution together to make it happen. That’s a hell of a lot of responsibility/heartache and so I couldn’t just make my segment and “let the chips fall where they may”. When you produce a film it is essentially an STD for your company. It never goes away and it is never really over. Wait, did I really just compare Chillerama to syphilis? Yup. Have at it, critics and haters. You’re welcome for that one.
HC: How much involvement have you had with Hatchet III?
AG: I wrote it, I produced it, I’m presenting it, I cast most every actor in it, I was there for every step of pre-production, filming, and post-production, I surrounded our new director with my incredible ArieScope crew, and I had final cut of the film. So let’s just say that it won’t feel like I ever left. If you’re a fan of the first two films I think you’re going to really like what we did with Hatchet III.
HC: Adam Green, thank you very much.
MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Ruth Platt, director of The Lesson
Posted on Wednesday 6th December 2017
On the eve of Horror Channel's network premiere screening of The Lesson, director Ruth Platt talks about the decision to quit RADA, why her film isn't 'torture porn' and what the future holds.
The Lesson received its World Premiere at FrightFest. How did you react when it was chosen? And what was the experience like?
RP: I was really excited when I found out we'd been picked - we got a call from the team, and they were passionate about the film, and they are such a knowledgable and experienced small team, Greg, Paul, Alan and Ian, and it meant so much. Especially when the making of it had been such an arduous and difficult process! I had no idea how people would react to the film - it was su...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with John Shackleton director of Panic Button
Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2017
As social media horror feature Panic Button gets a remastered DVD and Download release, writer and producer John Shackleton reflects on the film's inspirational journey.
To start at the beginning, what was the genesis or the seed of the idea for Panic Button?
JS: The model of how to make a film actually came before the concept. I'd made a short film with a group of trainees using a bunch of self-imposed restrictions for practicalities sake, to make sure we completed and delivered within the three-week timeframe of the training scheme, who were my employers. The rules were quite simple - no more than five minutes' walk from the office (we couldn't afford a van), no dialogue (we did...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Leone director of Terrifier
Posted on Saturday 28th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Terrifier at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event today, director Damien Leone talks about the 'Art' of extreme clowning, his debt to Tom Savini and a terrifying Halloween experience...
Art, The Clown initially appeared in your 2008 short The 9th Circle, then the 2011 award-winning short Terrifier and in your first feature All Hallow's Eve. What made you decide to give him a fourth outing?
DL: Up until this point I never felt like I fully showcased Art's potential. I believe between the short films and All Hallows' Eve, there only exists about 20 minutes of Art the Clown screen time. For a character who's done so little, he seems to really resonate with horr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his debut feature Hostile at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Mathieu Turi shares his admiration for Tarantino, describes the challenges of filming in three continents and reveals his 'magic hour'.
You were born in Cannes so you grew up with film all around? When did you know for sure you wanted to direct?
MT: I think it's always been there. As a child, I used to steal my dad's VHS camera to make mini-movies. They were basically all about my Jurassic Park toys eating my dog or invading the garden. Later, I did more elaborate short films with friends, instead of studying. Then, I remember watching Braveheart and the making of the ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marko Makilaakso director of It Came From The Desert
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Came From The Desert at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Marko Makilaakso shares his admiration for Roger Corman, love of B-Movies, spoofing and overcoming homeland obstacles.
It Came From The Desert is inspired by Cinemaware's cult 1980s video game, which in turn was motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. What was the main inspiration for you?
MM: There's so many movies and makers which inspired ICFTD, but the main inspiration was exactly that; creature feature infested 1950s Hollywood films, and the legendary Cinemaware Desert games and creature features and action comedies I grew up with in the 19...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Can Evrenol director of Housewife
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Housewife at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Can Evrenol tells us why film is a 'pervert's art' shares his feelings for Fulci and reveals his contribution to Horror anthology, The Field Guide To Evil.
Was it important to make your follow-up film to Baskin in the English language?
CE: I wanted to make the film available for a wider audience and to test myself with a different language movie. I thought it was a fun thing to do.
How do you describe Housewife? What would be your perfect pitch line?
CE: Man, I had this crazy f****d-up dream last night! Do you want to see it?
Like Baskin, Housewife shares man...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Dominic Bridges, director of Freehold
Posted on Wednesday 4th October 2017
One of the stand out movies from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was the psychological chiller, Freehold. Dark and at times truly unnerving, the film caused quite a stir and will be released onto DVD on October 9th. Here the film's director Dominic Bridges talking about this superb debut.
HC: Where did the idea for Freehold come from?
DB: Based on personal experience my wife and I suffered a miscarriage whilst trying to buy a house in London whilst the Estate Agents had us bidding against ourselves... I reacted badly which was embarrassing to my wife and myself it all felt like too much fighting for a roof over our heads just tainted the whole of London for us and we moved also the realisation...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Power, director of Killing Ground
Posted on Monday 25th September 2017
One of the best from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was a superior thriller, Killing Ground. This tension packed movie looked incredible on the big screen so we decided to chat to its director, Damien Power.
HC: Did Killing Ground take a long time to write and did it change as you progressed?
DP: It took eleven years from the germ of the idea to stepping onto location to start shooting. Luckily I wasn't working on it full time! Once we had a draft we were happy with, it took five years to put the financing jigsaw together. It's a long journey! The biggest change was that for a number of years it didn't really have a third act. It ended very abruptly at the moment of maximum jeopardy. Fort...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
More new talent seemed to be around at Horror Channel FrightFest this year and one of the stand out movies for me was Where The Skin Lies from Michael Boucherie. Here he chats about this emotional movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to be in the film-making business?
MB: Going to the movies with my family is a favourite childhood memory. There was no cinema in our home town, so it always involved a bit of a car trip. Afterwards we'd recount and quote our favourite scenes, for some movies up to this day. My mother also filmed and edited our home movies on Super 8, and she involved me in that. So, on some level I grew up with it. It didn't dawn on me that this was a v...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with legendary actress Barbara Crampton
Posted on Tuesday 15th August 2017
Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress and producer Barbara Crampton talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.
Q: Replace raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?
BC: The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight...SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of See No Evil 2
Posted on Tuesday 4th April 2017
Jen and Sylvia Soska are two of the most exciting creatives around at the moment. Their work is visceral, dynamic, exciting and above all bloody entertaining. We've chatted to these multi-talented Canadians about their work to date in the build up to the UK TV premiere of See No Evil 2 this Friday on Horror.
HC: It's been while since we last chatted and apart from See No Evil 2 what have you both been up to?
SS: It has been a while, but it's really cool that we get to chat again. We hosted a reality horror gameshow from Matador, GSN, and Blumhouse called Hellevator that was like Saw: The Gameshow!. We had a blast making it. I really can't even believe that was a job a person could have. We're st...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with 'Life' star Rebecca Ferguson
Posted on Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Previously starring opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and Emily Blunt in Girl on the Train, Ferguson steps out as the lead, standing firmly in front of her co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds in the Horror/Sci-Fi spectacle Life, which opens in cinemas across the UK this Friday.
Starring as Dr. Miranda North, Ferguson plays the last astronaut on-board an International Space Station which has recently caught a space probe containing the first sign of extra-terrestrial life. Studying the life form quickly turns from fascinating to a complete catastrophe, as the organism rapidly grows strength and intelligence - with the desperation to prey upon those within its reach.
We spoke with Fergus...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Thursday 21st December
Friday 22nd December
Saturday 23rd December