Bringing you the best in Horror Movie News, and all things Horror.
The wonder and hype continues to grow over Rob Zombie's latest Horror flick 31. The movie was recently able to get the R rating that Zombie was hoping for and made it's premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival this past weekend.
The day after 31 was shown, Rob Zombie and his wife Sheri Moon Zombie spoke with DD about 31 and a whole lot more.
In regards to Sheri's character of Charly:
Rob Zombie: "I love that character because if you think of Charly at the beginning of the movie and the end of the movie, it's a different person. The film’s biggest arc is with that character and you see it happen slowly."
Sheri Moon Zombie: "Yeah, and that was thought out. I really worked on that. I wanted to make sure there was some transition where she kind of turns and she's totally strong and going to be able to take control of the situation. So hopefully it comes across that way."
Speaking about being an actor's director:
RZ: "Yeah, I think what always makes people miss it is the fact that I generally do genre films. Most times I do an interview, all they want to talk about is the gore, and to me that's the least interesting aspect. I mean, it would be like if you do a Western and people are like, "Let's talk about the horses." That's not really the point of the movie.
And I love actors and I love making them do things. I like unconventional actors, like Richard Brake, who I thought was great even before working with him. He keeps saying to me, "You made me love acting again." So many actors have said that to me, like Judy Geeson or Meg Foster. People who have basically quit acting because they were sick of it, because they were tired of playing the grandma with one line. Sid Haig, he had quit too. He hadn't done anything for a long time before House [of 1000 Corpses]. He was like, "I gave up on it. I was tired of being Number Four Terrorist in the background."
So if I'll pat myself on the back for one thing, it's that I feel like I can see talent. I can see someone and go, "You know who's stealing the scene? The guy in the background. You're not giving him anything to do and he's the guy that's fucking great." I'll see somebody I really dig, and I always get arguments at the beginning from the higher-ups. Nobody wanted me to cast Walton Goggins in Corpses, nobody wanted me to cast Rainn Wilson in that either, and nobody was on board with Richard Brake for 31. I fight for all these people, and then win it because I know it’s important."
On helping others careers:
SMZ: "Look at their careers. Like Chris Hardwick; I don't know if there was a fight, but look at where he’s at now."
RZ: I had to fight to get him on Corpses too. I enjoy having a cast where they're not conventional. Studios always want to make sure that everyone's 18, that everybody looks like a teen model, and that's fine, but that's not my world. I mean, I myself may be a teen model, but–
SMZ: "Deep down you are [laughs]."
On not using younger actors:
RZ: "I tend to think that older folks have more talent. Not that there aren't super talented young actors, but for me, it’s usually more interesting watching adults. It's just something in their faces. That's why I like the Danny Trejos of the world. I go, "Yeah, I see it on his face." He doesn't even have to open his mouth because his face says it all.
That's what I think movies used to be, especially horror, like The Exorcist. When people go, "What are your favorite horror movies?" I say The Exorcist. That's not a teen movie. The Shining. That's not a teen movie. The Silence of the Lambs. That's not a teen movie. It just seems like studios adhere to this bizarro formula that's been concocted, where we have to only make horror movies about teenagers and that doesn’t interest me as a fan or as a director."
In regards to the chemistry of this particular cast and what the process was like during production:
SMZ: "Yeah, I think that's attributed to Rob being an actor's director. I mean, I've said that for years, other actors have said it as well. We get on set and we're all really comfortable. We hang out all the time and we even rehearse in the hair and makeup trailer. The actors all love to hang out and talk. We just do. We like to workshop stuff and we all like working together, and it's just a really relaxed environment as far as that goes.
There's certainly a quickened pace for filming 20 nights. It was miserable, but because we all have the passion to fulfill Rob's vision, we want to do the best we can to make the best film we can because that lasts forever. We can be in a shitty situation, I can be covered in dried blood, I could be miserable and I could be crying the whole night when cut is called, but that doesn't matter."
RZ:" Sometimes even after cut gets called."
SMZ: "It doesn't matter because that's not on film. We're making a movie here and we want to do the best job we can. Everybody's passionate about it because we all love it."
RZ: "Part of that is the fact that, like you said, it's all adults. Some of them have been there, done that, and there's a different appreciation for what they're doing. Sometimes when you're dealing with people that are brand new it's like they don’t respect the process. I don't want to say names, but there are other people I know that are working on other movies, and they’ll tell me, "This is a nightmare. I can't even get the cast to put their fucking phones down when I say action. They're more concerned with being on Instagram than the fact that they're in front of a camera."
SMZ: That to me is a director not taking control of his set.
RZ: "Exactly, and what I'm saying is that we would never get that. The people I use, they're serious about it. They're not here to be movie stars. I'm sure they'd love it, but they love acting and I just gravitate towards people that I sense that vibe from. That's why the camaraderie begins, because we're all like-minded, and those are the folks I want to work with again and again."
On using a lot of the same actors in his films:
RZ: "If you go back and watch a Kubrick film or a film by John Carpenter you go, "Oh that guy again, that guy again." And that's what directors do because, especially for me, if I had 500 days to shoot this movie, I could literally be filming someone for six weeks and then be like, "I don't like that guy anymore. I'm replacing him. We're going to re-shoot all of that." But with 20 days, I need to know that I'm only casting people that are going to bring it and they're going to get one or two chances to nail it and then we've got to move on.
You're not going to get that with people that you don't know, because that's backfired on me many times where I thought I trusted somebody and I didn't really know them, but from their work I thought he would be cool, or she would be cool, and they're not. Then I'm like, "Oh my God. This person could literally torpedo this whole movie with their bullshit." As a director, you can't take those risks, you've got to cover your bases on that sort of thing."
On if working on 31 has changed his perspective on the industry:
RZ: "For me it's the same as always. Every time I go to make a film it's the boulder at the bottom of the mountain. I'm like, "Let's start pushing the boulder up the mountain and this boulder happens to be called 31. Last time, it was called The Lords of Salem. I remember how I thought after Halloween came out and went number one. I went, "All right, things are going to get so much easier." No. It's the same shit the next day.
I heard an interview one time with Francis Ford Coppola after he won all the Oscars for The Godfather and The Godfather II, and the impossible journey it took for him to get Apocalypse Now made. I'm like, "If they're not going to get behind that guy they're not going to get behind anybody, you know?" That's just the nature of the beast."
Sheri comments on the same thing:
SMZ: "I feel that now I know what to pick my battles over. Now I know what to get upset about. Now I know if I hear, "Oh, the producers aren't letting us do this. We don't have the money for this", I know eventually we're going to get it, so I don't worry about it. I'm one of the actors, but because I'm married to Rob, I hear all the bullshit."
RZ: "She knows too much in a bad way sometimes, you know?"
SMZ: "Yeah. Now I know what to filter out, I know I'm not going to get stressed about that. I'm not going to let all that "director’s wife" talk get in my head. I'm just going to focus on what my job is."
On the criticism from fans for being in a lot of her husband's films:
SMZ: "Honestly, in the beginning I did feel a lot of pressure to live up to a certain expectation, but now I don't care. I don't read reviews. I know I'm doing the best job I can and Rob's happy with it, and that's all that matters. We're making what we want to make and what we think the fans will enjoy. That’s what is important to me."