My final HATCHET interview is with director Adam Green, who is the most enthusiastic and talkative of the creative people Iíve interviewed since working at AITH (believe me, it would take you an hour to read our entire conversation). If you take anything out of our conversation, it's that his passion for his own movie - and for all horror movies, really - is what has brought him this far. And why not? HATCHET kicks ass!
Joel Moore told me you were at Fright Fest recently. How did that go?
ADAM: Fright Fest is my favorite festival in the world. At this point Iíve done all the festivals, and this was my second year going - this year I was there to premiere SPIRAL, which Joel and I did together - it canít be beat. Five days, all the same people in the theater, just watching movie after movie after movie, and the comradery among the fans there is just unheard of...
I posed this question to Joel and Tamara, but youíre the best to ask: Did you ever imagine that this movie would be sending you around the world?
ADAM: Yíknow, it sounds like itís just a cliche, but no, I didnít. When we were doing this it was just a group of friends making the movie we wanted to see. We were very open on set, talking about - ďthis isnít the most original thing in the world, this isnít what theyíre doing todayĒ - but we still made it anyway. I think that the best part of the HATCHET story is - despite the fact that its already made money and its won awards and all stuff that the publicists want me to be talking about - is the story of how we came so far with so little. I know as a person who was struggling so long to get here that - if you want to be a filmmaker, a ballerina, an accountant, whatever - everyone is so quick to tell you ďno,Ē and why itís hard and why you canít. So I hope that people see that if I can do this, anyone can.
Youíve been doing the festival circuit for a while now and youíve had success there, but is there still some trepidation and nervousness now that the formal release is finally upon you?
ADAM: I guess the only nervousness, is that you wanna make a difference. For all the talk that the fans have made about ďweíre sick of remakes and we donít want any more torture, and we want something fresh,Ē I guess my nervousness is, can they be trusted? Because theyíve been saying that for years now and where the f*ck were the fans for GRINDHOUSE? Where were they for BEHIND THE MASK? Why didnít they show up to SLITHER? All that trash-talk youíve heard in the past year, and HALLOWEEN opened to 10 million dollars in its first day. I donít know if I can believe theyíre really going to show up, thatís what Iím nervous about.
A lot of people know your name already, and theyíre expecting someone like you and like Scott Glosserman [director of BEHIND THE MASK] to be the second-coming of horror - the new generation.
ADAM: Yeah, thereís a documentary being made right now about the ďSplat PackĒ and they asked to interview me, and I said ďWhy?Ē and they said ďWell, youíre in it,Ē and I said, ďNo Iím not.Ē I guess Alan Jones, the critic who coined the phrase, dubbed me in the ďSplat PackĒ which is kindíve odd because my movie isnít out yet. And the only thing the Splat Pack has in common is that their movies have made shitloads of money, and we donít really even have that chance. Weíre on like 70 screens, thereís no marketing, thereís no billboards, thereís no t.v. commercials, itís all word of mouth. People are like ďDo you think HALLOWEEN is going to do better than HATCHET?Ē Itís like, of f*cking course it is - we donít even have a chance against it. The thing that Iíd like to see with HATCHET is for the fans to put their money where their mouth is and actually show up... I hope they realize that this is their chance, because if they show up in droves, itís going to send a message to Hollywood that there is an audience for something besides remakes - especially with what happened this last weekend. Every remake that was lined up, just got greenlit.
Who first came up with the concept of the ďHatchet Army?Ē
ADAM: Oddly enough, I was using that in my blogs sometimes, I would just say ďthe Hatchet Army needs to support original horror movies.Ē The one thing about the Hatchet Army is that itís not just for HATCHET. I think I said it when BEHIND THE MASK opened, ďthe Hatchet Army needs to show up for this movie, please support it.Ē And SLITHER as well. Then a guy who goes by the name ďUncle CreepyĒ at Dread Central just dubbed himself the general and created a Myspace page for the Hatchet Army, which funnily enough, just got hacked into and destroyed. Someone went in and deleted the whole thing. Itís really amazing how dirty Hollywood will play - not only did they attack our Myspace page, weíve had several attempts to take down our website over the past week. Whoever it is, why are they afraid of a little movie like this? Even if we sold out every seat in every theater, itís nothing. Itís nothing! Somebodyís clearly scared, and I think that thatís awesome.
