Did you design the DVD for Stabbing yourself? I can’t imagine you were
responsible for the artwork – I thought for sure I was going to be stuck with a “Scream” parody.
Gah! The “Scream” parody. No, we had nothing to do with the cover design. Sub Rosa sent us the artwork after it had already been chosen as the cover. At first we did not mind it. I liked the idea of the “no stabbing zone” thing. I thought it was eye catching and kinda funny. But as we started showing it to more people, especially people who had not seen the movie, the “Scream” thing began to rear its ugly head. And then it hit the web. I actually found a site that said “…in the style of ‘Scary Movie’ 1 and 2.” That pisses me off. We have a “Rear Window” joke and an “Apocalypse Now” joke, but there isn’t a single thing in the flick parodying “Scream.” It’s rough; I really do feel bad talking shit about the design, because I know some dude at Sub Rosa made it and that’s his job. I have no problem with its design. It’s the implications. I worry that the cover has stunted the film’s appeal because no one is looking for “Scream” parodies anymore, and it definitely gives off the wrong vibe.
Also, as far as the documentary on the DVD goes – did you film some of the production backstory just to remember it, or were you thinking DVD extra the entire time?
The original plan was to make a feature length documentary of our whole summer. We were originally planning on making three movies in three months. I have no idea why we thought we could pull that off, since we’d only written one. The docu wasn’t just going to be about the movies either, it was going to be us doing other crap, too. I really wanted to show how much of making our movies was just hanging out. We had some interesting stuff about our lawsuit over “Murder Made Easy,” but ultimately we were too lazy to shoot enough non-movie stuff to provide an interesting glimpse of our normal lives. Then our first project ate up half the summer and the documentary became what it is now, the death of our first project, “The State of Being Mike,” and the rise of Stabbing Me. I have about an hour of really, really embarrassing footage of Pat, Jack Shreck and myself super drunk the day we canceled Mike. I almost put it in the docu, but it was so shameful that I couldn’t. I ponder burning the tape.
According to your web site, you’re planning on shooting another film this winter – will it be that same Amazing Schlock flavor, or are you looking to make a film with an actual budget?
Earlier this summer we had been looking to make something with a budget. About 1.5 million dollars. It was actually a pseudo-sequel to Stabbing Me; the further adventures of Herman Schumacher is a better way to think of it, called “Janitors Don’t Die.” We managed to get $500,000, but the situation we were working in was pretty shitty and we weren’t digging it. We would have been making it for other people, for their company, and when it was done it was going to be part of their library and not an Amazing Schlock film (which seemed silly to us since it was about Herman Schumacher). No one really knew what they were doing, and it was clear to Pat and I that we were stepping into a tar pit, so when we were offered a writing gig we pulled the plug on JDD, much to the annoyance of the producers we were working with. But we’ve been purely screenwriters out here in LA for almost two years now, and we’re really itching to get back into the production end with all our Amazing Schlock Film Factory cohorts. We’re currently working on a script and we’re assembling the team in MN as we speak, and I can certainly promise plenty of Amazing Schlock flavor.
Based on Stabbing, it’s obvious that the two of you are big Sam Raimi/Bruce Campbell/Evil Dead fans. Who else would you consider an influence?
I think we were all influenced by “The Simpsons,” but that’s fairly standard. But we’re also huge fans of terrible horror movies, especially myself. When I was growing up, way back in the 1980s, I never went in for movies like “The Breakfast Club.” I wanted “Teen Wolf,” “The Goonies,” or “The Dark Crystal.” I wanted to see monsters, and I was really into funny horror movies (I know I wasn’t the only one who liked “Monster Squad”). One of my favorite movies when I was growing up was “House II: The Second Story” (no laughing!), and when Pat first saw the film last year he couldn’t help but comment on how obviously influential the film was on me. Pat’s joke about me is that all my ideas are about a regular guy who is forced to live with a weird monstrosity, which sadly, I must admit, four out of the five projects Pat and I have made together fall into that classification. But I think the reason the “Evil Dead” series is so appealing to us is because it combines our two favorite genres, cartoon and horror. Raimi moves his camera like in a cartoon, and Bruce is most certainly the closest a mortal can hope to come to being a cartoon. He’s like Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast.” As screenwriters, Pat and I are also really influenced by the old screwball comedies of people like Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks. They are so fast and they never dwell for too long on any joke (something we try to do). In our National Lampoon film, “Dorm Daze,” if you see it, hopefully you’ll notice that old screwball farces influenced the film a lot more than the “American Pie” type films it is being compared to.
The interview continues in part four of LAIR OF THE SCHLOCK WORM>>>
Posted on November 27, 2003 in Interviews by Joshua Grover-David Patterson
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