What I’m Missing: Zac Efron, Domi Dollz, and Rob Zombie

I’ve been a busy bee of late and have missed so many events that I would have loved to attend. Most notably, I couldn’t attend the Magadeth-Rob Zombie concert at the PNC in Jersey. That hurt.

Saturday I was DJing at Bantam for Tatjana Gellert’s birthday bash. It was hours of music from Donna Summer to Rob Zombie to LCD Sound System to Blank Dogs to Iggy to Tuxedo Moon. I was all over the place for the fun and beautiful crowd. The only place I couldn’t be was with my friend Robert Escalera  who is in from LA to offer up a film and cocktail event with the cast and crew of a movie produced by his favorite charity, the Zeno Mountain Farm.

According to its site:

"Zeno Mountain Farm is an organization that runs camps for people with and without disabilities. Everyone works together so all can experience a life full of creativity, adventure, fun and community. Typically, each camp has a theme that helps to focus and unify the group. The themes include but are not limited to filmmaking, theatre, high challenge sports, music, adventure travel and art."

The event was at the Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick Street. The movie is called Finding Zac Efron.

"When Zeno Film camp cast member and Zac Efron-uberfan Elizabeth gets sick, the Zeno gang springs into action. They decide to find Zac Efron and get him to go cheer Elizabeth up. They scour the city of Los Angeles to find Zac… But what they discover is beyond anything they ever expected! Finding Zac Efron stars all the Zeno Gang, plus cameos by Ted Danson, Lou Ferrigno, Mario Lopez, Joe Manganiello, and others… Is Zac in the film? … You have to come and see for yourself!"

Well, I couldn’t come and see, and I don’t know if Zac was in it since I was at Bantam. I urge you to check it out. Robert worked with me at all my hot spots of the ‘90s. His role varied, from my right hand to the heel of my left foot. He was almost as invaluable as he thought he was. He is joining me at the Bowery Poetry Club for BINGO tonight. I’ll get there early to explain to him how to play the game.

On Thursday I will DJ again, this time at Bantam and, as usual, Hotel Chantelle. Therefore, I’ll miss that night’s Domi Dollz event at the Museum of Sex. It starts at 7pm and is the most fun… for people interested in sex. There are sexy Doms and subs and they serve aphrodisiac cocktails and everybody laughs and feels frisky. They are so good at it that, they have, in the past, been able to teach an old dog like me… some new tricks.

SXSW Reveals Its Midnight Line-Up

As we all dust off our cowboy boots and get ready to head down to Austin next month for the SXSW, there’s much to look forward to. We’ve already announced the main slate of the film festival but now, the good folks down in Texas have revealed their Midnight line-up and we’re definitely onboard.

With features from Rob Zombie and Xan Cassavetes and a slew of narrative and animated shorts, check out our highlights from the list and head over at The Playlist for the complete line-up.

Haunter (Canada)
Director: Vincenzo Natali, Screenwriter: Brian King
Lisa Johnson is one day shy of her 16th birthday and will be forever. She and her family are doomed to repeat the fateful day before they were all killed in 1985.
Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, David Hewlett (World Premiere)

Kiss of the Damned
Director/Screenwriter: Xan Cassavetes
Beautiful vampire Djuna tries to resist the advances of human screenwriter Paolo, but eventually gives in to their passion. When her sister Mimi comes to visit, Djuna’s love story is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered…
Cast: Joséphine de la Baume, Milo Ventimiglia, Roxane Mesquida, Anna Mouglalis, Michael Rapaport, Riley Keough, Ching Valdes-Aran (U.S. Premiere)

The Lords of Salem
Director/Screenwriter: Rob Zombie
From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood.
Cast: Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Patricia Quinn (U.S. Premiere)

Plus One
Director: Dennis Iliadis, Screenwriter: Bill Gullo
When the party of the decade is disrupted by a supernatural phenomenon, the night soon descends in to chaos.
Cast: Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw, Natalie Hall (World Premiere)

The Rambler
Director/Screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder
After being released from prison, a man known as The Rambler stumbles upon a strange mystery as he attempts a dangerous journey through treacherous back roads and small towns en route to reconnecting with his long lost brother.
Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne, James Cady, Scott Sharot

You’re Next
Director: Adam Wingard, Screenwriter: Simon Barrett
A fresh twist on home-invasion horror. A gang of masked murderers descend upon a family reunion, and the victims seem trapped…until an unlikely guest proves to be the most talented killer of all.
Cast: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg

Rob Zombie Attacks: Halloween 2

Rocker-cum-writer/director Rob Zombie’s re-imagination of the Halloween franchise is a dark, gory fantasia where John Carpenter’s original circa ’78 characters are a collection of layered, psychologically disturbed misanthropes. The former White Zombie frontman’s prior film pursuits — House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects — were littered with gruesomely violent acts, and Halloween II (in theaters Friday) is no exception to the Zombie film norm. Halloween II continues where his first remake left off, focusing on Michael Myers’s sister, Laurie, as she picks up the pieces of her brother’s killing spree. Mellow Zombie talks about the state of the film industry in ’09, his personal absence of the ‘fear factor’ and how to market a movie the right way.

