Monthly Archives: July 2007

Frozen drinks, muppets, and being star-struck

After my trip back in time to summer camp- the next stop on my tour was Las Vegas.  Each year, the distribution industry converges on Vegas for a solid week of film/video conferences and shows.  It’s not only a great way for each studio and distribution company to start showing off their line of upcoming releases and have face to face meetings with all of their various sales reps and department heads…but it’s also a great way to encourage such solid behavior as inter-office romances, gambling habbits, and public drunkeness.  I remember when I used to make cable commercials for Time Warner Cable in Boston- and all they would have to do is merely take us all out to a restaurant for us to start acting like high school kids again…so you can only imagine the level of debouchery that takes place when you fly a whole company to Las Vegas for a week.  So all over town you’d see various execs enjoying the spoils of Vegas while wearing their distributor badges around their necks…and you’d just have to wonder who they really are at home.  Ah…Vegas.

HATCHET’s distributor (STARZ / Anchor Bay) was having a big ‘Hatchet-themed’ party at the top of the Palms Hotel and Casino in a club called “Moon”.  So a few of the cast members and I wanted to show up and support our new home and meet everyone face to face.  I got there the day before and hosted an ultra private screening of HATCHET for the STARZ team who had not yet seen the film.  I spoke for about 20 minutes and was pleased to see that their level of excitement matched my own by the end.  But the next day it was time for the party…

The night began with us waiting in the lobby of our hotel for the limo to come pick us up.  At some point while we were waiting, Joleigh Fioreavanti mentioned that she didn’t get a chance to eat before she got there.  She also pointed out how she was just finishing up a week on antibiotics getting over some sort of cold.  (Stop me if you can already see where this is going.)  The limo arrived and we piled in.

We showed up to do the press/photo line just as the party was getting started.  And WOW, what a party it was.  On the way up the 50-odd story elevator there was a TV with an image of the HATCHET poster.  Then, as the doors prepared to open…Victor Crowley’s bloody hatchet jumped up into frame.  You’d think we would have seen that stuff enough by now…but no.  We were more impressed than anyone!  At the actual party there were waitresses wearing cut up HATCHET ARMY shirts and serving ‘Hatchet-tinis” (blood red drinks filled with all kinds of good toxic stuff).

Mercedes: “Joleigh, are you sure you should have one of those?  You didn’t eat anything yet.”

Joleigh: “I’ll be fine.”

On the giant moon roof above the club, clips from the movie were showing at random.  We stopped to watch, but then my publicist grabbed me to tell me that Jeff Goldblum had arrived.

See, Jeff Goldblum is one of my favorite actors.  He’s also someone that I used to impersonate in my stand-up act, almost nightly.  But any time I had been to a party that he was at, I always missed him.  So I ran over to meet him.  Now, I don’t get star struck anymore.  I meet celebs and industry big-wigs all of the time…but every now and then, it still happens.  And it’s always with the weirdest people!  For instance, I had a meeting with Amanda Bynes last year about a potential project that we may have worked on together.  I meet rocks stars, Hollywood icons, you name it…but the second Amanda walked over to shake my hand I became absolutely 100% retarded.  To this day I can’t figure out why that happened…but I’m guessing that it had something to do with the fact that A) the girl is five times as cute in real life as she appears on the screen and B) she is so incredibly intelligent and well spoken that you just don’t expect it coming from a (at the time) 20 year old girl.  So she spoke a little bit about the script and I said random stupid things that I don’t remember like “duh” and a lot of “ums”.  I think at one point I spouted out that I have a cat and she just stared at me, confused.  Needless to say I was so disappointed in myself afterwords.  I mean- I can have a conversation with Slash…but I turn into a 3rd grade idiot around Amanda Bynes??  I promised that would never happen again.

Enter Jeff Goldblum.

Jeff: “Hello!  Congratulations on Hatchet!”

