The Arrow interviews Stuart Gordon
Stuart Gordon has contributed many blood-drenched gems to the genre: the classic "Re-Animator", the trippy "From Beyond", the twisted "Castle Freak" and one of my personal favorites..."Dolls". The man returns to H.P. Lovecraft territory with his new flick "Dagon" (coming out on dvd on July 23rd). Mr. Gordon took a few minutes of his time to answer a couple of my questions and this how the pendulum swung.
What's your favorite horror
ST: I think my all-time favorite horror movie has to be "Psycho" by Alfred Hitchcock. That movie breaks all the rules, you know, they murder the heroine a half hour into the film, so, anything is possible.
A: You have a new film coming out called "Dagon". What was it about
Lovecraft's tale that inspired you to translate it to the screen?
SG: I love the idea that there is this underwater civilization that we're unaware of. Lovecraft is quoted as saying that man lives on an island of ignorance and I think Dagon really shows that to great advantage.
A: In terms of visuals, did you try
new things out on "Dagon" that
you hadn't tackled in your previous genre efforts?
SG: Well, it's the first time I ever did any kind of underwater photography, which was very, very challenging. I was very pleased with the results.
A: How would you describe the tone of the
film...is it serious,
ST: Yes. (laughs) I think, like a lot of my films, there's always a certain amount of black comedy that runs through it. But I think that for the most part, it's a very scary ride for the audience and it gets into some very dark territory.
A: Can we expect lots of gooey gore in this one, or is it a more subtle film?
ST: Well, I think there are sequences in "Dagon" that go far beyond anything I've ever done before, in terms of bloodletting.
A: What kind of ride did you want to take the audience on with "Dagon"? Basically, what should we expect?
ST: I think the idea of being trapped in a town full of monsters is a very paranoid fantasy, and I really wanted them to feel like they were in the hero's shoes, to be able to get that sense of claustrophobia. I also wanted them to be very, very wet, which is why it rains in every scene.
A: I've always wanted to ask you this: is there ever going to be a "Dolls" sequel? I loved that film!
ST: I'm glad to hear that, I love it also. Unfortunately I don't think there will be, I think that Charles Band at Full Moon created the Puppet Master, which is very similar to Dolls. So, unfortunately I don't think there will be a sequel.
A: In your opinion, what's more difficult to shoot...scenes that involve lots of fake blood and latex or scenes that involve nudity?
ST: I think it really depends on the actors. To some actors, the use of makeup is not a problem. Like Jonathan Fuller in "Castle Freak" had to go 6-8 hours in makeup everyday and never complained about it, whereas other actors will find it very problematic to put on a prosthetic device. And I think the same is true with nudity. There are some actors and actresses who have no problem with it and others who get very nervous, so it really depends on the individual.
A: Of all the films you have done, which one are you most proud of and why?
ST: It's hard to say because I kind of think of my films as my children and you never want to think about one child as being better than the others. I like them all for various different reasons.
A: What's next on your plate?
ST: Next is a movie called "King of the Ants", which is a film noir, sort of a "Reservoir Dogs" type of film. It's about a house painter who becomes a hitman. It's not a horror movie although it does have some sequences that are extremely horrifying.
I'd like to thank Mr. Gordon for his time and for his movies. I've always been a fan and am always happy when he comes out with something new. Thanks for all, Mr. Gordon!