Quantcast ICONS Interview with Actor/Writer/Director William Butler - MADHOUSE, FURNACE, LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 7

William Butler!

As a genre fan, you probably recognize William Butler. After all, he got killed in just about every major horror sequel in the late 80's/early 90's - LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 7: THE NEW BLOOD, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990. Hell, even the Ghoulies got him in GHOULIES 2, as well as Freddy Krueger in an episode of FREDDY'S NIGHTMARES. But after all those on-screen cinematic deaths, he went on to write & direct a few horror features of his own with MADHOUSE & FURNACE.

He also penned those RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 4 & 5 sequels. (Don't worry, he explains what happened with those in this interview). Between all of the above mentioned projects, on top of directing gigs for everything from music videos to POWER RANGERS episodes to THE GINGERDEAD MAN 2 (and 3!), Butler has had one of the most interesting and prolific careers in the genre. We got to talk to him candidly about it all! So sit back, read and enjoy our FRIGHT exclusive interview with actor/writer/director William Butler! - by Robg. & Mike C.

We always start by talking about what got people into horror movies, so for you, what are your first horror movie memories?

Well, my standard answer is that my mother was single and raising us, so we used to watch movies on TV and I saw THE INNOCENTS, which Truman Capote wrote, with Deborah Kerr – to me it’s one of the scariest movies ever. I love it. There’s no blood in it, there’s nothing like that in it, but still it’s scary. I’ve always been haunted by stuff like that. In the 70’s there were all those films where it was more about the unknown, as opposed to people getting tortured and mutilated. Which is also really scary, but for me, when you’re little the idea of someone looking in your window is enough to give you nightmares. So, that’s my first thought.
I was way too young but I remember begging my parents to see THE EXORCIST, and no one would let me see it. I was just so obsessed with it. There was no FANGORIA, there was no internet – I would just wait for FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine and I would see it in there and think “I have to see this!” I loved that magazine. I’d write letters to Forrest Ackerman and Tom Savini. And I’d get letters back! It’s so weird when you’re 12 and you write a letter to Tom Savini and he writes back, it’s like getting the Willy Wonka golden ticket. But I love the genre. I love movies that are $30,000 movies ya know watching them if they’re interesting, and I’m a sucker for big-budget stuff like HELLBOY 2. I like all aspects of the genre.

Yeah, me too!

I don’t get the whole thing about people being snobs about certain films. If it’s a guy with his camcorder in his backyard and it’s interesting, then why not like it?

If it’s good, it’s good!

Yeah, there’s this filmmaker Krist – he made this film he sent me recently. It was really good, as scary as CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I’ll have to think of the name of it. I think he’s going to be someone from that medium that’s going to explode. I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like if I had those tools as a kid. I got my super 8 movie camera when I was in 6th grade & my parents gave me 2 roles of film and you had to make due with 4 minutes of footage, as opposed to now, young people have access to camcorders and Final Cut Pro. I think things would’ve been different for me. I think I would’ve moved into high gear. I was relatively poor, I didn’t have money to go to film school or anything. And as it turned out I ended up going from stage acting to acting-acting, which is fine. It’s another way to get into the business. Even though, I sucked when I first started! (Laughs) Because I didn’t know what I was doing. Unfortunately for the people who hired me in the earlier days! By the time I got to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, I thought, “Ok, I think I’m kind of good at this!” It’s not all about starving myself and posing, acting is an art form.

So, you always had a general interest in filmmaking as a kid, what led to acting being what you followed first?

Ya know, I was um, it was weird. I had been making Super 8 movies since I was in 6th grade. And I loved it, but it was always a vehicle for myself, even though I was a little kid and it was always something ridiculous. We did this one film when we were in 7th grade where we did an AIRPORT movie? Where we were supposedly in an airplane that’s crashing. We called and asked the guy at Abby Bus Rental place if we could use the inside of the bus for our airplane. We were kids! A bunch of 6th graders riding in a bus as if they’re passengers on a plane. (Laughs) But I was always the pilot or lead character. Never underestimate the vanity of the North American writer/director! (Laughs) “I should star in it too!”
So I did that for a bit. I was fat as a kid, and then I got here (to LA) and I got obsessed with taking care of myself, and then I kind of thought “I think I might be able to get hired for acting gigs.” I was raised around people that were like, “You don’t know anyone. You’re never going to be in the business!” My parents thought I was out of my mind, like “What makes you think you’re going to be able to do any of this?” And I think it fueled me and made me crazy. It made me determined to do it. So, I got here, I got totally in shape. I auditioned and I just started booking things. I was booking commercials.
And I think being raised around – my parents did a lot of things, catering in things like the circus and the Ice Capades, and backstage catering for rock concerts, and I was around performers a lot so I knew how to carry myself, in the sense of, I’m definitely not a cool person, but around the right element I know how to play it cool. And I think at that age, I seemed a lot more savy then I really was. I just knew how to shut up and stand there and pose and book jobs. I can’t even tell you how exciting it was to someone who is a horror film fan to book an acting part in a FRIDAY THE 13TH. I had to work hard to get it, but still! So, I came out here, one thing led to another. It was always a struggle for me because keeping my looks together was a constant battle. I would say the 15 years that I acted, I was like starving the whole time to stay skinny. It’s a huge thing here. Either you’re a character actor or – at the time I was booking a lot of “best friends” and “boy next door” kind of things, I just had to keep my looks a certain way, and it was a constant battle. And I uh, I rode it out as best I can, until I eventually decided that what I really wanted to do was write stuff. And I started writing and it took off from there. I love doing on camera, but right now I’m too gross, too fat. (Laughs) I love what I do. I love owing my own business and we do a lot of stuff.

What came first? GHOULIES 2? FRIDAY THE 13TH 7 or some of the FULL MOON stuff? I’m trying to think the chronological order…

I think my first sizeable part was GHOULIES 2, what happened was, I wanted to get my SAG card and I didn’t know how. I didn’t even know how to act! John Vulich who I grew up with who owned Optic Nerve, who did BUFFY and X-FILES – We grew up together and we’d always said, “We’re going to move to Hollywood. You’re going to act in things, and I’m going to do make-up FX.” So we came here, and the idea of even seeing people drive down Burbank Blvd was exciting to me, ya know? I was a complete geek for the whole city and “I can’t even believe I’m in Hollywood!” No matter how wretched it may have been at the time. Or still is! (Laughs) I asked Vulich to introduce me to (John Carl) Buechler. Because he was painting on the movie TROLL, which Buechler directed.
I met him and just told him “I will come in and sweep floors, and dump the garbage. I will do whatever, I’ll do it for free.” I just thought maybe if I know him somehow, I’ll be able to springboard this into being around actors. And I did that, I swept floors and ending up coordinating for John and then we started traveling back & forth to Italy to do the shows. One thing led to another and Charlie (Band) let me audition for GHOULIES 2. I got GHOULIES 2, and went to Italy, and then I pretty much did 5 or 6 movies – acting and/or coordinating for him, which was incredible. I got my SAG card on the movie PRISON, so yeah.
GHOULIES 2 Trailer :

What was FULL MOON like in those days?

