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Interview: 'Lords Of Salem' Director Rob Zombie Talks Making The Film, Studio Expectations, 'Broad Street Bullies' & More

by Drew Taylor
April 29, 2013 6:14 PM
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Would you ever go back to animation? I loved “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.”
I would love to. I was just with Tom Poppa last week shooting a comedy special for him and he’s dying to do another ‘Superbeasto,’ but I would love to. I would like to make more animation like that, that’s more like a dark weird thing cause animation now is so, not highbrow, but the expense level at which it’s made has to be so stiff and they do amazing stuff. But there’s something about that type of animation I like.

What happened with that? It would seem like it was much more low budget then sort of had a bigger budget.
That was a really weird one cause the way it started was I had done the comic and I had thought this would be a cool cartoon. I pitched it to Film Roman and they’re like, “Great, let’s do it.” And it was always conceived as a direct-to-video little movie. They thought, “Oh, we’ll spend a million bucks on this and it will go direct to video.” That would be cool, since I never saw this as a big thing. And then the project kept going and going. And then Film Roman got sold to another company. There was another company in between and they got sold to Starz. It kept changing hands and we just kept working. It’s almost literally like we were in a backroom working and no one knew we were there. So two years goes by and $7 million dollars go by and a hundred animators go by and it sort of just bloomed into this thing. By the time it ended up with the final company that owned it, they were sort of horrified by the content because they didn’t even know what it was and then they sort of seemed like they just wanted to hide it. They were like, “We can’t put up this superhero-sex romp.” So that’s what happened. It’s funny. I feel bad now because people seem to really love it and it’s really gathered a following after the fact. But that’s to be expected. I guess most things like that do.

Do you take solace in the fact that knowing that this audience is there?
Yeah. Especially more now than ever because the theatrical’s almost becoming irrelevant. I like having it because if you don’t have a theatrical release people always feel like, “Oh, the movie must not be good.” But the theatrical release is so quick even if you have a blockbuster. I remember when I was a kid, like when “Raiders of the Lost Ark” came out, it would sit in the theater for like nine months. Now even with "The Dark Knight Rises," six weeks it’s gone. And for most movies it’s like one week. Even if it’s the number one movie, it’s like, “Boom! Gone.” So it’s almost like it doesn’t matter. 99% of the people that watch this stuff will discover it later on DVD and home video. I don’t even really hear about the movies until they hit HBO. It seems like that's when everyone starts talking about them.

Is "Broad Street Bullies" the next thing? When might it shoot? 
Yeah, "Broad Street Bullies," as far as I know, is the next thing. But every time I thought I knew what was the next thing, it always becomes another thing. So all signs on that are looking great to be the next thing. Ideally, I would start shooting it next fall. That would be the plan because I have a record coming out so I have touring plans all through the summer so I’m already booked up for a while, but that would be the plan.

The story’s crazy, but it’s a true-life sports story of the Philadelphia Flyers and how they literally sat down one day and had a plan to, “Let’s build a team that’s so tough that other teams would literally be afraid to play us.” I’ve been researching the script for over a year and when you read the script, there’s no way this is true. It sounds like such a bunch of bullshit, but it’s all true. It’s just the craziest fucking stories.

Do you see yourself going back to more genre-oriented stuff?
I don’t know. I love all kinds of movies, obviously, and I like breaking away because I don’t like getting pigeonholed about things and I feel it gets limited, but I’m not changing because I dislike what I’ve done. It’s just good to do something different.

"Lords of Salem" is in theaters now.

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  • Tara Lundrigan | May 2, 2013 4:21 PMReply

    I will NEVER understand the Rob Zombie seriously boggles my mind. I am a horror movie JUNKIE, I watch all sorts of horror from mainstream to foreign, old to new, I LOVE IT. I am a horror photographer as well...
    I also am a huge fan of ALL of Rob Zombies horror films, YES, even his Halloween remakes. ;)
    Why? BECAUSE they have everything a good movie has!? Great filming techniques, great story lines, great acting, great score, great lighting, the mood is there, and to top it off they have always been more artistic then a lot of movies I watch. Yet they have all of this hate surrounding them and I have NNOOOO IDEA WHY.
    Little angsty fuck Leih Richert, OBVIOUSLY "The Lords" really was nothing like "Repulsion" - It was made in the 60's and is a COMPLETELY different story line...but Zombie is clearly influenced greatly by these old school directors and if you deny that YOU ARE A FOOL who is out to hate for no reason.
    "Unwatchable" movies Observer Status?? OH REALLY? They are that bad are they?? Please enlighten me, and give me a list of some movies that are watchable then? Because Zombie makes the type of horror that I will watch more then once and that's a fucking good thing. He inspires me more then a lot of artists, and he stays true to himself which should be respected in this industry, not shit on.

  • Observer Status | May 2, 2013 8:08 PM

    sure, i think it's the fact that people have a natural aversion to musicians sauntering into filmmaking, in part. also, his movies are dribble with zero narrative structure. did you read this article? it started as a song title? making your non-actress wife the protagonist? they told actors who they were after changing it all up? this is not the well-trod road to cinema classic status. i realize people can create in very different ways, but i do demand a little sound kraftwerk, not meandering 'found ya' stories parading as creepy music videos. i've never liked a single character this guy has written. i'm without empathy for any of them, and i'm an empathic individual. VERY. :p and keep in mind i love the guy's music, not hating on him.

    good indie horror? good luck, hahaha. i can't name a lot of great horror films, you got me there. 'let the right one in' was a moody piece; ever seen 'butcher boy'? i really love 'little otik' that movie freaked me out. maybe the genre precludes me from the discussion - - it's true, i'm not crazy about horror. but you should go on loving on this. different strokes for different folks: glad you have a fount of inspiration out of it, best to you. stay true to yourself, too

  • Fred | May 1, 2013 8:23 PMReply

    Personally, Drew, I would agree with you that the movie was great but we must be wrong if people are using petulant tantrums and the cheek pinchingly cute non-phrase "ugh" to detract.

  • Fred | May 3, 2013 3:48 PM

    Yes, OS, I saw a red line as well, but it's an personal flourish, you know, like being too busy to capitalize. But in the sea of the ughs and umms and mehs that we're so fortunate that netspeak has bestowed upon us, we should all get a pass, don't you think?

  • Observer Status | May 2, 2013 8:11 PM

    cheek pinchingly? really? i see a red line under that when i type it. fred's a literary man, as well, it seems. i was just really beleaguered by the article honestly, that's why with the ugh non-phrase pinchingly thing. :)

  • Leigh Richert | April 30, 2013 6:53 AMReply

    This movie was atrocious. For you to compare it to Polanski's "Repulsion" signifies you are the one who must be the one on drugs, or delusional, or maybe both, because something ain't kosher about your noodle. I cannot be alone in this conclusion.

    But then again these are weird times, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you're really a genius, just like you claim Rob Zombie to be. Maybe you will get a Pulitzer like the late great Roger Ebert. Then again maybe you'll go home tonight and a bunch of arms will pop out of your apartment walls and consume you. After all, you must be fucking nuts, right?

  • Observer Status | April 29, 2013 8:01 PMReply

    Ugh, this guy makes unwatchable movies but has a great musical past.

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