5 QUESTIONS WITH WRITER/DIRECTOR DANTE TOMASELLI (AUG. 2006) - Robg.
Hey Dante! It seems we always run a new interview with you every year. We last spoke to you in August of 2005 and also one full year before that, so we’ll start this off with the same question – What’s changed for you in the past year, both personally and artistically since last we spoke?
I'm more jaded than ever, when it comes to the film industry. Each of my films gets made through sheer force of will. And you know I'll crawl over broken glass to get them made. When the movies are finished and ready to be sent off into the world, I feel a sense of peace. But, of course, to balance any pleasure I might feel, there's a hateful, snickering mob out there who want to stamp out anything that's different, anything that doesn't fit the formula. They're waiting in the wings, ready to pounce. They don't want to see anything genuinely new. They say they do, but they don't. It's mostly political. Many of these armchair critics are bored high school kids or deeply frustrated wanna-be filmmakers...and they vent their rage through the computer. It's so easy. Most of these cats would give anything to have their films out there. They see someone like me, who is actually making some headway, and they violently react. You've seen it a million times with Rob Zombie, Eli Roth...low budget horror films like The Blair Witch Project, Cabin Fever, House of 1000 Corpses. The fan boys either are ecstatic or they shit all over the movies, disgustingly. They're really thinking of their own movie, the one that hasn't been made! They're fucking jealous! There's this internalized rage and it just...There's so much propaganda. I have people who defend me and trash me and it just makes my head spin. I have to shut it out. I've always been polarized, as a person, always...so I guess I'm used to it. Artistically, I feel more powerful than ever. But of course I doubt myself. It's all still a swirling mystery...life. I'm 36-years-old. There's still a lot ahead. But at this point, after three movies, I feel I've been productive. If I die now at least I'll have some sort of legacy. Still, I can't relax. I can't. I have tunnel vision. All I can think of...is mounting the next film. I close my eyes and that's all I see.
Anchor Bay is about to release your latest flick ‘SATAN’S PLAYGROUND’ on August 22 nd. Having lived with this movie for so long, how does it feel to finally have it released to the public?
It's such a relief. It's like a baby being born. I'm thrilled that I finally completed my third feature and it's about to be released. Satan's Playground has been a labor of love. Definitely. Over two years of my life.
What can you tell us about the DVD release? What goodies can we expect and are you satisfied with the special features and overall package on the release?
Anchor Bay did a wonderful job. The transfer is crisp, I'm happy with the sound. There are more extras than I imagined. There are two Satan's Playground trailers...a long one and a quick teaser. Also, a little interview with me can be found. Um, there's a 10-minute Behind the Scenes piece that is a lot of fun. There's an audio commentary by me. A poster, stills gallery is on the disc too. Plus the trailer for Chris Garetano's, "The Horror of Dante Tomaselli."
‘THE OCEAN’ has been kicking around for a while. What’s the latest on the film, including some of the cast members you’ve gotten involved?
Well, THE OCEAN is slated to star Margot Kidder (The Amityville Horror, Superman), Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos), Judith O'Dea (Night of the Living Dead), Felissa Rose (Satan's Playground) and Christie Sanford. There will be lots of cameos: Tom Atkins (The Fog), Ellen Sandweiss (The Evil Dead), Lynn Lowry (Shivers), Edwin Neal (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and John Fallon. It's about the end of the world, God's wrath against mankind. There's a deadly ebola-like virus spreading along the coast. It's a disaster horror movie and a zombie splatter film. At the core, THE OCEAN is a twisted family psychodrama. I hope to be shooting January 2007 in Puerto Rico, in the Bermuda Triangle...The Devil's Triangle.
After ‘THE OCEAN’, you’ve got a little project in the works called ‘ SALEM’. We’re intrigued! What can you tell us, if anything about ‘ SALEM’ and is it definitely next after ‘THE OCEAN’?
It's really hard for me to talk about SALEM because it won't really crystallize in my mind until THE OCEAN is washed from my system. But I can say that SALEM will be a horror film that has to do with the Witch Trials. I'm sure as I'm finishing the editing for THE OCEAN, SALEM will pop into my brain full force. That's how it works with me. I'm a one-movie-at-a-time kind of guy.