Empire Pictures was unbelievable. First of all, Charlie Band no matter what you hear about him is the nicest human being on the face of the Earth. If you’re in a meeting with him, you leave the meeting feeling like you’re the most important person in town. He’s very gracious, he’s very good at spotting people that know what they’re doing. He weeds the people who don’t know what they’re doing fairly quickly. And if you know what you’re doing, and if you’re a hard worker – the thing that was great about working for his company was, you could come in there as a guy opening the mail and in 3 months be producing a movie if you had the drive to commit to it. He was extremely generous. He had a massive credit line that he had gotten from some foreign investors, and he spared no expense to take care of everyone that worked for him.
He put us in the best hotels when we traveled. He paid us very well. It was a rule that all crew members were invited to go to dailies if they wanted to, which is where they show what you shot the previous day. Usually it’s just the director and the producer. I was like a slime jockey, painting slime on hand puppets and we would go to the studio/snack bar & eat snacks and watch dailies… and sometimes be laughing through them, because it would be so stupid, and he would still sit there with a big smile on his face and go “hope everyone’s having a great time!” The thing about Charlie Band that people don’t understand is – he’s in on the joke. He does not think that he’s making GONE WITH THE WIND. He’s making something that is a novelty and he likes it. He thinks it’s funny and scary. He’s in on the joke with everyone else. It’s a shame that people don’t get that, because they sometimes look at him like he’s “hack-ey” but he loves what he does. And while some movies may be considered “hack-ey”, he’s made like 600 of them! There are a few very good ones in there! RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, ROBOT JOX, ARENA. Those are cool movies! So, it’s just the market is so different now that either people in the world are making movies for $100,000 dollars or they’re making ‘em for $30 million dollars and there’s very few movies in between. You don’t very often see projects that are, that are, ya know $15 million dollar projects. You don’t see that anymore.

So, you developed a strong relationship with Charlie Band?

I did.

What were some of the things that were essential that you took away from that relationship?

I was telling him yesterday, he’s getting ready to do his thing. He heats up and he cool’s down, but he’s getting ready. This whole internet thing is going to change all of our lives. The idea that you’re going to be able to go on iTunes, and download a movie for $2 dollars is going to change everyone’s lives that’s making movies, because even those guys that are making these camcorder movies are going to be able to make a deal a lot easier now, and so what if you make a dollar per download?
Um, 50,000 people download your movie that you made for $10,000 dollars, well you’ve got a $40,000 profit. I mean, it’s going to be great. Everyone’s kind of bracing themselves for that transition, which is going to happen. It’ll be happening probably in the next year and a half. It’ll be a massive thing where you’ll be able to download it and burn it for your own collection, and if you want to print out the case, you’ll be able to print out the case.

It seems like an exciting thing, but the issue is finding a business model to pull it off.
Here’s the thing, Charlie could put all 500 films, or whatever 150 films he still owns, he can put them up tomorrow and probably make money every month, because people want to add it to their collection and it’s a lot cheaper to download it then it is to spend $15 dollars or whatever. I would, we do it all the time at work for music videos. If I have something that I want to deal with where they say, “We want something like this.” We download it for 99 cents, so who cares? But for the guys who made it that’s really good. So… the thing that I took away from knowing Charlie Band, which is great, is that he knows no matter how panic-y you get while trying to make a film, which is next to impossible by the way. Uh, is that there is always a way to figure it out.

If there is a major meltdown, which inevitably there is, ya know – the cameraman quits the morning of the shoot or the star of your show books a bigger show & bails, there is always a way to, if you just say, “ok we know what the problem is. How do we fix it?” As opposed to having this major meltdown and needing to shut down production. Charlie is always extremely positive about everything. He doesn’t shit talk people. It doesn’t matter – he tries to find the good in every single crew member, and I definitely have that on my team. There’s no one negative on my team at all. We support each other. If we don’t like someone, I just don’t hire them back. And so after working for 7 years, doing commercials and TV shows and movies, we have a great team. Keeping things really positive. And also, managing the money in the sense that um, knowing what projects need a giant full size team, and what projects – like today, we’re doing a music video shoot with PLAIN WHITE T’s. And I don’t need major catering and things like that. We don’t need a full set up like we would do on a commercial. I just learned to make the most of things. Sometimes you’re lucky just to have film in the camera, so you better have all your ducks in a row when you’re doing it. Be organized. So that’s it really. I also learned what not to do from him, and I’m sure you can figure all of that out on your own. (Laughs)

I assume your relationship with Buechler back in the beginning led you to being in FRIDAY THE 13TH 7: THE NEW BLOOD?

Well, I think I was working - It might’ve been PRISON and I heard he was going to direct it and I just called him up and said “You have to let me audition. You HAVE to let me audition for this. I don’t care! I have to do this movie.” So he got behind me. Because I had been doing stuff, so I had tape, and they took the tape to Anthony Barnao, who was the casting director, and Frank Mancuso Jr. It was a small part, originally the part of a stoner guy and I had longer hair from doing some other job, so I went in and did the whole thing. Then the script changed. They were like, “we’re considering you.” Every actor in town has eventually been in a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie and I wanted to be a part of that.
I was with a really good agency that handled people that did all the high end jobs, and I really wanted to show my agent that I could book this. So, I went in and it’s the same thing, we were all eating lunch and the room’s stinking of pastrami and just – you’re running around the room pretending that Jason is murdering you, and you feel like such a douche. And uh, I remember I had to do this scene where I was pretending to pee, and they make you do the whole thing, ya know? Same thing on CHAINSAW MASSACRE, they made me do the same thing. So, I did the audition, turned out good, and I went back like 3 times.
And then the character changed and they were like “Well, he’s kind of a normal guy now.” I thought I’m about as normal as you get! I cut my hair, took all the black dye out of it, re-did all that stuff that had been working. Went back in, put glasses on, and they finally I think out of my own persistence just gave in. They probably thought “If we don’t give this guy the job, he’s never going to go away!” (Laughs) So I booked it and it was a blast! Those were very wild times on that movie.

It looked like it was so much fun. I remember being so excited to see that movie. I was probably around 12-13 and I got the entire class excited. I convinced my guidance councilor to get us all into the movie on opening night and it was such a blast!

I love Russ Meyer. I used to handwrite fake notes from my parents saying they give “William” permission to see this movie. And it was like written in child writing. (Laughs) And then I would go in and because Russ Meyer was considered so off color at the Tower theater, they would only play it from 10 o’clock to 6 in the morning. I would go in and see 2 hours of it and pass out. (Laughs)
Well, FRIDAY 7 was such a blast to watch and obviously such a blast to make. Do you remember seeing it on the big screen for the first time?

