Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS interview. This time I catch up with actor Corey Feldman who stars in SIX DEGREES OF HELL. I had a chance to catch up with Corey about his long career and ups and downs in his life as a child actor and into adulthood. Here’s what Corey had to say…
AMBUSH BUG (BUG): All right, so we are all set. So I did actually get a chance to see SIX DEGREES OF HELL last night and it’s a fun film. How did you become involved with this film?
COREY FELDMAN (CF): Well basically it was pretty random. In most cases I’ll generally get a script through my manager and then he will send it on to me and I’ll take a look at it and if it looks like something that seems interesting, then I will respond positively and will say “Thank you very much.” In this particular case the thing that most intrigued me was not actually the character itself, but more the fact that this film offers a rare opportunity in cinema, which is pretty unparalleled to this point which is the fact that you have a third of the movie in character beyond the main heroes of the film as it were, but the living character is actually the living establishment “The Hotel of Horrors” and the thing that was so intriguing to me was that it kind of creates its own Disney Land for these things in Pennsylvania where they’ve got this establishment that is already known to be one of the greatest haunts in the eastern hemisphere and it’s a very creepy scary place where tourists come from all over the world to have this experience and that was very intriguing to me that you could create a film that pretty much lends itself to a virtual experience in breaking down the fourth wall where once you saw the film, you became familiar with these characters where the actual Hotel of Horror created all of those characters. All of the bad guys, the demons, and scary guys in the film… all the makeup effects, all of that stuff is created my the actual owners of the Hotel of Horror, so basically it allows fans to step into the world of the reality of the horror of seeing the film, getting the experience and then going and actually experiencing it live by walking through the hotel, doing the mazes, and then seeing those same characters like kill people in the film pop out at you and it’s actually the same people that play them. So I can’t think of any other place in the world where you can actually have the opportunity to go experience the film as it were in real life with the actual characters from the actual movie.
BUG: That’s a very cool concept. I really like that. Have you yourself been through that haunted house itself as a participant?
CF: Well no, because when we shot the film, which was during an off season we did go out there and we did shoot in the hotel, but there were no mazes or anything going on, it was just all of the actors there doing their typical little scares in the film. They weren’t doing it for an actual audience, so I did get a chance to explore the hotel quite a bit and it is quite a creepy place.
BUG: Yeah, well it’s very cool. I really liked all of the different sets and all of the different characters, like the scary characters and the costumes and everything. It’s really cool that you could actually go to this place and experience that yourself. I like that aspect of the film.
CF: Like I said, it’s never been done before, so you know at this point in my career after doing all of the different things that I’ve done, you always look for something that’s challenging and rewarding and try to do something that breaks the mold. I think this film does certainly break the mold. It’s a lot more than you would typically expect from a small independent film and it certainly has plenty of scares in it and I think the most nerve shattering all around most uncomfortable murder scene ever caught on film and I think if you saw the movie last night, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
BUG: Definitely. So is this something you’d like to revisit? Would you like to do a sequel, as far as “THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF HELL” or something like that?
CF: Well I think the fans are going to demand a sequel for this film. If does half as could as I think it will I think they will definitely want to see a sequel or end up going to the hotel and doing the experience for themselves. I think the next film is already set up for seeing what happens to these characters in this hotel.
BUG: Definitely. It’s interesting, the role that you played in this film, kind of a private investigator . You’re trying to figure out what’s going on, but you seem to have a little bit of knowledge yourself as to what’s happening as well. Going into this thing, how did you prepare just for this role in itself?
CF: Well we were thinking about the kind of guys that do this for a living, the kinds of people that actually run around calling themselves paranormal investigators and I watched a couple of the TV shows and some clips on YouTube and stuff and looked at their methods and obviously there’s a lot of that painted on characters. They are very heavily made characters and focused that into somebody who probably had his own paranormal experience, much like the guys who did his dead TV show… the guy in the movie. I forget the character’s name, but it’s kind of like what that guy is experiencing, you see him going through these experiences and that’s what leads him to do this TV show even though he’s doing it in a cheesy reality show sort of way. The thing that drives him is real and that’s with everything going on in his life. So I think that that is a very intriguing side of it, so I kind of captured “Okay, well that’s one direction that you can go, going the reality cheesy way, but then somebody who was doing this interview in real life if they were a real paranormal investigator and working closely with police, they’d probably be a lot more off the beaten path. I wanted to do something to give them personality in the sense that I wanted him to seem a bit odd, a bit eccentric, but also not too forthcoming. I didn’t’ want him to be your overzealous wacky kind of paranormal guy. I wanted him to be a lot more focused and concentrated and a lot more detective like, because I see him more as he takes this all very seriously. Again, he’s also a little quirky and a little off the beaten path like with the hair style and the electronic cigarette, those were all things that I brought to the character essentially just to give him a little bit of an eccentricity.
