In a world increasingly reliant on computer graphics, your specialty remains designing the makeup and effects for unforgettable screen characters. How does Wrong Turn compare with The Blair Witch Project, which relies entirely on the suggestion of evil instead of actually showing it? ^ Well, Blair Witch is entirely different. I have respect for the innovative filmmaking style and the freshness of what it brought to the screen, but it really was all in your mind. Wrong Turn is not in your mind. Wrong Turn is on the screen. The monsters live, and the monsters happen to be people, and those are the most horrific monsters that you can possibly imagine. So I wouldn’t compare this movie to Blair Witch. I don’t think we’ve seen a movie that is this simplistically hardcore since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or “The Hills Have Eyes.” I would compare Wrong Turn to those movies, with a spattering of “Deliverance” in it. It is very, very uncomfortably real. It is not poetic in any way. It’s not trying to preach to you some underlying tale of morality. It’s not trying to make you laugh. It’s simply trying to scare you. The horror movies more recently are very, very scary and beautifully done, but they have all been arranged from tongue-in-cheek humor, camp.
The camp factor always seems to be a defense mechanism though, lest audiences don’t buy the horror. ^ We’re not trying to make it real. This is to have a good time. The whole “Friday the 13th” series, introducing characters like Freddy and Jason who become wonderfully iconic characters. And I’m not going to say… we may have some memorably iconic characters in Wrong Turn, but these guys are truly based in reality. I’d love to do for camping what Steven (Spielberg) did for the ocean with “Jaws,” where you just don’t want to go into the woods anymore. There’s something fun about the (fact) that these characters could exist, that in the backwoods in the Appalachians there are families that we know have been involved in inbreeding. It’s a reality; inbreeding has taken place. We also know that due to inbreeding, there are deformities, both physically and mentally. We did a lot of research. We’ve used the medical books. We’ve spent our time researching the types of things that can happen to human beings due to inbreeding and physical deformity. I knew that there was a big (burden) on my shoulders and that we had to create three characters, these mountain men in Wrong Turn, who are the victims of years of inbreeding and the unrelenting killing force that we are running from. They had to be not only terrifying, but they had to be real, and it wasn’t enough for them to be three maniac killers. There had to be a reason why my name is producing this movie. There’s a fan base that is expecting to see some hopefully memorable characters that you can’t just go out and cast, that use the talents of the artists of Stan Winston Studio and create some hopefully memorable characters.
So this becomes the worst-case scenario then? ^ These would be the stories that the folk who live in the back woods would be telling their kids. These are the guys that even those guys who live there would be worried about, because this is definitely the worst-case scenario.
Tell me about the other projects you’re working on. When looking for productions that you’ll originate for Stan Winston Studio, you seem to have a very open policy for submissions. ^ It is a very open policy, but it is also a very closed policy. The genre is open, to science fiction, fantasy, horror or even reality as long as it is character-based with something that requires the creative skills and the art of Stan Winston studios. I call it my Alfred Hitchcock syndrome. No one would say that Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t direct a wonderful love story, but when you went to see an Alfred Hitchcock film, you wanted to see that thing that you always knew Alfred Hitchcock was going to bring to it, that special twist. When someone goes to see a Stan Winston production, they know that they’re going to see something beyond what they would see if I wasn’t involved.
To what degree do you feel there’s any obligation to create an A-list movie, or is some of the fun getting wrapped up in the genre and just going wild. ^ I want to do both, I want to do it all. There’s something very challenging, very wonderful about doing a small movie within the straps and the confines of a very limited budget. With my production company, there’s kind of a dictate. I want to do a series of films that are all under $20 million and that speak to the audience, that don’t require huge production values and zillions of dollars to do, movies that look back to the classic characters and creatures that can be done within a fiscally responsible budget. I’m targeting the audience that I was, and it’s a very limited audience. This movie was not meant for your grandparents or for very little kids. This movie was targeted to the young person who wants to be terrified, who wants the kind of adrenaline rush you get from the greatest roller coaster ride.
The interview continues in part three of STAN WINSTON MAKES A WRONG TURN>>>
Posted on June 6, 2003 in Interviews by Peter Debruge
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