Me: “Uh…th-th-thanks.  I…uh…you know…you’re wicked tall.  I…um…Hatchet was in Tribeca when your…uh…movie…was-was-was…Philadelphia.”

Jeff.  “….”

Me: “I mean- Pittsburgh!  Pittsburgh!  Duh!  Why would I say-say-say Philadelphia?  That’s like- that’s like- I mean, mean, mean…look!  I’m-I’m-I’m talking like, like…you!”

Jeff: “…”

Me: “Um…”

Jeff: “Well, best of luck with Hatchet, really, congratulations.”

Me: “Thanks.”

And like that…the moment was over.  I was feeling like a pretty big stain until I heard that there was an actual ‘Hatchet Ice Louge’ upstairs where you could do frozen shots.  I was ready to throw back a shot and mellow out from my embarassment.  But – COME ON!?  The man played Ian Malcolm for Christ sakes!  “Dino- droppings?-droppings?”

So we get to the Hatchet Ice-Louge and we all had a shot.  I asked Rileah, “Hey, have you seen Joleigh and Mercedes?”  Apparently they had already been to the ice louge…and now they were gone.  Hmmm…odd.

The rest of the night was a blast.  Lots of mingling, a little dancing, a visit to the Playboy casino club, and finally a stop in a hotel room that had a window into the shower…which also had a stripper pole and flashing lights in it.  (Long story.)

As it turns out…poor Joleigh had cracked her face open on the side of a toilet bowl and was on her way to the hospital to get her beautiful face stitched back together.  This girl is amazing.  You could throw her a pillow- and she’d somehow hurt herself.  But it wasn’t until I caught up with her again in Chicago that I found out what had happened.  The good news is that she’s fine, her face is still perfect, and it’s all just one big funny story now.  But let this be a lesson to you…no food, antibiotics, and ‘Hatchet-tinis’ do not mix.  One of the best things about Joleigh is that she is just as tough as she is fun- and by the time I saw her in Chicago (3 days later) she was already laughing about it.

From Vegas I headed up to Toronto for a full day of press and a Rue-Morgue sponsored HATCHET screening.  Holy shit was that a loooong day.  I lost track of how many TV interviews I did- but it was a lot.  The funniest part of it all is…did you ever see when David Spade did that segment where he cut together 10 different interviews of Vin Diesel giving the exact same answer to the same question 10 times?  I always thought that was funny.  Until it happened to me.  I mean, how many different ways can I answer the question “Where did the story of Hatchet-face come from?”  So Vin Diesel…I’m sorry I laughed at you.

The high-light of the day was being the guest on MTV LIVE (which is sort of the Canadian equivalent to TRL here).  MTV is supposed to be sending me the segment, which I will promptly post here when it arrives.  But how surreal to be sitting on the guest couch (surrounded by teenage boys and girls) and watching clips from Hatchet on the screen while they all cheer and clap?  I don’t even remember being there now- so it’ll be fun to see what stupid things I probably said.  (Thank God that Amanda Bynes was not the host.)  I do recall the VJ (or whatever they call those MTV on-air personalities these days) calling Victor Crowley “Victor Crohwley” which made me want to belt sand him…but the guy was just too nice to hold it against him.  I was like “Damn, dude!  I work my whole life on this character and I get my 3 minutes on MTV and you pronounce his name wrong??!”  But I ignored it because he and his co-host were just so awesome.

…Then I waited in the alley behind the studio and kicked his teeth in later that night.

So I get to this pre-party for the HATCHET screening.  I’m exhausted, I’m starving, and I have to pee like you read about.  As some of you know from my short film “STAGEFRIGHT”…me and public toilets just don’t mix.  So I’m sort of dancing around the party, shaking hands, taking pictures, and begging for food.  And then it was off to the screening.

