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UNSTOPPABLE: Director Adam Green On The Long Road To ‘Victor Crowley’

UNSTOPPABLE: Director Adam Green On The Long Road To ‘Victor Crowley’

Director Adam Green continues to his quest for world domination.

With his early success, many were quick to write Green off as a flash in the pan, despite the fact he had already been cutting his teeth for years in the business. At the helm of ArieScope Pictures, Green continued to feverishly pour his heart and soul into his work. His tireless efforts would result in a plethora of unique films such as ‘Frozen,’ ‘Grace’ and ‘Chillerama,’ not to mention the always hilarious ‘Holliston’ television series, which is also the brainchild of Green. As the years passed, the growing popularity of Victor Crowley would result in two sequels, ‘Hatchet II’ and ‘Hatchet III.’ There were no signs of slowing down for Green as he soon teamed with Joe Lynch (Mayhem, Everly, Knights of Badassdom) to create and host one of the most successful (and addictive) podcasts on the charts with ‘The Movie Crypt.’ While this Cliff Notes version of his resume makes it sound like a walk in the park, Green will be the first to tell you that’s this is simply not the case. Over the past 5 years, since our last interview with him, he has endured the trials and tribulations of a rocky divorce, the loss of his best friend, (legendary GWAR frontman Oderus Urungus aka Dave Brockie) and emerged from depths of a deep depression to continue his climb to the top!

In August of 2017, fans of the ‘Hatchet’ franchise were blown away by the news that a surprise fourth installment was filmed in secret by Adam Green and was ready to be unveiled! After a successful crisscrossing of the nation to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ‘Hatchet’ and premiere of the film on the ‘Dismember America Tour,’ the legend is finally coming home!  ‘Victor Crowley’ arrives on Blu-ray, VOD and digital platforms via Dark Sky Films on February 5th, 2018. What’s it all about? Easy. In 2007, over forty people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s claims that local legend Victor Crowley was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy. When a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past. Set a decade after the events of the series’ first three films, ‘Victor Crowley’ reunites Hatchet mainstays Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th 7 -X’s Jason Voorhees) and Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow) for an all-new, horrifying journey into the haunted, blood-drenched bayou. The ensemble cast of ‘Victor Crowley’ also features Laura Ortiz (2006’s The Hills Have Eyes), Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie), and Brian Quinn (truTV’s “Impractical Jokers”).

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Adam Green to discuss the long road to ‘Victor Crowley,’ the challenges he faced along the way, and his continuing evolution as a filmmaker. It’s a wild ride, so strap in and prepare to be inspired!

It’s been about five years since we sat down for an interview. We last spoke for a “Hatchet III” press day. Your world changed exponentially in that time. My final question for you last time around was — “How do you view your evolution as an artist?” You were going through so much, personally and professionally at the time, you said you hadn’t taken time to think about or appreciate all you had done. So, five years later, I pose the same question — How do you view your evolution as an artist?

Wow! That’s a really good question. I’ve been doing these for a while now and that’s probably the best question I’ve gotten. Fuck! [laughs] Ya know, I try to not think about it too much because I don’t want to, artistically, get caught up in trying to plan things out too much; especially since I’ve learned that you can’t plan anything out, no matter what you do. This franchise was supposed to be over with part three. If you had asked me three years ago, I would have told you there was absolutely no way in hell there would have been another one. Then life happened. I think the best way to answer the question about my artistic evolution is that I think I’ve learned a little bit more to roll with the punches and not hold onto things so tightly. One of the best learning experiences that I had was with the “Holliston” comic. It was the first time that I had ever released my grasp on something just slightly and let someone else into that world. The guys who wrote and made that comic book did such a great job that, when I read it, it showed me what other people see in that show. It made me realize what it really is and love it. I was at a point where everyone was saying, “When is season three coming?” All I could see with “Holliston” was the death of my friend and it hurt too much. Every time I would try to write it, the stuff I was writing would be so dark. We would rehearse, and I could see the rest of the cast was uncomfortable with the material, nobody was feeling it and I was trying to force it. Giving control to someone else really, really helped. Now, it’s not so much about trying to plan out everything and control it as much. It’s more about responding to what’s actually happening, which is very true with “Victor Crowley” as well. I worked out so much of the dark shit that I went through in this in such a funny and entertaining way. I wish everybody could do that because it’s so much healthier than locking yourself in a dark room for a year, not talking to anybody or starving yourself to death, which is what I was doing three years ago at this time.

Adam Green remains under the watchful eyes of his pal Oderus Urungus aka the late Dave Brockie.

You are an inspiration. You put yourself out there on the Movie Crypt Podcast and social media. Even when you are facing big obstacles, you persevered. What keeps you driven?

I don’t know. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t. I wish I would fall in love with dentistry or something that would be a little bit more of a reliable thing to do! It’s the moment. I think if anyone is going to be honest about this industry, it’s mostly bad news, mostly struggle and mostly bad shit … but those good moments are so powerful! They keep you going. When something actually gets shot and you’re standing there on set with your friends, you are so overwhelmed by how hard it is and you never have enough time or money. You have all of those frustrations, but you look to your left or right and think, “I genuinely love these people and that I get to do this. It’s incredible.” When you have a thing like this tour that I just finished. Night after night after night, you get to watch the people that you made it enjoy something so much. As good as anything I have ever made has played with audiences, nothing has come close to this one! I think that it helped that nobody knew it was coming, there was no time to build up any type of expectations and suddenly it was here. The fact that it got a standing ovation almost every single night but two. Even those two were half standing ovations but those don’t count! [laughs] As far as I’m concerned, it has to be every single person on their feet or it doesn’t count! The people in the first few rows didn’t realize that the rest of the audience was standing up, so those two don’t count as standing ovations in my book! [laughs] I’ve never seen anything like that for a movie. I think I needed to make this and it saved me in a lot of ways, which was so unexpected. I think the fans needed it. I think they missed Victor Crowley. You have to listen to the fans. You don’t necessarily have to do everything they say to do because otherwise all I would do is make sequels to every single thing I make. At a certain point, you hear something so many times that you’ve got to pay attention to that, which ties in to what I was saying about starting to live a little bit more reactionary, instead of trying to plot everything out. For example, thinking something like, “By this age, I need to have done this. I need to make two movies this year. I need to have three web series, my own company, a weekly podcast.” All I was going to do was kill myself — not that I’m stopping doing all those things! [laughs] I just approach it all differently now!

You mentioned the feeling on set when you surround yourself with a great team of people. With “Victor Crowley,” there are old faces and new faces with the cast. What do these people bring out in you creatively?

Yeah, I’m blessed to have these people and it’s not just the crew. It’s the crew, especially! For a lot of the things I do, it’s the same key players behind the scenes. I think that’s something that has helped the “Hatchet” series last as long as it has. You have the same principal people coming back. I don’t think there is another franchise that really has that. It just changes everything! There’s a trade-off with it. If you could have asked me, when I was 8 years old, what the dream case scenario was, it would have been me telling stories, making things up and only working with my friends. I got that in every way, shape and form. I should feel like I did it and I got the golden ring and be happy with it, but the trade-off is that if you only want to work with the people you want to work with, you’re going to have to do it on a very small, independent level. Everything has been such a struggle from getting these things made to actually making them and beyond. I’ve never once had anything that was marketed. I’ve never had real money behind it with commercials or billboards everywhere. “Holliston” had some billboards and stuff but what was weird is that FEARnet put everything in New York and LA and neither place carried their network! [laughs] There is always something that seems to go so wrong! A lot of people, at this point, aren’t even surprised anymore! They’re like, “Only you!” [laughs] Having those people to lean on brings out the best in you because you are so trusting.

