Oct. 2, 2007, 5:45 a.m. CST
Oct. 2, 2007, 5:52 a.m. CST
It's so obvious Spielberg ghost-directed this film. Everything about the performances, the pacing, the camera movement, all reminiscent of Spielberg and not to be found in any of Hooper's other work.
Oct. 2, 2007, 5:55 a.m. CST
I enjoyed that. She seems like a top gal. I can't wait to see southland tales!
Oct. 2, 2007, 5:58 a.m. CST
Pretty much as everyone expected, but never had it said from 1st hand experience. Would have liked more information on Anguish. I ran a video store here in the UK, and it got a pretty big release from Fox. Great film, but customers generally didn't appreciate it when I recommended it - the scene in Clerks had it spot on - Oooh, Navy Seals!!!!
Oct. 2, 2007, 6:04 a.m. CST
Even though she only worked six days, its pretty fair to say her experience with Spielberg in control of the shoot and adjusting all the final shots, with Hooper setting up shots so that his name could be on the film, is likely consistent for most of the shoot. And Spielberg was likely the controlling force behind pre- and post-production as well, so its his film. Case closed.
Oct. 2, 2007, 7:05 a.m. CST
by Boba Fat
That's a tough casting call.
Oct. 2, 2007, 7:08 a.m. CST
ran the show on Lifeforce.
Oct. 2, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST
cue horrific demonic revenge.
Oct. 2, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST
Quint man,your no Anthony Michael Hall....and I need a drink.
Oct. 2, 2007, 9:32 a.m. CST
Poltergeist 3 rules.
Oct. 2, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST
the character she protrayed in the Poltergeist series was my fave.
Oct. 2, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST
I think you're all overreacting with the 'Hooper's busted!' stuff. From her explanation, said in a polite and indirect way, Hooper was having substance problems at the time. That kind of thing has a habit of happening when independent film folks hit the big time and the studio money flows in. I think it's perfectly reasonable to assume that Hooper directed some/all of the film, and perhaps got taken aside by Spielberg at some point so that the movie didn't spin out of control. I, for one, see Hooper's prints on the film, even though Spielberg is obviously all over the thing. My belief is that the truth is likely a mixed bag: Hooper directed -some- of the film, I highly doubt it's as black and white as we'd all like. After having the pleasure of meeting the man and spending a day on set watching him work (Mortuary) it's clear the chemicals are behind him, and whether you're impressed with his current work or not, his basic talent still shines through. I just don't get the seeming desire to kick the man in the nuts over this movie.
Oct. 2, 2007, 12:28 p.m. CST
... but it was strooong enough to punch a hole inta this world and take your daughter away from ya." Great interview, Eric. You're my total hero right now!!! Bravo!
Oct. 2, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST
During the filming of Poltergeist III (1988), she was doing a photo shoot when she paused and lurched. Director Gary Sherman was present and asked her what was wrong, she responded with a comment like "I don't know, was just a jolt. I'm fine." Several minutes later Sherman was pulled aside and told they would have to let Rubenstein go from the film -- her mother had just died. After developing the film from the photo shoot, it was discovered that every photo had come out fine, except one, which had an inexplicable cloud of light clouding into the photo from Rubenstein's left, covering half of her with a semi-transparent haze. Rubenstein said she knew the jolt had to have been her mother's passing - she said they always had a particularly strong bond, in a way some identical twins have. Sherman, who had witnessed it, agrees it could not have been anything else. Both Rubenstein and Sherman were already very well aware of the tragic events which had plagued the film series.
Oct. 2, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
What do you think she meant by 'chemical agents'? That Tobe Hooper was on drugs?
Oct. 2, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST
Poltergeist is Stevie's all the way.
Oct. 2, 2007, 1:27 p.m. CST
by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World
He was letting loose some Mustard Gas on the set, what the hell is wrong with you, you fucking idiot?
Oct. 2, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST
by Abominable Snowcone
This house is clean
Oct. 2, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST
by Baron Karza
in a good way?
Oct. 2, 2007, 2:40 p.m. CST
or so they say. What a lucky bastard to have his name affixed to two of the greatest films ever made while only doing half the work. We'll never know the whole truth, but I find it very suspicious that almost nothing Hooper has ever done has been remotely as good as those two films.