BUG: I was going to ask about that, who came up with the electronic cigarette and everything for them, but you brought that in?
CF: Yeah, well that’s something that I’ve been doing in my normal life. (Laughs) I quite smoking two years ago and I’ve been using this electronic cigarette for the last two years and quite honestly I’ve never felt better, because I smoked for twenty years, so this has been just a huge savior in my life. So I actually have incorporated it into a few of my roles over the last few years, but certainly most prominently in this film. I mean this is the one where I really pushed it.
BUG: You have been in quite a few genre type films. Is it safe to say that you’re a big horror fan?
CF: I’m not actually. It’s ironic that these people would think I really thrive on horror, but the truth of the matter is it’s all very ironic that I ended up being this mascot for horror films, because horror I would say would be my least favorite genre. I really love comedies. I really love thrillers. Even rom-coms are fun, but when it comes to actual horror itself I prefer to stay away from the gruesome stuff. My favorite horror movies have always been the ones that don’t take themselves too seriously, or take themselves seriously and have the mystery and suspense as opposed to gore. So when I see something bloody or gory, I get a little bit turned off by it, because I’m a peace lover. I’m an animal rights activist and all of those things, so as a movie goer I like to see movies that have a positive message and leave me feeling spiritually happy when I walk out of the theater, not watching a bunch of people get shamelessly massacred.
BUG: So what’s it like when people who know you from like FRIDAY THE 13th or from THE LOST BOYS or some type of classic horror film and they approach you? Is that okay with you when that happens or does that kind of make you want to do more things that are less genre related just to kind of change that?
CF: No. I mean bottom line is I love my fans and I believe that I’m all over the map so to speak. I’ve been very fortunate that my movies have really crossed generations and all sorts of different color lines and race lines and generation lines and all of these things. When I do an even t with my fans for example, like we did that big thing in Santa Cruz a couple of years ago when we did the 25th anniversary of the filming of LOST BOYS, a movie we shot 25 years ago in Santa Cruz on the boardwalk and we had fifteen thousand people turn up for that event, which was historical for us and the great thing was looking at the audience and literally seeing people from seventy-five or eighty years old out there with their grand kids to little one year old or two year old infants running around during the concert. So that really goes to show you that I’ve been very fortunate to stand the test of time and be able to surpass many of the great falls of achieving each generation with those characters and those films. So I feel very blessed to have such a wide span of fans and I think hat when fans come up to me, whatever their favorite film is really it doesn’t matter. I love my fans.
BUG: Is there a genre that you would want to tackle as far as something working in the future? Is there something that you are looking forward to doing?
CF: Again, I’ve got about five films coming out this year and three of them are horror related, so ironically I tend to get worked rather steadily in that arena, but then the other film that I have coming out is called THE M WORD and that’s directed by Henry Jaglom who is a famous art house director and that’s a romantic comedy starring myself and Tanna Frederick from JUST 45 MINUTES TO BROADWAY, which is out right now with Judd Nelson and that will be in theaters early next year and again, that was is a very serious film. It’s a romantic comedy, but it’s got drama and comedy and starring Michael Imperioli from THE SOPRANOS, Francis Fischer from UNFORGIVEN. It’s obviously a very serious group of actors. I try to spread myself across the board a bit doing all the genres, which is fun, and it keeps me from being boxed in or categorized as one particular type of actor.
BUG: Sure. Do you think you go for some of the more horror based films, because of that dislike and maybe that comes out in your performances as far as like reacting to these scary situations?
CF: No, I don’t think it’s quite that methodical really. It’s more just where the business takes me. I get offers constantly. At the end of the day what I look for is a good script and a well put together production with a decent budget usually, but I don’t always make a decision based on the budget, you know. A lot of the times the films I choose to do are these big budget movies, but then a lot of the times I do these little tiny independent movies to help out the little guy. So for me, it’s where the heart is, where the soul is. If these people are very dedicated to their project and they really have a lot of heart and soul in it and they really want to make it the best that it can be, but they just need a little help from the Hollywood side, that’s where I come in and try to help them out wherever I can. If they need guidance, if they need help… a lot of times I rewrite the scripts for them or I help them direct the film or whatever, but I don’t take credit for that stuff. Once in a while I will come on as a producer officially like with the third LOST BOYS where I really put my input into it to really make it my own and then there’s ones where I more subtly do things from the background without actually taking credit.