It’s something I stress on the podcast a lot; if you’re gonna direct, you’ve got to remember that you are only leading. You’re not the one making the movie. You’ve hired these people and surrounded yourself with them because they are so good at what they do. Your job is to have the vision, tell the story and guide everybody but also let them do what they can do. I think that’s why we are able to outshine whatever the budget might be. People always ask, “What is the budget?” I don’t even know how to answer that. The little amount of money we are given is one thing but what actually ends up on the screen is worth so much more because of all the favors that we pull in. Bear McCreary is probably one of the biggest composers working today. He does everything, yet he still produced this score! Sam [Ewing] and Jason [Akers], who wrote the score, did so under, Bear and Bear produced it. You can’t put a price on something like that. The same holds true with the sound designer, Matt Waters. Matt has done the sound design on every single thing I’ve ever done, and he just won his second Emmy for “Game of Thrones.” He does not need to be doing this and he literally did not get paid a cent but he’s part of the family, so he is there. Those types of things are absolutely invaluable and I would be nothing without the people around me. The DVD and Blu-ray for “Victor Crowley,” there is 90 minutes of special features that my assistant, Austin [Bosley], shot. The distributor never pays for those things, which is nothing new. I think toward the end of the early 2000s, the whole concept of needing special features went away, which is really sad. I live for those things! When it’s a movie I like, I want to be able to see the making of it, hear the commentary and all of that stuff but it’s something that is kind of going away. With this release, it was like, “If you have anything, we’ll take it, but you have four days to do it.” I couldn’t do it with everything else I was doing. For the first time, I was going to accept defeat but then Austin was like, “I’ll do it!” What he put together is so incredible! I don’t know if you got the “Raiders of The Lost Ark” or “E.T.” Blu-rays that came out a couple years back but on both of them they had this fly-on-the-wall thing. It was eight minutes of untouched behind-the-scenes footage. No interviews or editing. You’re just watching Spielberg make the movie. I would pay anything to just be able to see another hour of it! That’s what we’ve done this time. One of the special features is called Fly On The Set and it’s an hour of untouched footage where you watch the entire movie get made from start to finish as if you were there. It’s invaluable to somebody who wants to do something like this. The point is, there is also a 25-30-minute interview with me. At the end of it, I go back to what I said at the end of “Hatchet I” and what I said earlier about the people I’m surrounded with that did this. They can’t teach you that in film school. You can’t buy or rent the latest software. It’s something you have to build from the ground up.

With ArieScope, we’re coming up on our 20th anniversary this October, it’s always been about adding to this family. The same people keep coming back and that’s why I have a career. That and the fans. I’ve never had a chance to have something marketed or bought. It’s always had to be the hardest way possible but it’s a testament to anybody else who wants to do this — We’re not all going to luck out and get handed a big, wide release or a studio movie to direct. I use the word handed very lightly because I’m sure anyone who ever finds themselves with that opportunity has worked very hard for it. I’ve still yet to have that happen. That’s not true. It has happened but then the movie doesn’t actually get made or some executive leaves or something fucks it up every time. [laughs]

Adam Green brings ‘Victor Crowley’ to the people.

What are the biggest challenges you faced with bringing “Victor Crowley” to the screen?

As always, the budget and amount of time was a challenge. Maybe a year from now, I can finally talk about all of that stuff and I can’t wait! I’ve had to sit there on the podcast every week and listen to the guest and Joe [Lynch] complain about only having 25 days or only having 3 million dollars. It’s so hard to not ? … If you listen to the show, you’ll always hear Joe, right when it starts go, “Shut up, you!” He knows what I just did was unheard of! The problem is that if you say that stuff before or right after something comes out than that’s what people see when they watch it. It’s been so wonderful to read reviews or see comments where people are saying, “Well, clearly this is the biggest budget “Hatchet” movie yet!” And this thing was anything but! This thing was made on solely sheer will, blood, sweat and a lot of tears. That was the biggest challenge. I like to write myself into not a corner but a challenge. With a franchise, it would be so easy to fall back on giving what people you know already want or to keep referencing the previous films constantly. With this, setting so much of it inside sinking airplane, it just elevated everything. This is the first movie that actually had suspense and terror in it, as far a “Hatchet” film goes. The other ones aren’t scary at all. They are funny, and they are violent. “Victor Crowley” brings suspense to the franchise for the first time because of the airplane. You have a situation where Angie’s pregnant but if you get off the plane you’re going to die. That’s just a grave situation!

It’s cool to look inside your career and the film. What’s the best lesson to take away from your journey as an artist?

I guess it’s two parts and circles back on what I was already saying. Like I said, I think it comes down to trying to create more reactionary things as opposed to planning it all out so specifically, so when it doesn’t go your way, the devastation is so brutal. If you can try to go with the flow a little bit more, I think it only helps your art. Be like a sponge and absorb what’s happening around you, what you think and feel and don’t be afraid to show that. That’s what gives you a voice and something to say. With the horror genre, especially the slasher sub-genre, anybody can come up with ways to kill people or jump scares. That’s not impressive. My dog could do that. You want to create something that can actually entertain people, have them engaged, smiling, laughing, cringing or crying. In the case of the “Victor Crowley,” there were screenings where people actually cried! It was so unexpected! In the first interview I did this morning, that was what the journalist was saying, that was the last thing they expected to get out of it. It was because I was pouring myself into it. Even though this is such a ridiculous franchise and storyline, that’s so important for people to do. Not a lot of writers are willing to do that. A lot of them write to escape their own life and make everything up but if you can put yourself in everything you do, it’s going to change everything.

Arwen and Adam: An Unstoppable Force.

Secondly, surround yourself with the right people and hold on to them. It never fails; whoever is bringing the money always wants to break up the team that you have. A lot of it is because it’s their money, their risk and they want some control and they don’t want you closing ranks on them immediately from the get-go. They think you are surrounding yourself with people who are going to yes you to death and box them out. Thankfully, even though it has been a fight on certain occasions, I think they’ve always seen that’s precisely why we work. The people who are a part of ArieScope don’t yes me to death and aren’t afraid to say, “I don’t agree with this idea. What about this … ” I remember on “Hatchet I,” I forget what the idea was, but there was a PA who had thrown some idea out. It wasn’t the right idea, but it was the kernel of whatever we ended up doing. It was a situation where the sun was coming up and we were out of time and everyone was fried. A PA made some suggestion that ended up helping us out in the long run. So, surround yourself with good people, lean on those people and fight to keep them there when someone wants to separate you!

What’s the best way for fans to support you and help get your visions to the screen?

The best thing is seeing each release legally. That is huge. To take that one step further, don’t just wait for Netflix or to stream it. Buy a physical copy. That’s what has hurt the indie scene so much! There was a time where even just Blockbuster Video was ordering several hundred thousand units for their stores. Right there it was saving movies at this budget level because it brought the risk factor. If you really like this stuff, buy a physical copy and don’t just stream it, if possible. Obviously, never, ever pirate anything. Not a comic book, a song, a movie or whatever. You are killing everything when you do that. To support ArieScope and myself specifically, we sell everything on our website, www.ariescope.com. Everything comes autographed and there is no extra charge. I’ve never charged for my autograph or photograph at conventions, but we make a couple dollars on everything and those couple dollars keep the studio open. To date, nobody has ever personally received any of that money because it’s a very boutique shop. It’s always been just enough between that or The Movie Crypt Podcast’s Patreon or the Feed Arwen A Treat program to keep this place open. Everything happens here. I live here more than at my house, as does Joe and a lot of other people. This is where we create, shoot and edit. It’s really a haven of sorts, so when you buy something directly from us, that’s what your supporting!

Awesome! Thanks for your time today, Adam! We will catch up soon. It won’t be another five years! Thank you for the content you bring each week and with each film. A big Steven Tyler congratulations on all you achieved!

[laughs] Thank you, thank you very much. That means a lot. I really appreciate that! Take care!

For all the latest news and content from Adam Green, visit ArieScope’s official website at www.ariescope.com. Connect with Adam Green on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get a weekly dose of industry insight and amazing guests with Adam Green and Joe Lynch on The Movie Crypt Podcast!

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BACK TO THE SWAMP: A Review of Adam Green’s “Victor Crowley”

BACK TO THE SWAMP: A Review of Adam Green’s “Victor Crowley”

The year is 2006. The horror genre is being beaten down with nothing but uninspired sequels, prequels, and remakes. The original slasher film has all but died. Something seems to be missing from the genre. Where’s the fun? In comes a young, up and coming director Adam Green 6 years removed from his last film, “Coffee and Donuts”. He recruits the man who many consider the greatest Jason Voorhees of all time, Kane Hodder, and revitalizes a genre many thought they would never see again.

“Hatchet” hits the festival circuit in 2006 with an eventual DVD release on December 18th, 2007. While it received mixed to low reviews by critics, fans all over the world raved. Finally, a return to form for the horror genre. “Hatchet”, an old school American horror, received massive success from fans and gained a cult following that follows the franchise today. By 2013, Green had worked on two sequels and was ready to give up the character of Victor Crowley to focus on other works. He drops a bombshell with the incredible, “Digging Up the Marrow”. A film that, like “Hatchet” before it, wore its influences on its sleeve. From here Green notes that he’s finished with the series from a film standpoint but you’ll be able to keep up with “Crowley” in comic book form; the “Hatchet” series was dead…or so we thought.

August 22nd, 2017, the original film’s “10 Year Anniversary” show. Hundreds of “Hatchet” fans and stars pile into Hollywood’s Arclight Cinema, expecting to see a presentation of the film that started it all. Instead, fans were elated to see that not only was a fourth film already made, but they were about to see it in all its glory. Needless to say, the hype was real and fans left the theatre ecstatic to see the lovable crazy redneck humanoid back in action. As “Victor Crowley” unleashes on all of us in VOD and Blu-ray, did it meet expectations or should we ship it back to the swamp to rot? Find out as we cover the return of the millennium’s icon of horror, “Victor Crowley”.

