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