Oct. 2, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST
Oct. 2, 2007, 3:37 p.m. CST
Where'd you get that part about "Hooper barely directed TCM as well"? I've read the books, I've watched the documentaries, I've listened to the commentaries and I've never heard anything that gives that impression. Who are you saying directed it then, Kim Henkel? If that's what you're saying then watch his NEXT GENERATION and Hooper's PART 2 and tell me which one is from the director of the original.<p> In a way it's true, he directed a masterpiece but does not have the same body of work as say George Romero or John Carpenter. But I don't think he gets enough credit - TCSM shines high above the rest but there is plenty to say about LIFEFORCE and THE FUNHOUSE for example. And personally I think his straight to video stuff is starting to become tolerable, maybe he'll get in the game again some day. I hope.
Oct. 2, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST
by The Dum Guy
That is the most polite way to say someone is a dope head. From what I've heard, many Cheech and Chongs films where plagued with similar situations, albeit without Spielberg.
Oct. 2, 2007, 3:49 p.m. CST
by Kentucky Colonel
You can smell it. That stash in Craig T.'s bedroom...that weren't no oregeno. Not buds like that!
Oct. 2, 2007, 4:21 p.m. CST
"to us, it is the Beast" kickass movie
Oct. 2, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST
by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies
Glad the lady is still going strong.
Oct. 2, 2007, 7:18 p.m. CST
You can totally see his fingerprints all over that film. There's more though, apparently Tobe Hooper was high on mescaline throughout the entire shoot and, at one point, started to believe that he was a penguin. Don't ask me... I just heard this shit.
Oct. 2, 2007, 7:42 p.m. CST
Had almost forgot about this cool wee lady! she was very distinctive in Poltergiest to be sure with her tiny wee medium behaviour, bit like a creepy (more creepy) Jimmy Cranky!
Oct. 2, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST
If you do ever meet her, I bet she'll want to use her "vocal instrument" on you.
Oct. 2, 2007, 8:17 p.m. CST
Seriously, how do you interview Zelda and not even mention Teen Witch? Huge cult classic.
Oct. 2, 2007, 8:36 p.m. CST
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:51 a.m. CST
Oct. 3, 2007, 1:06 a.m. CST
Zelda is quite an interesting person, this was a fun interview indeed.
Oct. 3, 2007, 3:12 a.m. CST
Thanks for being so candid. It doesn't take a film genius to see that Spielberg had more than a glad hand on this film but you finally clearing it up for all of us film nerds is a blessing. Thank you! Oh and please know this... you are FOREVER in film history.
Oct. 3, 2007, 4:57 a.m. CST
Funny, I'd actually used that subject line before. It popped up typing "Cool". I guess you're excellently consistent in your work.
Oct. 3, 2007, 6:06 a.m. CST
Your telling me that the guy who filmed that crazy ass dinner table scene in TTCM was on drugs? Getthefuckouttahere
Oct. 3, 2007, 9:51 a.m. CST
by Samuel Fulmer
If there was any doubt that Spielberg really directed Poltergeist, this interview should end the arguement. It's possible that Hooper was a director the same way a union guy gets to be a cameraman in NYC by sitting on his/her butt collecting a paycheck while the real cameraman who isn't a NYC film union person does the actual work. Didn't a similar thing happen with Howard Hawk's production of The Thing From Another World? Some may bring up "Well than Irvin Kershner didn't really direct Empire," but you know what, the people who acted in Empire actually say Kershner was on the set and were directed by him. How many people who have acted in Poltergeist have said the same about Hooper. There have been a number of interviews with the actors from Poltergeist though the years that say that they were directed by Spielberg. What more proof do you need. I mean, they could've put Alan Smithees name on Poltergiest and it would'nt matter. The actors say they were directed by Spielberg. That's all the proof I need to settle this 25 year old contoversy. Still, I think Hooper is a talented director when given the chance to direct. Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Funhouse are horror classics.
Oct. 3, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST
Because you guys keep on talking about the screenings as if they will be 35mm prints. They are not. Just a projection of the DVD like the shitty ones they had for Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween. I'm all for the communal experience of watching the flick with other fans, but please call it what it is and stop making people think that they will be getting something they will not (and SHOULD).