I do! 2 stories - I saw the rough cut. And the worst thing you can do to yourself if you’re a director or a performer is watch a rough cut of a horror film with no music. I was like… getting on the phone with Viggo (Mortensen) at the time saying, “I am never going to work again!” But once they lay that music in there, something happens that glues it all together. Now I had never seen a rough cut before, so I didn’t know it was rough. I couldn’t believe it at first, I didn’t even know what to say to John afterwards. I was saying, “Yeah, it certainly has a lot of edits and lighting.” Like I was trying to be nice! “There was a lot of color film there, isn’t there?” (Laughs) And so, um, yeah. And then, fuck I just gave in and thought who cares if it sucks? And I went to the premiere with my mother. We’re at the Chinese, and my mother was sitting beside me. These ghetto chicks were behind us and I got killed and one of them said, “Fuck him! He’s a nerd anyways.” And my mom turned around and said, “That’s my son!” (Laughs)

Wow. So what were the sets of a FRIDAY THE 13TH film like?

Unbelievable. Part of it was shot here, I don’t remember. I know when he falls on the staircase? That was shot here in Los Angeles near the 5 in La Cienega. There’s a little sound stage there where they shot part of the house there, maybe all of the house, now that I think of it? We shot so much stuff in Alabama. The location and the hotel that we worked in was now gone now because of the hurricanes, but it was a great place. We got in a lot of trouble in that hotel. (Laughs)

What’s some of the trouble you got into in that hotel?

Well, besides from overdosing, which is not recommended. Um, um, I got drunk on a few bloody Mary’s, which seemed to be the drink of choice at the time. Now that it’s wiped out I guess I can say this and I’d be acquitted of all charges, but… I stole the hotel golf cart and was drunk driving it on the peer and I drove the golf cart into the gulf. And then we just left it and ran off. I did what I could to be young and stupid back then.
Buechler had to fight with the MPAA afterwards, but there was no trouble in terms of actually making the film, right?

No, in fact – do you guys know that they set up the whole post facility in the hotel, and every day that we shot, they were editing the film together? When we shot the last scene, the movie was done and they were just waiting. And by the time we finished shooting, the rough cut was done. There was so much cool stuff in there! It was a very gory, bloody movie. I’ve said this a million times in interviews, I just don’t understand why they can’t just understand that if we go see a movie called THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or FRIDAY THE 13TH, we want to see a little blood in there! It’s just not fair to the filmmakers. It’s not fair to the viewers. Is that loosing up now? I’m not even sure.

I think so. You look at the gore scenes in FRIDAY THE 13TH 7 or even LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3 and compare it to any of the SAW movies, those are far worse now in terms of graphic content.

I’ll tell you something else though, there’s a whole wave - because the second to last movie that I did got butchered, because there’s this whole wave of PG movies where they lie and they write “unrated” on there. It’s not really PG, but they cut everything they can out of it so Blockbuster will buy it, and then they stamp “unrated” on there hoping that it’s going appease the fans, but what it does is blow up in everyone’s face because you’re watching the movie thinking “What is this? A family drama? Give me some exploding heads for God’s sake!”

It seems like that’s the new market, trying to get an “unrated” version out on DVD.

But I’ll tell you something, those PG-13 or PG films, business-wise, it’s the smartest thing you can do. Because our mother’s will not watch a Rated R horror film. But it’s something they turn on the TV in prime time, and it’s something that’s kind of spooky, and doesn’t have a bunch of fork in the eye shots, our parents will sit through a movie like that if it comes on. And that’s the whole point. The guys that are selling the movie are trying to appeal to the widest common denominator. They don’t care what we want and they do not care about the fanbase. When I first started pitching things, I used to say “I really have FANGORIA behind me, I’m very good friends with Tony Timpone”, and they don’t care. They think “Well, great. So you guys have 300,000 people that would maybe watch this. Ok, great. We need 5 million people to watch this. So what can you do to take an eye dropper of your idea and put it in a 50 gallon barrel of water.” I mean, it’s really unfortunate. If you’re a fan, it’s disgusting. And if you’re a fan like I am, it fucks you sometimes, because sometimes the stuff that you’re making, you want to make a movie, but… – Look, I make stuff for me, that I would want to watch. So, if I’m doing a project and they’re telling me to water down what I have, it just makes you hate the people that you work with, before you even start shooting. And then you’re thinking to yourself, “Ok. Now my friends and the fans are not going to like this because it’s not what we want to see.” But they don’t want to make a movie for the fans. They want to make a movie for the world to watch.

It’s really a weird thing and it kinda sucks sometimes, because there’s a lot of backlash on stuff when it blows, and you think to yourself “Man, I wish I could really explain this.” But you can’t, because then you’ll cut your own throat and never work again. Then what? Don’t work? We wrote those crappy ass horrible RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD movies that everyone and their brother put their 2 cents on and polished and spun. And what? I get offered a job where I’m getting offered a ton of money to write a script and I’m supposed to say no? It’s such a hard conversation to have. I mean, would you? Even though you know it’s going to be lame? Are you going to turn down a ton of money? No!

It’s a gig!

Give me a typewriter and put me in the corner.

What happened with those LIVING DEAD movies? Too many people throwing things at you?

