Rob Zombie has been very kind to Horror Freak News. As controversial as he may be within the community, there is no question he has a passion for the genre. Zombie’s enthusiasm is infectious. I couldn’t help but have a certain spring in my shoes, as I spoke with the cast of 31, his latest bloody extravaganza. The movie is about a kidnapped band of circus performers forced to fight for survival for the amusement of a group of twisted, wealthy aristocrats.
First up was actor Pancho Moler, who plays Sick-Head, one of the mercenaries hired by the aristocrats. Sick-Head is a Nazi clown who speaks Spanish. That’s right. A Spanish-speaking Nazi clown. Did I mention this was a Rob Zombie film? At first Pancho seemed a bit hesitant. I was after all a tweed jacket luddite with a cassette tape recorded. But once I told him…
HFN: I’ve seen the film.
Things were off and running. You’d be amazed how many of the press at these red carpet events haven’t actually seen the movie, but I digress.
HFN: So a Nazi. That must’ve been hard to get to emotionally. So I wanna know what you did to get into the headspace of that character.
PM: When I auditioned for it, you know, I got the part. I didn’t even know it was a Rob Zombie movie. And then when I met Rob, he’s like…you know, you’re gonna be playing a Nazi Hitler clown? And I’m like oh sh*t, man. You know, that’s kinda controversial…but he’s giving me this opportunity. And if I’m gonna play a killer, why not play the most infamous one of all time?
HFN: It’s really funny as well, which actually I think heightens that horror.
PM: Well, I say this to everyone. With the Spanish, it was hard for me to make it work. A Nazi that speaks Spanish. But in history, after World War II, most of the Nazis that didn’t die in Germany migrated to Argentina, Columbia, Brazil. So that’s where it became real to me.
HFN: Were there a lot of bruises? Because that was so physical, especially the scene in the bathroom.
PM: Um, I had a stunt guy. But the stunt guy’s wig just wasn’t working. So Rob was like, I don’t want him to be like a martial artist. I want him to be like a dirty, dirty killer. A murderer, you know? So I did all my own stunts. And it was great. We had a great stunt coordinator.
After that, I met the divine Meg Foster. She plays Venus Virgo, one of the circus performers fighting for her life. Ms. Foster is a legend, working on such films as They Live and Zombie’s previous movie The Lords of Salem. She looked me dead in the eyes with her sky blue gaze.
HFN: [stammering] Hi, uh…hi. I’m with Horror Freak News. Name’s Monte.
MF: Hi, Horror Freak Monte…you know, he [Rob Zombie] is so very, very talented, and so focused. It’s magic. I don’t know what the right word is.
HFN: Magic is perfect.
MF: It is. In the buildings we were in, which were horrifying and beautiful at the same time, there was this little lizard. He was there on the ground, in a big pulp.
HFN: Oh, wow.
MF: And he had disintegrated, because there was no air there. He was like dust.
HFN: That kinda symbolizes the movie.
MF: It does. So in those lands…a yard, a house, doesn’t matter what it is…I realized, we are all horror. There is daily, daily horror. There is absolute horror, and there has always been.
There were still two burning questions in my Horrorhound heart. One of them concerned the character Doom-Head, the chief mercenerie, played by Richard Brake. Doom-Head was a standout, a character larger than the film itself. So I asked the man himself, Mr. Rob Zombie.
HFN: …is a fan favorite on our site.
RZ: Cannot get enough of that guy.
HFN: [laughs] So I gotta ask. Is there any chance for a spin-off film?
RZ: A spin-off film? Ah, no. Not a spin-off film. I mean, there’s always a possibility of a sequel. I dunno. Feel like this one hasn’t really come out yet, so we’ll see.
HFN: The, uh, ending…in terms of where he [Doom-Head] would go next. It’s like the ending…his loss…it’s sorta open-ended in that sense.
RZ: Yeah…I like when you have to try to figure out what’s happening. I feel like sometimes movies are so, like, here’s every little thing explained. As if the audience are complete morons. It’s kinda like everyone has a different idea what happened, or what will happen. And maybe we’ll show it someday. Maybe I’m not even sure what happened.
HFN: It’s like audience participation.
RZ: Yeah, exactly.
And then the $64,000 Question.
HFN: This isn’t the last horror for you? Horror movie?
RZ: Well, I…I dunno. I mean, who knows? Maybe the next will be the…probably the next…it’s supposed to be this “Raised Eyebrows”, the Groucho Marx film we’re doing. But who knows? You never know what’s next.
HFN: I’ll sign up for that.