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.