Massachusetts native filmmaker Adam Green is a busy guy. In the next few weeks, season two of his television series, Holliston premieres on Fear Net and Hatchet III, which he wrote and produced will hit theaters. Before then, Green is hosting a benefit weekend to support One Fund Boston, with proceeds to assist victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. The three day event features a Hatchet marathon screening, an advanced screening of Holliston season two and signings and auction.
Adam took time out of his busy schedule to discuss the event, his projects and where to get the best pizza in Boston.
I worked constantly and all the time and especially with Season 2 of Holliston and Hatchet III both coming out within ten days of each other so it had been a long time since I had a day off.
My wife convinced me to finally take a day off and go to Disneyland, and about 10 minutes into our day I saw on Twitter what had happened at the marathon. I promptly went running back to the hotel room and couldn’t leave the TV. Throughout the course of my life I’ve seen lots of stuff like this happen, and obviously your first instinct is to help. But, instead of just buying a bunch of Boston Strong Yankee Candles and T-shirts, now I’m in a position where I can do a little bit more to try and help. We were already contemplating going back to Holliston to show the TV show in the actual town. We did that for season 1 and it was really special for the town to be able to go and see the show together.
And I called Gina Migliozzi from Rock and Shock, which is the horror convention, and said “Can we turn this into a fundraiser?” She said that’s a great idea, we’ll totally help. And then from there it was Hatchet III coming out, what if we did a marathon of all three movies? I can reach out to all my celebrity friends, and see what they can donate, and we could do an auction. And so, very quickly, I think within 48 hours—we decided to make it a 3-day event. Thankfully the television network Fear Net was totally down to let me do this. And the film distributors for Hatchet and Hatchet II and III were totally behind it. So it really came together kind of fast, and then as soon as I put the word out, it was unbelievable how many people jumped into action.
Rob Zombie and John 5 gave an autographed guitar. Oderus Urungus from Gwar who’s on the my show Holiston donated his actual mask that he wore on tour and in season one. Eli Roth gave some stuff. John Carpenter gave some signed DVDs. And the list goes on and on for the people who just instantly started sending stuff. The one bright side to any tragedy like this, is in the days that follows you get to see what people are made of and how generous and kind people are be when other people need the help.
I think 9/11 was really the first time that the entire country really saw something like that happen. With this, it’s really been no different.
Obviously the people in Massachusetts and the surrounding area all were so quick to start giving. But even among Hollywood everybody was willing to give instantly. So it’s good. Obviously the people’s whose lives were most affected by that bombing its great that people are giving money and we can help them with their bills. But clearly their whole lives are going to be different. There’s only so much people can do to help. But the fact that people are doing what they can do to help, it means the world.
What surprises can people possibly expect during the weekend.
We’re still getting lots of items donated, so I’m sure there will be lots of surprises as far as what turns up last minute, but as far as people who are actually showing up, we’re not really holding any of that back as surprises. For the Holliston screening, I’m going to be there. Joe Lynch is going to be there. Laura Ortiz is going to be there from the main cast. Derrick Nears, who as people know as Jason from the remake of Friday the 13th and Predators, he’s going to be there now as well because he’s a frequent guest star on the show. And one of the episodes we’re showing is an episode that he’s in, so he’s going to be there.
For the auction, all of those guys are going to be there, plus Kane Hodder is going to be there and Zach Galligan who is one of the leads in Hatchet III. People will remember him from Gremlins. Even Mick Garris, people know him from all the Stephen King movies he directed and from Masters of Horror, he’s going to be there in person as well. When he heard about it, he emailed me and he just said he would fly himself in to be there, which was really great.
For the Hatchet screening on Thursday night, I’ll be there, Kane will be there, Zach Galligan will be there, Derrick will be there and we’re working on trying to get some other people there. The hard thing to plan an event like this is we want to keep the cost from putting on the event down as low as possible so that as much as the money raised actually goes to to the victims and that the money raised doesn’t get taken up by paying for the theater or all the traveling talent.