I’ve blogged enough about Hatchet screenings so I’ll keep this one short.  The crowd was fucking great- the film got a tremendous response- and the Q & A was a blast as usual.  But my favorite part is always signing for the people who stick around late night to meet me.  It’s so much more personal to get to shake someone’s hand and look them directly in the eyes- rather than standing on a stage and talking to a full theater.

The one negative side of the Toronto screening was that there was an upstairs balcony that had to be opened when the floor over sold.  And sure enough- a team of Statler and Waldorfs from the muppets found their way up there right away.

One of the best parts about being me right now- is that until I’ve gotten up and done the Q&A…most horror fans don’t know what I look like.  I’m not that recognizable if you haven’t already met me.  So I get to mingle through the crowd and eavesdrop on what they are saying.  Since there were no available seats on the floor- I wound up sitting upstairs in the blacony with a group of old guys from the muppets.  Before it even started… “Fuck this movie.  Why the fuck does everyone like this?  It sucks.  Fuck this director.  I can’t believe this shit got made and mine can’t get funding.  This movie sucks.  I’m gonna get on-line and tear this thing apart as soon as I get home.  Let’s get our other awesome friends to trash it on-line, too.  I hope this movie bombs!”  And the opening credits weren’t even done yet.

And it’s like- god damnit.  I’m having the busiest summer of my life with this tour.  I find a way to fly my ass back up to Canada just to meet the fans and host this screening…and I wind up having to sit next to “Team Douchebag” who actually paid money to come in just to be dicks.  Their shit-talk began well before the movie even started.  And everytime the audience would laugh or cheer- they would scoff and call them all idiots.  Unfortunately, this is something that goes with the territory and it’s something I’ve already developed the world’s thickest skin for.  If you look at any of the web’s forums- every single movie has those trolls who write in “worst movie ever!” or some other brilliant thing they learned while beating off to the Simpsons in their mom’s basement.  It’s expected, it’s part of it, and you gotta just take it in stride.  I’m not there for them.  I’m there for the fans and that’s all that matters.  But these ass bags ruined the experience for everyone sitting around them.  I was so tired and grumpy from not eating that I actually did consider pulling one of them into the aisle and just beating the piss out of him…but that’s not me.  How funny would it be though if you were talking shit about a movie in a dark theater…only to realize that the director is sitting next to you and his arms are the size of your scrawny 15 year old body?  As funny as it would have been…it didn’t bother me THAT much.  But at the end of the day- that’s part of making movies and becoming whatever sort of level of ‘celebrity’ you want to say I’m at now.  I don’t read message boards, I don’t give a fuck what trash a few haters want to sling…I’m just enjoying every single second of it.  When HATCHET makes an entire theater go nuts, give it a standing ovation, and award it with the gold prize for  ”Best Picture”…do you think I’m gonna let a few scabs ruin it?  No fucking way.  But even worse than the jealous jaded assholes- are the ones that are super nice to your face…only to turn around and sling lies and annonymous trash behind your back on-line.  Thankfully, I can just go to bed at night knowing that I’m doing what I want to do…and wishing for those people to get AIDS in their eyes while they sleep.  But seriously, what other profession has it that people get on-line and sling trash about you?  Does an accountant ever have to worry about looking on-line and seeing someone has said his calculations are the “worst numbers ever” or that his “figures are gay”?  Only in Hollywood…

But the fans I met in Toronto (much like the ones in Montreal) were just phenomenal.  So inspired, so passionate, and so fucking happy to be there.  It was a blast, the Rue-Morgue crew is absolutely top-notch, and the night was a ton of fun.  So I said goodbye to my friends at Anchor Bay Canada and I was off to Chicago for an appearance at Flashback Weekend…

More to come soon….

Back to camp…

I had barely stepped off the plane from my unbelievable double-premiere weekend in Montreal and I was immediately on a boat sailing to Catalina Island to be the guest speaker at Catalina Sea Camp.  From time to time I am asked to come speak at a random high school, college, or other large gathering of young people.  And more so than the festivals, premieres, parties, conventions…this is the sort of thing that is ALWAYS the most rewarding in my opinion.  You can have some success- but it’s those moments where you get to go and make a positive impression on somebody else where you really feel good about what it is you do and what it is you have done.

