CS Interview: Author Grady Hendrix Talks Satanic Panic
RLJE Movies supplied ComingSoon.web with the possibility to talk with screenwriter and novelist Grady Hendrix (My Greatest Buddy’s Exorcism, We Offered Our Souls, Paperbacks From Hell) concerning the new horror comedy Satanic Panic, which opens in theaters and on Digital HD in the present day! Click on right here to look at Satanic Panic on Digital HD!
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Sam’s first day as a pizza supply driver isn’t going based on plan. On the finish of an extended day and never sufficient ideas, her final supply seems to be for a bunch of Satanists in search of somebody to sacrifice. Now in a battle for her life, Sam should fend off witches, evil spells and demonic creatures, all whereas attempting to maintain her physique – and soul – intact. Starring Hayley Griffith (The Loudest Voice), Ruby Modine (Comfortable Dying Day franchise), Jerry O’Connell (Billions), Arden Myrin (Insatiable) and Rebecca Romijn (X-Males franchise), Satanic Panic is “a fully entertaining horror movie that can fulfill any viewer’s want for monsters, mayhem and…jokes” (Robert Saucedo, Delivery.Films.Dying).
Directed by Chelsea Stardust (Seeing Inexperienced) from a screenplay by Mohawk‘s Ted Geoghegan and Grady Hendrix, Satanic Panic is about to open in theaters and on Digital HD September 6.
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ComingSoon.web: This mission was initially introduced by Darkish Sky years in the past to be Ted Geoghegan’s subsequent movie after “We Are Nonetheless Right here.” Are you able to discuss concerning the journey the script went on?
Grady Hendrix: What had initially occurred is Ted was in search of his subsequent mission after “We’re Nonetheless Right here”. And Darkish Sky type of had a listing of issues they needed within the film, however they didn’t actually have a narrative and he was looking for one thing that might line up along with his pursuits and what they might be keen to greenlight. I spotted that I had a script I’d been engaged on. It was primarily “Satanic Panic”, however the principle character was a dude. And I informed him, “Hey, if we simply switched the gender right here from a person to a girl, this script can be within the ballpark of what you’re in search of.” So we did that, and he got here up with the thought for the title “Satanic Panic” and we labored on it collectively for a bit, and Darkish Sky was actually excited. And we introduced it within the trades. After which, by the vagaries of movie financing, that they had a crew able to go to do a interval piece that Ted had needed to pitch referred to as “Mohawk”. And I feel at that time “Mohawk” was actually only a three-paragraph pitch. On January 24 of that yr, they had been like, “Okay, effectively, let’s do ‘Mohawk’ and it’ll roll in Could.” And so Ted was like,”Effectively, have you learnt something concerning the Warfare of 1812?” Which was good as a result of I occur to be a giant Warfare of 1812 boss. So, we wrote “Mohawk” and it was quick, man. After which they went off to shoot it and I feel “Mohawk” took us six weeks. We had been simply in my little workplace on daily basis, he and I. Two individuals barely slot in there. When he obtained achieved with “Mohawk” he was fairly zonked and needed to do one thing in addition to “Satanic Panic” at that time. However I nonetheless thought the script was good, and Adam Goldworm, who’s one of many producers, who’s additionally my supervisor, thought it was nonetheless good. So the Fangoria guys obtained concerned. And that’s the way it went from there.
CS: Proper. And what affect do you assume having Fangoria on board delivered to the movie?
Hendrix: Effectively, I don’t know if precise affect from the journal got here to the movie, however they weren’t very hesitant about embracing the actual horror style parts. Different producers and distributors had been nervous about issues like the sensible make-up and a few of the weirder results, needed to do CGI and issues like that. The Fango guys actually needed to embrace the cultier, weirder particular results and so they needed to maintain all the pieces sensible, with little CGI gildings right here and there. I feel it being a Fango mission actually let it embrace its horror coronary heart a bit greater than it might have elsewhere.
CS: Having Chelsea on board to direct appeared like a very good name as a result of she has a fantastic horror background. As a result of the story is so female-centric, how do you assume it was totally different than if a male director had achieved it as initially deliberate?