So we’ve been able to pull this off mainly because for Hatchet and Holliston, a lot of people are already going to be traveling anyway. So we’re able to not have to pay for that out of the money raised. And the theater is being donated for the Hatchet screening by the revere hotel in boston, which has this great new theater called Theater One. Holliston High School donated the auditorium for the Holliston screening and the Worcester Palladium donated the space for the auction. So far the costs have been kept way down. It would be easy if I just put the word out to every one of my celebrity friends saying, “do you guys want to come? We’ll pay for your flight and hotel.” Of course they’d do it, but at that point we’d spend so much money in bringing people in that we wouldn’t raise enough. So we’re trying to keep that part under control.
With the Hatchet series you’ve actually created your own iconic movie killer and worked with and befriended such horror icons such as Kane Hodder and Dee Snyder and Tony Todd. What would the 13 year old Adam Green say about your accomplishments?
It’s just surreal. I made up Victor Crowley when I was just 8 years old. It’s just that sort of classic story of teachers telling me to stop thinking about stuff like that and I would get caught drawing pictures of him in my books and they would try and keep you in a box.
|Crowley and Green|
I came from Holliston. I had no Hollywood connections. My father was a gym teacher and football coach in Medway. It’s like they always tell you to be free to dream, but then when you get into high school they start slapping you with the reality of it. Especially when you start having to meet with guidance counselors and picking colleges. It’s sort of unfair because you’re still so young and getting started and anything is possible and then they start they’re telling you this is the career you should pursue. This is realistic, and you could make a living doing this. Nobody ever, and I wouldn’t say to anyone, go try to become a filmmaker because that sounds like a sane and really smart idea. But you can’t tell somebody that they can’t try. I’m a great example of that. If I could have seen what I’m doing now then, I wouldn’t even believe it. But I guess part of me did believe it because it happened. And that’s the only way anything does happen is by believing it. I was fortunate in that I was always surrounded by really supportive friends and family. Though nobody could actually help me out financially with anything, the fact that they were always there to cheer me on every step of the way was very, very helpful.
Hatchet III is going to be screening as part of the marathon. This is the first one you didn’t direct. Why did you step aside and was it difficult for you to pass on the reins?
It’s a little unique. I directed the first two, and I couldn’t just keep directing Hatchet movies forever. I’ve done 7 or 8 other movies at this point. When I did Hatchet 2, I had already been able to make Spiral and Grace and Frozen, so the time was right that it’s not like I owed it to my fans because Hatchet was the thing that launched my career and I had always known that there were going to be at least two other movies in my particular story with Hatchet. I was excited to go do Hatchet 2. Now with doing Hatchet III, I have the TV show, I have this project with Chris Columbus called Killer Pizza. I had Chillerama going at the time. I have this new film called Digging Up the Marrow that’s already in production. I just couldn’t physically do it, and I really didn’t want to. at that point.
There’s this kind of cool thing that happens with a franchise where I still wrote it, I produced it, I cast it. It’s my crew that’s making it and I have final cut. So it wasn’t like what you saw with the 80s slasher franchises where the original creator would just completely step away and they would get an executive producer credit and title but that was it. They walked away from it.
I was just as involved. I was on set every single night. I was in editing for all of it. So in some ways it was like being the ultimate director, because you’re still going to hold the strings on everything that happens. It really worked out well. The only thing that was hard about it was it really wasn’t hard to let go, because I never really let go. It was hard and I should have known that I wasn’t just going to let anything happen that I was going to be just as involved as I was when I did direct. That just made everything even harder because now I had season two of Holliston going, I had Killer Pizza going, and I had Hatchet III going. It almost killed me at one point. I was working at least 20 hours a day, if not 22. In fact, during that period I did a few 36 hour work days I would sleep for 45 minutes and then keep going.