A friend of mine named Paul (who some of you may know as the character “Gay Homeless Guy” in my old short film ‘THE REAL WORLD: HOLLYWOOD’) runs a marine biology camp located two and a half miles by water from the city of Avalon in Toyon Bay.  Originally built as a private boarding school in 1929, Toyon boasts modern, state-of-the-art laboratories, aquariums, classrooms and display areas with the untouched natural beauty of Catalina Island’s land and sea environments.  And yes, I copied and pasted that out of the program.

For years, Paul has asked me to come and tell the kids my story and share my experiences of going from 8-year old average kid at summer camp…to a destiny with a heavy metal idol…to stealing cable equipment…to eating leftovers off of dirty plates in the back of a restaurant…to taking on Hollywood…to…well, whatever you’d want to call me now.  But sadly, my schedule just never allows for it.  Well after catching up at a friend’s wedding this past Spring- I promised him that come hell or high water…I was going to visit the island this summer and do my big motivational song and dance.  (Technically, I cut the dance number after a wardrobe malfunction in front of the Salem Elementary School 1st Grade…but you get my point.)  So even though this is probably the toughest summer I’ve ever had in terms of non-stop touring and traveling…I stuck to my word and I stepped right off the plane and onto a boat.

Shockingly (for those who follow these blogs)…there was not one bad experience on the boat for me!  You’d think there would be some story about vomit, dead things, or getting stranded in O’Hare…but no.  Perfect trip!  I arrived and got to tour a bit of the island and see the facility.  And of course, I also got to educate myself on the local ghost stories and Catalina Sea Camp tales.

You wouldn’t believe this camp!  Scuba diving, sailing, cooking…I was shocked.  20 something years ago when my parents sent me to Camp Avoda (translated: CAMP WORK for those that know the story) they had my 8 year old ass scrubbing toilets and cleaning floors!  I walk into this camp and the kids are all like “Hey Adam Green, would you like a fresh smoothie?  After this we’re going to retire to the yacht and learn some more about the sea kelp.”  This was not the camp I remember.

I wanted to stay.  Forever.

But pretty soon- the sun was coming down and it was time for me to take the stage and do my thing.  I spoke to some 200 or more kids for about an hour and told them my whole story about how ambition and dreaming really can pay off (if you have Twisted Sister on your side, of course).  I showed clips from all of the various points in my life/career and shared all of my trials and tribulations going from Holliston to Hollywood.  I finished with my usual cheerleading of how no one- not a teacher, a parent, a cop, a boss, a bully…can ever stop them from achieving their dreams.  The best part was showing them the scene from HATCHET where Marybeth tells the story of Victor Crowley and the whole thing is shown in flashback.  A story that I made up and got punished for at camp 2 decades before…was now a real movie.

I answered a ton of questions and then got to meet a bunch of the kids for autographs, pictures, etc.  What an AWESOME group!  So smart, so appreciative, and so energized.  We hung out for far too short a time- and then it was off to bed.  At 7am the next morning I was on another boat and heading back to my real adult life yet again.

In my less than 24-hours at summer camp- it was a good chance to take a deep breath and reflect on everything that’s gone on since I was in their shoes.  It’s been pretty crazy- but thank God for those years of being young, innocent, and full of dreams.

And thank God they still aren’t over for me.

For those of you that were expecting something a little more typical, dark, and funny out of an Adam Green blog…never fear.  My next stop is Vegas and I’m confident there will be material.  And by mid-week I’ll be back up to Canada to see if Toronto can put their money where their mouth is and show me a louder crowd than Montreal.  And then…I head back to the airport of doom…O’Hare Airport in Chicago…as Robert Englund, Joleigh Fioreavanti, and I destroy Flashback Weekend with a 3-day HATCHET presentation that is going to blow the windy city away.