Keeping with one of my favorite tropes about any “Hatchet” film, Parry Shen is back! However, for the first time in the franchise, he’s reprising his role as the sole survivor/paramedic from the third film, Andrew. It’s been 10 years since that fateful night on the swamp. Andrew has become a writer and is making his rounds on the press circuit sharing his story. Things aren’t going so well for the survivor as we open on him being interviewed on live TV by his ex-wife Sabrina (Krystal Joy Brown). No one back home believes his story, in fact, they’re under the impression that Andrew is the maniac who axed all of those people years ago. Things take a turn for the worst when his publicist, played by the “Sleepaway Camp” star Felissa Rose, convinces him to return to the swamp for a large sum of money. It isn’t until he gets on the plane that he realizes it’s to film a show for Sabrina. The three, along with a film crew (including “Impractical Jokers” star Brian Quinn) are off for a romp in the swamp. Meanwhile, across the water, a few “Crowley fans” (Laura Ortiz, Katie Booth, Chase Williamson) are trying to make a film of their own. Of course all hell breaks loose as our killer decides to join in on the fun of both parties. What follows is a return to form for writer/director Adam Green: film filled with gore galore and big laughs.

Along with the cast members I’ve already mentioned, the highlight of the film would without a doubt be Dave Sheridan. This man is hilarious in every film he’s in and doesn’t get enough credit. He plays the boat driver/aspiring actor, Dillon, and he steals every scene he’s in. As you watch the film you can truly feel how much fun this cast and crew was having while filming. Definitely my favorite group of death puppets in a “Hatchet” film. The man of the hour, Kane Hodder, is better than ever. This is the greatest Crowley has looked since the film’s original inception, that credit goes to both Hodder and the make-up department. Nightmare fuel.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film and I’m glad to have Victor Crowley back in my life. Green understands his franchise and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel in any shape. That’s not a knock, on the contrary, it’s commendable for the man to return and give the fans a film they’ve been clamoring for for years. I’ll be honest, if you’re not a fan of the “Hatchet” series this movie is not going to change your mind. It’s a tour de force of crude jokes and gut wrenching violence. Understand what you’re getting and you’ll have a blast. I recommend “Victor Crowley” to any film of the franchise, and anyone who needs their slasher fix. Here’s to hoping a “Digging up the Marrow” sequel is next!

“Victor Crowley” hit DVD and Blu-ray on February 6th via Dark Sky FIlms.

About The Writer: 
Dylan Lyles – Staff Writer
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason popping out of the water. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the MonsterMania Con on the east coast. You love him and he loves you!
Twitter: @thedylanlyles

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Catch ‘Impractical Jokers’ Star Brian Quinn In A New Clip From Adam Green’s ‘Victor Crowley’

Catch ‘Impractical Jokers’ Star Brian Quinn In A New Clip From Adam Green’s ‘Victor Crowley’

Adam Green’s VICTOR CROWLEY is FINALLY coming to VOD and digital platforms tomorrow! Below is a clip featuring the hilarious Brian Quinn from ‘Impractical Jokers.’ Check out the clip below!

Synopsis: Set a decade after the events of the series’ first three films, VICTOR CROWLEY reunites Hatchet mainstays Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th 7X‘s Jason Voorhees) and Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow) for an all-new, horrifying journey into the haunted, blood-drenched bayou.

In 2007, over forty people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s claims that local legend Victor Crowley was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy, but when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.

VICTOR CROWLEY’s ensemble cast also features Laura Ortiz (2006’s The Hills Have Eyes),Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie), and Brian Quinn (truTV’s “Impractical Jokers”). Writer/director

Adam Green proudly returns to the director’s chair of his series that, upon debuting in 2007, was energetically touted as a return to “old school American horror,” and whose maniacal fan-favorite villain quickly secured a place among slasher royalty.

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Adam Green’s ‘Victor Crowley’ To Hit VOD And Blu-ray On February 6th From Dark Sky Films!

Adam Green’s ‘Victor Crowley’ To Hit VOD And Blu-ray On February 6th From Dark Sky Films!

Dark Sky Films has announced the official release date of Adam Green’s VICTOR CROWLEY, the surprise fourth film in the fan-favorite Hatchet franchise. The film will be released on VOD, Digital and Blu-ray and DVD on February 6, 2018. Kept tightly under wraps for over two years, the slasher reboot unexpectedly debuted this past August. The highly anticipated release was shown in theaters across the country in October  as part of the “Victor Crowley Road Show.”

Set a decade after the events of the series’ first three films, VICTOR CROWLEY reunites Hatchet mainstays Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th 7X‘s Jason Voorhees) and Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow) for an all-new, horrifying journey into the haunted, blood-drenched bayou.

In 2007, over forty people were brutally torn to pieces in Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Over the past decade, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s claims that local legend Victor Crowley was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy, but when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.

VICTOR CROWLEY’s ensemble cast also features Laura Ortiz (2006’s The Hills Have Eyes),Dave Sheridan (Scary Movie), and Brian Quinn (truTV’s “Impractical Jokers”). Writer/director Adam Green proudly returns to the director’s chair of his series that, upon debuting in 2007, was energetically touted as a return to “old school American horror,” and whose maniacal fan-favorite villain quickly secured a place among slasher royalty.


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No Ordinary Scream Queen: Danielle Harris Talks ‘Hatchet III’ And Directorial Work

No Ordinary Scream Queen: Danielle Harris Talks ‘Hatchet III’ And Directorial Work


You know her, you love her and the horror industry wouldn’t be the same without her — she is legendary scream queen Danielle Harris. This brunette bombshell has grown up right before our eyes on television and the silver screen, establishing herself as on of the most dynamic actors in the business. Never afraid to experiment or to follow her keen instincts when it comes to a role, Danielle continues to surprise her fans with each new project. Her latest endeavor is no exception to that rule, as she closes out the wildly popular ‘Hatchet’ franchise alongside creator/writer Adam Green and director BJ McDonnell. ‘Hatchet III’ continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley, played by genre favorite Kane Hodder, and ramps up the action to bring this epic tale of terror to a close. The film As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

The action doesn’t stop there for Danielle as prepares to unleash the next exciting chapter of her career! In her directorial debut, Harris has enlisted some of her very talented friends. “Among Friends,” written by Alyssa Lobit and produced by Jennifer Blanc-Biehn and Athena Lobit, is a twisted tale of horror focusing on a dinner party gone wrong. Set against an 80s backdrop, the good time takes a dark turn when one in the group hijacks the evening in an attempt to help the others come clean about their secret betrayals against one another–and is willing to cut through the bone in order to expose the truth. Collectively this group of very talented women has decades of experience in the film industry and they are excited to be bringing fans and audiences everywhere a roller coaster ride of fun, intensity and, oh yes… blood.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Danielle Harris to discuss her her role in the ‘Hatchet’ franchise, her experiences on set through the years and the challenges of bringing her first feature film to the big screen!

'Hatchet III'

‘Hatchet III’

You have been a big part of the ‘Hatchet’ franchise. To put it into perspective for our readers, how did you first get involved with this awesome series and what are your recollections of first meeting it’s creator Adam Green?

I had actually known Adam for a while prior to working on these films from being on the convention circuit. There were a couple of short films that Adam had done and we were on the convention circuit in the UK. I had done a short film for him there and we became friends from there and discussed wanting to work together. I actually auditioned for him for the original ‘Hatchet’ and I didn’t end up getting it. He brought me in on another film he was planning on at the time but ended up not doing. It was an amazing comedy called ‘God Only Knows’. I still want to do that one day but I think I am too old to play the character now. The genre is very, very small group of friends. I was working on ‘Stake Land’ with Dark Sky Films at the time. Adam called me and said he didn’t think it would be working out with the woman who played Marybeth in the first ‘Hatchet’ film, I guess there was a conflict or something, so he wanted to know if I was available and interested. I said I would be, of course, that was after I gave him a bunch of shit for not casting in the role for the first one! [laughs] It ended up working out and I signed on with them. It has all gone on from there!

You are no stranger to cult fan bases from being a part of the ‘Halloween’ series. ‘Hatchet’ has a very devoted fan base as well. Where you surprised the series has developed the cult following it has?

