INT: Patrick Lussier

One of my favorite horror films of the Eighties was always MY BLOODY VALENTINE. This Canadian slasher appealed to me when I was way too young to see it, and it always holds a special place in my heart. So when I heard that Patrick Lussier, the gentleman that brought us DRACULA 2000 and WHITE NOISE 2: THE LIGHT was going to take it on, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was very happy to find that he injected a freshness to it, but still remained true enough to the original to make for one of my favorite horror flicks so far this year.

Patrick has had an amazing career, working side by side with Wes Craven as an editor, and still continuing even further as a director. And with the recent release of MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D (READ THE ARROW'S REVIEW HERE) on DVD and Blu Ray, he looks to be heading deeper down that road with I SAW WHAT YOU DID, a remake of the 1965 thriller with Joan Crawford. We talked about that, and we talked about the DVD release of MBV 3D, and of course, how we may have not heard the last from our pick axe wielding friend. Patrick is a extremely nice guy with a whole lot of smarts when it comes to horror and it was a pleasure to chat with the man. So check out MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D, available now on DVD (get it here) and Blu Ray (get it here).

Now I’m hearing a little bit about I SAW WHAT YOU DID, what’s happening with that?

It’s something that we started when Todd [Farmer] and I first met on that film. There was a great script for I SAW WHAT YOU DID, but bigger than they had intended at the time. And then last fall they said, ‘Hey we want to go in a different direction.’ So Todd and I came up with kind of an insane and different way to go. The original from 1965, you know, the technology with the phone and party lines, it’s positively quaint. The technology now is, you know, how do you crank call somebody with caller ID and blocked number and all that. It’s a lot trickier to do that. So we had to figure out a way that you could do that and a reason you could do that, so it was fun to work with all the technology trappings and figure out how to apply that into the story. So it’ll be cool to see how it all picks up.

Yeah, that seems really difficult. To call you I had to unblock my number.

That is a huge part of the story. It is very specific as to what they do and how they do it. They have to have a very specific reason for it.

And working with Todd again…

Todd and I have been great friends for years and we had such a great experience on Valentine. So when it came up, we just wanted to work together and we were talking about several projects, so we were able to form our evil alliance.

What is it like writing with him?

It’s fantastic. We have a really strong rapport back and forth. We can finish each others sentences, it’s like we shared one brain which I guess means we both have half a one [Laughing]. But we really have a great understanding of each others goals and intents. And we can argue and debate things with the best results and understanding why characters would do something and why events would unfold in a certain way. Todd’s got a great story background and he’s really smart in that regard. And I’ve got an editorial background which helps with saying, you know, this section needs to land harder for the audience to understand it… you know, it’s just a great relationship. It’s a lot of fun. And of course when we’re writing we have to write the nude scene for Todd.

Oh yeah, you have to have that.

Yeah, in I SAW WHAT YOU DID, we just have him randomly showering in the girls locker room [Laughing]. And nobody says anything about it, it just there is a big, bald guy with a beard showering.

Is Melanie [Farmer] going to be okay with this again?

Well, I haven’t asked her about that one, but we’ll definitely have to apply for the permits.

Have you thought about any casting for it at this point?

We’re a little early for that, I think for the two girls it will be important that they really feel like high school girls. And for everybody else… well, I can’t even say anything about it because it reveals a couple of huge gags. You’ll have to wait and see.

Now, there was the announcement at Fangoria Weekend of Horrors about no sequel to MBV. You’re not going to go back to Valentine?

I would go back. Todd would go back. I think right now the gauge is a little reserved on it, you know, they’ll wait and see how it does on DVD. It is not something they want to do right this instant, but it may be something they want to do down the road.

You know, I’ve read a lot of people’s reactions to it not having a sequel, and it seems like there were quite a few people that were disappointed that there may not be one. It’s a great character…

Oh yeah. We had… well, you know, the sequel that we wanted to do is an even stronger story than the original. Even though you know who the killer is, it has twists and turns that you don’t expect even knowing who the killer is. There is a whole kind of, getting into the mythology of how he became what he became. And using that further to discover that, you know, there are things that are eluded to in the first one that you don’t have all the answers for, particularly the killer staying in a psychiatric institute and how did he get let out of that facility. And of course there is a lot of bitterness with the people in town because a rash of killings happened and this unfolds and mayhem ensues within three minutes of the film opening.


So you know, we’ll see what happens.

Now I got my Blu Ray copy yesterday and I’m pretty impressed with the 3D looks on DVD. You have a little bit of ghosting but they did a good job on this disc.

