Adam Green and Danielle Harris Slice Up "Hatchet II", Metallica and Tears for Fears for ARTISTdirect.com
Wed, 29 Sep 2010 13:09:49
Danielle Harris Videos
Hatchet II is the ultimate 21st century slasher.
It's brilliantly bloody and batteringly beautiful. Director Adam Green picks up the moment that the first Hatchet ended with Marybeth [Danielle Harris] barely escaping from maniacal deformed killing machine Victor Crowley [Kane Hodder]. This time, Marybeth has a plan. She wants Victor's blood, and she won't stop until she gets it. With the help of Rev. Zombie [Tony Todd], she rounds up a team to venture deep into the swamp after Crowley…Then all hell breaks loose.
Harris imbues Marybeth with a badass tenacity that audiences haven't seen since Uma Thurman's "Bride" in Kill Bill, but she tempers it with a sweet and sympathetic side that makes her one of horror's deepest heroines. At the same time, Green adds a vibrant violence to the genre that's gut-bustingly funny and gut-wrenching all at once. The movie is almost like listening to a Slayer or Slipknot record. From the first scene to the last, every moment is visceral and pulse-pounding.
Director Adam Green and star Danielle Harris sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about making Hatchet II sharper than the first, why heavy metal is the perfect religion, persevering against all odds and the day Adam was sent home from his Holliston, MA school for his Appetite for Destruction t-shirt…
Don't miss Hatchet II when it hits theaters Friday October 1, 2010.
With Hatchet II did you want to step everything up from the jump? It's like the first film on steroids…
Adam Green: That's a great compliment! It would be awesome to finally have a slasher franchise where the movies keep one-upping each other and getting better—rather than the series burning out on itself. We purposefully left a story that remained to be told about Victor Crowley and held back on things so we had somewhere deeper to go for the sequel. The story's better in this one. It's a little bit darker. The deaths are even more ridiculous and over-the-top. We really wanted to beat the first movie. There's some pride in this considering the first Hatchet was this scrappy little independent movie. Thankfully, so many people got behind it and found it. However, a lot of naysayers were like, "I don't get this at all! This makes no sense to me!" To be back with a sequel, you're taking the power away from them because, obviously, the first movie was a success and they were wrong. We do everything we did in the first one, but we do more of it! We're not apologetic and we don't try to broaden the film for a different audience or change the direction. It felt really redeeming to genuinely stay that course.
You maintain the integrity of the series, but everything is heightened. Danielle added a lot of depth to Marybeth too.
Adam Green: It's really hard when you have to be the one straight character in a movie full of comedians.
Danielle Harris: Usually, that's the least liked character—the one who makes it out alive. Everybody loves Victor Crowley. They always root for the killer to kill everybody. I said to Adam, "For this to work, I have to make the audience want me to win or at least be 50-50." Otherwise, they're like, "Oh, boo, she killed him! Screw you! How dare you?" [Laughs]
Adam Green: At the first screening, when everybody started cheering for Danielle with the hatchet, I knew it was working [Laughs].
When Marybeth becomes vengeful, it's a very classic horror turn.
Adam Green: We set it up pretty well in the voodoo shop. She says, "I'm going to bury that hatchet deep into his fucking face," and then she buries that hatchet deep into his fucking face [Laughs].
Danielle Harris: I love that shot when I come back stomping in with that giant gun because it looks like a cartoon to me. That gun is so huge; I can barely lift it up and hold it over him. It was such a great scene.
Adam Green: One thing I always liked about the first Hatchet—and I did this with Spiral as well—is you create an ending that is very predictable, and that's how you catch the audience off guard. In the original film, as soon as the characters were in the boat, you knew she was getting pulled over the side, so we embraced that. However, to kill the main character Ben [Joel Moore], like we did, was different. There was the whole fake-out that it wasn't his hand, and nobody saw that coming. Some people love that. Other people get angry and they're like, "What? You killed the main character?" You leave them hanging in black. With this one, of course Victor's hand is going to twitch again at the end! Then, Marybeth comes back with a shotgun!
Danielle Harris: Did you see that coming?
It was a big surprise!
Adam Green: Nobody sees the shotgun coming, so you think, "Holy shit, she's got a gun!" Viewers always wish the heroine would do that in these movies, but they never finish the job!
Danielle, what resonated with you about Marybeth?
Danielle: Having this little stature, it was really cool to go in knowing that I'm trying to take out Victor Crowley out because he ruined my life. It's my turn now! I get this whole group of guys together, but I'm the ringleader. This is the first character I've gotten to play on that side. I've never gotten to do that before.
The movie is based off of those emotions and that energy. The plot's an allegory for that explosion.
Adam Green: Danielle has always been the victim or the prey. To see her become the stalker and stand up for herself is really great. I've always enjoyed watching that. I think of the scene when Crowley breaks through the bedroom door, knocks down Uncle Bob and everyone is going to shoot at him. He throws Danielle against the wall. When Danielle's gun doesn't work, the first thing she does is wind up and hit Victor in the face with the gun. Then she pulls out another gun. I liked that she was the biggest badass in that scene. The other guys were all just standing there!