To be honest, I think we were kind of in need of that. We were missing “the new monster” and I think Adam hit it. A lot of the fan base of ‘Hatchet’ is my generation and they are familiar with the stuff we grew up with in the 80s. By bringing it back to that and what made horror so great and not relying on effects and CGI and all the stuff that had taken over the market or remakes or 3D, I think people like to watch what they know. In my opinion, that is why it got so big — he kept it real! I think sometimes simple is better. Also, Adam always had a full story. He always had a plan for how the films would progress from ‘Hatchet’ to ‘Hatchet III’. I don’t think that happens very often, where the entire series is now all wrapped up. Typically, when you write a movie you are hoping they come back for a sequel and then you have to write something and you never know how well it will work with the first one. I think for this franchise that wasn’t even an option because he had it all done. I think that is why the movies are so tight and they are so well received – they makes sense and they are just good gory fun!

What elements do you think you brought to the character that might not have existed on the written page? Are there elements of your own personality we might see come through in this performance?

On the second film, Adam and I really got to know each other because we worked so closely for such a long period of time. He got to know me, like know me, know me. I think he got to know my sarcasm and ball busting. Like I said, I auditioned for him for the project “God Only Knows.” I do actually like to do comedy, I just don’t get those opportunities very often. He said “God! You are so freakin’ funny. I really wish you would do more comedies.” I would love to do that if I could just get the opportunities. I think he took that into consideration when he was writing for Marybeth for this third film. The second film had already been written and I came in afterwards. He polished it and made some changes afterward, once I was onboard. I think it is a lot of how I would react and what would happen to me if I went through something like Marybeth did. I think there is a period of grieve where you shut down or have anger but there is still the underlying fear. It is fun to be able go through all of that because many characters don’t survive and they don’t get to come back. Usually you have your fun, fight, sex and sad scene, then you meet the killer and you don’t come back! [laughs] Or you are shy and the odd girl out and you make it to the end where you kill the killer and find your strength. You don’t get what to see what happens to those characters after the fact. It is similar to my role in Rob Zombie’s “Halloween.” As Annie, I got to come back for the sequel after surviving something so traumatic. I was completely different in the second film and that is the case with ‘Hatchet III’ as well. I played it as how I felt Marybeth would be after experiencing what she went through the night before. By that I mean she has nothing to lose because she has already lost everything!

With each new project comes a whole new set of challenges. You shot this film on location in the swamp with a new director, BJ McDonnell. What challenges did you encounter?

Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris

It was already set up because Adam had laid the groundwork and BJ was really able to put his creative twist on things! Cinematically, there is no one I have worked with who is better than BJ McDonnell. He has such and amazing eye. He has worked on the other ‘Hatchet’ movies as well, so he was familiar with and able to stay true to the style. With Adam overseeing everything, the feel and the tone of the movie still feels like it is very much a part of the franchise because Adam is all over it. It didn’t really feel like much of a shift, except Adam wasn’t at the monitor telling us what was going to happen next and walking us through it, that was BJ. Other than that, it has always been a collaboration. There didn’t feel like there was much as a difference as far as character goes. I have worked with BJ a bunch of times. He is a new director. He would be like “I need you to be more scared. I need you to be more angry.” It sucks for first time directors to really understand how to talk to actors. He didn’t really need to worry about me because I have done this so many times and was coming back as Marybeth, so I didn’t really need a director’s direct performance because I already knew how it felt because I physically, me, Danielle, had already emotionally gone through it already! I mean, when it came time to go back in those swamps again, I was thinking “Ugggh! I just don’t want to do this!” [laughs] I had that real-life moment where I thought “Oh God! I have to battle this motherfucker again!” I was able to bring some real-life into which makes my job a little bit easier.

There is another terrific Adam Green project you’ve been involved with and that is “Holliston”. You definitely show a different side of yourself as you mentioned before. Tell us all about it!

Absolutely! God bless Adam Green for giving me something funny to do! It is so hard when people just know you as one thing and don’t give you that chance to do something different. I haven’t done a project this fun in so long! I mean, I am on a soundstage and my makeup and hair is done? I get to be funny and I am not covered in blood?! [laughs] It was a really nice break! I think that is why Adam has been working on “Holliston” so much because it is a really fun show! You are not out in the mud up to your knees covered in mosquitos! A much fun and incredibly rewarding as film is, “Holliston” is the cherry on the sundae right there! It is a wonderful show and I really loved doing it. I just hope people don’t see it and think I am anything like that character! [laughs]

I think you are pretty safe!

Ok! I hope so! [laughs]

The last time we spoke (Click to check out the full interview!), around this time last year, you had already helmed your first film, “Among Friends”. At that point, you were pursuing distribution for the film, which you recently received. Can you tell us about that process and how challenging it was for you?

The Directorial Debut of Danielle Harris

The Directorial Debut of Danielle Harris

It was challenging as far as my travel schedule. I really wanted to get the word out about the project. We have a big market to cover! We got accepted into a bunch of film festivals last year and I spent nine months on the road! I went everywhere from London to Ireland to Spain to Canada. You name it and we were there! [laughs] We were all over the world last year! Just dealing with people and getting the buzz out there went really, really well. Come November of last year, I was like “Oh my God! I need a minute!” I had come right off directing the film, right into post-production and then onto the festival circuit, so it has been a bit of a whirlwind! It has been almost a year and I have been working this entire time! It has been an amazing experience! It is really, really nice to be other side. I love going festivals as a director and not as an actor because you get to hang out with so many great filmmakers and talk about film. When you hang out with actors, they tend to talk about themselves. I prefer to hang out with filmmakers to talk about things that are inspiring and creative. That has been my experience. It has definitely been challenging, trying to get it out! At the same time, I think “Wow! It’s coming out on DVD already?!” We shot it two years ago but it feels like yesterday. I am very excited people are being so supportive of my first movie out of the gate. For Lionsgate to pick up the film is a first time driector’s dream! I am super excited.

You have so many irons in the fire and manage to stay super busy. Is there any chance we will see you back in the director’s chair anytime soon?

Yeah! I am just about to close my deal with the writer for a script I am optioning right now. I was reading, reading reading and I found this script last August. I loved it! I kept reading to make sure this was the one but I knew it was! I continued to move forward and my mind kept going back to that script. After about a month, I was like “OK, I am ready!” This summer, I have a bunch of other movies coming out and other movies I am going to do as an actor. I am also getting married in January, so I am planning a wedding and there is just so much happening this year. I am optioning the script and hopefully in February we will start pre-production and then I will be living with that movie for two years! [laughs] That is sort of where I am going. As far as acting, it kinda depends. I really want to focus on directing, so conventions and appearances are going to be on hold for a little while unless it is going to be for directing.

Danielle Harris On The Set Of 'Among Friends'

Danielle Harris

As a director, is there anything you are hoping to achieve on this second outing?

Yeah, money and time! [laughs] I would like more money and more time! We shot “Among Friends” for next to nothing. Not even next to nothing, it was nothing and we shot in ten days. We had a seven lead cast in every setup, Three cameras for every shot and a monitor. We were very limited. We only had six days of pre-production and I think I had two weeks to edit the movie. It was really difficult. For the new film, I am still working on getting my team together. That is really what I love about ArieScope, Dark Sky Films and the Hatchet Army group because they have found their family. The get to make movies and take on new projects as a team. I think I am still searching for my team and I haven’t really found it yet but I am going to option this movie and give it a go next year. I found my style and I know what I respond too, so that is really good. I just have to get out there and do it again!

We will definitely be looking forward to that project, along with everything else you have in store for us! Thank you for your time today, Danielle.

Awesome! Thanks so much and I will talk to you soon!

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The New Blood: BJ McDonnell Discusses His Directorial Debut With ‘Hatchet III’

The New Blood: BJ McDonnell Discusses His Directorial Debut With ‘Hatchet III’


BJ McDonnell is living proof that with a lot of hard work and dedication can turn your dreams into reality. Originally from the Deep South of Pensacola, Florida, he moved to Los Angeles after his punk rock career ended. Influenced by his grandfather; actor Leif Erickson, he decided to pursue a career in the film industry. Over the past several years, McDonnell has made a name for himself as a camera operator on large studio projects, such as Rob Zombie’s ‘Halloween’ films, ‘The Devil’s Rejects,’ ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ just to name a few. Little did he know when meeting franchise creator Adam Green that his hard work as a camera operator on the first two ‘Hatchet’ films would lead him to helm the third and final film of the series!

‘Hatchet III’ continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley, played by genre favorite Kane Hodder, and ramps up the action to bring this epic tale of terror to a close. The film As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with director BJ McDonnell to discuss his feature film debut, the challenges involved and what projects he has in store for us in the future!

BJ McDonnell

BJ McDonnell

What was it that originally intrigued you about the world of filmmaking and made your pursue it as a career?

