Being a fan of Sid Haig, I want to thank you for giving him reason to get back in front of a camera, especially with such a great role as Captain Spaulding. What was your experience working with him?
The thing about Sid, as with most of the cast, is that he really gets it. He's been around and he's worked on all different levels from James Bond movies to black exploitation movies, so he gets it and he was really into it. Which is really helpful, because it wasn't just like a job where someone coasts in, does their time and splits. He was really into making the movie something cool. We hit it off immediately. He's a very cool guy. There's certain people you just connect with right away.
Spaulding says pick a feature: at your own effing risk! He surely went the extra mile with the DVD's best asset -- the video menus. How involved were you in their development?
I scripted the DVD menus and was there to direct them. We did them in one day on a green screen, obviously, and added in all the other stuff later. None of it was improvised. I was totally hands on with that because I didn't want to leave all those people hanging with somebody else. For good or for bad, it's my vision and I have to keep it that way. I can't hand it off to someone else.
There's a lot of comedy to them. Do you think that may neuter the cast's menace?
Yes and no. What I'm going to do with the sequel is remove all of that, which is a little weird given the DVD. I feel like all the characters are right on the borderline of becoming ridiculous. So for the next film, I'm going to go in and make a much darker, more serious film and any kind of wacky, campy hijinks with the characters is not going to exist.
Get your House trinkets at HalloweenTownStore.com With action figures on the way, there's also merchandising to contend with. Heck, I've already got my Murder Ride T-shirt! Although I'm intrigued by your desire to harden these folks a bit.
It's kind of weird, because by nature, as soon as you start overexposing things, audiences can get too comfortable. I still think the movie itself is a separate entity, so you'll just go along with the tone that's created. But the cast does run the risk of becoming wacky one liner guys and I certainly don't want that to happen.
What about other extras? In your commentary, you talk about your pride in the sets being very detailed, any chance of a better look at them?
A lot of people don't seem to understand it now because DVDs are so insane with "Eight hours of extra footage!" and all. But when we shot this movie three years ago, even then, DVD extras weren't such a priority. So there isn't that much and we also lost things in switching studios. Nobody can find one of the coolest things I wanted to put on the DVD. We did these makeup and film tests for all the characters that would've been really interesting for fans to see how they developed. But no one can find them. Either they were thrown away or they're mislabeled in a vault. Stuff just got lost shuffling from editing room to editing room. One of the main guys who was first in charge of our project doesn't even work for Universal anymore, so there's really nobody to even turn to. That's part of the problem. However, the other day, I dug up some other casting sessions, which I find really interesting.
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