BUG: Would you ever revisit another role…. I know you’ve revisited THE LOST BOYS a couple of times, but would you ever revisit a role like in FRIDAY THE 13th as Tommy Jarvis all grown up? Is that something you would do?
CF: Well not only is it something I would do, but it’s something that I’ve been involved for many years trying to get on its feet. I’ve had many meetings…. As a matter of fact with Barney Cohen, the writer from the original FRIDAY THE 13th: FINAL CHAPTER from which I appeared in and I’ve actually created the concept, which we’ve been pitching around to the studios to do a FRIDAY THE 13th update, like an H2O type approach. I think we would all like to see Tommy Jarvis grown up and having a rematch with Jason. I mean if there was one more horror film that I would add to my list of things that I would have to do in my career, that would definitely be one. That is the film that needs to be made. FRIDAY THE 13th: PART 13 TOMMY VS. JASON.
BUG: Definitely, yeah. I would love to see that. That would be fantastic.
CF: In 3D of course.
BUG: Of course. Also I wanted to ask, I know there were talks for a while there about THE GOONIES and a possibility of getting back together and doing something like that. Has that been discussed at all lately?
CF: (Laughs) It’s always discussed. Will it ever happen? Probably not. I mean it’s always a matter of opinion. If you asked Sean Astin “It is happening.” If you asked Josh Brolin, “It’s never going to happen.” If you asked me, I’d say “Hey, anything is possible, but don’t bank on it.”
BUG: Yeah. So the way you are now, I know everyone kind of knows you from your films and they know you as some of the buddy films and things like that and there were always a group of kids that… like in GOONIES or STAND BY ME, but do you hang out with all of those guys? Are you still friends with all of those guys that you starred with as a kid?
CF: Well STAND BY ME there’s only two guys left, because River is obviously no longer with us and Will and I hadn’t honestly seen each other probably since the filming until we did the reunion for the Blu-Ray with Rob Reiner and Richard Dreyfuss and everybody, which was a vey nice conclusion.
BUG: So how about with the guys on THE GOONIES? Do you guys talk very much any more?
CF: Well Sean and I have remained friends through the years, as Jerry O’Connell and I have remained friends through the years, but Jerry and I see each other probably once every five years. Sean and I see each other probably once every six months I would say, so we have definitely stayed in touch much more than anyone. The girls I don’t ever speak to that much, I mean Terrie more than Martha certainly, Terrie and I have stayed in touch. Maybe we speak once every year or two or when something major happens and then that’s about it. The rest of them I’ll see at the big reunions and so forth, but I’d say out of everybody, Sean and I are the closest friends.
BUG: Very cool. So you said you do have a couple of other projects coming up? What are those that you have going? You mentioned the romantic comedy, but there are a couple of others that you are working on?
CF: Well a bunch now that are in the pipeline and scheduled to be released at some point between now and the end of next year. There’s a couple of zombie films, one that’s a zom com, kind of a bizarre culty movie I’m sure you’ve heard about through the pipeline called ZOMBEX and that also features Malcom McDowell and Sid Haig, a bunch of cult favorites. So that one is going to be released probably next year (2013) and then another one which should be released this year which is called THE ZOMBIE KING, which is with Edward Furlong from TERMINATOR.
CF: And then we’ve got THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD or something like that, but… Oh, FEAR OF THE HEART, it’s a documentary film about Rick Springfield which I took part in and then there’s also a Pink Floyd documentary which is being made by the guy who’s created all the legendary artwork for Pink Floyd through the years and who incidentally did the artwork for my last album “Technology Analogy” and he actually has been directing his own documentary about the beginning stages and earliest years of Pink Floyd and I have taken part in that documentary as well. So I’ve got about six films coming out.
BUG: Wow. That sounds like you’re busy. I did just want to ask about the hairstyle in the film. It reminded me a little bit of your hairstyle in DREAM A LITTLE DREAM. Was that like an homage to that at all?
CF: No. In SIX DEGREES? BUG: Yes.
BUG: Not with the blonde hair, but with the strand that was down in your face on the side there.