It was the movie ‘Aliens,’ along with my grandfather. My grandfather is an old actor and he used to take me to film sets when I was younger kid. That sparked my interest! Plus, I made short films when I was a kid with those really awful VCR/VHS cameras where you ran around with a backpack with a tape deck in it and all that stuff! I really just got bit by the bug of making short films with my friends back in Florida. It is funny I mentioned ‘Aliens’ because Vasquez runs around with this huge rifle on what is basically a steady-cam rig arm. That is really how I got into the camera operating world. I got to know how that was with the steady-cam and how it worked. I was intrigued by telling story through movement of the camera and I got into doing that. That is where it all began!

Who would you cite as your biggest professional influences? You mentioned your grandfather and I sure that was a huge one for you.

Yeah, experiencing going to sets with him was definitely an inspiration as a young kid. Seeing the movie magic process that was going on and having him explain it to me was incredible. Working out here, a lot of the things I have learned come from the directors of photography I have worked with like Caleb Deschanel, Eric Leach, Brandon Trost, who are a bunch of guys who I have worked with who are really awesome cinematographers. They are the guys who taught me how to tell a story through camera. Those guys really inspired the hell out of me. Rob Zombie, as a director, inspired me because he taught me how to break the mold and break out of traditional storytelling and go with a lot of visuals. Working alongside of him and seeing what he does and how he works was really awesome! The guy really takes pride in what he does and researches everything. He is an amazing guy and I really respect him.

'Hatchet III'

‘Hatchet III’

You have been a part of the ‘Hatchet’ franchise since the start and it has been very good to you. Going back to the beginning, who did you first get involved and what are your first recollections of meeting it’s creator, Adam Green?

My friend Sarah Donohue, who I had worked with before as a camera operator, said she was getting ready to do a movie and wanted me to interview for it. I went down to the office and I walked by a dude wearing a Metallica t-shirt who was smoking a cigarette and dressed like a PA. I glanced at him and said “What’s up.” He said “What’s up.” I walked by him and went in to meet the director of photography Will Barratt. He sat me down and asked me about my love of horror films. I started talking about ‘Evil Dead’ and how I loved that movie, along with ‘Nightmare On Elm Street,’ ‘Halloween’ and things like that. I didn’t know that behind me, Adam was back there listening to the whole thing and he was looking for a camera operator who loved horror films. That was me! Of course, they guy in the Metallica t-shirt turned out to be Adam. From there, I talked it out with those guys and knew what they were going for and we went from there!

Here were are years later and they have passed you the torch to direct this thing! Were you at all apprehensive about helming the project and what were your thoughts on an approach to the film?

Yeah, I mean, you are always a little bit apprehensive. I didn’t ever ask to direct the movie. Adam approached me about directing it because he knew I was wanting to start moving into directing. Camera operating is great and I love it but I wanted to more and what I came to Los Angeles for was to direct. He gave me the opportunity to do that by offering up ‘Hatchet III’. He knew that I knew the story and all of the characters, so it was really neat to get into that. You’re apprehensive about taking these things because there are people who love and people who hate the movie. You are automatically throwing yourself into a world where people are going to hate what you did because they didn’t like the first two films. You will also have the people who will love what you did or love what you changed about certain things. My whole goal for this film was to make it look a bit more like a big movie. I wanted to change the shooting style of it a bit and go a bit darker with the Victor Crowley character. I wanted to make everything a bit darker and scarier as well as making it cinematic and telling a story through camera and having the actors get into the mud of it all because we shot on a real location. We were out in the swamp which is something we hadn’t done before. We had only done day exteriors for the other films for a day. This film was fun on nighttime swamp! The conditions were brutal but it looks better! It looks better! When you work in terrible conditions for some odd reason, it always looks awesome! It’s weird!

We had the chance to talk to Adam Green the other day and I know the people behind the scenes on this franchise are a very tight group. How has the collaborative process evolved along through the years?

The collaborative process on the first two films was what we were going to do with the camera and how we were going to accomplish a certain shot and things like that. Will [Barratt] and I would come up a lot of things on the day we were shooting. This one, because I was directing it, it was a lot of thing in pre-production were Adam, Robert Pendergraft and I would get together and talk about what we wanted to do. Adam would talk about what he wanted to do with it. I talked about what I wanted to put into it as well as talking to Robert about if we could pull these effects off. It was one of those things where Adam had an idea of what he wanted, I had ideas of what I wanted to put to the script and that is basically how it came about. Adam took action sequences for situations for certain situations I wanted to do in the movie and put them into the story he was writing. It was a great collaboration of what I wanted to do with the film and what his script was. It was really neat to do it that way. On set, I would get in there with the camera and tried to flow the camera with the story.


You have had the opportunity to work alongside of some of horror’s iconic stars from days gone by. In your opinion, what did this group of actors bring to the table for ‘Hatchet III’?

I worked with Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder before. Before I worked with Kane on ‘Hatchet,’ I had worked with him on ‘The Devil’s Rejects,’ so I had gotten to know him. I had gotten to know Danielle from the ‘Halloween’ films. They were both very easy to work with because it was like dealing with friends. It was a really fun group. Zach Galligan, I didn’t know at all. We had just talked on the phone prior to filming. I told him it was going to be a really tough shoot and I didn’t want to lie to him! He came down and he was fantastic! The whole crew really felt like we were a bunch of buddies and most of them are! Some of the people who I cast like Jason Trost, Sean Whalen Diane Goldner are all my friends, as well as Cody Snider and Derek Mears. When you do a first time directing thing with people like that it was easier because I have already known them instead of going into a movie as a first time director and not knowing any of the cast. They could bust my balls and I could bust their balls back and everyone would just get a laugh out of it! It was a lot of fun!

Looking back on the entire process, what were the biggest challenges you faced as a first time director?

BJ McDonnell

BJ McDonnell

One of the biggest challenges was making our days because of the night movie exterior. We shot in the summertime, so we had eight hours of night. You are really limited to the amount of stuff you can get! You have to go as fast as possible to get everything you scheduled in. We only had 16 days to shoot in the swamps down there. We did 4 1/2 days here but they were all contained but they we still eight hour days because we had to do them outside. It was tough with the swamp because of the bugs, rain, alligators, animals and people getting sick from deet poisoning. Out of all the ‘Hatchet’ films, it was the toughest one. Even compared to ‘Hatchet II,’ where everyone caught H1N1 virus because of the stage and a grip showing up and giving it to everybody. This was a brutal shoot because of the conditions alone! You can shoot in the rain, which always looks so great on film, but working in it is awful! You have to think about the people behind the cameras who have to deal with it and the things that aren’t going right because the conditions, the rain making things not happen or being unable to get certain equipment to a location because it is stuck in the mud. It was a challenge to get it all done but I think it really shows. I think the fact that I did shoot it in the swamp and put my foot down and said I really wanted to shoot there so we can actually see what is going on pays off, as well as shooting it in scope. Going with the vision I was aiming to achieve, I think it really helped to shoot down there. I don’t regret that at all, other than it was miserable for people down there. Luckily, we had a killer crew that pulled through it! These were people who could have actually left. They didn’t need to stay there and we weren’t paying much, so they could have left but they wanted to do the job. I am really grateful for that and for everyone who did the job! The cast and crew were all amazing!

I had the chance to screen the film and I thought you all did a terrific job. I am a fan of the franchise and I really like what you brought to the project!

Oh man, thank you so much! You dug it, huh? What did you think of it difference-wise?

I really thought you did a terrific job with the pacing. This film was a lot more action oriented right from the get go. That being said, I think it pairs really well with the other films, which I am sure was a challenge for you guys to balance the elements and keep it fresh for yourselves at the same time.

'Hatchet III'

‘Hatchet III’

Exactly. That is one big thing I wanted to make sure we didn’t do — have nothing happen until 50 minutes into the movie. I was like “We have to keep this thing going and make sure things start happening at least 20 minutes in. It has to go from there — Go, go go!” I really wanted to keep the energy up all the way to the very end of it. I think we did a pretty good job of that. I was pretty hellbent on making it that way!

You have an incredible resume of work in your field. Do you every get to reflect on your career so far, how you have grown along the way and what you are looking to tackle in the future?

Yeah! I think I learn something new with every job. I never get to the point where I think I have done everything, there is always a new challenge around the bend. I look forward to each job because of the people you meet in the field. Every job I am on I learn something from a new director or someone else on set. I reflect back on those things and I am very proud of what I have done. I have accomplished a lot in the short amount of time I have been doing this and it is always a learning process. Mostly, I am happy with the people I get to meet and work with every single day. In this career, you meet some of the best people you could ever meet. You also meet some of the worst people you could ever meet! [laughs] It is a great job and a great career! I am looking forward to directing my next feature, which I am working on right now. Hopefully, we will get that off the ground and get going!

That’s great! I know you are early in the process but can you give us any details on that?

