HorrorWeb: Infernal Interviews [Richard Elfman]
Interview: Email Q/A with Richard Elfman, to celebrate the Re-Release
of Forbidden Zone - with exclusive midnight screenings of the original
uncut version at Landmark Theaters this April!
IGOR: Thank you in advance Mr. Elfman, for taking time
out of your busy schedule to take part in this e-mail interview. Horror-Web.com
wishes you much success with the Re-Release of Forbidden Zone, and your
future endeavors. Let the questions begin! :)
IGOR: What made you decide to re-release Forbidden Zone? Was
it something you felt needed a second chance, a re birthing of sorts, or was
it in answer to the fans screaming for more?
RICHARD ELFMAN: Well, kind of both. It seems as though most of the people
who have seen it over the years have done so with badly recorded bootlegged
VHS's. I would rather they see it on a sparkling new 35mm print, the way King
Fausto and Queen Doris intended. I would also like to reach a new audience of
younger, and more rabid, screaming maniacs. The original group of fans are mostly
dead now anyway - although having seen Forbidden Zone more than once
re-programs the brain for latter ressurection as a zombie. I will have a whole
audience of zombies!!
IGOR: Reviewers agree that this is either a "love it" or "hate
it" type movie. What is your opinion about that?
RICHARD ELFMAN: It ain't for everyone, that's for sure. Anal repressive
types, child molesters, septic tank cleaners and Prozac prescribing psychiatrists
have trouble with the film's relentless assault on banality. They cannot see
that Life is Absurd at times. It threatens their grip on reality as well as
their grip on their (and each other's) dicks.
On the other hand, those free spirits who can laugh and sing and dance and
savour God's very mirth, can relax and have fun, and enjoy Forbidden Zone.
I personally think that there is something for everyone in Forbidden Zone.
The Passion of the 'Squeezit sequence' in the film's 'Queen's Revenge' number,
for example, might be just the perfect follow-up to that Mel Gibson movie.
IGOR: Do you feel that anyone other than die hard Elfman fans will understand
the full meaning of this film?
RICHARD ELFMAN: I hope so. We've invested a lot of money in posters and
IGOR: Raised by two school teachers, we have two very creative brothers
- where did this artistic blood come from? Is this something that secretly runs
through the bloodline?
RICHARD ELFMAN: You mean the Elfo Juice? Our father (R.I.P.) was a jazz
trumpet player in the 30's. Mother became a novelist and playwright after her
teaching career. Before that our family was pretty run of the mill struggling
Jewish tradesmen, working their way out of Europe and on to the Titanic.
IGOR: You seem to enjoy what you do immensely, and are immersed in
so many areas, are there other waters yet to be tested?
RICHARD ELFMAN: Hmmnn... I can't think that far ahead. I love everything
that I am doing. I want to direct more films, write more books, get killed in
more B horror flicks, etc. etc.
IGOR: Which of your many hats do you prefer wearing: acting, directing,
writing, percussion, boxing?
RICHARD ELFMAN: I gave up boxing after my second nose job. Otherwise,
I love it all, baby!
IGOR: You currently have two other movies and a book cooking. How are
the movies Trio and The Sixth Element coming along? When can we
expect to see more information about these?
RICHARD ELFMAN: We are casting Trio, but it has kind of 6 leads and it
is complicated, agents, lawyers, etc. The Sixth Element (not the final
title, by the way) is more like Forbidden Zone, with another dimension and whacky
musical numbers. Stay tooned to my website for more info.
IGOR: Your upcoming vampire novel, "The Schlimazl of Sebriem,"
is posted on your site, but with very little information. What more can you
tell us about this? When can we expect to see this on shelves and from which
RICHARD ELFMAN: We've had offers from a few small presses. I need to
find an illustrator... (been so damned busy, particularly as Film Bureau Chief
for Buzzine Magazine). Again, stay tuned to my website. Schimazl a fun little
vampire novel that I want to make into a film, eventually. My brother knows
this amazing Romanian gypsy band to help play on the soundtrack.
IGOR: You are a very busy guy, when you have spare time, what do you
do to wind down? What is a perfect relaxing evening in your world?
RICHARD ELFMAN: I like to barbecue a gourmet dinner up on my deck, perched
high the Hollywood hills. New Zealand rack of lamb or free range filet mingon,
an array of fresh organic vegetables grilled to perfection over savory mesquite
coals. Along with a fine bottle (or two) of well aged Bordeaux and my (not-so-well-aged)
girlfriend Lauren, of course.
Even better, I like doing it at Danny and Bridget's Santa Barbara estate,
overlooking the Pacific, because they have a great pool and romantic hot tub.
Then a cigar, some Cognac and, naturally, a night of passionate love making.
And finally, snuggling towards slumber in the wee hours with another cigar,
a double maduro robusto-robusto perhaps, night capping with a dryer Bas Armignac,
and a classic B horror flick on the telly. Or the Three Stooges. Although a
gentleman must be vigilant not to drop cigar ash on his true love's face as
she dozes contentedly while he guffaws like a hyena over a particularly hilarious
episode featuring Curly. Ah, yes. It is very important to relax in today's hectic
IGOR: Do you enjoy working with your brother, keeping it in the family?
Or do you find that you compete with each other?
RICHARD ELFMAN: I love to work with Danny. If only he weren't so busy
with that Spiderman 2 stuff this week! He's behind on the tunes he's
doing for my own project!
IGOR: What accomplishment in the field are you most proud of? Can you
and will you top that?
RICHARD ELFMAN: That's a tough one. Although it has it's flaws and I
didn't totally know what I was doing at the time, Forbidden Zone is still
my favorite work. I plan to top it with something loonier, something more insane,
IGOR: What, if anything, do you wish you had done differently?
RICHARD ELFMAN: Not spent a decade screwing around, throwing wild theatrical
parties and such. (Actually, I don't entirely regret it...)
IGOR: And finally, what is the ONE thing that you would like to tell
fans and aspiring artists a like?
RICHARD ELFMAN: Don't succomb to "middle class suppression."
Society likes us to fit in as cogs in the machine. Artists must break out of
that. It ain't always easy. And go often to horror-web.com. It's a great mind
bending site that I enjoy immensely!
Again, thank you for your time, and feel free to stop by and visit us anytime
you would like!