Director Rob Zombie sent the internet into a tizzy back in February when he announced that the hockey movie he had spent two years working on, Broad Street Bullies, would be on the back burner for a while in lieu of a new horror idea that the director had come up with. Months later concept art featuring a clown and the number “31” hit the web and fans started to wonder. Did 31 relate to the number of days in October? Was it significant to Halloween (October 31)? What’s up with the clown?
Now we finally have our answers. Zombie announced not only details on the upcoming feature film 31 but that it will be crowd funded. The campaign features rewards including a new Devil’s Rejects poster signed by Rob and Sheri Moon Zombie, special thanks in the end credits of 31, and a cross from the House of 1000 Corpses cemetery, just to name a few.
All of the details can be found at RZ-31.com. Nerdist spoke with Zombie about the decision to use crowd funding and the details of 31, a film that Zombie explains in the FanBacked video by saying, “If I had to pick one of [my] films that it’s most in the spirit of, it’s The Devil’s Rejects.”
Rob Zombie has found much success amongst his fans as both a musician and a filmmaker. With the announcement that his next feature film, 31, would be crowd funded, I asked the director why he decided to take that route. Zombie explained, “[W]hat I’m finding it really does is, as time goes on – say, ten years ago – I could raise a pretty decent budget to make The Devil’s Rejects. That’s almost impossible to do now with certain types of movies. So it’s nice that there’s another avenue where you can try and make these things happen.” Zombie added, “But then I was thinking from my point of view, like when I was a kid, and I was a fan of something, if there was any way that I could get involved in the making of a film that I was looking forward to, I would have dived at the chance to do it. So that point of view is kind of cool. It’s like, you know – what you’re grabbed by. It’s all what you want to be involved in – if you don’t, you don’t have to.”
One of the things about 31 that is sure to excite fans is the idea that the film will be more in line with one of Zombie’s earlier films, The Devil’s Rejects. While The Lords of Salem was one of my favorite horror movies of 2013, it certainly was a departure visually from his other movies. I asked Zombie if the return to a Rejects style of filmmaking was intentional after Salem and he offered an interesting answer. “You know, when I came up with the idea for Lords of Salem, at first I thought should I shoot it like I did Devil’s Rejects, or Halloween 2, because I really like that style. I like that really gritty, handheld camera work style. I’ve always been a big fan of that. But then I was like, well, it’s not really appropriate to the story, because the story is kind of surreal. I want it to feel like the whole movie is a dream. You don’t know what’s reality and what’s a dream. That style of film making just doesn’t fit the story. It won’t make sense.” Zombie continued, “And then when it came up for the idea of 31, I was like, well, this does lend itself to that style again. So it really is the story dictates the style. If 31 was a more surreal, sort of different style – not even surreal, but a different story, I might have gone a different way. I may change my mind again. I may start working on 31 and go, I see it different now. But the way the story unfolds basically is one that we could do the style of Devil’s Rejects.”
Zombie is known for working with actors repeatedly from Sid Haig to Sheri Moon Zombie. Would any of the Rob Zombie regulars be making appearances in 31? “I don’t know yet. I haven’t gotten that far. I haven’t spoken to anybody or gone down that road. That’s usually one of the last things that happens. I mean, I like working with a lot of people that I’ve worked with over and over, because what happens is – I’ve seen this with a lot of directors, it’s not just something I do, it’s something directors have always done. It’s because you get to know them, and the better you get to know people, the more you really collaborate. ”
For a director who has such a strong visual style, I always wondered if Zombie would be open to directing a script that he didn’t write and in answering, he also shed a little light on his next film planned after 31. Would Zombie be open to directing a script that wasn’t his own? He told us, “I definitely would. I mean, I have – I can’t announce it yet – but I have another project lined up, that if everything goes according to plan (which, of course, it never does), it would be based on a book I didn’t write and a script I didn’t write either. So yeah, I’m totally open to that idea. It just hasn’t happened yet.”
Zombie’s two month crowd funding campaign for 31 is active now. For more information and where to donate visit RZ-31.com.