CF: Right, well the strand itself has become a character in and of itself. (Laughs) In DREAM A LITTLE DREAM I think that was still like a leftover thing from the Michael Jackson phase of my life, but later it revisited me (Laughs) by making its own appearance in the third LOST BOYS film. What happened really… it’s kind of a funny story, but what happened was as many people know in my character, throw on the headband and once I put on the headband all of my hair is slicked back and the head band is on and it’s kind of the mullet look, but being that my hair was all grown out at one length for that film and a lot of people think those were wigs that I wore in the LOST BOYS films and I’m here to say “They are not. They are my own…” (Laughs) Anyway, because my hair was all past shoulder length, it was the longest… Out of all three films it was the longest in the third one and going through a very tumultuous time in my life, because I was… Literally it was two weeks after I was getting divorced where I had originally been planning to go to Africa to film the movie with my family, I ended p going alone, with just my assistant and my security guard and we went to Africa and I was kind of this lone soldier and then ironically life was imitating art or vice versa there I was in reality a lone soldier and playing this lone soldier in the film kind of had everyone against him and had nobody to rely on and nobody to turn to. He throws on the headband and goes into soldier mode and I think it was like three or four of the takes for whatever reason this strand kept popping out on its own. We would tie the headband on and this little piece would pop out. So because of films being what they are and the project being what it is, obviously you have to have some kind of continuity, so from that point forward in the film we always had to make sure that the strand was popping out from the bandana, henceforth giving the strand a character and a name of its own. Everybody would be like “Okay, what’s going on with the strand? We have to make sure the strand is there. Is the strand okay? Let’s spray the strand…” It had this life of its own. So when the film finished and I moved back to Los Angeles and I cut all of my hair off, it was right around the time of Corey’s death. It was actually a month before Corey died, so I came home and I got a haircut and I was thinking about the fact that this strand now meant more than just a character in a movie, but it was kind of its own personality in the sense that it represented my own unity and my own strength as an individual, as a man, being that lone solider. It all kind of was represented through that piece of hair, so I had a very hard time cutting it. That was the bottom line. So I was like “Maybe I will try something new. Nobody has had one long hair that’s stuck out in a film and we’ll make it a fashion statement,” so I kept it more as a joke than anything and then it got this huge response from the press. Everybody was going crazy. “What is he thinking? Oh my god, what is going on with that long piece of hair?” They acted like it was breaking news, like the world was ending because I had one piece of hair that was longer than the rest and Corey and I laughed about it quite a lot, because he thought it was very funny and I thought it was very funny. It was like the more it irritated the press, the more we both thought it was a good idea to keep it. (Laughs) So that was kind of why I did it and then when Corey died and when he died it became like a very sad thing that I decided to keep it for him.
BUG: Sure. Do you still have it?
CF: Yeah, it’s still there.
CF: So depending on what the film is and the character and what it calls for, I may hide it to get it out of the way or I may let it come out as part of the character depending on what is called for in the character. So I ended up doing six movies that year and so obviously I didn’t want it to be in every character that I do, so a couple of them have it and a couple of them don’t. Then I went and did this live television show this year called DANCING ON ICE and I decided to make it very featured and prominent in the TV show and that became such a huge thing in the UK that the fans literally created a twitter page for my hair. Go on Twitter and type in @Coreysbitofhair and find the twitter account in which my strand actually speaks for itself. I swear to god that I’m not behind that. It has nothing to do with me. That’s completely run by whoever, I have no idea. It’s funny though, you might want to check it out.
BUG: That’s very cool. I’ll have to check that out. Well thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with me today. You have had such a long and illustrious ups and downs and all kinds of things happening to you in your life and it’s great to see you still making movies and still doing things like that, so congratulations.
CF: Thank you and if there’s any shameless exploit of plugging right now I guess it would be for people to go check out my new website. I’ve created a new brand which is called “Corey’s Angels” and the website is coreysangels.com and they can have a chance to hear my new single, which is from my forth coming solo album which we be out soon here called “Ascension Millenium” and you can download it for free up until Christmas.
BUG: Fantastic. Well congratulations and thanks a lot for taking the time out to talk to me. Best of luck to you.
CF: Absolutely. Thank you very much.
BUG: Find out more about SIX DEGREES OF HELL on their Facebook page and on its website here! It’s available now on DVD & BluRay from Breaking Glass Pictures.
See ya next week, folks!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over eleven years & AICN HORROR for two. He has written comics such as VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS THE TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, & NANNY & HANK (soon to be available on iTunes and soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He has co-written FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND’s first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in 2013 as a 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark wrote the critically acclaimed GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK last year from Zenescope Entertainment & look for his exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-81 released August-December 2012. Mark will be writing GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK: LAST OF THE SPECIES to be released in February-June 2013. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitter @Mark_L_Miller.
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