He's resurrected Michael Myers, produced 1000 Corpses, said "Yeeeeeeah" more times than Sasha Grey, and scared the crap out of a generation. Now Rob Zombie's got a new album and a new flick, The Lords of Salem, a super-trippy nightmare about witches that features a career-low number of cut-off faces and a much more slow-burn setup than, say, The Devil's Rejects. Zombie took time to talk about the film, scaring the crap out of people, and… hockey & Wes Anderson movies?
- Is it a relief being back to original material after two Halloween movies?
- It is. With Halloween, I tried to make it as original as possible. I mean, I knew I was coming from preexisting characters, but I tried to make them as original as possible. People always want to compare things, so it's nice to do something original. They just have to accept it at face value.
Was it tough to make it more psychologically terrifying than physically violent?
- Every time I watch your movies, I'm like, "What the f**k," but this time I was like, "What the f**k, this movie's kinda pretty."
- The budget for this movie was very low. Beyond low, compared to anything I've shot before. So I wanted to make sure it didn't look like a low-budget movie, so I wanted to shoot it in a grand style. The other thing was, I didn't want to go for the style I used in the past, which was a very gritty, gnarly, physically violent style, like you're there. I wanted to shoot in a more slow, dreamlike [style].
It was different. I get caught up in character stuff. In the other films, when it would be time to film a really violent scene, I really wasn't into it sometimes. It just turns into a lot of special effects. With this one, it was a lot of dreamlike terror. It was a lot more subtle.
- Subtle isn't a word usually associated with your work.
- You made a cult icon out of your wife, Sheri, but you work with a lot of actors who must've been heroes to you growing up. Does that blow your mind?
- It's bizarre, because whether it's someone from Rocky Horror or Malcolm McDowell -- who I loved from A Clockwork Orange so much as a kid -- they're on your set working with you. And you're not a fan anymore. You're a co-worker. It's pretty cool.
- Have you ever thought about screwing with people and just making, like, a romantic comedy or a happy kids' movie?
- Getting any movie made is so much work. But I probably won't be making any horror movies for a long time. The next movie I have finished the script for is a movie called The Broad Street Bullies. It's a true-life sports movie set in 1974, about the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Do you think people will be, um, surprised that the dude who did House of 1000 Corpses is switching to sports?
- It's really different. But it's still a project that, if it's attractive to me, I think the fans of my movies -- even though the subject matter on the surface seems like something they're not interested in -- I think they will be.
- Whose movies are you into?
- I like anyone who's got a unique vision. You see a Wes Anderson movie, you know it can only be Wes Anderson. Nobody else would make that movie. Nobody else could make that movie. Those are the directors I'm always attracted to.
- Your movies scare me. What scares you?
- I never have a good answer. I get it all the time. I wish I just had a phobia, but I don't feel that way about anything. I feel like I am that kid that watched so much violent material growing up -- whether it was Dawn of the Dead or Taxi Driver -- that I became desensitized. I am that person.
- You like scaring people in real life too. Your horror maze at Universal Studios' Halloween event is supposedly awesome. Rumor has it that you actually hang out there to scare people.
- I haven't in a long time, but 10yrs ago I definitely did. It's amazing. It's the greatest feeling in the world to know that something's totally fake and it still scare somebody. They f***ing freak out. It's awesome.
- Do you have tips for us to scare the crap out of our friends?
- Oh, anything. I used to do this stuff even when I was a kid. I would pretend I was going to bed, then lie under my parents' bed. I would lie there for an hour. Whatever it takes to set up the joke.