Adam ‘Hatchet Man’ Green talks about the future of the genre; why he turned down the ABC’s of Death; his new movie inspired by the artist Alex Pardee and courting controversy as CHILLERAMA gets its Horror Channel UK TV premiere (on Sat 30th March at 10.55pm…)
Your story for Chillerama could be looked at as being controversial by some, how did you pitch it to the other directors?
Adam Green: Actually, Adam Rifkin pitched me the title (The Diary of Anne Frankenstein) when the four of us first met up to discuss potentially doing this project. He said, “Green, you’re Jewish- you should do Anne Frankenstein.” I said, “But Rifkin, you’re Jewish, too. Why don’t you take that one?” He replied, “Yeah, but what if instead you did it?” And that was sort of it. Though the phrase “the diary of Anne Frankenstein” is a joke that’s been around for decades, I have to admit I was still scared to death of it at first. I mean, who wants to touch that title with a ten-foot pole?
Unfortunately, we live in a world full of people who literally seek out reasons to be offended and who love nothing more than to be “outraged” so that they can get attention. Especially coming off of Hatchet 2 and all of the controversy I had just lived through with that film’s public battle with the MPAA and its assassination from cinemas here in the US… the last thing I wanted was to be put in the spotlight for ridiculous negative reasons again. However, I immediately came up with the idea of doing a piece that would be a complete mockery of Hitler and not something that could possibly be taken seriously.
Adam Green: Wow. That’s a very big compliment and yes, that was exactly what I was going for. I walk away from every screening feeling so incredibly proud of the piece. Reviews, awards, and accolades… those are all nice. But as a comedian, there is no feeling of accomplishment greater than hearing an audience howl with laughter to the point that they drown out the film itself. You can’t fake laughter like that. There are no politics or agendas behind that kind of uproarious laughter. It’s the most primal and real reaction you can hope to get and when it happens universally across oceans and language barriers… it’s a wonderful thing.
Do you think the horror genre is in good health at the moment?
Adam Green: I’m excited to see what the next decade will hold. Looking back, filmmakers my age who came onto the scene in the past ten years or so were saddled with some very difficult hurdles. Not only was the “trend” all about remakes over originals (both with the studios who churned the remakes out and the fans who supported them in droves) but we also saw the indie financing industry take a nosedive with budgets and distribution as internet piracy wreaked havoc on us. There was never a harder time than this past decade to get an original (decent budgeted) horror movie made and distributed. But now that remakes have kind of run their course they’re now out of recognizable titles to remake and people are starting to see the light about internet piracy I am optimistic that more and more original horror movies will get a chance to be made and to be seen.
As a genre- we’re always alive and well. Horror will never die and we will always survive the passing trends because we’re a “community” unlike fans of other genres. Just walk by the “sleepy queue” for FrightFest later this summer and look at the die hard fans standing in line over-night for tickets (not even knowing 100% what the programming will exactly be yet). Of course we’re fine! We’ve got zombies! The rest of ya’ll are f***** though.
You must be pleased Chillerama is getting its UK premiere on the Horror Channel?
Adam Green: I’ve had a very special connection with the UK audience ever since Hatchet first premiered at UK FrightFest in 2006 and so I’m always especially excited when a new film of mine premieres across the pond. The Horror Channel has been incredibly supportive of my career over the years so this is like a double-win. Who knows? Perhaps Holliston will wind up on the Horror Channel when it arrives in the UK? You never know!
Would you like to be part of another anthology film such as the recent ABCs Of Death?
Adam Green: I was approached for “ABC’s Of Death” when they first started putting the project together but I passed. I was in the middle of post-production on Chillerama when they started assembling their team of directors and the thought of doing another anthology film at that time just wasn’t appealing to me, as fun as the project sounded and as terrific as the people behind it were. While I can never say “never”, right now another anthology just isn’t in the cards for me.
Remember, with Chillerama I didn’t just write and direct a segment. My company (ArieScope Pictures) also produced it and put the money and distribution together to make it happen. That’s a hell of a lot of responsibility/heartache and so I couldn’t just make my segment and “let the chips fall where they may”. When you produce a film it is essentially an STD for your company. It never goes away and it is never really over. Wait, did I really just compare Chillerama to syphilis? Yup. Have at it, critics and haters. You’re welcome for that one.
How much involvement have you had with Hatchet III?
Adam Green: I wrote it, I produced it, I’m presenting it, I cast most every actor in it, I was there for every step of pre-production, filming, and post-production, I surrounded our new director with my incredible ArieScope crew, and I had final cut of the film. So let’s just say that it won’t feel like I ever left. If you’re a fan of the first two films I think you’re going to really like what we did with Hatchet III.
So what are you working on at the moment?
Adam Green: Right now I’m finishing up post-production on the second season of my television series Holliston. It’s a massive undertaking each season given that I wear so many hats on the show (writing every episode, being the show runner, directing, and playing one of the main four characters) but it’s far and away my favourite and the most personal project I’ve ever done. Holliston is an absolute joy to work on and I go to work every day surrounded by only my closest of friends. I’m so excited that we’ll soon be starting the process of bringing the series to the rest of the world and we’re all blown away by how quickly and passionately the audience in America embraced this show and this cast.
Next week I kick off my tour in support of Hatchet III and the launch of Season 2 of Holliston so I’m basically in a different place every weekend until the end of summer/early Fall. I’m also in the process of shooting Digging Up The Marrow, a “documentary” (kinda) about monsters (sorta) that is inspired by the art of the insanely talented artist, Alex Pardee. We’re keeping the details of that one under wraps for now, but what I can say is that collaborating with a genius like Alex has proved to be a completely soul inspiring and creative re-awakening for not only myself, but for my core crew as well.