Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rob Zombie on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

Rob Zombie is a monster with a heart.

Zombie appeared on the Halloween episode of ABC-TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on the weekend, all for a worthy cause.

The reality show helped the Oregon School for the Deaf, in Salem, upgrade their annual haunted house fundraiser for the school.

“Basically, we refurbished their haunted house from some makeshift thing,” to a professional, mindblowing haunted house, Zombie said. “Now they should be making a fortune.”

The pairing of the rocker/horror film director and the family reality show “seems insane,” admitted Zombie to the Wall Street Journal (yes, the Wall StreetJournal). “I didn’t understand why they were calling me.”

"That show does insane stuff,”
explained Rob. “This doesn’t sound exciting, but the school just had a dirt floor and (the show) laid down 10,000 square feet of concrete. They also only had three outlets, so the show put in like 300. For the house, they added animatronic characters that flail around, and they rebuilt the house. It really is something like out of Disneyland.”

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Oregon School for the Deaf haunted house makeover
Filmed by Substance Mixed Media (SubM2)
Graffiti by SubM2′s Kujo Rock, Kango Kid and EosMontana.

In the end, Zombie had a few simple responsibilities. “Just to come in and be part of it,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of experience doing that kind of (horror) stuff; I actually have a haunted attraction running this year at Universal Studios in Hollywood, so I know a lot cool gags you can run that aren’t too expensive.”

Zombie’s Universal exhibit is based on his film, “House Of 1000 Corpses.” “I’m friends with the guys who built the theme parks, and last year when I was up there and they wanted to do one based on the “Halloween” movies, but it never came to fruition,” he commented. “So this year, they said, why don’t we do “House of 1000 Corpses”? They say that it’s their most popular attraction that they’ve ever done, which is exciting, because the studio was a little reticent about it. They were concerned it wasn’t as well known a property as Freddy Krueger or something.”

House Of 1000 Corpses - Universal Studios tour
Fan-filmed footage (2010)

The director ‘s next film is “Lords Of Salem,” based loosely on the Salem Witch trials. “I’m working with the producers of “Paranormal Activity” and they came to me and said here’s our deal: we’ll give you the money and you can have complete control over everything. You don’t hear that very often. I’m working on the script now, but probably won’t start production until the end of March of so.”

Zombie seems to have complete creative control, right down to the lack fo a hard deadline. “Every movie I’ve ever made, especially the “Halloween” movies, have had hard fast locked-in release dates that you’re always racing to make,” he said. “And on this one, we don’t have that. My goal is to put the movie out when it’s done, not when you need it. Mostly, these days, with DVDs, when you see the director’s cut, that’s code word for the actual finished movie as opposed to the one that was shoved into theaters before it was ready.”

“The economy is their excuse for everything now when you pitch a new idea, unless it’s based on a sequel, a prequel, or comic book or pre-existing property,” continued Zombie. “You go into these meetings and it’s really frustrating for me because you can tell none of these guys want to have an opinion because they don’t want to be the one blamed down the road. So they all talk in these vague generalities, and I know all those guys will be fired before we even go into production. That’s what always happens. Because great things only come when people go, “Let’s do it — I may not understand it, but I don’t have to.” Now you have executive who want to filter everything through themselves — most don’t even like horror movies, yet that’s the filter that all ideas have to go through. It’s really horrible. People don’t do it as much in the music business. Record companies put out albums by bands they probably think are horrible, but will make them millions of dollars, so they just step back. Only in movies does everyone feel like they have to get in there and meddle with everything."

Check out the full interview here.

Rob Zombie Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie – Lords Of Salem (2006)

Rob Zombie – Superbeast (1998)