Danielle Harris: It was nice to play the heroine and be badass, but also have this element of emotional vulnerability at the same time. Going into it knowing what I just saw in the movie before, Crowley killed my father and brother, now what do I do? How many times does she say, "I have nothing; I lost my whole family?" There really is nothing to lose, and that was what I kept in mind.
What songs come to mind when you think of Hatchet II?
Adam Green: That's a really good question! I had the opening credits—with Ministry's "Just One Fix"—planned long before I ever sat down to even write this. There's something about that song. I don't know drug addiction; I've never gone through it. However, I do know addiction to other things like this series, for instance. When the first Hatchet became a success and there was a demand for a sequel, I wanted to do it, but my reps were like, "Don't do your own sequel! Let somebody else do the sequel. It's never better than the first one. You've got to keep moving on." I kept thinking about it over and over again. During the opening titles, the song stops, goes to black and that voice says, "I could stop if I wanted to" and it keeps going. I love that about "Just One Fix." The first time we watched it play back on the mix stage and I heard that particular line, I thought, "That's me!" That song's about not being able to stay away. I hope if they do a third Hatchet, they give it a little time so we can all do other things and come back together again really excited. If we had to start tomorrow, we're so burned out that we couldn't do it. The reason why this movie is so good is we had the opportunity to do other things and we came back to Hatchet with such a vengeance and a passion for it again. We were excited to be there.
Danielle Harris: I listen to cheesy '80s love ballads [Laughs]. This year, I went to see Christopher Cross, Chicago and Tears for Fears. I'm a cheesy Air Supply and Lionel Richie girl!
Adam Green: Kane Hodder listens to the score from Frozen whenever he has to do anything emotional. I always saw him in the corner with his headphones. He let me hear it, and it was the score from Frozen.
Danielle Harris: I listen to a lot of slit-your-wrists suicide shit like Indigo Girls [Laughs]. I'm such a girl! I don't feel like I need to sit in my chair and listen to music to get anywhere. If the writing's there and I'm committed to it, I actually can't stop the emotion. I'll get in my car and put on happy, fun stuff to get myself out of that place.
Adam Green: Every day on the way to set, I listened to "Broken, Beaten and Scarred" by Metallica from Death Magnetic. There's something about the spirit of that song. Every time you get knocked down, you come back. I've taken a lot of slings and arrows in getting to where I am. That's the hard thing. On your first movie no one knows who you are and, all of a sudden, you're deemed successful. The right behind the corner, there are a bunch of people gunning for you and they hate the fact that you're having success. They hate you're happy and things are going well for you. It sucks. The Ratings Board destroyed the first movie at the last second. You get knocked down, and you have to get back up again. I used to listen to "Broken, Beaten and Scarred" on the way to shoot every day because there was a lot of anger about what happened to the movie the first time. I think it shows in the kills. Victor's very vicious in this one.
Danielle Harris: O.A.R.'s "Shattered" has a bit of the same feeling—not necessarily as far as Hatchet goes but as far as career and what we do for a living. There's always someone telling you that you should just go and you're not good enough. It's like, "Fuck you!" Turn it around and keep making movies.
It's great to see another guy from Massachusetts find big creative success.
Adam Green: There were a lot of great people from my class in Holliston that went on to do a lot of great things. Mike Grier and Kara Wolters (Olympic Medal Winner) were in my class. When you drive through Holliston, it says, "The home of Kara Wolters." It's great.
Who's idea was it for Danielle to wear the Twisted Sister shirt?
Danielle Harris: Adam's! It's his shirt! I was so panicked, because he kept saying, "When you leave make sure I get that shirt back."
Adam Green: Stuff tends to disappear on set—especially props. After a kill scene, you'll go to pick up all of the intestines, and they're gone! People will take a picture of it on set, pocket it and, 20 years from now, it'll be on Ebay [Laughs]. The special effects guys number everything. Every time you re-set a head, they number the pieces. It's like the Superbowl when they use a different ball on every play.
Danielle Harris: I should've taken some bloody leaves [Laughs].
So, who would Victor Crowley listen to?
Adam Green: Probably GWAR! I think "The Salaminizer" would probably be his favorite song [Laughs]. I'd love to see Victor Crowley and Oderus Urungus go at it. I think that would be really funny!
Tell the whole story about that Appetite for Destruction shirt…
They made me go to the principal's office in sixth grade for wearing it, and my mom had to bring me a different shirt! I couldn't actually go to class until she showed up. She was pissed! My parents told me, "Don't go to school like that, you look like a bum!" I love the fact that I still wear these shirts every day. I dress in the exact same clothes I wore in high school. I haven't changed at all. I go to studio meetings like this, and you almost have the upper hand. All these guys are in suits, and you walk in not giving a shit and not needing what they're trying to get you to want. They don't know what to do, and it's cool. I'm very lucky that I've had enough success with the independent stuff, and I don't need that stuff. I can keep going. Heavy metal was my religion in a lot of ways. Ozzy Osbourne, Dee Snider and Metallica were it. Half of Guns N' Roses came to the London premiere of Hatchet II, and it's great the way those guys are drawn to this how I was drawn to them. That's what kept me going all the time. Everybody wants to tell you no, but having that music that says, "Yes, you can fight back!" was very inspiring.
Will you be seeing Hatchet II?