Hollywood is hassling Rob Zombie again. Only this time, the studio behind the singer's sequel to "House of 1000 Corpses" is breathing down his neck for different reasons.
Universal Pictures bankrolled Zombie's directorial debut a couple of years ago, only to pass on releasing it after executives found a grisly rough cut too disturbing. Lions Gate Films, the distributor behind the similarly violent "American Psycho," eventually snapped up the picture after a potential deal with MGM was derailed by a joke Zombie made in the press (see "Rob Zombie Finds Resting Place For His
"[Making the movie] is totally different this time," Zombie happily reported recently. "With Lions Gate, they came to the rescue. And they really believe in the project. It's more like the opposite [of making the last one]. This time they are wishing me to move faster, so it's kind of funny."
When the original "House of 1000 Corpses" finally hit theaters, it didn't exactly burn up the box office. But the low-budget shocker's more-than-profitable $12.5 million haul was enough to justify a return visit to the creepy "House" (see "Rob Zombie Digging Up 'Corpses' Sequel, Producing Comedy LP").
"I started [writing] the sequel before I knew that I had a deal, because I just kind of function that way," Zombie explained. "It's almost done. Most of the script is completed, and if all goes well, we should start shooting in the fall."
Drawing loosely from Zombie favorites like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Last House on the Left," the first "Corpses" introduced a twisted family of cannibals who terrorized two lost couples. Characters like Capt. Spaulding and Dr. Satan quickly became popular with horror movie fans.
"The fan reaction has been amazing, and that's all you can hope for, really," Zombie said. "Without getting too specific, what I want to do with the second one, I don't want to re-create the first one and just put a '2' on the end of it. [It takes place] a week later, and [it deals with] the repercussions of what happened in the first film.
"At this point I kind of know what everybody loves, and that's all the bad characters, obviously," he added. "So it's just them going off on other things. But it's going to be totally different than anyone expects. And it will probably be a lot more violent."
In addition to the "Corpses" sequel, Zombie has a number of other projects in the works, including the Halloween launch of his "Spookshow International" comic, a Dark Horse-distributed team-up with "30 Days of Night" scribe Steve Niles called "The Nail," a comedy album he's producing for "Corpses" star Chris Hardwick, and of course the inevitable DVD release of the first "House of 1000 Corpses."
"It used to be everyone [would ask], 'When's the movie coming out?' " Zombie said with a laugh. "We answered that question, so now it's, 'When's the unrated movie coming out?' That's all anyone cares about. You just can't give these kids enough blood!"
"[The answer is] it doesn’t exist yet," he explained. "I have to create it. Then it will be ready to come out."
According to Lions Gate, "House of 1000 Corpses" will hit DVD on August 12 with commentary from Zombie, trailers, screen tests and featurettes specifically designed for the DVD.