Hendrix: You already know, I don’t know, to be sincere. I actually really feel prefer it all has much more to do with the person director. However I do assume that given the quantity of ache and struggling the 2 feminine leads undergo, and the truth that nearly all of the leads are feminine, I do assume it helped the actors to have a feminine director. I feel they felt that Chelsea actually empathized with them and was actually watching out for them and caring for them. Chelsea and I labored actually intensely on the script to get it prepared for manufacturing proper up till a few days earlier than the digital camera rolled. We did a desk learn with the forged and saved tweaking. I feel that was enormous.The additional the author might be concerned, the higher as a result of each drawback you could possibly remedy in preproduction, all the pieces you may anticipate, all the pieces you may get into the script simply to make it straightforward whereas cameras are rolling pays off 10 instances.
CS: I feel the film passes the Bechdel check like eight instances or one thing like that.
Hendrix: Yeah. You already know, I’ve by no means truly sat and utilized the Bechdel check to one thing I’ve achieved. I truly get fairly pissed off as a result of now and again I actually wish to write one thing about dudes, however I all the time appear to wind up not having the ability to pull it off and writing about ladies as an alternative. I don’t know why that appears like a extra pure match for me.
CS: Talking of that, do you assume it’s a coincidence that each this movie and your ebook “We Offered Our Souls” each have feminine musician protagonists?
Hendrix: No, in no way. I imply, as I completed rewrites on “Satanic Panic” I used to be writing “We Offered Our Souls”. So no, in no way. I used to be within the heavy steel headspace. And actually, actually the truth that there’s an earlier draft of the script the place Sam’s love of heavy steel is a a lot greater a part of her character, that positively got here from doing “We Offered Our Souls” on the identical time. So Sam’s a youthful, much less cynical model of Kris Pulaski in “We Offered Our Souls”.
CS: Simply since you had been in that very same headspace, so there was cross pollination.
Hendrix: Oh yeah, positively. And Kris is far smarter than Sam. However on the identical time, Kris is smarter, however in some methods, much more type of a prisoner from her personal perspective. She’s much more cynical than Sam. Sam’s not very vivid, however she’s an everlasting optimist and actually believes that there’s all the time a manner.
CS: You truly dwell in New York, however needed to work on the movie in LA. How do you type of take care of the space?
Hendrix: Really, this was shot in Dallas, Texas. And yeah, and for the desk reads and stuff, I simply flew down for a couple of days. However yeah, no, LA isn’t unhealthy. It’s a 5 or six-hour flight and I’m going on the market a couple of instances a yr to pimp screenplays and search for work and issues like that. Lots of people come by New York and I feel quite a lot of people are glad to have punch with somebody in New York after they’re right here. I’ve obtained some associates who’re in manufacturing who’re going to be out right here in September, and I’ve seen a bunch of them, so it goes forwards and backwards, actually. I imply, if I used to be in LA, I’d most likely be richer and extra profitable, however I’ve a tough time dwelling wherever that’s not New York. I like having 4 seasons.
CS: Identical. And I’ve to know, as a result of I’m a giant fan of web site gags: Was “Holland Oats” truly in your script or was that only a intelligent prop particular person?
Hendrix: Wait, the what?
CS: When Ruby Modine pulls a gun out of container of oats, and the oats says “Holland,” just like the nation Holland, after which “Oats.” [Hall & Oats]
Hendrix: Yeah. Oh no, within the script it’s positively oatmeal, however the prop particular person did the branding.
CS: Okay, so props to the prop particular person there. That was a hilarious web site gag.
Hendrix: Yeah, precisely.
CS: The title is “Satanic Panic” and naturally there actually was a satanic panic in America across the late 80s, early 90s, the place sure people had been saying that there have been cults in suburban areas and that there have been Satanists performing rituals, and so forth. I do know you’re a giant analysis freak. How a lot of that did you pull from type of that period?
Hendrix: The factor with the satanic panic, which is that after I was a child and it was occurring, I keep in mind being terrified extra as a result of it appeared like the fees that had been being leveled at individuals had been so patently ridiculous, and but so many individuals had been taking it severely. That is much less pulled immediately from the satanic panic, however with the film it’s extra, okay, effectively, let’s take it actually. Here’s a satanic cult that’s utilizing virgin sacrifices to summon demons and management the world. What would that truly appear like? On the finish of the day, it doesn’t look too far off from the world we dwell in. There’s all the time been this concern of a small bunch of privileged elites who’ve bizarre rituals, whether or not it’s iowaska and neti potting and happening yoga retreats or it’s virgin sacrifices and child cannibalism. I actually like literalizing stuff, as a result of I feel that’s the place you discover quite a lot of humor in it. I’m probably not seeking to make it humorous. I’m seeking to make it extra actual. If you begin making issues actual, they do get a bit ridiculous, since you have a look at one thing like a satanic cult film from the 70’s, like “Satan’s Rain” or “Race with the Satan” or one thing, and even like “Werewolves on Wheels”, which has the cult in it. You assume, “What do these guys do on the weekends? They’ll’t spend all their time in robes chanting. Do they like films? What bands do they like? They’re going to age out of this. Have they got a coaching/recruitment program?” As quickly as you begin to literalize these things, it will get realer, however it additionally at a sure level begins getting sillier. So my job is to cease earlier than it will get too foolish.
