Hello friends! Just a quick blog update as I’m in my third week of production on my new sit-com HOLLISTON and with only 2-3 hours a night to try and sleep, free time is hard to come by.
First off, I wanted to mention what a huge success the CHILLERAMA Los Angeles Premiere was in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Over 2,500 fans packed the cemetery and (literally) raised hell as they laughed, cheered, applauded, and howled at the film. Sadly, I barely remember much of it as I came to the premiere straight from from my first day of shooting HOLLISTON. It’s hard enough when you are the writer and director of a production- but when you’re also the lead actor and show-runner it adds a whole new level of insanity and responsibility to your life. I arrived at the premiere to find that the red carpet was a zoo of press and celebrity friends who had all come out to support CHILLERAMA and then was whisked through the press line by the publicists. I was in a daze by the time I hit the end of the carpet and stepped out to introduce the film with my fellow directors Adam Rifkin, Joe Lynch, and Tim Sullivan but I’m told that it went down a storm.
The movie played fantastically and the response was amazing. But the best was yet to come. When the final credits rolled and the night was over, someone tapped me on the shoulder to tell me “Dude, you’ve gotta see this.” Apparently two of my biggest fans had driven 11 hours to be at the premiere… but not just to see the movie. Right when the film ended (and apparently right next to me) HATCHET ARMY MAJOR and fan Ian Messenger actually got down on one knee and PROPOSED to his girlfriend Beth Prussman right there at the CHILLERAMA premiere in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Now, I know of at least two HATCHET-themed weddings that fans have sent me pictures of, but an engagement at an event and in my presence… well, that is a first. Thankfully, Beth said yes and it was a night to remember for all of us. I wish them both a life full of happiness, love, blood, and guts… and perhaps a few kids to boot. CONGRATULATIONS IAN AND BETH!
Speaking of fans, later that week I was sent these two photos, one from a fan who made his own Victor Crowley costume to wear to a horror convention and one from a fan promoting Jack Chop at their own Pumpkin Patch…
I’ve said it countless times, but my fans really are the greatest, and any other working filmmaker who wants to challenge that fact will have to take it up with the HATCHET ARMY and TEAM GREEN themselves. For hundreds of more fan photos and fan art, check out my official Facebook page for the galleries.
Last week I was given the distinct honor of presenting the award for “Best Actress” at Universal Studios’ Eyegore Awards. When the event’s host (Corey Feldman) introduced me there was a mistake on the prompter crediting me as the director of “THE HATCHET” and including HATCHET 3 as a movie I had recently made (by now everyone knows that I am not directing HATCHET 3 and that the movie won’t even be shot until next year), so after playfully busting on the mistake I went into a very heartfelt speech about my friend and the star of FROZEN & FINAL DESTINATION 5 Emma Bell. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for Emma and how her career is taking off and to see her recognized with an award like that was truly inspiring. Here’s a picture of the award winners and presenters including Rob Zombie, Rainn Wilson, James Gun, Jamie Kennedy, and the adorable Bailee Madison who was perhaps one of the sweetest and most well spoken 11 year olds I have ever met. What an honor to be included with this group of insanely talented people and after the ceremony we all had a blast with private tours of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights which has somehow topped itself again this year. For those who live close enough to attend, if there is ONE Halloween Haunt you attend this year- make it Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. It is the absolute best of the best and the amount of detail and creativity they put on display each year is astounding. For those who keep asking- yes there has been some very light talk of a potential HATCHET maze one of these years but nothing concrete enough to get your hopes of for. Yet.
Shooting HOLLISTON has been a dream come true and easily the best time of my life so far. As you may have read in my previous blog, this has been the project closest to my heart and the one that I have fought the longest and hardest for to bring to fruition. Every day I get to go to set with my friends and my ArieScope family and create some of the most gratifying and FUN stuff that we’ve ever had the chance to do. The show doesn’t start airing on TV until March so it’ll be awhile before we get clearance to start posting photos and such- but soon enough you’ll get to see how it’s all looking. In just the past two weeks alone I’ve gotten to act alongside some pretty iconic actors and each day I have to pinch myself that this is really happening. I’ve never believed in anything more than this show and I’m dreading the day we wrap this production as I never, ever want it to end. I haven’t slept in months, the diet and training regiment I’ve been on to be on-camera is killing me (I’ve lost 19 pounds in the past 4 months for those keeping track– NOT easy), and I might need to check in to a hospital when production is over… but I’ve never had a better experience in all of my years of filmmaking. If I could do this for the rest of my life, I would. But don’t fear film fans… there are PLENTY of more films in the works and I’m not leaving you for television permanently. I still have many more movies to make.
I’ve got to get back to set, but before I go I wanted to mention just one more thing. I get dozens and dozens of fan mail letters, autograph requests, and gifts each week. Each one is more important to me than the last and I read and respond to every single letter that I get (so long as it isn’t something soliciting me with scripts, pitches, or pleas for work as legally I can’t look at that stuff). For the person’s privacy I’ll just call her a HERO, but a solider from Afghanistan sent me what may be the most amazing thing I’ve ever received; an OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM MILITARY PATCH and an actual AMERICAN FLAG that was flown over Afghanistan in honor of Rileah and I. It came with a picture of the flag flying in the air that was signed by all of the soldiers and officers in the squadron. For those of you who have been here with me for the long haul, you know how much I deeply respect and appreciate the military- so this… this was something I will always keep close to my heart and cherish. The men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect guys like me who merely make films are the true heroes of our society and without them I don’t know where we would be. I get a lot of fan mail from soldiers over seas that are in eminent danger each day and who use my films as a means of temporary escape and enjoyment and that means more to me than anything anyone can imagine. In a small way it makes me feel like a part of me is there with them saying “thank you” and that maybe even in a miniscule way, I am helping them and repaying them just a little bit for all that they are sacrificing for guys like me. This sentiment isn’t about being pro war- in fact it’s not political at all. It’s just human. So the next time you are in an airport or even just on the street and you see a soldier… take two seconds to walk up to them and shake their hand and say thank you.
And as I hold this flag in my hands and send thoughts a million miles away to my fellow Americans doing what they have to do and finding momentary peace and escape in the films I create… I say to the ignorant people of society that have labeled me a terrible person for the fact that I create horror movies and to the folks at the MPAA who have come after me personally and even assassinated some of my work for being “offensive” and “vile”… you’re wrong. You’re so very wrong.
Love to you all.