It was unfortunate. What happened was… Tom Fox who’s amazing and created the original said he wanted to do something for the fans. So we dug around, we’re like “what do the fans want? What are the fans responding to?” And we wrote what I thought was one really good draft of NECROPOLIS, which was originally a theme park where they had herded all the zombies into this one area where you could actually go see them. Where there were shooting galleries, and there were dark rides where they were chained up, and it was this whole Disneyland of zombie stuff where you can blow them up and pitfight with them and stuff. And the B story line was where something happens and one of them disappears, and they start looking for it and they uncover this thing where they realize that NECROPOLIS is not just a theme park, but it’s also like this whole thing where they’re trying to do tests on zombies and figure it all out. So what they did was they buy the script and say, “We love your theme park zombie movie, but what we want you to do is to take out the zombies, and take out the theme park.” And it’s like…”Ok?” And the thing is when you sign a contract to sell a screenplay, you owe them a rewrite. And if you don’t do the rewrite, then he’s going to do the rewrite, or he’s going to do the rewrite. Somebody’s going to do it. What’s worse?
So we went in there and took all their notes, they wanted all this shit that was retarded, and the guy they had hired to give us notes had never worked on a horror film before! So he’s giving us all these notes and I’m extremely volatile because I’m a fan! So if they start saying things that I know everyone is going to hate, it’s really hard for me to hide it. And I told them from day one, what you’re doing to this is going unravel and kill the franchise. You’re not only going to make a shitty movie, you’re going to kill the fucking franchise. I’m a prick, I’m this. I did what they wanted me to do. I turned in the script polish. We took out the whole theme part thing. It was… half a movie, ok?
Then, they get the bright idea, “we’re going to shoot 4 and 5 at the same time!” “We’ll give you double what we gave you. Make a first draft for us.” Fine, I’ll give you your fucking treatment. I’ve got bills to pay. So we wrote the treatment. We wrote the first draft. It was not that bad in my mind, it was the rave storyline. You have to understand, this is back when people were still doing raves! Not 5 years after the fact when they finally got their asses in gear! Like this was when we were all going to raves! Who wants to see a rave movie when there’s no such thing as raves anymore? So, we started with that storyline. I thought, “Ok, this one’s OK.” We tried to make it funny and put some funny shit in there. And some of it’s still there. So we wrote it, and it felt like torture. I was hating every minute of working on the project. Then, Tom dies. Then, the production immediately fires Aaron (Strongoni) and I, my writing partner at the time, and another writer – that note guy that knew nothing about horror, the Morgan Creek guy polished the scripts. So he polished the scripts. Then Ellory got hired (the director) and Ellory polished the scripts. Then the Russian investors decide, “No, no, no. We have to shoot this in Romania.”
And I hear this from John Vulich, who’s doing the make-up FX. “We’re shooting in Romania.” How can you shoot a movie that takes place in an American college campus in Romania when absolutely no one speaks with an American accent there? There’s no way you can fake that. And you certainly – funny aspects of dialogue are very specific. It takes people with timing, timing! If you don’t have timing and you speak English, you’re not going to get it right. If you speak Romanian and you don’t understand American sensibilities, you’re going to kill anything you say. So that’s what happened. It was just a massive clusterfuck that churned out movies that are sadly not very good.
They came back and started editing it, and John by then had befriended the team, and he was sitting in on the edit sessions. And I was like, “Well can we come in?” And he’s like, “They don’t want you guys in there.” I’m like, “Why?” “They don’t want you guys to come in the edit bay.” This was bullshit! I brought this project to everybody. It was Tom Fox and me and Aaron. I got everyone hired and we ended up – it’s so Hollywood, isn’t it? Anyway – so, so they kept us locked out of the edit bay.
The first time that Aaron and I saw the movie was when they came on the Sci-Fi channel. And I remember watching the first 5 minutes and the commercial break coming on and I turned to him and said, “We are never going to work ever again.” Because there was a certain point where we wanted to take our names off of them and then we talked to our manager and he said at the time, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter if they blow. The fact of the matter is that you got hired on a major franchise. And people in the industry, they don’t watch movies. They look on the IMDB. They see that you wrote a movie, they’re not going to sit down and watch RAVE FROM THE GRAVE.
They can barely hold a conversation for 5 minutes without them being on their blackberry or answering the phone. So just leave it on there, it’s not a big deal. And you know what? I do feel it has had no impact on me at all. In fact, if anything the fact that I worked on a sequel is considered stinkier then the fact that if the movie is good or not. So yeah, it’s not that really big of a deal. It’s just painful to think what it could’ve been. We had written parts for the original people. I wanted Don Calfa in there. I wanted Linnea Quigley in there. I wanted all that stuff and they wrote it all out! They didn’t even know who they were! It was like why are you doing this?
In fact – they broke their own rules of their own franchise. They changed the rule where they’re shooting the zombies. You can’t kill RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD ZOMBIES by shooting them in the head! I know it’s a stupid detail, but you can’t! It doesn’t work that way! And for us, for the people who are fans of that particular movie, it’s so insulting to think that whoever put the movie together didn’t take 5 minutes to watch the original. They didn’t. They didn’t care. In fact, they were renting DAWN OF THE DEAD and George Romero movies and they didn’t even realize it was a completely different franchise.

How do these people get into these movies? It’s always a producer or someone who’s never seen the original before. How do they get in that position?

I don’t know. I’ll tell you that a lot of people that I deal with on major stuff, I do a ton of stuff for Disney. I do a lot of stuff for big companies. My first movie was for a big company. It’s a different business now. All you need to be a movie executive – you don’t even need to have set foot on a movie set. You need a nice watch and a nice BMW - carry yourself like a corporate person and be 24 years old. That’s all it really takes is you just have to have the attitude. And they don’t really, they don’t, there’s no respect for… I can’t even tell you. I won’t name the company but… I was developing something with Tobe Hooper. They’re just very disrespectful. They don’t understand what an icon the guy is. We were doing one thing and I remember Tobe and I were in a meeting. (This is a good story actually) We were in some meeting where we were setting up a movie for him, creating a movie for him.

There’s a lot of talk and a lot of meetings where you’re developing, developing, developing for a year of going to meetings and – I don’t even want to drive across town unless it’s for a real thing. But you’re driving to Beverly Hills and you’re having to dress up and all this crap and go to these meeting. So anyway, I go to this meeting with Tobe, it was like our 6th meeting. And then one of these 23 year old girls, ya know, says (after our 6 th meeting) “I’m just curious to hear, what’s your vision of this movie?” And Tobe’s just sitting there, and he says, “My vision? My vision…is that you sons of bitches back a garbage truck full of cash up to your bank when I’m done. That’s my vision!” They’re all just white as ghosts! We get out of there and he turns to me and says, “I fucking hate when they ask me that!” (Laughs) I know! That’s such a dumb question. It’s like, “What’s your vision of a haunted prison movie?” Well, my vision is it’s a prison, it’s scary, it’s dark and it’s haunted! Hidden message? Not so much. But there’s a lot of that. You have to be prepared for that, because they do say it to you. Like in a family drama where someone’s dying of cancer and it’s a relationship movie, sure you have a vision of “here’s the message that I think this movie is really about.” But when it’s Jason Voorhees cutting people’s heads off, your vision of the movie is Jason Voorhees cutting heads off.

Sure, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

God, I think I’m going to kill myself after this interview! It’s been like therapy!

I’d probably get in fistfights if I was a filmmaker dealing with these people.

Oh my God! You should’ve seen me, I did this prison film. It was FURNACE. Unbelievable amount of meddling when – people are doing this while you’re directing constantly. They’re like, “(whispers) Well, what are you doing? Why are you that close? Pull back? Pull back?” Let me explain it to you, it’s a dolly shot, you see that dolly? When we call action, he’s actually going to be pulling back on action, so when we edit it, it’ll dissolve and fade in, so we need a little bit of head on the footage so that we can edit it properly. “(whispers) But… you’re so close. Pull back.” It’s like that constantly. And you try and try to explain. Add on top of that, 10 below zero weather for a month, this much ice on the floor of the prison everywhere you walk. This with 30 pounds addition to what you have on, walking around like a fat Bambi. Falling & stumbling around like a clown, ok? Tom Seizmore! Who’s out of his fucking mind! (Laughs) And this! Tell me what that does to your personality? I felt like someone was taking a pin and going like this. (pokes self) I’d be like “Ahhhhh, get away from me!” So many times! I went crazy.
What was the genesis of FURNACE? How did you get from something you wanted to do to something becoming a nightmare?

