recently had an opportunity to chat with Rob Zombie about ‘The Devil’s
Rejects’, life, love and all things good. Take a gander!
I’d like to start out with a few things related to ‘The Devil’s
Rejects’ and then branch out from there. With ‘The Devil’s Rejects’
being more of an action film, along the lines of ‘Natural Born Killers’
and ‘The Badlands’ more than a horror film. I know in previous
interviews you’ve mentioned not necessarily staying in the horror genre
but doing films that interest you. Do you feel that your roots will
stay in horror?
I mean even the next movie that I’m working on though not technically
horror, it definitely has a horror backdrop to it at all times. It’s
hard to say. There is this straight up horror script that I’ve been
CC: Are you ready to talk about that project?
No I’m not. I don’t like talking about things before they’re ready to
go. A lot of people like to talk about things in advance. But I don’t.
Understood. Going into some of the character… Otis. Seems like he
changed quite a bit from ‘Ho1KC’ to ‘Rejects’. I mean he went from an
albino look to more of a rugged look. His rantings kind faded out. Is
this something you did consciously? Or did Bill Moseley have more of an
input on how that character developed between the two films?
No. It was consciously something I did when writing the second script.
All of the decisions I made for ‘Rejects’ were based on sort of my
hatred for sequels, shall we say? A lot of times a character will work
in the context of one movie. And then you go, “Now what?” And then the
characters don’t work again. The way they did. The Otis character was
one in particular where we tested out the particular look for him,
slightly toned down. It looked fake. The first movie had kind of a
hyper-real look to it. So he blended in with everything else that was
hyper-real. But with the new film, we did make-up tests, it just looked
stupid. Instead of looking like a real person that’s menacing it looks
like a guy wearing make-up. Trying to look a certain way. That’s when I
just decided to abandon it because it just didn’t work. It looked too
phoney. I wanted all of the actors to take their characters to a real
place. The original look for Otis would have just been distracting. I
felt it would limit Bill in more of a cartoon-ish character instead of
a real person.
CC: Where does Captain Spaulding come from?
I’ve always put clowns scattered through things, videos and so forth
for a long time. Clowns have always been fascinating and disgusting to
me. Clowns are a good way to sucker people in. I mean clowns are just
so weird. Just the other day I was driving down the street and there
was a clown standing on the street corner. Holding a sign that read,
“Open House” or something like that. His suit was dirty and he looked
horrible. At what level is this a good advertisement for this open
house? Then, of course you always have the John Wayne Gacy thing. But
all the clowns seem that way to me. Odd personality hidden behind thick
are writer/directors out there who have like an iron hand with regards
to what they’ve written. What they’ve envisioned. How much freedom do
you give your actors with regards to adding on while filming?
I give people freedom as long as it’s what I want to hear. Everyone
needs to know the script inside and out. I mean, for the most part
everything on the screen was in the script. But it really doesn’t
change. If someone has an idea, I listen. I hired these people to take
the material to a different level. If someone has a good idea, I
CC: Are you happy with the ‘Rejects’ DVD release? Would you have added more?
No. It’s pretty tricked out. Of course, I’d always like to add more. I
think the movie and the documentary are enough. The documentary we cut
down to 2 and ½ hours. If anyone is interested in how movies are made.
It’s the best documentary. It’s not a bullshit behind-the-scenes look.
It’s a real day-to-day look at things.
CC: Do you story board?
Some sequences yes. More to get it in my head. But I never would refer
to them on set. Things change. We were on such a tight schedule and
budget. We had changed Production Designers about a week before
shooting. None of the sets that we were shooting on were ready to be
seen more then like a couple of hours before we were ready to shoot. So
it was really hard to story board based on sets that didn’t exist yet.
A lot of it was just guess work. Of course shooting the whole move
hand-held in that sort of “you are there” style it was really hard to
story board that. But some scenes I did that with anyway so everyone
else knew what was in my head.
CC: Any word on the ‘H1KC’ Special Edition DVD?
That’s always an idea that is just sitting there waiting for me to do
it. Unfortunately it’s just hard to find the time. I mean, I want to do
it. Finishing ‘Rejects’ rolled right into going on tour, which rolled
right into making an album. Which, when that’s done, will roll into
making a new movie. So do I want to stop and go back…? Pull all of
that footage out of the vault. It’s a lot of hard work. I mean not only
do you have to cut in the missing scenes. Those scenes don’t have any
sound effects, they haven’t been color corrected. There’s no music. So
you’re really opening a big can of worms. I wish we had done it at the
time. The thing we did with ‘Rejects’ is when we did the R- Rated cut
we also did the Unrated cut at the same time. So it was very easy. All
of the tools are right in front of you. But to go back four years later
is such a pain in the ass.
