Sometimes you get way more good quotes than you can use in a story, and such was the case with my year in horror piece in today's issue. Here in cyberspace, we have a lot more room, so enjoy these bonus interviews.
LUCKY MCKEE, director of MAY and THE WOODS
on the year in horror
Honestly, I didn't watch a lot of horror films this year. The more I study classic cinema, the harder it is for me to show up to the movie theater. Turner Classic Movies is a blessing to any young cinephile...A channel where you can catch things like Carl Dreyer's film DAY OF WRATH at three o' clock in the morning...Now that's a chilling film.
I must say that the scariest stuff (in terms of new films) was encapsulated in Javier Bardem's performance in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. I think it's the best on screen villian since Bill the Butcher in GANGS OF NEW YORK. I actually thought Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN was his best film to date. Each film he has made has been a huge leap from the previous film.
on the "torture porn" label
Torture will always be prevalent in horror. Anyone watch a Vincent Price movie lately? Like THE PIT AND AND THE PENDULUM? Watch a film like that, or Bava's BARON BLOOD, then rewatch films like HOSTEL and think about it in the larger context. It's the same sort of film told in a modern, very hip, clever way.
on current trends in horror
The only major trend in Hollywood right now is to find a trend and run it into the ground until it doesn't make any more money. When said trend has run dry, find the next one and squeeze it for everything you can. This approach is applied to any and all types of films. Money is the trend. Making lots of it.
There is always hope that any type of film can be good. That's why I love movies. Everyone loves the Hammer horror flicks and those were revamps of classics at the time. Look at Scorsese's CAPE FEAR...that was a fantastic remake. Remaking the great movies being made in Asia is sort of annoying to me. I wouldn't like the idea of remaking one of my contemporary's movies...different language or not.
NATHAN BAESEL, star of BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON
The real harsh critics of [BEHIND THE MASK] were real horror buffs...their analysis of the movie was impassioned and well-informed, and I found that fascinating...I tracked down one of the guys and I said "It's fine that you didn't care for the movie, but I'm really curious as to while you feel passionately embittered towards it," and he said a lot of things, much of which I didn't get or were I didn't feel like that's where we were coming from, but he said something that really struck me, which was that he felt like he was being condescended to.
When I respond negatively to a movie it's usually because I feel like my intelligence wasn't being respected
We were trying to be smart, but we weren't trying to be too smart -- we were just kind of fucking around and having a good time and trying to do a good job. We weren't trying to change the world or anything like that.
Apart from an internet presence, there wasn't really any advertising at all. We were paying attention to how they were marketing it, and it felt like there was just an absence
Apart from LA and OC Weekly...KCRW covered us, and that was awesome, but it‚s not enough to get the base out. People that were a little more internet savvy might have been aware of it, but nobody else, and word of mouth didn't grow fast enough -- they canned it after opening weekend. But something I'm really happy about is that it's having a life on DVD, and I get emails from people all the time, and Myspace messages all the time even today, from people who just really enjoyed the movie.
I hoped it would open some doors for me, that I wouldn't have to fight so hard just to book any job, but that's not the case. It just didn't generate enough awareness. Certain niche people have seen it, maybe, and I just haven't met 'em yet...
My wife doesn't like horror. I'm at least adventurous, I think, hey, why don't we get a horror movie tonight, honey? One of the classics. And she doesn't wanna hear it. She would much rather watch a romantic movie, and I indulge her because I'm a good husband, but I sure would love to take some time and do a marathon exploring the horror genre
What BEHIND THE MASK proves is at least with a good script and a good story, interesting characters, and something that has a bit of cleverness to it that isn't trying to just mimic what has been successfully tried, has a courageous element to it, I think those movies tend to do well in general in any genre and particularly in horror, and what we were trying to do with behind the mask was at least to do something different...just trying to make a good movie and working our asses off to make that happen
I think even though we didn't hit it as big as we could've or should've, the fact that we had a really good script helped so much just to get off the ground, which I think is all any movie can hope.
The really relevant stuff that's happening these days doesn't seem to be with studios. The real independent world is going to be more relevant, always.