If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
Fango continues its chat with THE WARD’s director John
Carpenter and actress/producer Amber Heard, begun here. The film debuts on VOD today from ARC Entertainment, prior to a theatrical
release on July 8.
FANGORIA: Coming back after a long break, did you have
jitters? Like, “What’s this going to be like being back behind the camera?”
JOHN CARPENTER: Like I just said, everyone’s afraid.
Everybody, when they make a movie. They don’t know what’s going to happen—it’s
the unknown. Sure, I didn’t know; I didn’t know if [Amber Heard] was going to
be any good or not. [Laughs] Oh, I knew.
FANG: How quickly did it take for you to find your “groove”?
CARPENTER: About 10 minutes after we started [laughs]. You
get into a routine, you get the day going. Once you get the first rehearsal
under your belt, you know the actors are gonna [be all right], everything’s
gonna be fine. We’re gonna light it, we’re gonna shoot it, I can sit down, have
a cup of coffee and think about it, and it’s all gonna be good.
FANG: Having been away for about 10 years, is there a
certain perspective change for you in regards to where horror is at now?
CARPENTER: Well we have some grisly scenes. As a matter of
fact, this young lady here objected to a couple of my grisly scenes—
AMBER HEARD: I agree that there’s something nice and
valuable and wonderful about the suspense of classic horror that doesn’t just
crutch on blood and almost pornographic view of fear.
CARPENTER: I would agree. Look, man, it’s just a
storytelling device. This is a different story than those. A movie like either
SAW or HOSTEL, or film in that genre, is about a different kind of story. Their
punch, their power as a movie is, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe what I’m
seeing!” That’s what they’re all about. This movie is entirely different. It’s
a character study. There’s really not that much room to go in that direction,
and it’s not about carrying a bunch of rules along with you: Oh, I have to do
this to make the audience to like me. I couldn’t give a shit what the audience
thinks. I just wanna make a good movie.
FANG: For Amber, what were some of those scenes that you
objected to, or were squeamish about?
HEARD: I think that the movie that you see now is probably
free of anything that I [objected to]…
CARPENTER: You thought maybe the eye scene went too far.
HEARD: Oh, that’s right. I forgot about that.
CARPENTER: It was the display of the knife in front of
[Lyndsy Fonseca], a certain relish to it, that maybe I was going a little too
far in that scene. That’s what she’s talking about.
HEARD: Yes, what he said. That’s true.
FANG: With this one under your belt, do you remain
reenergized for more films? How did you come out of this experience?
CARPENTER: Had a good time. Enjoyed it, sure. Get the right
story, get the right budget? Do I really have to kill myself? It depends on the
story. If you have an ambitious project, with a lot of ambition, you need a lot
of money for it. It’s one thing to a do a film low budget—and I love low-budget
films, they’re a lot of fun to do—but you have to have realistic expectations
at what you’re gonna get back. And right now there’s a big, kind of vogue in
Hollywood. It’s the BLAIR WITCH vogue—let’s make a movie for nothing. And then
we’ll market it and make a bunch of money. Well, I’m not interested in doing
that. That’s a little too rough.
FANG: For John, what’s your opinion on VOD and how do you
think it’ll affect this film?
CARPENTER: I don’t know; I know the exhibitors don’t like it
at all. That’s all I know about it.
FANG: Does it impact the way you make the film knowing that
some people may wind up watching it on an iPhone screen, and so all the little
details you put in are not noticeable?
CARPENTER: You have to make a movie for an audience to watch
it, no matter how they watch it. You don’t think about that.
FANG: How do you feel about the fact that the big screen
experience seems to be diminishing somewhat with these new platforms for people
to watch and are you afraid that’s something that’s gonna go away?
CARPENTER: What can I do about it, dude? There’s nothing I
can do about it. Everything’s changing, but it’s constantly changes. It doesn’t
matter, it’s the quality of the storytelling that counts. If the storytelling
is great, it’ll work on your little phone.
FANG: With that being said, are you going to return to
scripting something yourself as opposed to looking around town for a script?
CARPENTER: That’s real work. Sitting down and writing.
That’s real hard work. Not sure I’m ready for that yet.
FANG: Amber, there’s a lot of excitement about your new
’60s-era fall series THE PLAYBOY CLUB. What can you say about it?
HEARD: I love so much about the series, there’s so much
texture and I feel like it’s a very rich platform. It’s full of all these
different elements: from music and dance and performance, in a classical sense,
to the crime and sex and love and social revolutions, and everything that was
going on at the time. Just the music alone of that era is exciting and fun and
different than we have today. I’m excited on so many different levels about the
project, and I have very high expectations of it and I hope it’s as wonderful
as it can be.
FANG: Do you see your involvement in that show as a way of
branching off from the string of horror movies you’ve been doing lately?
CARPENTER: Run away from them.
HEARD: [Laughs] No, I’m not running away from my horror
films. I love my horror films and they will always be very close to me. I am
doing PLAYBOY CLUB because I love it, because I like the pain of the
corsets—no, I’m kidding—because I’m having a good time and it’s the right
project for me and a very interesting character and that’s why I work on any
FANG: Monsters and ghost stories have been around so long,
before even the days of campfires. John, what do you think changes when those
stories are put up on film and do you think the horror genre has been, not only
popular, but malleable.
CARPENTER: It’s a genre that started with cinema, when
cinema was created, and it’s been with us in various stages of popularity ever
since because everyone who is alive is afraid of the same things. We’re all
born afraid. We’re afraid of death, we’re afraid of the unknown, we’re afraid
of being hurt, disfigured, we’re afraid of losing a loved one, of losing our
identity. Anything I’m afraid of, everyone’s afraid of it. It speaks to us;
comedy doesn’t sometimes travel to other cultures. Sometimes. Horror, fear, is
in every single culture. That’s why it’s so powerful.
FANG: What do you think of them going back to the source
material for THEY LIVE, as opposed to straight up remaking it?
CARPENTER: Well, they’re paying me. See, there are two kinds
of remakes of my films—there’s the good kind and there’s the bad kind. They
just did a prequel to THE THING. That’s the bad kind because I don’t have any
rights in it, so they don’t pay me [laughs]. If they do ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK or
THEY LIVE, or any movies that I wrote and have a more primal position, I get a
check. This is something that I wanted to do and find all my life, is to make
money doing nothing.
Read more from Carpenter in Fango #303.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment