Rob Zombie‘s $10 million, hard-R animated film, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, is headed straight-to-DVD next month via Anchor Bay. Zombie previously discussed the politics involved and the theatrical set-backs with /Film; outfitted with a voice-cast that includes Paul Giamatti (as villain Dr. Satan), Rosario Dawson, Brian Posehn, and Danny Trejo, we remain as bewildered over the prolonged release limbo as he was. And apparently a teaser trailer was issued for Beasto earlier this season, but today is the first we’ve screened it. Co-written and -directed by Mr. Lawrence (SpongeBob, Rocco’s Modern Life), the professional style of the animation and overall sinister-pop sensibility is fluid and appealing and seems a natural inclusion for Halloween marathons (and Clint Howard cos-play fiestas). Update: Zombie has revealed to STYD that his ’70s-action film, Tyrannosaurus Rex, is once again off development cinder blocks and slated to be his follow-up to the forthcoming Halloween 2. Score one for the non-remakes.
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In the second installment of /Film’s in-depth chat with Rob Zombie, we discuss the limp yet horny state of the American horror film. Zombie also rants on why getting original projects made in Hollywood has become a lamer development hell. Given that his last theatrical movie as a writer/director was a remake (Halloween), and that this summer’s H2 (Halloweeen 2) is a sequel, it’s interesting to hear Zombie get the lead out in such bold fashion. But consider that a release for his $10m animated film with Paul Giamatti, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, is on the burner indefinitely; and that his T-Rex—a violent ’70s-set flick about a heathen war vet/boxer—now revs at a yellow-light. The status of both projects is discussed below.
While Zombie’s vision for Michael Myers has proven divisive, the privilege to re-shape one of the top three monsters of modern horror was well-earned. His directorial debut, 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses, has held up nicely in the years since; a fun-house experience akin to falling down a broken disposal, Corpses wallows in the slime of decades’ worth of deranged genre influence. 2005 brought his signature film, The Devil’s Rejects, arguably the most nefarious celluloid celebration of murder and nihilism set loose in theaters this decade. Four years later, even he’s a little surprised that it exists. But exists it does; a major studio picture that feels like the extroverted, distant Southern cousin to William Lustig‘s ode to the NYC lurker Maniac.
Rejects solidified Zombie as the rare, talented filmmaker sitting high on the pop-cult ladder whose work craps on any and all moral barometers. And after speaking at length, we’re convinced that there isn’t a working director in the U.S. more dedicated to the hard-R picture-show. (Click here for Part 1)
Hunter Stephenson: How you depict violence on film sets you apart. It seems like much of the violence in American horror films these days, it’s very routine and mundane. A lot of the violence in your films seems flat-out wrong, but in a really good way. [Zombie laughs] You were never part of the torture-porn trend, when Hostel and Saw came out, and what not.
When you show violence on screen, it serrates but then you move on, and I think it’s very effective. I’m wondering, what films do you watch to get your kicks for violence? What films do you draw on when you’re making them?
Rob Zombie: Well, I like when violence seems real and I like when it seems ugly. I like when the act doesn’t seem fun. I was never a fan of ‘80s slasher movies. I think they are cartoony and silly. I was more into the violence in movies like Taxi Driver, The Wild Bunch, and Bonnie and Clyde. The violence in those films makes a statement in some way. You know what I mean? It’s saying something. And it’s either brutal, or depressing, or it’s real. But it’s never fun.
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On March 25th, we had the opportunity to talk with most of the stars of Grindhouse. We will be posting the interviews leading up until the film’s release on April 6th 2007.
We sat down with Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Rent, 25th Hour) to talk about her role as Abernathy in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. We talked to Rosario about her change from a tom boy to a girlie girl, Kevin Smith’s upcoming romantic comedy, her aspirations to work with Rob Zombie, Eli Roth and Catherine Hardwicke, her comic book series O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce, and the film she is producing based on the book. But for the most part Rosario hijacked the interview to tell us about her first producing effort, Descent, which will make it’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Dawson was very excited about her new film, so we let her do most of the talking.
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