I wondered what you thought of BEHIND THE MASK and the way it deconstructed the genre. Your movie is somewhat subverting the genre in a different way, but itís still being very faithful to it.
ADAM: Itís funny, because both of our films were doing the circuit at the same time, but I just never met Scott - and he lived down the street from me! It took us going to Barcelona, and they showed HATCHET and BEHIND THE MASK back to back there. Because they thought it was cool to show a movie like HATCHET that celebrates the genre, and a movie like BEHIND THE MASK that deconstructs it. And I think for that audience it was one of the coolest things, to sit there for three hours and watch those back to back. So I met him there, heís just awesome, and his movieís great.
When I grew up on this stuff, I didnít get into it because I wanted to see women get raped, or people be tortured realistically. I liked the monsters, and I liked the mythology behind them, and I liked how cool the death scenes were, and just how much fun - when I walked out of a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET movie, I was charged up, like ďthat was f*ckiní cool!Ē I donít feel like that anymore, maybe itís my age, maybe Iím missing the point, mabye the kids today are going to go see HATCHET and be bored by it because its not sadistic enough for them... But the one thing I can guarantee is that the gore and the deaths in HATCHET are outside everything else thatís out there. For all these other movies that are claiming theyíre so badass - they donít have shit on us. But tonally, our heart is right in the place. So itís not depraved when youíre watching it, youíre cheering and laughing...
Iíve got to believe that in the next few weeks - maybe itís already happened - youíll be approached by a studio to remake something-
ADAM: Iíve already turned down so many.
What have you turned down?
ADAM: I canít say what I have turned down because they send you a non-disclosure agreement when they send you the script. Some of them have already been announced. I mean, Iím sure you can guess what they are, but itís just crap. The worst part is that they send it to you, and itís not just ďwhat do you think about this script and what can you bring to it?Ē Itís ďthis starts shooting in six weeks, it has to be PG-13, it has to open on this day.Ē Itís like, ďNo.Ē
I already did SPIRAL, the movie I did with Joel David Moore, which Iím incredibly proud of - thatís an arthouse film, itís a gorgeous film. And then I have a romantic comedy starting in a few months that Chris Columbus is producing. Iím in a good place, where I donít have to take one of the remakes. Everyone asks me about FRIDAY THE 13th - and thatís the only place that hasnít asked me about it (laughs). I donít know if I would. I love the franchise, I think they need someone who loves it. It would depend, would I get to write the script, if not, do I like the script? I would not want to stain a franchise that I love so much.. The fact of the matter is no matter what you do, people are gonna say it sucks, cuz itís a remake, ďhow dare you?!Ē
With your next project being a romantic comedy - are you deliberately trying not to get pigeonholed into one genre?
ADAM: This is something I wrote a couple years ago, and Iíve been re-writing and re-writing. Iíve had a couple chances to make it, and I believe in it so much that I turned down the chances to make it because it wasnít good enough. I think it paid off because now Chris Columbus is producing it... I come from the comedy world, my first movie was a comedy, all the stuff I did for t.v. was comedy, I used to do stand-up. Even HATCHET is really a dark comedy. But horror is my first love, itís what I pay to see in the theater, I own all the action figures, I buy all the posters, I go to all the conventions, I spend all my money on shit I donít need.
What about HATCHET 2?
ADAM: I know that the people who made the first one are ready to go with HATCHET 2, because the first one's already made money. I donít know if Iím going to do it or not, I want to do it, I have the sequel all done. One thing I did purposefully with the first one is that I left some questions unanswered. What I didnít like about some of the 80s slashers is that theyíd make the first one, and then when it made a lot of money theyíd say ďOkay weíll just bring him back and kill more people.Ē Thereís actually a story with HATCHET, thereís a lot of stuff people donít know about Victor Crowley... So I hope whether I end up directing the sequel or not, the fans feel like theyíre seeing more of a story and not just seeing him kill people again. I want to make the sequel that sucks the least. (Laughs)
Well, I thank you for talking to me, and hopefully weíll be talking again in the future about HATCHET 2.
ADAM: (laughs) Hopefully, hopefully. Thank YOU so much.
There you have it. In case you havenít gotten the point, Adam (and myself) truly hope you go out and give HATCHET a chance - if only because Adamís one of us