Right now the projects are in script form but we are getting ready to start pitching the ideas. One is just a straight up 90s action film, which is super awesome! I have a lot of good stunt people behind me who want to do it, as well as effects artists and people I have gotten to know here who can pull off this kind of stuff. The other one is basically a spy, sci-fi, action film that is very cool but very serious. I am very much looking to get both of those off of the ground. Both are written by two of my friends who are pretty good writers who have definitely done some stuff. I can’t go into detail about them right not because we are not in the phase to reveal who they are but we are onboard together. I think if we get it going, it will be a killer, killer movie! I just want to keep it going!

You are a great example of someone who headed out to LA to achieve their dream. You have made your mark and continue to forge ahead. What is the best piece of advice you can offer up to those looking to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

My advice to anyone who wants to do this stuff, be it someone who wants to act, someone who wants to do a certain thing on the crew or direct, is simple. There are always going to be people who are going to tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t get discouraged by what other people say. If you truly believe that is what you want to do, you have the heart for it and you really want to go that way, go for it! People in Florida when I left said stuff like “Oh yeah, good luck out there in Hollywood. Good luck doing that stuff.” The choice I made to come out here and do this stuff kept me going and got me where I am today. The people I have met are great and so is the whole community out here. Don’t let anyone get you down about it. Follow your dream is basically what I can tell you.

I want to thank you for taking time out to talk to us today. I am really excited to see what you bring to us next with these new projects!

I am ready, man! I can’t wait to get them off the ground and show them to you, dude! It’s going to be so much fun!

Awesome! We will be spreading the word and I look forward to talking to you again very soon!

Thank you so much, Jason! Take care!

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Zach Galligan: Iconic Actor Discusses Life, Career, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Hatchet III’

Zach Galligan: Iconic Actor Discusses Life, Career, ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Hatchet III’


At nineteen, Zach Galligan went from being a virtually unknown young actor to one of the most recognizable faces on the big screen, not only in the United States but around the globe. With his terrific performance as Billy Peltzer in ‘Gremlins’ he instantly became one of the most beloved characters of the 1980s. His work as an actor didn’t end there as he continued on to star in projects ranging from film to to television to the stage. Even after many years in the industry, Galligan is not one to shy away from challenges. His latest role lands him smack dab in the middle of one of horror’s most talked about cult movie franchises and pairs him with some of the horror genre’s most iconic names! 

‘Hatchet III’ continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley, played by genre favorite Kane Hodder, and ramps up the action to bring this epic tale of terror to a close. The film As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Zach Galligan to discuss who he got his start as an actor, becoming a film icon almost overnight, the challenges of his latest tole in ‘Hatchet III’ and what projects he has in store for us for the 30th Anniversary of ‘Gremlins’!

Zach Galligan

Zach Galligan

Many people of my generation instantly recognize you from your role in ‘Gremlins’. I wanted to go back a little further than that and learn what got you started as an actor.

I had done a number of plays and musicals in high school and summer camps. They were your obligatory ‘Pippin,’ Grease’ and ‘Godspell’ productions. I went to school in Manhattan at 75th and Broadway. I didn’t really know it at the time but that was a place where casting directors would go and scout young talent. A couple of casting directors swung by and saw me in the plays that I did. They called me in to try out for some very, very early 80s movies. I think the first movie I ever tried out for was ‘Taps’ with Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise, so I was in that generation of actors. The role I went in for, I got beaten out for by Sean Penn, which I never really feel that bad about in retrospect! [laughs] Long story short, after I started trying out for these movies, I stumbled into getting an agent and I was pretty much off and running by the time I was seventeen.

Who would you cite as some of your biggest influences in your early years?

I would say the two actors who really influenced me are so different from me, I was never really able to use their thing. I loved Steve McQueen and his kind of quiet thoughtfulness. I also loved Malcolm McDowell. I loved his intensity of his eyes. I love the opening shot of “A Clockwork Orange” where it pulls back from him and he has that look on his face. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking “What is that!” It is that kind of mischievous, demonic, evil glint in his eye as Alex. I still think that is one of the most underrated film performances of the last fifty years! I think Malcolm McDowell is flawless in that movie.

Your career path lead you to one of the most beloved movies of my generation, ‘Gremlins’. When you took that role, I doubt you had any idea it would become the phenomena it did. How did that effect you as a young actor?

Zach Galligan: ALways Smooth

Zach Galligan: ALways Smooth

I have to contradict you. I think both Steven [Spielberg] and I both knew how huge the movie was going to be and we were kinda freaked out by it! Spielberg had just done “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial” and it quickly became the biggest movie in the world, now he was doing sort of an “E.T.” on it’s head followup and was very enthusiastic about it. He was really going to push it and was going to open it a week or two after his own movie, “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.” We knew if it even did a quarter of what “E.T.” did, we would instantly be thrown into the forefront of popular culture at the time. To answer the second part of your question, how did it affect me? It changed my entire life forever! Basically, the film opened 29 years ago yesterday. I would say within two weeks, a maximum of three weeks but by the first of July, everywhere I went all around America and a year later, all around the world, I was recognized everywhere I went. In every shop or restaurant, I was recognized! It was this crazy thing — a sudden impact! I didn’t realize the scope of it until I went down to South Africa in 1988. As you can imagine, South Africa is about as far away from New York City as you can get! On a map, it is all the way over and then all the way down. I was walking down the street in Johannesburg and these kids came running up to me saying “Gremlins! Gremlins!” I thought to myself “Holy shit! I could be at the South Pole and people would still know me!” [laughs] It boggles your mind! It is still very strange. I have had so many strange things happen to me in life! You don’t realize what it is like to be in a hit movie until you are in one because the breadth and scope of the number of people it reaches is really hard to imagine.

Speaking of movies that have reached people, ‘Hatchet III’ is your latest project. This franchise has an incredible fan base. How did you initially become involved with the project?

I opened up my email one day and in front of me was an email who’s subject read “Hatchet III Offer”. At first, I thought it was from Amazon.com or Best Buy. I thought “I don’t know if I really want a ‘Hatchet III’ DVD. Thank you very much!” I was about to delete it when I saw it was from my agent. I was like ” Wait. What?” because most actors, unless you are one of the top thirty actors in the world, you don’t get a lot of offers all the time. Offers are few and far between. You have to work to get a part. They were like “Hey, we are going to be doing this movie down in New Orleans!” I took notice of that right away because New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. They said “There is a really cool part in the film, not sure if you would be interested in doing it but if you want to, give us a ring!” I read the script and it has hilarious. The part was huge, it was awesome and I could do anything I wanted to with it. I basically signed right up!

That is very cool. What did you bring to the character that might not have been on the written page originally?

Zach Galligan In 'Hatchet III'

Zach Galligan In ‘Hatchet III’

They wanted me to play a Northern who was down south, who had relocated to Louisiana and spoke normally. I know my persona and I thought people would be like “What would a guy like him be doing down in a Louisiana Parish as a sheriff?” I just kinda decided to make him what I imagined a southern sheriff to be, whether they are from Louisiana and spoke with a Cajun accent or like my character who has transferred from the Houston branch. If you listen closely, you will hear a reference to that. He is just a guy who is bored to shit with his job which is basically arresting drunks for Mardi Gras. That is what his life has been like until the second the movie opens and he is thrust into the most nightmarish twelve hours of his life. I liked the idea of someone who was a bit more laid back and lazy. He is let go and developed a little bit of a beer belly and is just counting the years until his retirement while arresting drunks and stopping domestic squabbles like you see on ‘Cops’! He is just that guy! Now all of a sudden, he has to go fight a swamp monster! I thought “You know what? That might be a lot more interesting!”

Speaking of being thrown into things, I imagine you had to feel that way about filming in the swamp! What was that experience like for you and what was the biggest challenge you encountered while there?

The experience was basically hell on Earth! [laughs] It was incredibly hot and sweaty! If I never see an insect again it will be too soon! I guess the biggest challenge was willing myself to get back in the van to go back to the set to get eaten alive eight nights in a row! [laughs] It was a very weird thing because once I was on the set, the people were so great, I had a fantastic time shooting it and laughed my ass off. It was a weird thing because I would be having a great time, laughing my ass off and then I would look down and see I had been bitten seven times on the palm of my hand in the last ten minutes! [laughs] Prior to this, I had never even been bitten once on the palm of my hand. I never even knew mosquitos would find the palm of your hand tasty! [laughs] When my girlfriend came to visit me on the set, she took a look at my hands and said “What are they doing to you?!” [laughs] I said “They are not doing anything to me sweetheart! It’s the bayou! It’s alive! The whole thing is alive and it wants to eat you!” [laughs]

HATCHET III / Director BJ McDonnell / Photo: Skip Bolen

They say you always take a little something away from each project as an actor. What did you take away from you time on the set with this amazing cast and crew?