Well, we were writing something for Marilyn Manson. They were doing a project for Marilyn Manson. We had 6 months worth of meetings. I wanted to do this thing called DARK HOUSE. Which I think they actually made a movie called DARK HOUSE later on. But, it was going to be cool, really neat kinda evil Willy Wonka movie where these people go to this house and it’s Marilyn Manson. It was really cool and creepy and he was the host. I was blown away by the idea.
I’d watch that!

I know! It was awesome! So, he was… how should I word this. He became no longer available to do the project. And um, they liked us and asked us “do you want to do something else with us?” And we were actually free. It’s weird about movies. You either try to develop something for 5 years and you finally get it done, or someone calls you and says can you fly to Romania tomorrow morning. There’s not a lot of in between. So they were like “we need you to go now. Right now, do a rewrite. We’ve got a script.” The script was ok. And um, we polished the script a little bit and one thing led to another and 3 weeks later we’re in Nashville and shooting. It was a blast, it was a good time. Dealing with Tom was… rough but doable. On every set there’s always someone who misbehaves, ya know?
FURNACE Trailer:

How was Ja Rule?

Awesome. Yeah. Great. Amazing. A lot of posse. A big posse. And a lot of things like White Castle’s burgers and Popeye’s chicken coming to set. A constant flow of amenities.

How’d he get a movie, ‘cause…?

I met with ICM. They were pitching clients to do the show. It was coming together fairly quick. I had a meeting with him. And again, this company has dealt with a lot of projects with rap artists, like Pitbull. I knew ‘em all, but I was like “Who is Pitbull?” And I love him. I’m a big fan of his now. What was the other one? Paul Wall. So they knew his agent and he came and met him. They were like “Be very careful around them. They often time carry guns.” You’re very out there. They might draw a gun on you, I’m going to say it. They might kick your ass if you become too familiar with him. He comes in with his wife and kid. He’s like the nicest person you’d ever meet. Now, is he capable of turning on the thug thing? Absolutely. Did he do it when he needed to? Sure. But he’s a really nice guy, and like I said… I liked…

We’re breaking Ja Rule’s rep here!

No! No! Hey, listen, actually – when we were doing the film, he was making choices for his character, because his character was kind of nice. I thought “I don’t think you should be that nice. Turn it on!” I actually told him to be a bit meaner. No, but no harm. I’m sure he’s a very tough horrible gangster when he wants to be.

Was FURNACE the one with the actress we were just watching in, in…


Yes, yes! Jenny McShane?

YEAH!!! Can we talk about that last line in that SHARK ATTACK movie? “Megla-who?”

We were just watching that a few days ago. Loved it. We looked up the actress and realized she was in your movie too.

Jenny McShane. Love her. And she’s a very nice person. SHARK ATTACK 3. That movie, she was telling me about it. I kept hearing about it and then someone showed me a bit on their phone. I love how they took meat, and CGI-ed a boat over the meat and have great white sharks eating the boat. Brilliant! But… I don’t think they’re in on the joke. I think they think they’re making a scary movie.
They’re on a boat that’s moving, and then in the close-ups you can tell the boat is completely still.

Yeah. And you see trailer wheels on the side of the boat. That’s good stuff. I was just thinking – I might be going to Italy to do a job and there’s that big scene where people are talking in a car and I was like, “Poor man’s process?” You’ve got to get a lot of branches and a lot of moving lights where it’s very obvious you’ve not moving.

Let’s talk about MADHOUSE, because that was your first writing-directorial project, so what made you take the leap from acting to writing and directing?

Well, I had been writing for a very long time. I wrote for the National Lampoon. I was in the National Lampoon stage show, and just writing forever in general. Not necessarily stuff that was in script format, although I was trying to figure it out. I read that book, which I highly recommend for anybody that wants to be a screenplay writer, ‘How To Write A Movie In 21 Days’. It’s the best screenplay writing book. You’ll never write a movie in 21 days, but the exercises that are in the book are so good. Every writer that I know that’s making a living has read this book. It’s very basic. It literally tells you a very simple formula where you will write a script where readers will respond to it. It’ll say on Page 3 this should be happening. On Page 5 this should be happening. It kind of helps nudge you along. Now, once you know what you’re doing, you eventually branch off from that because writing is very organic, but for an entry level person, if you want to write something that’s not going to be 600 pages and there’s no point to it, it’s really helpful. So I read that book and in the meantime, I was doing voices for the family channel. I did some stuff for a show called The Basement Show where there’s a bunch of puppets and cartoons and stuff. I did tons of voices for Savant Entertainment projects like some stuff on The Avengers and a lot of – Diabolique. There’s an animated version of that. Spider-Man something-something. Spider-Man XD or something. I don’t know. Anyways, I did that and I went from there to uh a show called The Basement Show where I directed some live action segments, and then from there I went to Power Rangers, and I started directing Power Rangers. From there I went on to Mary Kate and Ashley. I directed a bunch of Mary Kate and Ashley stuff. Then one day, Mark Pinsker who was my boss at The Family Channel said, “I have one of your co-workers on the phone line, he wants to talk to you. He’s the guy who created NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.” I was like, “You have George Romero on the line? How do you know George?!” I go running in there and it’s Tom Fox on the phone line. We’re talking to each other and I’m like “I don’t think we’ve ever met before? What project did you do?” And he said, “I did RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.” And I said, “Oh I did NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.” So then we started talking and he said he was looking for someone to develop a story and I was wondering if you could help me develop it. So, I had lunch with him and he was a really nice guy. A very uh, paternal character that you’re instantly drawn to as a parent figure. He was a really nice guy, very old, had great stories about the original RETURN movie and how it all came together. And one thing led to another and I helped him develop that, I recommended that we listen through the IMDB boards about what the fans would say they’d like us to do and we’d go in the direction of what the fans would want. Because at that point it was number 4, so why bother making something – the average person isn’t going to know what this film is anymore. So let’s try to make something for the fans is what my goal was. So I started writing that and from that we wrote NECROPOLIS, and what happened was NECROPOLIS – Lake Shore loved NECROPOLIS and wanted to do it as like a $30 million dollar movie, but they didn’t want it to be a RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD movie. They wanted it to be a mutant movie like the first HELLBOY with a bunch of really cool monsters that these kids are fighting from this theme park where people live in world where there are mutants.