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST
That always bugged me too! What kind of jackass starts grabbing food like that anyway. Thanks for the laugh, man.
Oct. 3, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST
Honestly, until I saw Behind the Mask, I didn't even know she was still alive. Very nice interview, though. But she said "hell." For shame, Zelda, this is the internet, and the fucking shithead kids are impressionable.
Oct. 3, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST
by half vader
Considering that it was remastered in HD and also coming out on high-def formats (eventually), I'm not sure that would be the case (although I haven't checked that either). <p> 1080p is only a few pixels different to 2k which is what many DIs are done at not to mention almost every effects sequence you've seen since things went digital, it should look as good as any other film. Anyway like I said I don't know the facts on this particular one but it would be hella stupid if they did do what you said. Any solid info? <p> I love Poltergeist but the funny thing is that even when I saw it as a kid when it first came out I always remembered how terrible that scene with the bad bluescreen/comping was where the record player and all that crap flies around the room. Ha. Maybe it was on purpose to put me offguard for the evil motherfucking clown from (literally!) hell. Shudder. <p> On the screening note I want to know if the Blade Runner screenings will be in 65/70mm. That WAS a rare instance where elements were (italics) scanned at 4k and even 8k (due to being shot large format in the first place). God I hope it's projected in all its glory. Not that I'll get to see it downunder but it'd be nice.
Oct. 3, 2007, 6:45 p.m. CST
by Jack Burton
"Now clear your minds. It knows what scares you. It has from the very beginning. Don't give it any help, it knows too much already." Her delivery of that line, plus the lighting and set up of that one scene is just awesome and one of my favorites ever. I'd put that one right up there with "They mostly come out at night. Mostly." and "He chose poorly."
Oct. 4, 2007, 11:13 a.m. CST
by Some Dude
That movie deserves much more attention.
Oct. 4, 2007, 6:35 p.m. CST
by Jaws Wayne
Yep, that's a great film indeed. I saw it at a film festival ages ago and later bought the sweet Anchor Bay disc. Zelda sounds like a fun lady but no suprise hearing Spielberg pulled all the strings on Poltergeist, IMO one of his best films by the way (#2, right behind Jaws).
Oct. 4, 2007, 7:52 p.m. CST
As arguably the most influential haunted house story of all time, (Up your ass Shirley Jackson!) the 25th anniversary of Poltergeist has been mismanaged since it's inception. A lame one night theatrical (DVD) screening, and not even at midnight. Virtually no press at all, and the worst insult of all. The pathetic excuse of a joke of an insult of an Anniversary DVD that WB has issued. With NO EXTRAS that pertain to the actual movie aside from the already available trailer. This is a film that the fans have demanded for 2 decades that the extra materials, stories, rumors, curse theories, poster art, radio/tv spots, documentaries and most of all memorial tributes, actually come to light. To be encased in a true SPECIAL EDITION with two or three discs in a boxed set. And yes at this point, we deserve the Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack included. This is the film you have DVD signings for, special collectible covers, or a special anniversary box edition shaped like a television perhaps. I even heard rumors about a lenticular cover showing the house imploding. But none of this has come to fruition. The fans have been blatantly ignored. Petitions cast aside. Spielberg needs to not dick around with remastered Godfathers and stand up for one of his own. No I won't even begin to debate. Steven Spielberg directed Poltergeist. I'm just really fucking livid, this is my favorite film of the 80's, and it's getting fucked harder than Audrey Hollander. DROP DEAD WB HOME VIDEO! Oh and for the record...SUPERMAN DOOMSDAY WAS A FUCKING JOKE! Go chew your cocks!
