Rob Zombie is about to double his cinematic body count to 2000. His script for "House of 1000 Corpses 2" has been approved, and the horror auteur will start casting the production after the holidays.
The original, Zombie's directorial debut, hit theaters in April and raked in $7.1 million in its first 10 days at the box office. Unlike its predecessor, which was colored with black humor, the sequel will include less comic relief (see "Rob Zombie Says Next 'House' Will Be 'A Lot More Violent' ").
"It's a very different film," Zombie said. "It's much darker and more serious. It's a gritty crime movie like [the 1973 Terrence Malick film] 'Badlands.' There's nothing campy or wacky at all."
The opening scene in "Corpses 2" takes place a couple of months after the last scene in the first movie. "Everything that was alluded to in 'Corpses' has been found out in the house," Zombie said. "The house is raided by a SWAT team, and it all goes bad from there."
If the production stays on schedule, "House of 1000 Corpses 2" will be in theaters next summer. That Lions Gate green lighted a sequel for "Corpses" is a real triumph for Zombie, considering the director had a lot of problems finding a studio for the original. The first movie was created for Universal, who refused to put it out after seeing it. Then MGM picked it up but ultimately got cold feet as well (see "Rob Zombie Finds Resting Place For His 'Corpses' ").
"I knew that no matter who put it out," Zombie said, "if it made money they would want another one, because that's all they care about. If I hadn't already gone through the whole process in music, it might have freaked me out. But dealing with 'Corpses' sort of reminded me of the early days of dealing with White Zombie, especially La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1, which got slaughtered. Every review was beyond horrible. But we toured forever, and somehow it just worked."
In addition to directing "House of 1000 Corpses 2," Zombie plans to start writing his next solo album early next year. Although he hasn't written any new songs, he's got a game plan. "I really want to make a much heavier, darker record," he said. "I'm not worrying about radio or television or anything. I just want to make a really scary record."
Zombie will once again co-write with Scott Humphrey, who has worked on all of his solo albums, but Zombie's backing band will probably be entirely new. "I want to get some new people in there and just experiment," he said. "But I don't have any timetable. If a bunch of songs come quick, the record will come quicker. If they don't, the record will take longer."
On top of his new movie and his next record, Zombie will continue to work on his "Spookshow International" comic-book series and collaborating with writer Steve Niles on at least three new comics. He'll also relaunch his record label, Zombie-A-Go-Go, which has been dormant for several years (see "Rob Zombie To Write Comics About Bigfoot, Sinister Metal Band").
"Everything I do, I do because I feel it has value and it will work," Zombie said. "I just like to do a lot of different stuff."