So I thought “Yeah, this is great!” This is the best news and the worst news for anybody that ever has been a filmmaker. So, me and my writing partner were so excited that we were going to do a $30 million dollar movie. We want Tobe Hooper to direct it. We’re going to meetings, we’re doing this whole thing. And um, Tom Fox was a great business man. He could literally get you to buy your own shirt. He had an amazing knack for somehow getting you to write him checks for whatever. He was a really good business man and very savy. Like “I’ll give you this and I bought this for $30 but it’s still like new, and it’s owned by me so if you buy it for like $32 dollars? That’d be really good.” And somehow he’d be able to talk people into it. He was a very good, shrewd business man. Had lunch with someone, I forget these guys – and says, “You outta help me, I’m doing this big project” – he was attached to it now you have to remember because he is the one who brought me on to RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, so he’s now attached to a movie that no longer has anything to do with RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD.

So anyway, he has lunch with these guys and one thing leads to another and he says to them, “Why don’t you guys help me produce this?” Trying to be grandiose. “Yeah, that’d be fun.” They go away, he forgets about it. A month later, we’re getting ready to start prepping the $30 million dollar movie, we were going to make an unprecedented amount of money for our screenplay, for me. It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I remember it’s raining. I’m so excited. I just moved into my new house. I’m so thrilled, I’m not only selling the movie, I’m selling the movie to one of the major players in the city. I skipped doing the Roger Corman thing, I didn’t do… “ring ring.” “Hi, it’s so and so from Lake Shore Entertainment. I’m sorry but we’re pulling the plug on your project.” What? Why? “Well, it seems these 2 guys that Tom had lunch with are saying that they’re going to sue us unless we include them in the deal, and they each want a half a million dollars.” They pull the plug on a $30 million dollar movie and in a flash, the whole thing is over. Soooo… after laying in bed for a week with the blankets over my head thinking “I want to die” uhh, and we get a call from Stephanie Denton who was the head of international. And she says, “Listen, we really like you. We want to do a project with you. Do you have something that is self contained that you can really get behind that is of our taste.”

They like really classy stuff. They don’t like everything. I like it all. I want to see a brain dissolving in Drain-o and I also want to see THE INNOCENTS. So they were like “Don’t go with brain in the Drain-O. Go the other end.” I said OK. I sat down, I though I wanted to do a haunted house movie. I told my writing partner, “I want to do something haunted house, something in an insane asylum, something that’s self contained and that nothing is what it seems to be. And something that is sort of inspired by THE INNOCENTS, because in THE INNOCENTS, you don’t know if Deborah Kerr is crazy, you don’t that the house is haunted, or you don’t know if the children are like demons. I love that, I want to do that. He came back the next day and was telling me the story that he had thought of, which was remarkable. He thought of this story – it’s about this guy who came to correct this facility that was falling apart, and it turns out he was an old patient. A very simple, a somewhat predictable twist, but also for some reason, it worked. It was just good. He wrote the story out. I wrote the screenplay. By myself! It was the first screenplay I think that I wrote by myself in the longest time. How I did it, I don’t know? Because I’m absolutely helpless now. I can’t do anything like – I always have to have several people help with everything. Wrote the screenplay, they greenlit it and within 2 months I was in Romania prepping it.

Yeah, it was a dream come true. And that was a really good shoot, and I felt really special and cool. They watched my every move obviously, because I had gone from doing TV to something that they had intended to be theatrical. So they watched me a lot, but it was amazing. And I love the film, I still like it. I think its better then most of the stuff I’ve done.

Can you talk a bit about getting some of the genre names in it? Obviously, everyone knows Joshua Leonard from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. So this was one of the first things people got to see him actually act in.

Yeah, we had very extensive auditions. I saw everyone in town. It’s cool when it’s a big company. They don’t care what it is. If it’s a big company, they come right out of the woodwork. They were calling us at a certain point. Jordan Ladd had just done CABIN FEVER. There was a massive buzz on CABIN FEVER. I hated her when she came in. We did not gel. I was like “What is going on here?” And it was just a bad meeting. It was weird. Everyone kept telling me, “you’re out of your mind, she’s really nice.” I was like, “she is an animal, I don’t want to deal with her!”
There was something weird… I think she was late, and I think I had stuff going on. But the casting director said, “Please see her again.” I pass! Tell them I pass. “Please see her again. I guarantee you’re going to end up being friends with her.” I was like, No. I will not, but bring her in. They bring her in, we hit it off, and I’ve been friends with her ever since. And she was amazing and I loved her and a total team player and she’s hot, and just – just cool. Everyone loves her. She’s smokin’. Yeah, so we got her and then Joshua came in and auditioned. That’s how I met him.
I recognized him from BLAIR WITCH, because on the break-downs they say – and he came in. There were several guys that came in for it, they were all famous people. But he kicked ass. There’s one other guy who was unknown. He was amazing, but Josh was a better fit. It was great, we had a rehearsal period, which is unheard of on a low-budget film. We rehearsed in Romania. Then Lance Henriksen came on board. The greatest guy of ever, I’m sure you’ve met him. He’s a team player and he brought me presents, which I thought was cool.

How about Natasha Lyonne?

Amazing. Natasha yeah, she was great. She can’t out party me. Whatever. (Laughs) I mean, she brought a fucking tackle box of God only knows what with her. And she was misbehaving a little bit, ya know. I just had a conversation with her and said, “Listen, I’m not here to scold you. I’m just saying don’t hide it and divide it. Let’s get to it.” (Laughs) No, just kidding. She’s fine. She was having issues. They all do. One way or another, they all have an issue. “My mattress is too hard. I’m on pills. I need weed. I need IRS money. I’m coming down off blow. I think I’m the most important person in the room.” It’s like there’s always this big wheel of fortune spinning, you never know what you are going to get.

And they all come together for a movie called MADHOUSE. I caught MADHOUSE on cable and… it was one of those things, I didn’t know you were attached to it, but I thought this is much better then it ever possibly should’ve been.

Thank you for saying that. Yeah, people say that. I kinda like that though. I’ve heard that more then once.

It’s just one of those movies that shows up on cable. And there’s so much crap that comes on cable these days.