When we were shooting season 2 of Holliston, there was a day where I actually fell asleep on set standing on my feet in the middle of a take in front of an audience. It was that bad. Normally that’s reserved for just drug addicts who are about to check into rehab, but for me it was just sleep deprivation. But all of this stuff is just so much fun, it’s exciting. It’s hard work, but I’m so grateful that I get to do it. I don’t want to step aside from anything. When we were on set shooting Hatchet III, I had to write season 2 of Holliston and a new draft of Killer Pizza. That was 620 pages that I had to write while shooting Hatchet III. In the 8 weeks that I was in New Orleans and on set all night, during the day while everybody else was sleeping, I would be writing. It was brutal year and the finish line is only a few weeks away now. Holliston comes out June 4th, Hatchet III is June 14th. I go right into production on something else, but at least I have a few days off to try and recover and sleep.
I love Frozen. I thought it was a tremendously well done movie. And actually it’s my favorite kind of horror film. It’s something that is completely plausible, and as a result is really more terrifying.
That’s by far my favorite film that I’ve ever made.
What scares you or what movies would you say your biggest influence is?
With Frozen specifically, my biggest influences, were Jaws and Hitchcock’s Lifeboat. With Jaws there’s obviously more to the movie than just the section of the movie with three men on a boat against nature. But the idea of being in a confined situation and the idea that whatever you want to call it, “the bad guy” is nature and it’s the elements. It’s not a person coming to kill you or a supernatural entity. It’s something very real.
That’s really what inspired me because that is something that is really scary. I stopped skiing about half way through high school simply because of the idea of Frozen. I used to ski at Wachusett, and they weren’t open during the week all year round. There was a good section of time each year when they were only open on the weekends because they didn’t have the business during the week. When it was Sunday night and you were on that chair, and it would stop, like they always do, they don’t come on the loudspeaker and tell you why it’s stopped and when it’s going to start again. You just have to wait. And it’s still like that when you go skiing, and I don’t know why that is. It would be better if they instantly said, “it stopped because somebody fell to the bottom, and it’s going to start in a few minutes.” They don’t do that.
When it would stop I would be looking around and there’s nobody on the chairs in front of me, there’s nobody behind me. And I was like, “they know I’m up here, right? This is going to start again because what am I going to do if it doesn’t start again until next weekend?”
I started doing research and looking online and it’s amazing how many times it’s actually happened. Never to the extent as Frozen where people are there for that many days and then there are wolves and everything else.
Even the wolves are real. They started reintroducing gray wolves into the New England area, and there was an article we found on ESPN.com at the time about a skier I think it was at Okemo in Vermont, where a gray wolf had actually gone after a kid on a snowboard in broad daylight. The kid was totally unharmed, he just swung with his snowboard and got the wolf away, But typically wolves will not attack a person, no matter what. They are very skittish. But in speaking with a trainer, who brought the wolves in for the movie, everything they do in the movie is how they would act. They are basically starving all winter long. It’s very hard for them to find food. So if there was somebody on the ground incapacitated, bleeding out, they would send one wolf to see if this person or this animal is going to fight back. If it’s not going to, then they return with all of them as a pack. And then they feed. Thankfully that has not happened. That movie really freaked out a lot of people. What’s interesting about horror and you see this in the audience a lot, is people defense mechanisms just start raising. Even if it’s a slasher movie where they have to keep saying, “the guy’s under the bed”… it’s because they are scared.
With Frozen at that point in my career, a lot of people still didn’t really know what I looked like, they only knew my name, so I was able to go to the theater and sit with people and just listen. It was hilarious just the stuff that would come out of their mouths. First it was “Just jump. Just jump. I see people jump all the time. Just jump.”
Then he jumps and breaks his legs. Then it’s “Why would he jump? This is so stupid. Nobody would jump, this is so dumb.”
Then “climb on the wires” and then the he would climb on the wires…”don’t do that” and then just some of the things you would hear people say, like , “I would just jump off the chair upside down and spin my skis like a helicopter blade and glide down to the bottom.”
I’m like, “What?!”
