Also, What The Hell Was in That Sleeping Bag?
Hey there, fellow horror geeks and monsterphiles! Prometheus here, and I have a special treat for my horror heads out there! Kane Hodder has a new film out, “The Good Things Devils Do!” It’s out now on VOD and DVD, and also stars Bill Oberst Jr and Linnea Quigley! Check out the poster and trailer below…
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kane about the film, his favorite on-camera kill, and a bunch of other cool Jason related stuff! Including what the hell was in that sleeping bag in Friday the 13th part 7! You can check out our conversation below!
KANE HODDER = KH
JOSHUA SCAFIDI =JS
JS: Hi Kane, it's a pleasure to speak to you. Thanks for the phone call!
KH: Yeah, no problem.
JS: So, you have a new film out with my pal Bill Oberst Jr and Linnea Quigley! The Good Things Devils Do!
KH: Yeah, from what I’ve seen, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s always fun working with Bill, and Linnea anyway. We’ve done projects together, and lots of conventions, of course.
JS: It’s available now On Demand and on DVD. What can you tell us, without spoiling too much, Kane?
KH: (Laughing) I know… it’s a stretch for people to think that I play a bad guy in this.
JS: That’s crazy…
KH: I know. (Laughing) What a crazy thing to hear. But I play… a really fucking terrible, bad guy. Really evil. What I love about it is the director, Jess (Norvisgaard ), gave me a scene where I have two people captive and I’m talking to them, and it’s an over three-minute scene where I’m the only one talking and the camera never cuts, one take.
Man, an actor dreams of that because it really gives you a chance to invest yourself in the dialogue. There’s no cutting, there’s no flipping around to the other side or anything. It’s a three-minute scene, and I’m extremely happy with it.
JS: That’s awesome!
KH: You’ll know when that scene is coming because they go into the basement, and it starts with me pissing in the corner.
KH: That’s how you know the scene is coming. When you see me come out from pissing.
JS: So, when Kane’s pissing in the corner, shits about to get real… Got ya.
KH: Pretty much.
JS: It has quite the cast. How did you get involved?
KH: Jess (Norvisgaard ) approached me through my manager, and he had an interesting story. That’s always the biggest thing. Because, you know, we get asked to do a lot of movies. If something catches our interest, in any way, it makes it much more likely to be interested in the role. Like the storyline or the character, if you can do something that’s a little different, that’ll pique our interest more. When I say "our," I’m referring to actors in general.
Especially those of us that are known in horror. We’ve seen a lot of scripts and if you can give me an angle to something that is different, that’s the key to getting someone like me interested. I liked the story and the character.
JS: Okay, awesome. You mentioned Jess Norvisgaard, who wrote and directed. What was it like working together?
KH: Great. He may not have a ton of experience, but that doesn’t necessarily matter if someone knows their subject matter. I’m always a fan of a director that directs his or her own written material. No one knows the material better than the person that wrote it, so if that person is also directing the film, I have confidence in it before even meeting them.
So, once we got together and talked about the character and stuff, I saw how passionate he was about the film and I was like, these are the type of people I like to work with. I’ve been doing this a long time, and when I can get excited about a project - it just makes it so much fun to do it.
JS: Yeah, if it’s something you’re into, you’re going to put so much more into it. It’s more personal.
KH: Oh, for sure. Then add the fact that you have a couple of friends in the movie, it just makes it even more fun. You know, you don’t have to be on a big-budget movie to enjoy yourself and to do quality work. Because as a stunt person I’ve been on giant movies, and sometimes that’s fun yeah, sure. Because you’re working with actors that you enjoy or doing a fight scene with someone who’s work you loved.
It can be just as rewarding to play an interesting character in a smaller film because unless you’re Tom Hanks or something, and can dictate how you’re character is going to be played, it’s a little easier when you come into a smaller budget film to try and have a little input.
JS: Makes sense. So, Kane, if you could describe the movie using only one word, what would it be?
KH: Hmmm… Interesting. Nobody gave me a tip on that.
KH: One word? Two words, possibly?
JS: Okay, I’ll give you two.
KH: Given the budget and everything - what I would say – and I don’t mean this condescendingly either, but it's hard to do a good film when your budget limits so many facets. So, I would say, surprisingly good.
Again, I don’t mean that condescendingly, or like I know everything that’s good. I think if you give it a chance, you’ll enjoy it.
JS: Hollywood stuntman to undisputed horror heavyweight. How did that happen?
KH: (Laughing) That I can give in two words… John Buechler. He was a very good horror director and makeup effects person and I became friends with him and did several films with him as a stunt coordinator. It was his idea that I become Jason because the first six movies had been a different person playing the character each time. So, it wasn’t unusual for him to say “hey, I have a guy that can play the character.” I think CJ (Graham) did a good job, and very well could have repeated as Jason – fortunately for me, Buechler wasn’t having any of that and said: “nope, it’s got to be Hodder.”