CS: Clearly, conspiracies all the time make for excellent film fodder. Even in case you don’t imagine in conspiracies, they’re nice engines for scripts.
Hendrix: Yeah, completely. Films are so structured. They are surely like conspiracies. They nearly mirror that construction. You see two actors on display screen having a espresso and also you don’t see the key community of technicians surrounding them to ensure it “appears to be like actual”.
CS: It was introduced a short while in the past that “My Greatest Buddy’s Exorcism” was being tailored by Chris Landon, who simply introduced that he’s doing a unique movie with Vince Vaughn. What’s the standing of that proper now?
Hendrix: I don’t know. I’m the author, so I’m the final person who anybody tells something. If everybody met within the room, I’d be the man they requested to get espresso. I do know they nonetheless have the script, and I do know that it’s nonetheless in movement. I do know individuals hold juggling job titles from director to producer or to author. I’m probably not certain what’s occurring. All I do know is it’s nonetheless in movement, however I do know they’re wanting round and individuals are swapping hats and issues. So that you’ll most likely hear it earlier than I’ll.
CS: After I first heard that it was Chris Landon connected, I used to be like, “Oh, effectively that’s a very good match with Grady’s sensibilities.”
Hendrix: Oh certain. Yeah, completely. One of many issues for me is in the end, what I do is I write books. I imply, I do screenplays, too, however I do books. And so, I actually hold my head down. In case you comply with that stuff too intently, it’s like demolition derby, you get connected to this director after which it’s that one after which the opposite one. I’m simply type of like, “Let me know on the finish.” I simply wrapped up a ebook. I’ve obtained a ebook popping out subsequent spring that I simply wrapped up final week and I’m doing revisions on the ebook that’s going to be after that one proper now. So I’m simply attempting to maintain my head down and write as many books as attainable earlier than somebody catches onto what I’m doing and the truth that I don’t have an actual job and makes me cease.
CS: I hope this one was much less of a chore than “We Offered Our Souls,” on which I perceive you went by like 4 or 5 totally different variations.
Hendrix: Yeah, no. This one’s referred to as “The Southern E book Membership’s Information to Slaying Vampires”. It was powerful as a result of it’s actually arduous for me to write down mother and father. I don’t have youngsters myself, and I discover mother and father actually tough to write down, and it’s a ebook solely about mother and father. So, that was actually, actually arduous, however no, it was not the grim descent into a private hell that was “We Offered Our Souls”.
CS: “Paperbacks from Hell” was an enormous phenomenon throughout the horror neighborhood. It appeared to revive curiosity in these outdated paperbacks. After which, you truly began a line of reprints with Valancourt Books Is that also going robust as an ongoing factor?
Hendrix: Yeah. So we simply printed the fifth of the primary wave of the “Paperbacks from Hell” reissues for Valancourt, and we truly are about to announce the subsequent 5. We’ve obtained 4 of them just about nailed down and one in all them we’re attempting to line up earlier than we make the announcement. However they’re actually good. We’re actually psyched. There’s a few books we couldn’t get as a result of the creator’s simply, I don’t know, they had been similar to, “Ah, it’s not value our time.” However we’ve obtained 4 and hopefully fingers crossed, this fifth one, which might be going to be wonderful. Considered one of them’s a very well-known title that’s been out of print for a very very long time that we had been type of shocked was accessible. So yeah, no, Jay’s been on the market from Valancourt, sending out demons into the world to do his darkish bidding and safe some stuff. I imply, one of many books we’re doing has by no means been printed within the States. One is well-known and has been type of in limbo for a very long time, so we’re tremendous psyched.
(Photograph Credit score: Getty Photographs)