Or, “I’d use my pole and pole vault to the next chair.” Like have you every really been up there? Especially with 20 pound ski boots on. You can’t jump the correct way and try to roll. It’s going to straighten out your legs and you’re going to compound fracture your legs.
The reviews that we would read would say “Once you get over the ridiculous premise, that would never happen.”
And the thing is that the Monday after the movie opened, in Russia the exact scenario happened. Where a guy it was a human error. Somebody didn’t do their job. They didn’t check the chairs the right way, and a guy got left up there. They ended up finding him the next day because he was lighting his money on fire and throwing it up in the air and somebody saw it. He ended up living and he only had severe hypothermia. But once we saw that article go around, we saw some reviews get taken down, like people took back what they had said. I thought that was pretty funny. Those are my biggest inspirations and to me, I agree with you, that’s the stuff that’s really scary.
I feel like Frozen and Spiral are the two actually scary movies that I’ve made. Spiral is about a quiet guy who is secretly crazy. How many times have you worked somewhere or gone to school there’s that one person who you just wonder what is going on in their mind. And Frozen is just terrifying to me. But, the other stuff is really just entertainment and fun. I don’t think there is anything scary about the Hatchet movies whatsoever and I bet a good 50 percent of the fans of that movie don’t think anything about it is scary. But, there are some people who, and maybe they haven’t seen enough horror movies, they fall for every jump scare. They are really grossed out by the gore. To me, gore isn’t scary. To me, It’s funny. If you watched somebody get a paper cut, that would totally freak me out and I couldn’t look, but when there is 40 gallons of blood spraying everywhere, it’s like Monty Python to me.
Can you talk about Killer Pizza? I know you’re doing that with Chris Columbus’ company, 1492…
First Chris and I were working on a project of mine, a romantic comedy years ago and we just sort of kept in touch, and been trying to find the right thing to make. They had optioned the book Killer Pizza, which was a children’s book about a kid who gets a job at a pizza place and then finds out it’s a covert monster hunting organization. They brought me the book and asked me what do you think, do you have a take on adapting this. And it all happened. And MGM actually optioned the project, and that was a year of more of rewrites. This is why I like doing independent stuff. You don’t need to go through all of that. What happens is you rewrite something so much that eventually you go back to exactly what you had. The execs all have to say something.
Then a movie will open that weekend and they’ll say, “how to do we make it like that, because that movie made a lot of money?” At one point I think it came up that Chronicle had opened. “Look at how much money that movie made, can you make this like Chronicle?”
It’s like, “this is nothing like Chronicle…”
“Well, maybe it’s found footage…”
What? You go through all these senseless drafts. It’s why you hear there have been 20 writers on a project sometimes, people quit or it never happens. Eventually 1492 just took the project back. That’s where it stands right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. They’re working on getting it made. I think ideally what they want to do is do it outside of the studio system so that you don’t have to deal with that stuff. I really don’t know. There was a point a few months ago, actually it was right around the time of making Hatchet III and I had to do more rewrites on it, because I was trying to get it back to what we originally wanted. At that point it looked like we had all the financing to make and it looked like we were going to shoot it that summer So again another reason why I didn’t direct Hatchet III. For one reason or another it just hasn’t happened yet. It’s a miracle when anything actually gets made, and with so many projects it’s like you’re like two days out from shooting then there is some reason the money falls through or something else happens. But hopefully it gets made in the next year or two.
What are you currently geeking out over?
This so sad. I have no personal life anymore. I don’t even know what’s coming out because I’m so buried in what I’m doing. I did see Iron Man 3, which I thought was awesome.
In terms of reading, I really don’t have time to read books. What I read are rock star and porn star biographies. If you gave me a book on President Obama, I couldn’t get through it. I just wouldn’t be able to pay attention. But give me Stephen Pearcy from Ratt’s autobiography, and I can read it in a day. They are all the same book: I wanted to be a rock star, then it happened, then I was on drugs, and then it was over. I’ll read every single one of those books. I just finished his book now. And I’m reading Rex Brown’s book from Pantera. That’s the type of stuff that I read because you can read it on a flight.