CC: The DVD for ‘H1KC’ has one of the best menus ever.
Yeah that was to make up for the fact hat we didn’t have a lot of
content. Back when we put that DVD together DVD extras weren’t anything
like they are today. Nobody went on say, “Oh we have to put in all of
this stuff!”. So when we were done shooting we didn’t have hardly
anything. And then when we moved from Universal to Lions Gate some of
the stuff, even then, got lost! Nobody could find the make-up tests.
Nobody could find the interviews. Nobody could find half of the stuff
we had. So when it came down to extras it was pretty slim. That’s when
we came up with the idea to do those menus.
CC: Does it end here for the Firefly clan?
I think it ends here. I don’t like to end it. Because I do like the
characters. After a while the characters sort of become real to you. I
mean I’ve spent more time with Bill Moseley in costume than out of
costume. So it does become a bizarre line between what’s what. You hate
to let it all go away. But at the same time you have to know when to
let it go before you ruin it. The first film is what it is. ‘Rejects’ I
just love to death. A third film, as with most third films, just never
works. Unless it was really structured as a third film. But, with the
way ‘Rejects’ ends to say, “Oh wait no! Everybody didn’t get hurt!
They’re all there!” That’s kind of a cheat isn’t it? It lessens the
impact of the second film. The third film becomes, “We’re all just back
for the money. Aren’t we?”
CC: Is it difficult for you to get some of your actors to do some of the things the films call for?
Sometimes. Everyone’s not always comfortable with it. Not so much with
this film because you’re dealing with actors who come from it. Some of
it was hard casting in the first place. The person who was the most
upset at any moment was Bill Moseley. Who you would think at this point
wouldn’t be. But he’s not Otis. He’s a different person. The scenes in
the motel room with Priscilla really bothered him. They bothered him in
advance. They bothered him the whole time we were shooting them. Same
thing with my wife. She’s not happy about any violent scenes she’s
involved with. I mean, nobody’s happy about it. Some people are better
about it. I don’t think people realize that they are nothing like the
people on screen. They don’t look like them. They don’t sound like
them. Most of the time people don’t even know who they are. I’ve
literally had a Super Bowl party at my house. Bill Moseley’s over and
people will say, “Oh! That guy in that movie is so scary!”. And I’m
like, “You’re sitting right next to him on the couch!” They don’t even
know it’s him because you would just never guess in a million years.
People will come up to me and say, “Oh I love ‘The Devil’s Rejects!”
and Sherry will be standing next to me and they’ll have no idea it’s
her. The cast really transformed themselves.
How do you feel about this trend of de-horrifying horror films into a
PG-13 category? A horror movie is not for kids. It’s for adults.
RZ: Or for teenagers who can sneak in.
CC: Right! What are your thoughts on this?
I think it’s disgusting! It really aggravates me. It aggravated me a
lot with ‘Rejects’ because of the reviews I’d get. They’d be like, “How
could you make this movie? How could you do this?’ What the fuck are
you talking about? I never said this was for children! This is for
adults. Plain and simple. If you don’t like these types of things then
don’t watch it. I liken it to the thought that major studios want to
make porno. And the first thing they’re going to do is cut out all of
the sex. And call it porno movies. Sometimes things just are what they
are. They want to remake all of these movies. So they remake them and
water them down. ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ wasn’t supposed to be a throw
back. It was, “this is way I love these movies. So this is how I’m
going to make this movie.” I don’t to suddenly not have the nudity. Not
have the violence. Not have the swearing. Not have the characters all
be nasty. Then what are we left with? We’re left with a bunch of
bullshit that we always get force fed. I remember that feeling of being
in high school and going to see ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and there was still
that feeling of, “Wow! I do not know what I am fucking in for! I hope I
am not completely out of my mind when I leave the theater”. You really
felt like you were strapping yourself in to be brutalized. Could you
survive it? You never think that now. It doesn’t even cross your mind
when you go see a movie. But it always used to seem like, “Can you
handle it?”. That was sort of the thrill. But now it ‘s like a roller
coaster that has no drops in it. “A lot of people were getting scared
on those drops so we made it all one level! But we’ll still call it a
CC: I hear you and your wife do a weekly radio show. Tell me about that.
RZ: The name of the show is ‘Spook Show International’ and it’s usually on Monday nights 7 pm to 9 pm on INDY 103.1. Everyone can log on!