I do something so bad... I’m obsessed – I start googling (usually after a glass of wine), and it doesn’t matter how many good things I read about myself. I keep digging. It’s like your father saying “you’re never going to make a living at this! You have no business!” I keep looking. No, no that’s complimentary! I want to find something of someone telling me to hang myself! Then I find it, and I want to die. Ya know? So one thing that’s nice on IMDB is there’s a great deal of things that people say, “I kinda thought this was going to suck, but it was alright.” I’m a big fan of movies that you can sit on the couch with a blanket and you can just watch it. Maybe it’s background? Ya know? Maybe you’re really drawn into it, but it’s always something where you look up, and there’s always something quesi-interesting going. I’m not so much anymore – I’m trying to move away from the hand puppets with slime. I’ve been around a few hand puppets in my day. (Laughs)
Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Behind The Scenes:

Going back a bit – Obviously I have a strong connection to LEATHERFACE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3. What was it like going into that? Because I know it had a troubled production. Different directors coming in and out, changes to the script, a fixed release date. So what was it like going right into that?
Well, I have to tell you, I didn’t know Jeff Burr personally when I got it, so for me, I didn’t care (who was directing). I couldn’t believe that I auditioned against 300 people and I was going in the lobby and there were like people that were famous auditioning. So for me to get it, I was like “How the hell did I get in this movie?” It was really weird, but I was on cloud 9. I felt really good. Because when you start working, if you’re an actor who shuts up and goes to work and does even a half decent job, they’ll be other filmmakers that will think “Oh, he’s easy to deal with. He’s not hard on the eyes. He doesn’t whine? Then hire him.”
Sometimes you get jobs that way. And that’s great. But when you audition for complete strangers like New Line Cinema and they want you because they think you’re good, it’s a huge exhale that I couldn’t even illustrate. I was so happy. I had met with Jeff on another film called THE VAULT, but it did not get made. But I wanted to work with him! He was a really cool guy. And we had a lot of similar interests and I knew Scotty Spiegel who was a friend of his. We were all kind of hanging out, and I just wanted to work with him. I didn’t really know him. So when I booked it I thought it was so great. The script was awesome.
Now in hindsight, tastes were changing then. They were moving away from things that were really gory, and I was in on that. Because I wanted to be… a movie star. And so I didn’t want the film at the time to be too gory out of political reasons. I wanted it to be more something that was more palpable. In hindsight? That was a huge mistake for them to write out all the stuff that David Schow put in there where it was extremely violent. It was a massive mistake, because the movie suffered as a result of it. It turned into Freddy Krueger, which it didn’t need to be. You know what I mean? It was very…
I do like the director’s cut.

No, I liked the film. I think the film is an OK film. You know how the new CHAINSAW MASSACRE is really scary, where sometimes you’re like “I don’t want to breath.” PART III was that scary. The script was so violent, and I got the script and thought “I don’t want to be in this! I don’t want my entrails pulled out!” There was a scene where his entrails are pulled out little by little. I was like, “I don’t want to be in that kind of a movie. I wanted to move on and do another movie,” which I ended up doing anyway, so I don’t know what I was fucking bitching about.
So, he wrote a really good script, and we were all complaining and not wanting to do it. Now that I think of it, it’s really strange. I regret being in on that train of thought where I thought it needed to be toned down. It was a different time in my career and I wanted to try to do more mainstream stuff. David Schow is a brilliant writer.

You were also living with Viggo Mortenson at the time, right?
Yes. I got cast in the movie. I think I screamed at the top of my lungs. I was living on ketchup and white rice. I was so poor at that point. And he was like “what, what, what?” He had just finished FRESH HORSES, I think. I was like “I booked a job!” And he was like, “I want to read it. Like, you’re the star? You’re such a douche! How’d you become the star?” (Laughs) He was reading it and he’s like, “You’re going to be good in this! Who’s playing Tex?” And I said, “I don’t know? You want me to ask Annette Benson? Are you sure you want to do this?” Because he had already done major stuff. But he’s like, “Yeah! We’ll hang out. We’ll drive to work everyday. We’ll carpool!”
So, I told Annette Benson Viggo Mortenson wants to come in and read for this. He came in and they didn’t book him originally. He didn’t do a good audition, he was having a bad day or whatever, and they booked some other guy who was a car commercial guy. The car commercial guy got called to do another car commercial. It was like a series of commercials, and the guy made more in one day then he would’ve made on the whole movie doing CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3, so he dropped out.
So, they called Viggo at the last minute and of course, they all fell in love with him, because he’s an amazing actor. That’s how he got in. Pretty cool. And… he’s failed miserably since then. (Laughs) I could’ve been in LORD OF THE RINGS!

(Laughs) Another one that I had to sneak into, which I think is an underrated film is NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. In the age of remakes, I thought NIGHT was a pretty kick-ass remake!

I did too! I think Savini did a good job with it. And I love the FX. Johnny did great FX in that.

How was Tom as a director?
Amazing. I liked him. I clashed with him, but ya know… I’m not a redneck that lives in Pittsburgh... There’s a process that all performers go through, and I think I needed to figure out how to be that person. I know that sounds stupid. But I wasn’t who that character was at all, so firing a gun, let alone holding a gun. It was very tricky with me, and Tom is all about guns and sword fighting and all that. Did we not like each other? No, we liked each other. Was that part of it rough for me? Yeah, it was. I’m not Spider-Man.
I’m not the type to leap in the back of trucks with flaming torches, but I got through it! And I pulled it off. That part of it was hard, but Savini was great. George Romero was awesome. His wife Chris was amazing. They were all there. My first day was when I had one of the main monologues. One of the first scenes we shot. I thought I was going to be fired immediately. Chris Romero is watching the monitor, and George is sitting next to her. I’d never met them. I was working on another film and I did an audition there, which they sent my tape straight from there to Pittsburgh. I went from Tucson to Pittsburgh & I had never met anyone.
The first day that I got there, I was meeting Tom Savini for the first time. I never met him in person, so I was scared to death. It’s just one of those things where you think, “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.” I went and did my little breathing exercise in the bathroom and pulled my shit together and did OK. Both Chris and George came to me and said, “We’re really happy you’re part of the project.” It was weird, but amazing. Looking at George Romero’s face and having him invite you to Elby’s, which is Bob’s Big Boy out here and eating an Elby’s special and having Romero laughing and listening to what your saying. It’s unbelievable.
How involved was George on set?

Very. Yeah, very involved.

Was he helping guide Tom through the process?

I think so. I don’t know for a fact, but I saw him there a lot. It was Romero’s franchise. We were all very respectful of that. Obviously, when George Romero speaks, people listen. Pat Tallman. Amazing. Tom Towles. Amazing! Tony Todd, awesome.
I was so intimidated by Tony Todd because he’s such a great actor. And I had a lot of stuff to do with him. I was like, “Can I keep up with this guy?” He was a heavy duty theater actor. I thought I was going to stick out like a sore thumb. Back then, I would do character scrap books with things that they would like, just to get my head around where I was headed with the character. I heard Tony still does his own books to this day. And it’s kind of cool because you keep them and years back you can look back. I save little matchbooks from when we would go drinking. I have to track that down. Moseley was in it and now he’s a horror rock star. I was neighbors with Bill Moseley before I knew he was an actor.
Can you talk at all about GINGERDEAD MAN 2?

