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Rob Zombie&#39;s <I>Corpses</I> Live on DVD

14 Jun, 2003 By: Jessica Wolf

Rocker-cum-director Rob Zombie had a goal in mind when he created his feature directorial debut, House of 1,000 Corpses, which hits video Aug. 12 from Lions Gate Home Entertainment.

“I just wanted it to be extreme, and that's what it has been. People either loved it and said, ‘This is the best horror movie ever,' or they completely hated it and bashed it,” Zombie said.

The extreme horror flick had more than its share of problems just getting created. Universal originally financed the film, but dropped it over worries that it would receive an ‘NC-17' rating (it eventually got an ‘R'). Miramax signed on for a time, but dropped it for the same reason. Lions Gate eventually picked up the film and rolled it out on about 400 screens theatrically. Corpses garnered $12.4 million in its box office run, gathered a huge fan following and, not only is Zombie already working on a sequel, but also a line of action figures due this summer. A Corpses video game is also in the works.

“Everything turned out a million times better than it could have,” he said.

There are no hard feelings toward Universal, he said. “Whatever happened, this movie wouldn't have existed without them. I still owe them a lot,” Zombie said.

Plus, production problems make great fodder for the DVD director's commentary, he noted. He'll be recording a commentary for the DVD release as well as creating special featurettes that include footage of casting sessions, rehearsals and interviews with the cast, and his original theatrical trailer. “And we're regathering the cast of the film in full makeup and full everything, and shooting live-action interactive menus,” Zombie said.

The ‘R'-rated version of the film will be included on the disc, but a future unrated version is not out of the realm of possibility. “At this point, that [unrated] version doesn't exist,” he said. “This is really all there is right now. That's why I'm trying to load this DVD up as much as possible.”

Zombie's a big fan of DVD himself -- he said he loves listening to director's commentary, especially from John Carpenter, who likes to nitpick little mistakes and point out problems.

He said he's been surprised at the fan clamor for a Corpses DVD.

“You know, my whole mission in life was to get the movie released theatrically, and it almost seems like that didn't even matter,” Zombie said. “I had a kid at a show come up to me, asking ‘when's the DVD going to be out?' and I'm like, ‘It's playing at a theater right down the street,' but he was like, ‘Oh no, I've got to have it on DVD,’ Zombie said. “The most asked question I've gotten in the last year is, ‘When's the DVD coming out?’

Zombie gained fame as the lead singer and co-founder of the hardcore metal group White Zombie, but he's also a songwriter, a screenwriter, a music producer/manager, an artist (he draws many of his album illustrations and has designed many of his tattoos) and a designer (he designed a maze for Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in 1999 and 2000).

He's definitely a horror lover and is looking forward to starting work on the sequel to Corpses this fall, which should be an easier ride than the first round. “From a production standpoint, it's a million times easier,” Zombie said.

And just because horror is what Zombie does well doesn't mean that's all there is in his filmmaking future. “I just love movies,” he said. “In particular, I have always loved horror since I was a kid.”

The House of 1,000 Corpses DVD is $26.99 (VHS is rental-priced).

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