Quite possibly one of the most redeeming aspects of working here at Horrorview.com is the opportunity to interact with the personalities responsible for creating the art I’m most passionate about, the horror film. I have grown to appreciate the time allotted to me by directors, actors and producers, but more so than speaking to a “name” in the biz, the conversations that develop from these interviews. Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend an hour and a half on the phone with one of the genre’s newcomers, Adam Green, the Director/Writer of the eagerly anticipated slasher film “Hatchet” and Writer for the upcoming Lion’s Gate film “Cabin Fever 2”.
AG: Hey, Eric. I’d like to say I’m sorry about the Yankees, but being a Red Sox fan, I’m not.
HV: Okay, let me just clear the air now – I hate the Yankees and I was pulling for Boston the whole time.
But, if you want to play that game I could tell you I’m a Mets fan and remind you of 1986.
Oh, no! (laughs)
That was gonna be one of my questions too, if you had any love for the Yankees.
I grew up in the Boston area, no love for the Yankees.
Okay, so let’s get this interview thing going – why don’t you describe to the readers what Hatchet is about.
Ah. Hatchet is a modernized 70’s/80’s type slasher film, kinda like the ones that had the unbeatable monster in it. It’s not the first time it’s been done, but I didn’t go in the direction of the “WB teen who done it” type movie.
It’s about this boy, Victor Crowley that grew up deformed in the bayou of Louisiana and was taunted by kids. Well one day, these kids went to his house and started taunting him with fireworks and set his house on fire. Victor’s dad comes home and tries to save him, but when he goes to break down the door he chops into Victor, killing him. After Victor’s dad dies it becomes an urban legend that you can hear Victor crying for his father in the swamp at night. A group of people go on this haunted swamp tour in Louisiana, and well, bad things happen. It’s funny because the whole idea for Hatchet I thought up when I was 8 years old and at camp. The counselors would always try to scare the kids by saying “Don’t go there or Hatchet-face will get you!” and I’d always ask “Well, what’s he gonna do?” And they’d say “He’s gonna get you!” And I’d say “But what’s he gonna do?” So one night I made up this elaborate story about Hatchet-face and made all the kids cry. They wanted to kick me out of camp. But ever since then I’ve been like “I have to see this character!”
So far, Kane Hodder is the only credited cast member as Victor Crowley. How does his role as Victor compare to that of Jason Voorhees?
Yeah, Kane is the only credited cast member (as Victor), but from what I’ve heard we actually have the cast nearly filled out. I can’t tell you who’s gonna be in it yet, but I will say that we got some people for this film that even I couldn’t believe. I mean, we’re working with a relatively small budget ($1.5 million) and I was surprised to see some of the names that have been cast. I’m gonna try and work in some unknowns with the cast in the spirit of slasher films.
Ah, so you do have a budget now? When I spoke to Kane at the Chiller Theatre he said “I don’t want to do any interviews yet because we don’t even have funding for the project.”
(Laughs) Well, I haven’t told Kane that we have the funding yet. I guess I should.
We actually could have secured a budget and began filming already, but everyone we went to wanted to have a say in the film. The place we’re getting the funding from now is 100% behind the film and letting us create the idea. It’s funny, because when we were taking the idea of Hatchet to different people they were like “Well, why don’t I put on the mask and play Victor Crowley?” or “If I give you money then my daughter has to have this part in the film.” I wanted no part of that. When we decided on casting Kane, I was asked “Why should we pay him this much?” and I said, “Fucking Victor gets set on fire twice in the filming! You want to set the man on fire twice and not pay him?!” The advantage of Kane is that he’s a stuntman and an actor. For the things he does in the film he should be getting paid. He brings a great deal of credibility to the film.
So is there a difference between Victor (Crowley) and the Jason character?
I think with the Jason character people got used to the hidden character stalking his victims. Victor is fast, a lot faster than Jason and his face is going to be shown throughout the whole movie. I’m trying to think of a character I can relate to. But with Victor’s killings we’re trying to go over the top with the violence. John Carl Buechler’s MAGICAL MEDIA INDUSTRIES is doing the FX for the film and he’s been absolutely wonderful. He’s like Santa Claus, I’ve never met a man as nice as him. For Hatchet, we’re looking to go over the top with violence and do some FX that have never been done before. That’s the advantage of doing an independent film, I basically went to the guys (at Magical Media) and said “Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to do but couldn’t?” and they of course said “yes”. You’ll be glad to know that we’re gonna be doing a lot of creative things with latex. No CG is going to be used in relation to character deaths, only for things like skyline and scenery.