Yeah. I can say that I produced and directed now. Before I had morals clauses in contracts I had with some kids entertainment groups, that’s where Silvia St Croix came from. What happened was Charles called me after FURNACE sold like crazy. It sold like 25 copies in every Blockbuster, which is kind of unprecedented for me. It made a fortune despite the fact that it’s sort of blah, and so Charlie was wanting to get on the Billy Butler wagon – don’t say that, but that’s kind of what happened. And he’s like, “What can you do for me right away?” And I was like, “I don’t do any of that stuff. I appreciate that stuff, but… I want to do like TERMINATOR! “ And so, so, I don’t know.
I was like “What’s the stupidest franchise you have?” Actually, something that you wrote the story for, he says. I go “What?” He’s like GINGERDEAD MAN. I said, “Can I make it really hideous? Can I do whatever I want to do?” “I will write you a check. And I will hand you a check, and you and your friends can go make whatever you want to do. I’ll have nothing to do with it. Make a movie. Do whatever you want to do.” And I said, “Can we make fun of you in the movie?” And he said, “Yeah.” And so I don’t know if you’re familiar with the movie at all but it’s about a company that makes tiny movies and they’re going out of business, and they’re desperate to do something that will get them attention for their studio. And so they have this franchise called “THE TINY TERRORS”. There’s one that’s called “Shit For Brains” and “Knob Goblin”, which is like a gay lawn gnome. And the “Perkulator”, which is a coffee pot with machine guns on it. They’re all these little puppets.
So they’re trying to do TINY TERRORS 9: PURGATORY OF THE PETITE. And they’re trying to make it really good and it sucks. And all these other films SPACE SPANKERS, 2019 and all this stuff, they’re trying to make all these bad movies and turn their shit around. What happens is this kid from the Make A Wish Foundation comes to tour the studio because he’s dying and his dream is to meet the Tiny Terrors.
They go to do it and of course the Gingerdead Man gets delivered to the crafts services table and he escapes and starts killing everyone in these horribly vulgar ways. We sat around in a room with a pot of coffee and thought “What’s the most offensive thing that could happen?” “Well, he can get crucified!” Well, there you have it, there’s the title of the movie “THE PASSION OF THE CRUST”.
So, there’s a major crucifixtion scene where a cookie dies for your sins, which I think is worth the price of it. There’s also a man who dies with a curling iron in his ass, which – we like to think we set homosexuality back 500 years just with that scene alone! (Laughs) It’s sort of shamefully fun, but what happens…
It sounds more fun then the first one!

Oh, yeah, I think for sure it is. Listen – again – if you go see a movie called TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, you know what you’re in for. And if you open this and you watch it, you know what you’re up for. What happens is the Make A Wish kid ends up being an on-line blogger that’s pissed off and that hates the company and wants to plant a bomb in the studio and blow it up because he hates the movie so much. It’s good, it’s just funny and the stupidest movie ever.

How long did you do the movie? Because this was a fast production, right?

We did the movie in 5 days. It’s astonishing and more entertaining then FURNACE is! We spent a month doing FURNACE and then I watched both movies with a friend last night. And he’s like, “I don’t mean to break this to you, but GINGERDEAD 2 is 10 times the movie that FURNACE is.” Hey, you win some, you lose some! How can you go wrong with a cigar smoking, masturbating cookie, ya know? Again, there’s a big monologue that I think you guys will appreciate where the filmmaker is saying like “I just want to make movies!” It’s the voice of all filmmakers. I don’t understand the people that are so ferocious on line when all you want to do is do what makes you happy. You know what I mean? All these young guys with these camcorders, they’re just doing what they want to do! You gotta do it for yourself. Look what happened to RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD when everybody tried to make everyone else happy. It fails! So there’s a thing there where the guy says, “All I want to do is make movies. And I just don’t see what’s wrong with making things that I’d want to see.” AKA Charlie Band. Charlie Band is in on the joke. He knows what this is, but this is what he likes. The guy has made a fucking fortune from it. He’s built a brand that no one can – everyone has tried to penetrate but no one can. No one has – as stupid as a movie about a haunted pimp doll can be, nobody else can touch that. Everyone’s tried and no one can do it. The guy has a huge fanbase and a huge brand that’s as big as Corman. Maybe not quality, but I don’t know?

I grew up on FULL MOON stuff, there’s some good nuggets in there.

I know. I love Empire Films especially. PUPPET MASTER, which is cool. The thing that’s a problem with some of these things is they don’t have enough time to like – I want all puppets, like puppets running everywhere. Like DOLLS! DOLLS, they’re everywhere. That’s a great film. Another good example. That’s back when you were spending the time. But, we did this thing in 5 days. It was great, I talked to my team. I have a regular team of people that work for me. And I had to break the news to them that I’m wanting to do this project. And you’re probably all going to make $100 dollars a day on it, if that, and I’m not sure if that’s even going to come through. I don’t know. But the guy wants me to do it as a favor. I’ve made thousands of dollars off of him in the past. He treated me like a king when I was 20 years old. And I owe it to him, and I would still do movies for him if he asked me to, because he’s treated me very well. So I need for everyone to be on board. Everyone’s like “Well, how long is it?” 5 days. They’re like “How can you say no to a 5 day shoot?” How bad could it get in 5 days? In 5 days it’s going to all be over! And you know him! At the end of 5 days whatever you shot is the movie, that’s the way he is. We got organized and we made it and it’s funny. I hope you like it!
What happened to Gary Busey?

He was too much of a handful on the first one. Now listen, don’t be pissed off because they’re making fun of on-line bloggers on there. It’s not about you. Just think of the other guys. I can name a few right now who inspired that character.
Last but not least, what’s up next for you? What’s in the future?

Yeah, I’m finishing some things that your readers will not care about. I’m doing a Selina Gomez project. She’s the new Miley Cirus. I know all of the horror fans are going to love that!

I’m sure they’ll love that tid-bit. She’ll do a horror film eventually.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, we just finished shooting THE RISE AND FALL & RISE AND FALL OF TUCK JOHNSON: AMATEUR PORN STAR. Which stars Ed Begley Jr, Jack Plotnick, Kate Flannery from THE OFFICE. Uh, Wendy McLendon from RENO 911. It’s about this amateur porn star that decides to make the most expensive porn movie ever made called LAWRENCE IN HER LABIA. And he’s the stupidest human being on the face of the Earth. It’s very mockumentary. Ed Begley Jr plays a producer at the PBS, who’s about to lose his job and they decide they’re going to compete in sweeps week, which is where the big rating sweeps are counted. So they say, “we want something titillating, so you’d better find something and you’d better make it like good and sexy so the audience will like it.” So he decides he’s going to follow this guy who’s a loser trying to make this porn film, and it’s so hilarious. Honestly, we were laughing the whole day. A lot of it’s improved, because a lot of these people are improvisers. So you get all these groundlings in there. You basically say “Ok, you two get into a fight over whatever.” We’re going to go eat lunch. And then they go on and on and on, and the whole thing’s hilarious. And then you just cut out what’s not funny and it’s genius. I’m madly in love with that.

William, thank you so, so much for your time!

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