That is a good question. I will tell you what I took away from this experience. It really reenergized and reinvigorated my passion for filmmaking because everyone on the set was having so much fun making the movie. It had been a long time since I had been on a set where everyone was filled with an almost child-like enthusiasm. It was the innocence of “Hey man, we are making a movie!” It was a great thing to feel. I have been on a lot of sets where people are like “Let’s just get the shot and go home.” There are a lot of jaded professionals out there. It was totally different with this project. It was more like “Can you believe it! We got the money and we are doing a swamp monster movie! Isn’t it awesome!” It really was awesome!

'Hatchet III'

‘Hatchet III’

It is really cool to hear that as a fan of the franchise. I know everyone is working hard to bring these films to life.

Did you have a chance to see ‘Hatchet III’ yet?

I did!

What were your thoughts. You can tell me the honest truth, everyone is going to have different opinions.

As I mentioned, I am definitely a fan of the franchise. We actually went to see the first film in theaters the night it opened. The latest film was great. I felt the pacing was terrific and it was definitely action packed. As I mentioned to Adam Green and BJ McDonnell, I am sure it was a big challenge to move the series forward and keep the balance they were looking for. I feel like they did a tremendous job in doing so. The performances in the film were great as well.

Did you notice that the film looked larger in terms of scope and size, the whole look of it?

Absolutely. BJ and I were discussing that in our interview yesterday.

To me, as a filmmaker, I felt the second film in the series looked like it was shot at a studio. It just seems smaller and compressed. With ‘Hatchet III,’ the swamp itself is so beautiful, it just looks like a swamp instead of sets because it was.

I totally agree and coupled with the fact the entire cast and crew is so into making the film happen, it gives it a certain life of it’s own. I think it really jumps of the screen because of that.

Yeah. I can imagine some fans might be disappointed because it isn’t as scary with stuff jumping out at you as in the previous films. I don’t know. I thought it was interesting to try and go in more of a slightly different direction yet still maintain a lot of the carnage.

Definitely. I felt the slight shift in direction was a welcome one and was a bit of an evolution.

That is a great way to put it. I did feel like it kind of evolved with this.

That leads into my next question for you, Zach. How do you feel you have evolved as an actor through the years?

Oh good lord! [laughs] I think the real question you would ask of any actor, and I am not trying to correct you but I am just saying the big picture is “How have you evolved as a human being?” That is going to inevitably and inexorably bleed into some of your performances. The fact of the matter is when I started as an actor, I was a senior in high school. I was a kid, ya know. Basically, I was one year removed from losing my virginity! [laughs] Now, I will be fifty next February, which probably makes you feel old too! So, I am a middle aged man who has traveled all over the world, seen all sorts of things and learned all sorts of lesson. One of the things I liken it to, and these is not that much of it in the movie, but you do kinda get a little sense of my world weariness. I carry that around with me a little bit here and there! [laughs] That was a little bit by design. There are elements in my performance, for example in the ambulance boat sequence where I am trying to get help. The person on the other end of the radio is saying “What’s your twenty? What is your location. Where are you?” The frustration of even then having to deal with the bureaucracy explodes at him and he is like “Where the fuck do you think we are!!!” [laughs] That is totally how I think most adults feel by the time they are fifty! There is so much frustration that comes from existing and the layers of layers of crap you sometimes have to navigate just to live! So, I don’ know, maybe I brought some of that world weariness to the character.

My last question is an important one for pop culture fans around the world. Do you have any special plans to ring in the 30th anniversary of ‘Gremlins’ in 2014?

Pop Icons: Zach and Gizmo

Pop Icons: Zach and Gizmo

Well, I have started writing what I hope will be the definitive “Making of” book for the “Gremlins” films. Wether I get it together, finished and published by the 30th anniversary, I don’t know but I guarantee you I will work really hard. I think it is a story I think a lot of people would like to know — what it is like to be nineteen years old and as a nineteen year old kid be thrust into this amazing piece of machinery and then have this amazing film that people are still talking about thirty years later. The fact of the matter is, “Gremlins” is just as big today as it was when it came out. When I go to the conventions, I am stunned by the eight, nine and ten year old kids who have seen it with their parents and how many people watch it at Christmas. I am still amazed by how many people get in contact with me. I still get probably fifty to sixty fan letters and requests per month. It just never stops! It is amazing and very gratifying, so hopefully I will be able to get that book out on time.

The book sounds terrific! I want to thank you again for you time today, Zach. We look forward to spreading the word on ‘Hatchet III’ and hope to see you again soon!

Thank you, man! I appreciate it. Take care, Jason!

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Inside Adam Green: Horror’s Most Intriguing Director Talks ‘Hatchet 3’ And More!

Inside Adam Green: Horror’s Most Intriguing Director Talks ‘Hatchet 3’ And More!


Building off the success of the critically acclaimed ‘Hatchet’, it seemed as if director Adam Green had transformed himself from a relatively unknown horror director to an award-winning filmmaker and producer at his company ArieScope Pictures almost overnight. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Adam Green and his dedicated collaborators have spent the past fifteen years shaping their company and amassing one of the most dedicated fan bases in cult cinema history. During that time, his tireless efforts have brought us unique films such as ‘Frozen,’ ‘Grace’ and ‘Chillerama,’ not to mention the always hilarious ‘Holliston’ television series which has managed to rekindle interest of some of the genre’s biggest names by showing them in a whole new light. Despite all of these other successes, Adam Green will always be known for one of his most sinister creations — Victor Crowley. This Boogeyman of the Bayou has managed to charm his way into the hearts and minds of horror fanatics around the globe. ‘Hatchet III’ continues the tale of the now-iconic villain Victor Crowley, played by genre favorite Kane Hodder, and ramps up the action to bring this epic tale of terror to a close. The film As a search and recovery team heads into the haunted swamp to pick up the pieces and carnage left behind from the first two films, Marybeth (Danielle Harris) hunts down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left the ghost of Victor Crowley haunting and terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with writer/director Adam Green to discuss the success of the ‘Hatchet’ franchise, the challenges involved in bringing it to the screen and the personal sacrifices he has made in the name of the horror business.

I wanted to go way back to the beginning. You have inspired a lot of people with you hard work and dedication to your passion in recent years. What was the event that kicked started your interest into entering the world of filmmaking?

Adam Green

Adam Green

It was ‘E.T.: The Extraterrestrial’. I was about seven or eight when I saw the film. I was already a big movie fan because of ‘Star Wars’ and all of the related toys. That was my life! I remember leaving the theater after seeing ‘E.T.’, hysterically crying. I knew it wasn’t real and that E.T. wasn’t real but I was affected by it, basically for the rest of my life — even to this day! I have seen it in the theater seventeen times at this point and I have watched it hundreds of times and it still devastates me. I was so intrigued by how they did that with the music, the script, the acting, the lighting and the storytelling. I wanted to know how you did that with a movie. That is really where it all started. From then on, whenever I would play with my toys, which was always ‘Star Wars’ toys for the most part, it was all about staying true to the characters in the movies. When I would look at them and play with them, it was through the eyes of the camera and camera shots. I started making my own little shows with stuffed animals or puppets. My uncle got this crappy little video camera that he let us borrow and I would have it in the backyard shooting stuff. I guess I was like everyone else who gets the bug for this thing. Horror was always my favorite because of the holiday of Halloween. I would look forward to that all year round! I just could not wait for Halloween! With most kids, it is Christmas or their birthday as their favorite but for me it was Halloween. Horror movies was a way to capture the magic of Halloween year round. It is pure escapism! It is the fun, the stories are great, the special effects are terrific. For the ‘Hatchet’ movie, all I did was make the type of movie that I wanted to see again. I wasn’t thrilled with what I was being offered. I wasn’t into torture porn, not that I was against it because there has to be stuff for everybody but it wasn’t my style. Then there were all the remakes and the PG-13 stuff. I wanted to see non-CGI makeup effects. Where did Tom Savini go? Where did John Buechler go? I wanted a magic show again! All I did was make the type of movie I wanted to see again with my comedic voice and sensibilities. Nobody really thought it was going to work! Everybody passed on that script because it wasn’t the style at the time. I would hear “This isn’t the style right now. This isn’t it. The writing is great and we would love to hire you to write something else but we are not going to make this movie.” We gambled and we made it. Now, Part III is about to open! It is incredible!

When you set forth to make the original ‘Hatchet’ film, did you have any idea whatsoever you would go on to spawn two sequels?