And that’s just next week.

To the kids at Catalina Sea Camp…thanks for letting me briefly step back into somewhere safe again.  It was a good reminder that things are all right.

Things are all right.

“And when your deepest thoughts are broken

keep on dreamin’ boy

cause when you stop dreamin’

it’s time to die…”

-Shannon Hoon

Montreal and the ziplock surprise

I am writing this now from a plane some 3 or 4,000 miles up in the sky- where I will be spending the majority of my summer. The tour for Hatchet publicity, festivals, appearances, and Spiral’s various premieres will be taking me everywhere and back again. This past weekend was the kick off with my trip to Canada’s Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal where both Hatchet and Spiral had their Canadian premieres. But before I get into that, let’s talk about yet another flight gone wrong, shall we?

For those of you familiar with my blogs- flying and I just don’t mix. In fact, even right now…we are going through such turbulence that every word I type is spelled wrong and will have to be re-written later. But the flight from Los Angeles to Montreal was….”classic Adam Green”. While waiting in the airport I couldn’t help but notice an overwhelming odor of hot trash. Was the airport trash seriously on fire? Did someone scale a fish 4 weeks earlier and leave it under a seat? No- it was the super friendly French couple sitting in the terminal who did not believe in deodorant. Now, in my world travels I have learned great tolerance for different cultures and their customs. I totally get that certain cultures don’t believe in deodorant and hey…I’m heading to a country filled with French/Canadians and therefore I gotta just suck it up, right? Well, maybe. But in my mind the airplane itself is still neutral ground and therefore I have every right to be an American prick about stuff like this. If you don’t want to clean yourself in your own country- totally cool. On a plane going from here to there? You better get yourself some Old Spice if not something of higher quality. But I shrugged it off. Some hundred or so people on the plane, what are the chances that they would be sitting near me?

“Bonjour!” I get to my seat- and there they are. Right next to me. This was gonna suck. I mean, seriously, what could be worse than 6 hours of breathing in someone’s nasty B.O.? Before I could even think that question- I found out something that is worse than breathing in someone’s nasty B.O..

Apparently the little Hassidic Jewish boy seated across the aisle from me suffers from motion sickness. And when I say “suffers from motion sickness” I’m talking ‘Stand By Me pie eating contest’ sickness. Nothing had even happened yet! I think they had merely closed the airplane door and “Bleeeeeeaaaaach!!!” Aviad McPukeiwitzbergstein was tossing his gefilte fish and matzo balls like a model at runway camp. Thankfully, young Aviad’s parents had packed lots of bags for him to yack in as there was no way the ‘airline brand’ little white paper lunch bags were gonna cut it for 6 hours of chunks. But to make a horrible situation even worse, they packed SEE-THROUGH ZIPLOCK FREEZER BAGS! So not only did you have to hear him throwing up- but you had to SEE it happen! Between Les Miserables next to me and the stank of this kids Hebrew hurl- I started looking for ways to kill myself on the plane. Wouldn’t you know, these days you can’t get a sharp object on a plane no matter what? So suicide was not an option. I buried my face in my own armpit (which smelled fucking great, FYI) and closed my eyes shut until it was over.

5 hours later.

So I get to Montreal (an hour late because it was an Adam Green flight), wait in line for customs for another hour, and then the luggage carousal broke down. But I could SEE my bag just on the other side of the little black rubber flaps separating the mysterious back room and the baggage claim. So I tried to just reach in grab it. My hands were almost lopped off. Airport security apparently does not like it when you reach over the line and into the back room. It’s as if they’re afraid that the Prince of Darkness is behind there and you may reach in and help pull him out into our world John Carpenter-style. So everyone else gets their bags and leaves. But I’m left standing there looking at my bag while an armed guard stares me down. 45 MINUTES LATER the carousal started up again and my bag moved the needed 7 inches past the flaps and I was on my way.