What worked in my favor was Part 7, the first one I did, had so many stunts that Jason had to do. Usually, Jason was the one inflicting all the damage on other people, so all the other characters needed to have stunt people doubling them. This one, because Tina had the telekinetic powers, so many things happen to Jason. So, when Buechler said “look this guy should play Jason, and he’s a stuntman,” that helped my cause.
We both know when you see an actor doing something, and then you see a stunt double doing something, you can tell the difference. As hard as the stunt person tries to mimic the actor's movements, it’s just not the same. So, when you can have one person do every shot throughout the film, which is what I did in part 7, it’s more consistent. It doesn’t take you out of the performance like “wait a minute, he just moved differently.”
JS: Awe, that wasn’t him!
KH: Right! So, the fact it was all me every single shot in the movie made the performance consistent and I did a lot of really cool stunts. Considering I almost died in a fire stunt a long time ago, that was my favorite fire stunt on part 7
JS: On Friday the 13th Part 7, yeah?
KH: Yeah. That was the best fire stunt I’ve ever done, I think.
JS: Part 7 is probably my favorite. 6 and 7. It might be because I had the VHS when I was a kid and I watched it – all the time.
KH: It could be the timing, but I think it’s one of the better ones. It’s the best look of Jason. Also 6, I agree. I did four in a row though, and 7 is still my favorite.
JS: I was going to ask which one is your favorite.
KH: I mean, I love playing the character every time. Every time they said I was going to do another one, I was overjoyed. I love playing the character.
JS: We all know you’re the best Jason so…
KH: Well, I don’t know about that… but I love to hear it!
JS: What’s it like to play, arguably, the most iconic and beloved monster in horror?
KH: It is beyond description, how it felt. I had been a Jason fan through all six movies. Just watching the films. Even though I was in stunts, I never, I mean never entertained the notion I might play Jason one day. It’s was such a far-fetched idea. When I was given that opportunity I said “I have to do everything I possibly can to do that character justice. Because that character is cool as hell.”
I picked up where C.J. (Graham) left him, and just tried to make it look terrifying, but also natural. That was the biggest thing when I watched some of the other movies. Jason looked like he was acting to me, sometimes. I’m not trying to talk shit about other people’s performances, but that was my biggest goal. Make it look like it wasn’t acting, make it look natural. Even in other movies. If it looks like the person is trying to be scary… meh. It doesn’t interest me. You’re trying too hard.
JS: You’ve been in so many things. Aside from Jason, what was your favorite role?
KH: There have been so many fun roles, but I would have to say Victor Crowley in the “Hatchet” movies because that was a chance for me to originate the character. Not just picking up from someone else’s performance of the character, I was originating it from the ground up in conjunction with Adam Green’s vision. It was just me, from the beginning, and I loved that character as well. I did four Jason movies, and four Hatchet movies, so I tried to make the character just as scary, but different. It was a different type of performance than I did for Jason.
JS: That’s funny. I was going to say my favorite role from you, aside from Jason, is probably Victor Crowley.
KH: Yeah, that was a fun character, boy. Again, not talking, but at least having some facial expressions.
JS: Now for the all-important question, Kane. Who wins? Jason Voorhees or Victor Crowley?
KH: Hmmm, interesting… A very, very, slight edge to Victor. Because when watching both characters on film, Victor appears to me, and this is how I tried to approach it, to be a little less predictable. They're both impossible to defeat when fighting, but possibly, you could have a better chance of surprising Jason with something because you know pretty much what he’s going to do. Victor is a little less predictable, and that’s why I enjoyed that character.
I would do stuff on the set as Victor that Adam (Green), the director, didn’t even know I was going to do. So, if the director is surprised, then I know I’m achieving my goal.
JS: Okay, awesome! I disagree… but awesome! Let’s make it more interesting… Jason VS Michael Myers?
KH: Ha! Oh, you know I’ve always loved the Michael character, too.
JS: Two of my favorites! I have to be honest, Jason is my favorite, but I’m a big Michael fan as well.
KH: Once I played Jason, which was a goal I never thought I’d accomplish, then I started thinking, God I would love to play Michael. I’ve always loved the “Halloween” movies. The fact that I did Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 with R.A (Mihailoff) as Leatherface, I stunt doubled him, so I did quite a number of scenes as Leatherface. Quite a few times you see me as Leatherface. I also did one shot as Freddy in Jason goes to Hell. I was the one wearing the Freddy glove, reaching up out of the ground to grab the hockey mask. That was my hand. So, technically, I did a shot as Freddy, did a number of shots as Leatherface, played Jason, the only thing I never did was Michael.
I thought some of the performances from different people were really scary, and who knows, maybe before I’m done with this career one day, I’ll play Michael. I did a comedy piece as Michael Myers with Adam Green, called “Driving Lessons,” but it doesn’t count. It wasn’t really a “Halloween” movie.
JS: But, technically, you’ve been almost every one of them, minus Chucky.
KH: (Laughing) Chucky, that little bastard. I’d like to beat his ass…
JS: (Laughing) Now, what was your favorite Jason kill, that you got to do?
