Playboy just released an interview with Rob Zombie in time for his ‘Lords of Salem’ premiere. It’s quite elaborate and we’re sure it’s something you’ll enjoy.
Interview by Vanessa Butler
Photography by Daniel McFadden
Courtesy of Playboy:
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said about Rob Zombie? He’s the father of cult horror films such as House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and the Halloween reboot while still managing to continue his iconic music career. We had the chance to sit down with Zombie and chat about his latest venture, The Lords of Salem, and ended up talking about so much more.
Playboy.com: New album, new book and new film. Your fans must be losing their minds. Was your idea to always release all three of them closely together?
Zombie: That was always the plan, yes. Whether that was a good plan, I’m not sure, but it was always the plan.
Playboy.com: I had the pleasure of reading the book Lords of Salem over the weekend. Do you think you should read the book before going to see the film or vice versa?
Zombie: I’d say see the film first. They’re very, very different. The book is much more closely related to the original script; the movie changed quite a bit, so I would say see the film first. The film is what came first; the film is more important to me than the book, you know? The book is more important for the fanatics to read, but the film is what matters.
Playboy.com: I’m just going by the book because I wasn’t at TIFF last year, but I feel as if there was a major shift between this book and your past films. They have always had that skewed creep factor, but I felt as if this book was eerie in a more psychological sense, which really creeps me out. Is there something that prompted this change?
Zombie: That’s the vibe of the film also. I tried to make a very different movie. It’s a very slow sort of psychological film. I wouldn’t even know if I’d totally classify it as a horror movie, but I guess it is. It’s more of a psychological terror.
Playboy.com: Could you talk a bit about the cinematography? From what I’ve seen from the stills and trailer it looks incredible.
Zombie: I wanted to do something very different with the cinematography on this film. I’ve always been a really big fan of gritty handheld you-are-there photography, but I don’t always want to do the same thing all of the time, so for this film I thought the subject matter wanted a different approach and that approach was very slow, wide open camera work. And all of the shots are very symmetrical, very composed; there is no unmotivated camerawork. A lot of the other movies had the cameras moving around all over the place with no real motivation, whereas in this film, if I didn’t need the camera to move, I didn’t move it. So it plays a lot more still. A lot of times when you move the camera around it tends to be very much about the people because you’re showing close-ups and you’re in people’s faces, but this was so much about the environment also that it was very wide open and still. I don’t think you could really creep people out if the camera is jumping around.
Playboy.com: What films were you watching while you were shooting this?
Zombie: Not while I was shooting, but obviously before I started I sat down with my cinematographer and we watched a bunch of movies. There’s really no other way to convey what you’re thinking to another person about a movie that doesn’t exist yet. But honestly there wasn’t really a lot of movies that we could find that had the same feeling I wanted. It has a very European sensibility, this slow style approach; a lot of the Polanski films are like that, the Argento movies are like that. And Stanley Kubrick movies are definitely like that, that very slow camera work with the very composed shots that looks like every single tiny little thing is there for a reason, which is what I was trying to do, which is hard on a short shooting schedule. That’s the most complicated way of shooting something. We’re constantly at war with each other.
Playboy.com: Your wife is a knockout. Was this role written with her in mind?
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