Saturday night was the Canadian premiere of HATCHET. I had been hearing about the Fantasia audience forever but I had never had the chance to get up there and see everyone. Keep in mind, the horror fans who see Hatchet typically lose their shit at several points during the film. Doesn’t matter where we are showing it- it somehow always turns into a rock concert. But I had never seen anything….ANYTHING…like the fans in Montreal.

When I got to the theater there was a line 700 people deep stretching around the corner and way down the street. Every seat in the theater was filled. But not only that- there were kids stacked in the aisles breaking every fire hazard rule in the book. The air was electric as the rock music blasted on the speakers. Finally, Mitch (the festival coordinator) took the stage and introduced me. He was so excited and talking so fast that I couldn’t follow it, but all I know is that the crowd loved it. They went crazy! At some point I heard my name and I made my way front and center. The theater exploded with the warmest welcome I’ll probably ever get in my life. I had to shorten my opening speech because the applause spread was so much longer than I ever imagined. After every sentence I said- there was an outbreak of applause and cheers. So I wrapped it up and took a seat.

It was like watching a fucking Metallica show! The laughs were enormous and the cheers and screams were louder than the sound system. People were pumping their fists, stomping their feet, and losing their minds as Victor Crowley went after each victim. And when it was done Mitch once again called me back up to the stage…and the crowd gave a standing ovation like I had never seen. The film has gotten a few standing ovations in it’s year long tour- but to see a theater filled with 6 or 7 hundred people all stand up on their feet and cheer like that…it was overwhelming. No, that’s not even the word. I don’t know what the word is. But here I am trying to keep my shit together and be cool and act professional- but I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was literally fighting back tears as I started the Q&A which lasted about 35 minutes long. I told stories from the set, shared the details of my MPAA crucifixion (hey, it’s another country- so I’m allowed to divulge details there), and answered every question they could ask. At the end, I finished with the infamous “Dee Snider story”. I’ve only told it at one other screening- which was the Tribeca Premiere…but there was no way I could not tell it to that crowd on Saturday night. For those that don’t know the story yet- come to Comic Con where I’ll be telling it again- or look for it on the DVD. It’s a very emotional and inspirational story for the other people out there like me who have big ambitions but no easy means to accomplish them. Anyway- when I finished the story…boom…once again, a second standing ovation this one even longer than the first. I said thank you 80 times and then moved outside to the lobby where I signed and took pictures with every last person who stuck around. I got home around 2:30 in the morning and crashed. What a fucking night!

The next night was SPIRAL’s Canadian premiere. When I got up in front of the audience I asked “was anyone at Hatchet last night?” and they all applauded. “Oh shit.” (I thought.) See, Spiral could not possibly be more different than Hatchet. It’s an art-house psychodrama. It’s not particularly scary, it’s not funny, there’s no gore, no swearing, no boobs…it’s a very serious and dramatic film. A tragic and disturbing love story, if you will. So I always get scared that the Hatchet fans are gonna walk in expecting to have their heads spun around and then find themselves bored. But thankfully, that was not the case. The crowd was really able to switch gears and watch a completely different type of film. It was a much more intimate experience than the madness of Hatchet the night before- and the Q&A was exceptionally fun because it was so conversational and honest. When you’re standing in front of 700 people you sort of need to “perform” and entertain- whereas a Q&A for 50 or 60 people who stick around is a lot more personal. It was another great success- though a very different kind of success. I only wish that my co-director (Joel David Moore) could have been there as well, but he’s off shooting Avatar.

Pictures and video from the weekend in Montreal are supposedly coming my way soon. When I have it, I’ll post it on here. But for now…here’s a picture that Dread Central took about halfway through the second standing ovation on Saturday night.

To those who were there- thank you for a response that I will never ever forget. And for those still patiently waiting for September 7th…it will be here soon enough.

Xo xo