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INT: Adam Green

09.07.2007

My final HATCHET interview is with director Adam Green, who is the most enthusiastic and talkative of the creative people I’ve 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 I’ve 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 can’t 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 you’re the best to ask: Did you ever imagine that this movie would be sending you around the world?

ADAM: Y’know, it sounds like it’s just a cliche, but no, I didn’t. 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 - “this isn’t the most original thing in the world, this isn’t what they’re doing today” - 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 “no,” and why it’s hard and why you can’t. So I hope that people see that if I can do this, anyone can.

You’ve been doing the festival circuit for a while now and you’ve 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 “we’re sick of remakes and we don’t want any more torture, and we want something fresh,” I guess my nervousness is, can they be trusted? Because they’ve been saying that for years now and where the f*ck were the fans for GRINDHOUSE? Where were they for BEHIND THE MASK? Why didn’t they show up to SLITHER? All that trash-talk you’ve heard in the past year, and HALLOWEEN opened to 10 million dollars in its first day. I don’t know if I can believe they’re really going to show up, that’s what I’m nervous about.

A lot of people know your name already, and they’re 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, there’s a documentary being made right now about the “Splat Pack” and they asked to interview me, and I said “Why?” and they said “Well, you’re in it,” and I said, “No I’m not.” I guess Alan Jones, the critic who coined the phrase, dubbed me in the “Splat Pack” which is kind’ve odd because my movie isn’t out yet. And the only thing the Splat Pack has in common is that their movies have made shitloads of money, and we don’t really even have that chance. We’re on like 70 screens, there’s no marketing, there’s no billboards, there’s no t.v. commercials, it’s all word of mouth. People are like “Do you think HALLOWEEN is going to do better than HATCHET?” It’s like, of f*cking course it is - we don’t even have a chance against it. The thing that I’d 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, it’s 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 “Hatchet Army?”

ADAM: Oddly enough, I was using that in my blogs sometimes, I would just say “the Hatchet Army needs to support original horror movies.” The one thing about the Hatchet Army is that it’s not just for HATCHET. I think I said it when BEHIND THE MASK opened, “the Hatchet Army needs to show up for this movie, please support it.” And SLITHER as well. Then a guy who goes by the name “Uncle Creepy” 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. It’s really amazing how dirty Hollywood will play - not only did they attack our Myspace page, we’ve 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, it’s nothing. It’s nothing! Somebody’s clearly scared, and I think that that’s 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 it’s still being very faithful to it.

ADAM: It’s 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, he’s just awesome, and his movie’s great.

When I grew up on this stuff, I didn’t 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 “that was f*ckin’ cool!” I don’t feel like that anymore, maybe it’s my age, maybe I’m 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 that’s out there. For all these other movies that are claiming they’re so badass - they don’t have shit on us. But tonally, our heart is right in the place. So it’s not depraved when you’re watching it, you’re cheering and laughing...

I’ve got to believe that in the next few weeks - maybe it’s already happened - you’ll be approached by a studio to remake something-

ADAM: I’ve already turned down so many.

What have you turned down?

ADAM: I can’t 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, I’m sure you can guess what they are, but it’s just crap. The worst part is that they send it to you, and it’s not just “what do you think about this script and what can you bring to it?” It’s “this starts shooting in six weeks, it has to be PG-13, it has to open on this day.” It’s like, “No.”

I already did SPIRAL, the movie I did with Joel David Moore, which I’m incredibly proud of - that’s an arthouse film, it’s a gorgeous film. And then I have a romantic comedy starting in a few months that Chris Columbus is producing. I’m in a good place, where I don’t have to take one of the remakes. Everyone asks me about FRIDAY THE 13th - and that’s the only place that hasn’t asked me about it (laughs). I don’t 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 it’s a remake, “how dare you?!”

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 I’ve been re-writing and re-writing. I’ve 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 wasn’t 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, it’s 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 don’t 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 don’t know if I’m 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 didn’t like about some of the 80s slashers is that they’d make the first one, and then when it made a lot of money they’d say “Okay we’ll just bring him back and kill more people.” There’s actually a story with HATCHET, there’s a lot of stuff people don’t know about Victor Crowley... So I hope whether I end up directing the sequel or not, the fans feel like they’re 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 we’ll be talking again in the future about HATCHET 2.

ADAM: (laughs) Hopefully, hopefully. Thank YOU so much.

There you have it. In case you haven’t gotten the point, Adam (and myself) truly hope you go out and give HATCHET a chance - if only because Adam’s one of us

READ THE ARROW'S REVIEW OF HATCHET HERE

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