Musically, it’s all the stuff I listened to that I grew up on. I’m not into anything new, really. It’s still Twisted Sister, Metallica, Guns and Roses all the stuff I grew up on. Thankfully there are always ways to find new concerts that you’ve never heard. I think the last new band that I actually like was My Chemical Romance, I just found out yesterday they broke up. That’s how up on things I am right now.
For people who are in the area or want to come out and support this, what are your “must sees” of Boston?
If you’re going to be in the Boston area, the first thing you need to do is go to a Newbury Comics comic location. It’s probably the last great record store left, even though it’s not really a record store. Now it’s becoming clothing and other stuff. Growing up, that’s where I got every book, CD, record, comic. That was the place to go. I still absolutely just love them. That’s why I usually have their logo in everything I do as a shoutout to somewhere where I came from. They’ve been incredibly supportive of my career, too, which has been fantastic.
I would also say Salem, Massachusetts.
Especially if you’re into this event, you’re probably into horror, and the history of stuff like that, so Salem is a fantastic place to visit. There’s so much history and culture. Obviously Halloween time is the best time to visit Salem, which we actually got to do as a cast. We shot a found footage episode this season which is actually in the town of Holliston. The actual show is done on our soundstage in Hollywood. But we did this one found footage episode and After we wrapped, we just spent two days in Salem as a cast doing everything there is to do. Which is really really fun.
And I think try to eat at Papa Gino’s.
If you live there you take it for granted, but if you live in LA, where there is no good pizza, whatsoever, all of sudden Papa Gino’s becomes a delicacy.
When I’m home I can’t get enough of it. When I was living there I probably didn’t appreciate it at all. But those would be the three things that I would say to go do.
I never went out in Boston. I don’t know clubs. I don’t know bars. I still don’t go out.
I’ve been out here for thirteen years, and I rarely get to go home. All my family and everybody has moved away from Massachusetts. So there’s really no reason to go there. I went back home to Holliston for the Holliston screening last year, and that was the first time I was home in 12 years. I didn’t know anybody there anymore, but the entire town showed up. It was just amazing. But I don’t really remember good places to go. I don’t even know what’s still there. But Boston to me is a smaller, cleaner and even better, New York. New York has everything bigger and more of it, but Boston is the best city in the United States.
HOLLISTON Comes Home to Holliston: Season Two advanced screening and Q&A with the cast
Adam Green returns to his hometown of Holliston, MA to host an advanced screening of three episodes from HOLLISTON’s upcoming second season, followed by a live Q&A with members of the cast, including Joe Lynch and Laura Ortiz.
In advance of the event, fans can bid on an online auction to win a private dinner with Adam Green before the party starts. More information about the auction can be found here: http://bit.ly/11gFDml.
Join Adam Green (HATCHET I – III, FROZEN, HOLLISTON), Kane Hodder (HATCHET I – III, FRIDAY THE 13TH VII – X), Zach Galligan (HATCHET III, GREMLINS 1 – 2) and more celebrity guests, for a one-of-a-kind party at the Worcester Palladium that includes a silent auction chock full of horror and music memorabilia, gift certificates, and other rare and amazing prizes.
Join HATCHET franchise creator Adam Green for the first-ever HATCHET marathon, including a screening of a rare uncensored UK 35mm print of the original HATCHET, an uncensored 35mm print of HATCHET II, and the first ever screening of the highly anticipated, and also uncensored, HATCHET III. Special guests from the films will be in attendance.
Green and special guests will also be doing a free in-store signing for HOLLISTON on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Fiske’s General Store, at 776 Washington St., in Holliston, MA.
Advanced tickets for all three events are available now, and can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/10nN7gI.
Tickets will also be available at the door the day of each event. For more information regarding ticket sales, please call The Palladium box office at 508-797-9696. All proceeds will go towards The One Fund Boston.
Events are hosted by Rock and Shock and Wicked Bird Media, and are sponsored by Green Van.