An Interview with Rick Sloane, Director of Hobgoblins (part 1 of 2)
Agent of Love and Exams, the pretty sailor suited soldier, Mendo Talks to Rather Interesting People from Around the Internet! Douse yourself in water, and repent!
(I couldn’t resist…)
You know, you get some interesting duties in the army. If anyone ever told me the government would pay me to sit at a desk for 24 hours straight, watching movies and hassling pizza delivery men, I would’ve… well, believed you.
When you literally have to fill your entire day with movies just to pass the time, you learn pretty quickly that Citizen Kane and documentaries just aren’t gonna cut it. It’s movies like My Name Is Bruce, Attack Girls’ Swim Team vs. The Undead, and Sukiyaki Western Django that keep you going. You know, the kind of pure id gonzo that keeps the spirit of ‘80s grindhouse alive.
Whether working with pornstars or puppets, Sloane never fails to deliver the goods; Anyone who’s seen Hobgoblins can tell you that.
Of course, anyone who’s seen Hobgoblins will be excited to know that Hobgoblins 2 is coming out later this month! Sure, a twenty year gap between films didn’t help Blues Brothers any, but this is Hobgoblins we’re talking about.
So join us as we talk in-depth (and how) about Hollywood, horror, and just why the hell zombies need an exercise video…
Mendo: How did you get into the movie business?
I decided I wanted to be an animator when I was 14. The fact that I wasn’t the best artist was completely lost on me. It took two years of being rejected by Cal Arts for me to accept that it wasn’t meant to be. In the meantime, I was attending Los Angeles City College, taking the basic art and film courses. My life changed one quiet day during Film History, while I was only 18. Every week we were forced to watch cinematic pabulum, tired films such as Potemkin and The 39 Steps. While the rest of the class was always fascinated by ancient documentaries and all the other boring required films, I could barely stay awake each week.
The final day of class, the instructor thought it would be fun to show a different kind of movie, one of the lowest budget features ever made, Hollywood Boulevard, which was shot in one week for 30 grand and comprised of stock footage from dozens of other movies. It was the most educational hour and a half I’ve ever spent. Hollywood Boulevard still remains as my all-time favorite movie even today, and it helped me forge the path that led me into filmmaking.
Hollywood Boulevard is an obscure title, but I’d recommend it to any fledgling film maker to see what can be created with a budget of only 30 grand. It became a template for all my movies. I’ve repeatedly tried to capture the same lightning in a bottle feeling I had when I first watched it. The rest of the film class laughed at the movie, and I remember them specifically stating that no one who worked on that film would ever become famous. Much like everything else in film school that they were wrong about, many people who worked on Hollywood Boulevard became famous, everyone from director Joe Dante (who later did Gremlins) to art director Jonathan Demme, who later won an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs.
And some of the stock footage was from early Corman films, one directed by Francis Ford Coppola and another by Ron Howard.
Even when I watch it today, I can still see the same twisted sense of humor, overuse of stock footage, and being “in” on the joke of making an intentionally “bad” movie.