That’s awesome. I hate CG. Not enough movies these days angle for raw, over the top violence. Unfortunately, big productions have been swaying towards PG-13 “fan friendly” horrors and shying away from things like intense violence, rape, etc. There’s no shock value left in horror films.
Exactly. I don’t like the whole remake thing, but when Savini remade the Night of the Living Dead film he did some incredible things with the FX. There’s not enough of that “Horror-fan art” where the top of a woman’s head gets ripped off and there should be.
Judging by the teaser on the website, Hatchet looks like it’s going to be more than your typical “slasher” film. Are you trying to go in a different direction with the film?
I’m actually really happy that you feel that way because I’m trying to take the movie in a totally non-conventional direction. Violence is a big part of the entertainment associated with the film, but there’s also going to be a little bit of comedy as well.
(Laughs) It’s not gonna be comedy that detracts from the film, like say in (certain late 1990’s WB slasher with cell phones) that takes away from the scary parts of the film. How can you fear the villain if somebody is constantly making fun of them? What we’re looking to do is use a little comedy to break the tension once in a while, but not the kind of comedy that people laugh at intentionally.
Kind of like an uncomfortable funny?
Yeah, like Crispin Glover’s character from Friday the 13th IV. You laughed when you saw the film, but looking back on his character it’s actually not that funny.
So is it safe to assume then that Jamie Kennedy is not going to be cast in your film?
(Laughs) No, he won’t be in the film.
Good, he should be hung.
So tell me a little bit about your role with the development of Cabin Fever 2.
I honestly don’t know what I can and can’t tell you about the movie other than Lion’s Gate contracted me to write the script for the sequel and that it’s done and in the revision phase as we speak. I don’t know if my script is going to be the final work that people end up seeing, but I hope so. I will tell you though that Lion’s Gate is one of the best production companies to work with in relation to horror.
Yeah, it’s great. They’re swallowing up every horror film out there and really growing a set of balls when it comes to creative ideas. I like the direction they’re going in, kinda makes me feel like the genre is getting back to the way it should be – no more PG-13 flicks.
It is kind of strange how horror films are being made PG-13 and audience friendly. Isn’t that going against what horror is all about?
Okay, you’re gonna like this next question. I did a bit of research – What is Haddonfield all about?
Holy shit! Where did you find that?!
Like I said, I did some research. I always try to get at least one obscure question in.
Wow! Haddonfield was this hard rock band I used to be the lead singer of back in Boston. It’s interesting because Godsmack, before they were signed, used to have Sully playing drums. They dissolved into Godsmack and another band called Massive Heat, which ultimately became Haddonfield. Haddonfield, we actually had a shot. But the decision had to be made whether I wanted to pursue a career as a musician or in film. I chose film because when you’re in a band you have to rely on other people. With film you basically have full control over your ideas. I’ve actually tried to get the band to relocate out here, but it’s not working. I’d love to see Haddonfield on the marquee at the Whiskey a Go-Go.
Well, let me wrap up the interview with a couple of good questions.
(Laughs) Go ahead.
Best and Worst Horrors of 2004?
Best – I’d have to say Saw. That movie was great! Worst would have to be Hatchetman. I actually saw that movie at Blockbuster, Hatchetman, and it had a picture of some guy standing there with an axe in the swamp. The thing was made in a strip club down the street from my apartment and was some sort of Cinemax late night film. That had to be the worst movie in the last 4 years!
Apparently you haven’t seen House of the Dead.
(Laughs) No, I haven’t. Is it that bad? I heard they use actual clips from the video game in it.
Do me a favor and get a hold of that flick. Than tell me Hatchetman was worse.
Now I gotta see it!
Okay, last one – Most anticipated horror of 2005?
I don’t know if it’s really considered a horror film, but Peter Jackson’s King Kong. I’m a huge fan of Jackson and especially the Lord of the Rings series and am really looking forward to seeing what he’s gonna do with that film. Actually, you know what? I’m also really looking forward to the Devil’s Rejects.
Oh, tell me that doesn’t look 250 times better than House of 1,000 Corpses!
Absolutely! Just from the clips it looks like it has that 70’s hardcore slasher appeal!
Well Adam, I’d like to thank you for your time tonight and keep in touch with the developments of Hatchet and Cabin Fever 2.
Thank you for your time, and I’ll definitely keep in touch.