The story in these films was always very well thought out from the get go. The gamble with the first ‘Hatchet’ film and it’s ending being so abrupt, it might have ended it there. That might have been it. I was OK with that — end the movie where it needs to end. It was like “He’s got her and if that is where it ends, that is where it ends!” You don’t need to see the fake ending we did. We made it but we were like “Fuck that part! We don’t need that extra little shit.” We ended the movie right at the climax. Whether people loved that or hated it, I think most people respected it because it was ballsy to do. Then there was the gamble of “Are there going to be more?” Even back in the first ‘Hatchet,’ the chainsaw he uses in Part II, we show it in the shed. We already knew about that kill in the sequel. I had already told Robert Pendergraft and John Buechler, our artists who were designing Victor Crowley, that his real mother was black and that is why his hair and skin color needed to look a certain way. I had the whole story! Even in the flashback where Mary Beth tells the story, I purposely made it very truncated and more of a little campfire, urban legend and held back on telling the real story for the sequel. It was really had to do that because I thought “What if I never get the chance to tell the whole story?” Gratefully, I did! These three movies tie together as one big movie and I am happy that the quality continues to get better between movies instead of worse like most of these slasher franchises. I think a lot of that is because the same people have stuck with it through the whole thing. It is really, really important to us and we really love it. We do everything we can to try and make these movies fun for the fans!

It seems you definitely make an effort to keep your finger on the pulse of what the fans want these days. Is that a fair statement to make?

'Hatchet III'

‘Hatchet III’

It is not just me. I have to point this out because it is so unusual. It is really Dark Sky Films, the distributor. They came onboard for parts two and three. What is amazing about this company is they are so filmmaker and fan friendly. It is not just abut what names are attached or how much money can we get for it, like a lot of other places. Thankfully, the ‘Hatchet’ fan base is a cult fan base but it is not like ‘Saw,’ where it was released on 2000 screens and made $20 million dollars or whatever. The fan base worldwide is extremely loyal and very, very big, so they let me make these movies for the ‘Hatchet’ fans. They have never said “How do we make this a little bit broader for a wider audience? Let’s make it PG-13 or maybe it doesn’t need to be quite so gory. Maybe i shouldn’t be funny.” They totally listen to the fans and the feedback we get and they care. They have never meddled and we have never not been on the same page. That is so, so unusual and a huge reason why I have been able to keep my finger on the pulse of what the fans want. As people know, I am very accessible. I write back to everyone who writes to me. I have a Facebook page that I personally respond to people on, as well as Twitter and all of the convention appearances I do. I listen! It has been great! I love that the fans treat me like I am available. I hope that for most, it feels like I am one of their friends. That has also become a fun part if the process.

As a fan of your work, I totally agree with that. I totally get that vibe from you. It is a rarity these days, so kudos to you on that! You stepped away from the directors chair on this film. Where you ever apprehensive in doing so and what does BJ McDonnell bring to the table for this project?

I was never apprehensive because it was a very unique situation. I had already directed two of these films, especially after ‘Hatchet II’ got pulled. I thought “Ok, I don’t want to do it again.” I had my TV series now, I had ‘Killer Pizza’ and ‘Digging Up The Marrow’ and it was either going to be wait five years until I was ready to do this or let’s do it. The situation was pretty unique because I wrote it, and as anyone knows, the script is God in the movie. That is were everything is decided, so I was still able to control the story. I also cast the movie, aside from a few people. The parts were written specifically for them. I then I also had final cut, I was on set and in editing, so it wasn’t the typically thing where you just get a producer credit because you created it and see what happens. I was very, very involved. By promoting from within and giving BJ a chance to do it made perfect sense because he was already part of the whole family. Everyone already knew each other and there was no ego there! He wasn’t coming in as an established director who felt the need to come in, change it up and make it his own. There was never a butting of heads about anything. He stayed very true to the script and very true to the vision that was set out for from the get go because he was a part of all of them. This is a very collaborative group of people. Everybody had a say and was involved! There is nobody on the crew who is ever apprehensive or coming forward with an idea or saying what they think about something. I think that really shows in the movie. I think as a camera operator, BJ was very, very focused on camera shots. That is very interesting because this film is a lot more of an action movie but we still have the same DP, Will Barratt, who shot the first two. We wanted to make each movie a little different. Obviously, you don’t want them to be the same movie over and over again, so for this film, the scope is definitely a lot bigger. That was really the goal with the script from the get go — How do we go out with a huge, huge spectacle?

One of the coolest aspects of your projects, including ‘Hatchet 3,’ is the fact you bring some great talent with some classic actors from genre’s past. What can you tell us about bringing the cast together for this film and how it took shape?

Adam Green's 'Holliston'

Adam Green’s ‘Holliston’

I have been very fortunate that after the first film, every convention I would do, the entire roster of horror celebrities appearing there would always come up to me at some point and say “Hw do I get in on one of these things?” I think what they like about it is they get to be front and center and actually play good characters! Tony Todd, for instance, wasn’t just being scary or making ‘Candyman’ references. He was a funny, funny, larger than life guy who a lot of people had never seen him do comedy. That was really, really fun. For this film, having Zach Galligan back was terrific. Many people haven’t seen him in 20 years and Caroline Williams hadn’t been the lead in a movie for so long. It isn’t that they aren’t good actors. I don’t know if people are just forgetting they are there or what but getting to put them front and center and bring them back again is really, really fun! With “Holliston” as well, you have horror icons doing a sitcom. They are doing a multi-camera, traditional sitcom with a studio audience and a laugh track. They never thought that was going to happen. You have to remember, when you decide you are going to be an actor, that is awesome if you re Robert Englund and are known as being “Freddy” and are an icon but you want to do other stuff too! As much as you appreciate what you have, you don’t want to play one role for the rest of your life and do cameos! You want to do different stuff! I like giving people that chance!

You have logged a lot of time as a writer over the past few years with the ‘Hatchet’ films, your other movies and ‘Holliston’. Are you doing anything differently in regard to writing than you did early on and what is your process like these days?

My process is extremely unhealthy and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I have ten more days of press until ‘Hatchet III’ comes out. Then I am going into rehab. It is not really rehab but that is what I am calling it! I am just going to my parents house so my Mom can baby me and get me back on my feet. I am just not well. I work at least 22 hours a day most days and sometimes I was doing 36 hour days. I would sleep for twenty minutes and keep going. I love all of this so much that it isn’t like work and I can’t stay away. It isn’t stressful in terms of stress, it is stressful in terms of it being so much to handle. That goes for ‘Holliston’ more than anything because it is sitcom where normally you would have a staff of twenty writers and all of these directors. I write and direct almost every episode this season. I had someone understudy me last season, John Becker, who was able to step up. With TV, the showrunner is really the director. The director is basically getting the coverage and making sure it is correct and everything is there. The showrunner is the one with final say. I write non-stop. I am constantly doing it and it is fun! That part of the process is so great because it is just you in your mind and as many gallons of Diet Coke you can drink to keep going! [laughs] I love the writing process! It is great! It gets tough when you get a studio assignment because you will have 17 different executives giving you notes. A lot of times, those notes all conflict, don’t make sense and they don’t know what they are saying sometimes but that is the part of the process where you really get to do your thing.

With as active as you are in the industry, do you every take time out to look back at all you have accomplished and ponder your evolution?

Adam Green

Adam Green

That is something I regret. I have never had the chance to do that. I have never celebrated any of it. It is one of those things. Being totally honest, I just started going to a therapist this year because my wife was very concerned. She was like “You have never even been happy about it. You never just relax, look back and think about how great it has been. It is always about what’s next and what’s after that and after that!” I am trying to get better about that. Sometimes, if I am in my studio, and I look at the walls with all of the posters from ‘Hatchet’ to ‘Spiral’ to ‘Grace’ to the ‘Hatchet’ series to ‘Chillerama’ to ‘Frozen,’ it’s like “How the fuck did this happen?” It has been a fifteen year journey since I started and started ArieScope Pictures. The fact we have all stayed together through all of it and made so many different things is amazing. ‘Hatchet I’ was shot in 2005 and we haven’t stopped since. The projects overlap and we just keep going and going. I am lucky to be in that position. A lot of my friends who are directors will go three to four years between projects sometimes, so I always knock on wood and never take it for granted. I do need to, hopefully, reflect on it a little bit, enjoy it a little bit and take a vacation every now and then. I am even looking forward to going to a premiere, watching and being excited and not totally worried about if the color not being exactly right or what is happening with this or that. It is a great problem to have but it is a problem. I am not going to last as long as I want unless I learn how to manage that better and live my life a little bit. I have no social life at all. I never go out. I barely get to see friends and my family, so I am working on that!

As a fan, I thank you for your time today. Keep up the great work but let’s not kill ourselves over it!

Thank you very much! [laughs] It was great talking to you. Take care!

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