What’s going to shock people in this film? Two things that they don’t expect from this type of movie: they’re surprised by how involved they get with the characters as an actual drama and then they’re actually surprised just how graphic and realistic the violence is. Not in a goofy splatter movie way but in a real life way. People are walking out of it going, “Holy crap, way more fucking intense than I was prepared to deal with!”

Are there any horror films that scare you? No. Nothing. I see them and I appreciate them and I can like them, but they don’t scare me in any way. Unfortunately. That shock has worn off.

Describe the first time you saw John Carpenter’s Halloween? I saw it on its original run back when it came out in ’78 at the drive in on a double feature. I was probably 13 or 14. I thought it was super scary and awesome. It’s hard to believe now, because that movie’s been so copied and imitated and every aspect of it almost seems like a cliché, but at that time, it was so fresh and original. It was just mind-blowing. The only movie that you could relate it to was Psycho.

What’s different about the mask in the sequel? There was the famous mask that they used in John Carpenter’s and through all the subsequent sequels, they always had a new mask, and they always, to me, looked really shitty. It never had any real purpose or significance or any kind of symbolic nature to it. We’ve been using the same mask for the first film and now our second film and it just keeps degenerating. It’s crumbling and falling apart. Sort of like as Michael Myers’s state of mind deteriorates, so does the mask. In this version, it’s pretty dirty and filthy and ripped apart and half of it is missing, you can see half of his face exposed. Picking apart at the legend.

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What’s different about your version of Laurie? In the first movie, we don’t really know much about her. We just kind of introduce her, ‘Oh here she is, Laurie Strode. Happy-go-lucky all- American girl.’ But now, she’s Laurie Strode, girl who wakes up and finds out that her parents are murdered and most of her friends are murdered too. She’s scarred on the inside and out. I tried to play upon the idea that a lot of times, people who have been through really tragic events will try to reinvent themselves to distance themselves from who they were. So she’s trying to be a more outgoing, punk-rock type girl. It’s a totally different character. She’s lashing out at everything, trying to make sense of how destroyed her life is now.

An unofficial trailer was leaked online and viewers are saying that this one is better than the official trailer. What hand do you have in the marketing of your films? I always disagree with the way studios want to market my films. It’s been a source of contention on every single one of my films. I try to make movies that are different from the norm and the problem is that studios don’t really want to market anything different from the norm. They want to make everything look like ‘the norm’. So, no matter how layered you make a movie or how character driven, they still want to market it like it’s a generic slasher movie. I liked that trailer that got leaked because I feel that it more so incorporated the scope of our film and the feel of our film as opposed to some of the other spots that felt like a totally different movie to me.

Do you want viewers to view this as a Rob Zombie film? I think that’s a great quality if people can do that, because as a director, if you can have your voice in the film, so people can watch it and go, wow that’s obviously a Spielberg film, a Scorsese film, a Tarantino film, it just jumps out that you know it’s that person because their directing style is so strong. That’s a great compliment. I get that a lot, that people say, ‘That’s so you, you come through so strong in your movies.’ It’s a little harder to step back and judge it. What about that, it is exactly, I’m not sure.

Tell us about the soundtrack. The most significant song in the movie is “Nights in White Satin.” It plays almost constantly through the first fifteen minutes of the movie, over and over. I always like to take a really classic song that you’ve heard a million times and try to twist it around so you never quite hear it the same again. I did that in Devil’s Rejects with “Free Bird”. Now people are like, ‘I can never hear “Free Bird” again without picturing that movie.’ That’s a great thing considering how many times most people have heard [that song] in their life.

What’s going on with El Superbeasto and Tyrannosaurus Rex? El Superbeasto is finished and that’s coming out September 22nd and Tyrannosaurus Rex is still a future project. That’s not in any kind of status right now. It’s a script I’ve written that may or may not be the next film for me. I would like for it to be my next film. You never know for sure.

What’s the most difficult thing about making a film now? Nothing ever seems to get easier. And in 2009, with the economy slowing down, studios are tightening their budgets, they don’t want to spend the money and they don’t want to take any kind of risks. Not that they ever did want to take risks. As more and more time goes on, it really feels like all they want to do is make sequels, remakes or something based on a graphic novel. It’s really difficult to try to get any new, original material through the system.

Where do you hang out? I don’t really have a favorite anything. I always try to go somewhere different. I love Nobu when I’m in New York. We used to go to Katsuya all the time before TMZ swooped down on it. Now it’s too annoying. We also used to go to Madeo, but last time it was a nightmare with photographers. New York doesn’t have that going on. That people shoving video cameras in your face, asking you stupid questions every time you step out of a place.