Yeah, they found this new kind of modified anaglyph process for it, that they wanted to take advantage of. You know, the RealD process wasn’t ready for the DVD so they still had to go anaglyph, but they found a better way to do it. And they are very excited about it. I haven’t even seen it yet so I’m getting one sent to the house this afternoon, so…


Yeah, so you’re ahead of me man.

How much were you involved in the making of this disc. Obviously, Blu Ray has changed how we look at home entertainment… although, couple years everything will just be on our computers…

Oh yeah.

Now for you as a filmmaker, how do you work when you think of all this technology that certainly wasn’t around when you made DRACULA 2000? How have things changed these past few years?

One of the things that happened, when you’re shooting with these high digital formats, then exhibiting them on a Blu Ray where you can see every nook and cranny, one of the things that has changed drastically is the make-up for the actors. We ended up having to get this stuff sent in from Japan, this special HD make-up. It has a total different texture, it is applied in a different way. It has to be, basically the color temperature that you shoot it at. It has a very different reality to it. And it is a little more expensive, but you have to do it. It is because of the high def quality of the film that’s going to live on. It is so far beyond what came before. But yeah, you are aware of that. You are aware that everything will be exposed.

And then you have so much going into the special features and such, you know BD Live…

Oh yeah. When you’re shooting and creating you’re very aware of, you know, these will be moments that will be featured as a BD, or there is a shot, like Todd Farmer’s butt where you can say, that will be the perfect DVD menu background [Laughing].

Oh, I’m glad that didn’t happen.

I think he is too. They could’ve had the little DVD button right on his butt.

Yeah, right in the center [Laughing]. Now there was one thing that I thought was interesting and also sort of refreshing is that this is not the “unrated” cut. This is what we saw in the theatre.

No. This is the version of the film that… you know, the version that was released is the film. It was, I think, the best cut of the film that we had. There were longer cuts, that had way more stuff in it which are on the deleted scenes, but frankly, they just slowed the pace down. So putting all that stuff in becomes kind of a pretentious exercise… we wanted to include the extra scenes on the DVD, especially since some of the actors got cut out of the film so they can have some of their work displayed.

Yeah, we actually get to see more of the girl who has a run in with a shovel. We get to see her talk.

Yeah, you get to see her talk, you get to see Thelma in the grocery store… you know, the kind of things that when you’re shooting it, you’re like, ‘Huh, that doesn’t feel like it is going to be in the movie.’

It’s also kind of refreshing that they didn’t add the gore bits in for the DVD release, just for a few extra bucks.

Oh no, we got away with the gory stuff.

How did you do that? How did the MPAA not get freaked out by some of that?

The thing that we did to get away with the good gory stuff is that the version we showed to the MPAA had a sex scene that was three times as long. And their radar went off screaming at the sex. And we had put it in so we could pull it out. We knew that was going to be a, ‘Whoa… what are you trying to pull on us?’ But it went on ridiculously long and they were so sensitive to that, so all the horror stuff, they were like, oh yeah, just as long as you trim this out. The only gore cut that we made was we trimmed out nine frames of blood shooting out of Kevin Tighe’s head.

I remember it coming out, it was certainly marketed as a “R-Rated” horror film.

Yeah. One of the things that… the MPAA had so see it in 3D. And they had to come to a facility - we weren’t there of course - they had a facility to view it in 3D with someone who ran it from the technology side of it. The amazing thing was they were totally hooked into the movie and they had fun with the film. You know, they were laughing, they were screaming, and the fact that they saw it in 3D I think really enforced the theme park tone of the film. And I think they got that.

Now what happened with CONDITION DEAD, speaking of 3D?

It’s a project that I developed and it is not set up yet. We are looking for financing. So it is something that we went through several drafts of scripts and several ways how to do it but it is not at the starting gate yet.

Well as fast as technology is moving, it really seems that working in 3D is one hell of a difficult process.

It is. You’re kind of reinventing the wheel every time. Because the cameras that we used are different than what JOURNERY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH used, which is different than what James Cameron is using for AVATAR. And the difference between doing a live action versus a digital versus an animated film… there are so many different ways to do it. However, the way we did it is now obsolete. Paradise Effects, the ones who did our film, went off and did Joe Dante’s movie, HOLE right after. And they had to rebuild and redesign everything because the gear is more advanced. It’s like buying a computer, it is obsolete the second you walk out of the store.

Let me know what you think. Send questions and/or comments to [email protected]




Source: AITH

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