KH: Yeah, that’s interesting because people do ask what’s my favorite kill, and up until the first “Hatchet” movie, my favorite kill that I ever performed was the sleeping bag in (Friday the 13th) part 7.
KH: It’s easy to kill a person with a weapon, but when you kill someone with something that is not a weapon, I think that’s far more creative. A sleeping bag isn’t a weapon. It was such a powerful scene, when we saw the movie in the theatres, it was incredible.
It was at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, in the big theatre on the night it opened, which was my wife’s birthday. We went and sat with the audience and when that sleeping bag kill came up on the screen that the entire theatre was standing up and cheering because it was such a surprising kill. That was always my favorite, until…
The first “Hatchet” movie. The killing of a character named Mrs. Permatteo is slightly above the sleeping bag scene now. It’s the one where the woman is trying to run away and I put my hands in her mouth and rip her head apart by the jaw. Brutal.
JS: Yeah, that one’s pretty awesome, too.
KH: It was a one-take deal because it was such an involved make-up effects rig that we had one chance to film it. If you ever watch it again, the camera does a 360 move around me grabbing the actress, halfway through, we replaced the actress with the prosthetic head, the camera continues and I had to wait until the camera got to a very specific spot or else it wouldn’t photograph, and it just worked out perfectly. So, that is my all-time favorite kill and sleeping bag is a close second. The frozen head in Jason X deserves an honorable mention.
JS: Fair enough. So, I’ve been dying to ask… What was in the sleeping bag?
KH: A ninety-pound dummy.
KH: Yeah, so I thought, “man, you're really making this difficult for me.” Because I’ve got prosthetic hands-on, so I can’t grip anything really well, the nylon sleeping bag was hard enough to grab anyway, and then it was a ninety-pound dummy! I thought “geez, isn’t thirty pounds enough to sell it?” But they wanted to make it look like a real person so…
In the final edit of the movie, you only see me slam it once. But I actually continued to slam it against the tree, like five times.
KH: Yeah, but when they tested the scene with audiences, it tested better when Jason slammed it once and dropped it. So, that’s what it ended up being.
JS: Such an iconic scene. So, what’s next for you, Kane?
KH: You know, it’s hard to tell with the COVID situation. I know there’s a lot of projects waiting to start that have shown interest in me being involved and I’m happy to do so. There’s a couple that would be just amazing to do. I’ll always love playing the bad guy, but any actor likes doing something different. Challenging themselves, if nothing else, to do comedy, or an emotional role. I did another movie right before “The Good Things Devil’s Do,” with Deborah Voorhees, an interesting last name, about a guy that’s obsessed with the Jason character and tries to kill me. I play myself.
JS: Wait, what? That sounds interesting!
KH: Yeah. I have a death scene in the arms of an actress named Jennifer Banko, and if you remember that name, she was “Young Tina” in (Friday the 13th) part 7.
JS: Oh, no shit…
KH: She was like ten, or something at the time and now we did a scene together where I’m dying and I’m really emotional and it was such a pleasure to do. It’s called “13 Fanboy.”
JS: I’m going to have to check that out, for sure!
KH: I’m looking forward to what’s coming up next. I’d love to do more different things, and still continue to kill motherfuckers.
JS: I mean, when you do something well…
KH: Well? I still maintain, and I don’t think anybody can dispute this, that I have murdered more people on film than any other actor in history.
JS: Yeah, I think you’ve got that.
KH: I say murdered because gunning down fifty people with an automatic weapon, is not the same as one-at-a-time murders. So, I don’t think there is anyone that has murdered more people one by one on film, than me. I’ve played multiple characters with multiple murders, and if someone does try to dispute it, well… I’ll just kill them.
JS: (Laughing) I don’t want to take up your whole night Kane, but I do have one final question for you, and this one is for me.
JS: I know the rights are still being worked out in court and everything, but any plans to put the hockey mask back on down the line?
KH: I have made it clear that I would love to do one more film. You know, I was unceremoniously replaced in “Freddy VS Jason.”
JS: Yeah, I wasn’t happy about that.
KH: After being told I was doing it… So, it’s not just like a sour grapes thing where it’s like “that’s my character, why am I not doing it?” I was told I was doing it, and I was given the script.
JS: I didn’t know that.
KH: Yeah, so that’s far worse. So, I would love to play the character once more. I’m still in good shape and I can still do some violent things to people. I would love to put that hockey mask on, one more time.
JS: Well, I absolutely think you should. I don’t think it’s debatable. You’re the most intimidating Jason.
KH: Thanks, I appreciate that.
JS: It’s been a pleasure to talk to you, Kane. I’ve been a fan since I was a kid.
KH: Thank you very much, and I’ve got to tell ya’, it was a very well-done interview, so thank you.
JS: That means a lot. Thanks!
KH: Thanks, man!
As you can see, Kane was a pleasure to speak with! Also, I can finally cross asking Jason what was in that sleeping bag off my bucket list! Be sure to check Kane Hodder out in “The Good Things Devils Do!” He is freaking terrifying in it, not like that should come as a surprise to anyone! As always, comment below!
Until next time, keep on geekin’ on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi