LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview with Rob Zombie
By James Whittington, Thursday 20th November 2008
Last year, Rob Zombie decided to tackle one of the most respected horror movies ever made, Halloween and remake it with his own vision. With its DVD release due on April 28th we thought it was time to track down this musician, writer, director and ask why he took the project on and what his plans are for the future. Horror journalist Robin Pierce reports.
Zone Horror: Can you recall watching your very first horror movie? If so what was it?
Rob Zombie: I’m pretty sure it was “King Kong”
ZH: Why did you go into directing when your music career was at such a height?
RZ: I started directing early, early on with White Zombie in, I think, 1990. That’s when I started directing videos. I’ve done all mine, and I’ve done them for other people too. I don’t do them for other people so much now, I don’t really have time but I’ve done then for Ozzy [Osborne] and some other people.
ZH: How difficult was it to get your first feature, House of 1000 Corpses made? When Universal pulled out how gutted did you feel?
RZ: Yeah. Universal made the movie, but getting it made was easy. It was getting it out of their vaults and actually on to movie screens which was the tricky part. I think it sat in Universal’s vaults for about a year and a half, maybe. I mean you put all this work into something and the last thing you want to do is have somebody basically throw it in the garbage. But in a way, it was liberating in the sense that I knew that they didn’t want to put out the movie and I didn’t want them to chop it to pieces, so I would rather have it delayed and put out.
ZH: Your next movie, The Devils Rejects has a more raw and unnerving feel to it than HoTC, did you want to push the violence envelope further with that movie and will there be anymore from main character Captain Spaulding?
RZ: Yeah, that was definitely my intention. I didn’t really want to make a sequel to that movie even though I like the characters and all, and I wanted to do more with them but I thought “yeah - I want to do a different movie”. Spaulding and Otis will appear in “El Superbeasto”. Originally they were just going to be sort of background characters and they didn’t even have any lines. They were sort of standing in the background, as a joke, sort of. And then I thought - what the hell, you know, might as well at least bring the characters up to the level of having a couple of lines. So that’s basically it.
ZH: Halloween is such a treasured picture for horror fans; did it take the studios a long time to talk you into doing it?
RZ: I met with Bob Weinstein from Dimension, he started talking about “Halloween” and at first it didn’t interest me in the least. And then I kind of thought about it for a while, for a month or so, and then I started getting interested in the idea of it. And since they were letting me basically do whatever I wanted, that’s what sold it and sealed the deal.
ZH: The film was slated by hard core fans even before a scene was shot, how did that affect you?
RZ: I basically just ignored all of it because it was all pretty meaningless. I mean everyone has an opinion, but when you have an opinion based on something you haven’t seen, you sort of DON’T have an opinion.
ZH: Though the film has passing “reminders” of the original, it does take the story to very new pastures, was this your intention all along?
RZ: That was the tricky thing with “Halloween” truthfully, was trying to find that balance between making it new and retaining enough elements that I thought should be there. And it’s still a struggle in my mind, whether I should’ve taken it further away from the original or what, you know.
ZH: Malcolm McDowell really nails the character of Sam Loomis, what was he like to work with?
RZ: Yeah, the great thing with Malcolm was that he knew Donald Pleasence and was friends with him, but Malcolm had never even seen “Halloween”. He STILL hasn’t seen it. So, which I thought was great, there was no chance of him imitating Donald Pleasence on any level because he’d never seen it. And I didn’t want him to.
ZH: How true is it that you’re planning to make a full length feature of your Grindhouse trailer, “Werewolf Woman of the SS”?
RZ: I was, at one point, planning on making it for sure. When I start something I always really want to finish it, and I knew as soon as I started making that trailer for “Grindhouse” that I would want to make that movie. I really took it very seriously and wasn’t really thinking it was a joke. I really loved the actors I put in it. I thought “there’s a real movie here”.
ZH: Will you be going back into the recoding studio anytime soon?
RZ: There’ll be a new album in stores probably towards the end of the year. Maybe around Christmas time.
ZH: Rob Zombie, thank you very much.
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