Oct. 4, 2007, 9:29 p.m. CST
The movie still holds up, but the presentation was a crime. The theater I saw it in (AMC Framingham 15 - a corporate hub so screenings are generally top notch) showed the film (ahem, DVD) re-framed at 16:9. It was to narrow for 1.85:1 and too wide for 1.33:1 (4:3); nope, it was definitely a re-framed version for 16:9. Think of it as a pan and scan version for widescreen televisions. The problem is the film was shot in 2.35:1 scope. The screening actually rubbed that in your face too when, after the opening scene, the film changes to a letterboxed 2.35:1 sequence for the opening credits (and closing credits as well). I couldn't believe it. I knew I wouldn't be seeing a 35mm film print and that it would be in DLP, which was fine I guess, but this was ridiculous. So I basically paid 10 bucks to watch a DVD in the theater, something I could have done at home on my DLP projector EXCEPT that when I realized the aspect ratio had been reformatted I would have tossed the disc in the garbage. Leonetti's framing was mangled. In one shot there is a closeup of the teenage daughter, Diane the Mom, and Robby the son; except the daughter (who was screen left) was cut out of the shot with only the tip of her nose entering the frame. It looked awkward. And, though I'm not certain, I doubt most DPs or camera operators would ever frame a shot like that. It was very disappointing. That said, the film still sucked me in and I got over the framing issues pretty quickly which is the testament to a 25 year old film that is still a creepily effective haunted house movie. Did this happen to anyone else at their screenings?
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:03 p.m. CST
Just got back from the screening and I enjoyed it. Could I tell that the quality was not as good as a home DVD? Yeah,but it wasnt horrible. And it was fun to see on the big screen even if the ratio was fucked up. I consider it ten bucks well spent,if for no other reason than I got to sit in the dark and ogle JoBeth Williams.....
Oct. 4, 2007, 10:52 p.m. CST
Yeah, just got back from my screening and it was definitely re-framed from its original scope aspect ratio. Bummer right from the beginnning! My screening wasn't in DLP but in the video projection they use for commercials. My screening was full though and the audience loved it!
Oct. 4, 2007, 11:16 p.m. CST
by Alabama Smith
....are some of these older films better on the big screen than on the small screen. Just attended a screening here in WI. and it was great. What was really funny was that the majority of the kids working the tickets and concession stand were born after the film was released. And smoking pot in the bedroom...priceless. I forgot about that scene. Overall, would like to see more of these films on the big screen.
Oct. 4, 2007, 11:42 p.m. CST
I would go see any and all old films in theatres if more of them got re-released. I remember a few years ago,a theatre near me had a showing of Casablanca. The print quality was terrible and of course it wasnt formatted for a modern day screen so it kind of looked like a postage stamp. Even though I had a much better version of the film on DVD,I still went and saw it 3 times at the theatre.
Oct. 5, 2007, 11:58 a.m. CST
by half vader
1.85:1 and 16/9 on a cinema screen? You do realise 16:9 is 1.78 :1? Not that different to 1.85. <p> http://tinyurl.com/3yarcc <p> Anyway yeah that sucks about shitting on the scope ratio. I thought fucking with OAR was a thing of the past now with widescreen tellies/DVDs. Does this mean the DVD has been changed too? That's sort of outrageous. The stupidest 4:3/1.33:1 crop ever for my money is the Close Encounters reformatted version. Noses at twenty paces! One person speaks, cut to an empty frame! Fucking priceless! <p> Sharp eyes mate (for the 1.78 to 1.85 not scope obv.)!
Oct. 5, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST
...and Zelda was sitting in the front row! Very cool convergence. The crowd cheered when her name came up in the credits and when she made her entrance on screen. As I was leaving the theater, I heard her comment that the film "still holds up."
Oct. 5, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA LIVES ON!!!! Thanks for a great interview, Zelda and Quint. I'm so glad this teriffic lady is going strong, working steadily and getting the cheers and respect she deserves.
Oct. 9, 2007, 1:31 a.m. CST
There was a pseudo-doc about psychics they showed after the movie, and the clips interspersed with the psychic footage as the commented on the reality of the film were clearly more widescreen than what we had just watched. This was very evident when the ghosts moved the piano while Craig T. Nelson was trying to hide the telekinesis from his boss. In the cropped version, it just looked like a piece of furniture - maybe a cabinet. With the correct ratio, it was clearly a piano. I didn't mind that much - the movie was still good, and seeing it with Zelda was a privilege. But I did find it funny that the silly doc after the movie basically thumbed its nose at us for having sat through the immediately preceding subpar presentation.
Oct. 15, 2007, 3:13 a.m. CST
Yeah, definitely one of the better interviews AICN has done in a while. Zelda is so candid and interesting. Feel bad for Hooper, AICN should just interview him already. Whether he has a movie out or not.
May 18, 2010, 1:58 a.m. CST
Honest and interesting....