Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Rob Zombie on Going for Broke With 'Lords of Salem' and Why Making a Third 'Halloween' Would Be "Masochistic"

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire September 14, 2012 at 1:02PM

Rob Zombie impressed many (ourselves included) with his grisly and demented sophomore effort, "The Devil's Rejects," only to betray many admirers of that film with his tepid stab at the "Halloween" franchise. After helming the 2009 sequel to that reboot, new film "The Lords of Salem" (which world premiered in Toronto earlier this week in the Midnight Madness section) finds Zombie back in non-remake mode with a gonzo tale that proves the musician turned filmmaker has lost none of his mojo.
0
"The Lords of Salem"
Anchor Bay "The Lords of Salem"

It left me saying that, but it also creeped the hell out of me.

The movie's not violent, it's not bloody, and it's not typical horror things -- but I like the fact that people kept telling me, "It really bothered me. It gave me a weird vibe that I couldn't get rid of all night." That's how I'll feel sometimes when I'll watch, say, a David Lynch movie or a Cronenberg movie. There was nothing in the movie that was that disturbing, but the total vibe of the whole thing -- that's what I wanted to try to achieve with it.

I'm curious -- why did you make "Halloween 2"?

Truthfully, a couple things. When the first "Halloween" came out, it was a huge hit, number one movie, and blah blah blah blah. So of course they thought, "He's gonna wanna do 'Halloween 2.'" The first words out of my mouth were, "I'm absolutely not doing 'Halloween 2.'"

"I always like to have at least one song that becomes a song that, now when you hear it on the radio, it'll make you think of that movie."

Really?

And I didn't. I didn't wanna do it because I was like, "I just did this, I don't wanna do it again." So they hired another director and other writers. And a couple years went by and I ran into their head of production at some awards thing, and I asked him, "How's 'Halloween 2' going?" Because I thought they were done with it. I thought they'd already made the movie.

He goes, "It's a disaster. We fired the director. We're on our tenth set of writers. We can't get the movie made." And by that point, I had a different feeling, because I sort of felt possessive of the movie I made and I was pissed that another person was gonna come in and take what I thought of as my actors and my story and fuck with it. So I basically said, "Well, I'm free now. So if you want me to do it, I'll do it." And I swear to God within 24 hours we were working on it. It was a fast turnaround.

Again they're having the same problem. They've announced a third one over and over.

So you might do one more?

No. That would just be masochistic on my part.

"Salem" is your first film in which music plays a pivotal part -- it's a song that essentially sets the whole plot in motion. Had you long wanted to make a film that fused the two worlds of yours together so clearly?

I never really thought about it that way, but I did feel like I hadn't done that yet. I never made movies that had any of my music. I haven't crossed them over that much. Setting "Salem" at a radio station really put it in a world that I know. I've gone to like a million radio stations and the DJs all remind me of people I've met a million times.

The music is always super important to me in the movies. I like to have at least one song that becomes a song that, when you hear it on the radio, will make you think of that movie.

Sheri Moon Zombie in "The Lords of Salem"
TIFF Sheri Moon Zombie in "The Lords of Salem"

You give Sheri Moon her biggest part with this film. Is this your love letter to her?

I wrote it for her, for sure. Sheri would go, "A love letter? Jesus Christ, you tortured me through the whole movie." But, yeah, I always knew she could do something great, but hadn't really been given the chance. Not even the movies I worked with her in. Even in "Devil's Rejects," it was always split between characters, so yeah, I always wanted to do something like that.

"Salem" is her picture.

Yeah, because she takes it very seriously, and would really invest herself. I knew that she would understand that character and would get it.

Her nightmare sequences are so gorgeously executed. How did you dream those up?

I don't know. They just pop up. I'll just see something and file it in the back of my mind.

That baby...

Yeah, that baby thing was weird. That was based on this picture of a real baby that looked like that.

A real baby that looked like that?

A real baby, yeah. And I don't know what the technical term for that disease is, but its eyes basically were on the outside of its head. I mean, the real baby looks fake. It looks exactly like that thing, which is kind of sad. I feel bad for that child. I don't know if the baby ever lived, but I saw this little clip of it alive, and I was like, "That is the most fucked up thing I've ever seen." I gave it to the effects guy and when they were sculpting that thing, he was like, "I literally want to vomit working on this thing, it's so disgusting."

How did Sheri deal with it?

Oh, she hates it. She wouldn't even look at it. She wouldn't even look at it until the moment we had to shoot. She hates everything like that. She is not into any of that stuff.

Well, you sure put her throught the wringer.

I did. She is all happiness and flowers. [laughs]

This article is related to: Rob Zombie, Toronto International Film Festival, The Lords of Salem, Interviews, Sheri Moon Zombie, Halloween






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More