CS Interview: Writer Grady Hendrix Talks Satanic Panic

CS Interview: Writer Grady Hendrix Talks Satanic Panic

RLJE Films offered ComingSoon.web with the prospect to talk with screenwriter and novelist Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend’s Exorcism, We Sold Our Souls, Paperbacks From Hell) concerning the new horror comedy Satanic Panic, which opens in theaters and on Digital HD right this moment! Click here to watch Satanic Panic on Digital HD!

RELATED: CS Interview: Grady Hendrix Talks Paperbacks from Hell

Sam’s first day as a pizza supply driver just isn’t going based on plan. At the tip of an extended day and never sufficient ideas, her final supply seems to be for a gaggle of Satanists in search of somebody to sacrifice. Now in a struggle for her life, Sam should fend off witches, evil spells and demonic creatures, all whereas making an attempt to maintain her physique – and soul – intact. Starring Hayley Griffith (The Loudest Voice), Ruby Modine (Happy Death Day franchise), Jerry O’Connell (Billions), Arden Myrin (Insatiable) and Rebecca Romijn (X-Men franchise), Satanic Panic is “an absolutely entertaining horror film that will satisfy any viewer’s need for monsters, mayhem and…jokes” (Robert Saucedo, Birth.Movies.Death).

Directed by Chelsea Stardust (Seeing Green) from a screenplay by Mohawk‘s Ted Geoghegan and Grady Hendrix, Satanic Panic is about to open in theaters and on Digital HD September 6.

RELATED: Satanic Panic Trailer: Rebecca Romijn Gives Herself to Satan

ComingSoon.web: This venture was initially introduced by Dark Sky years in the past to be Ted Geoghegan’s subsequent movie after “We Are Still Here.” Can you speak concerning the journey the script went on?

Grady Hendrix: What had initially occurred is Ted was in search of his subsequent venture after “We’re Still Here”. And Dark Sky type of had a listing of issues they needed within the film, however they didn’t actually have a narrative and he was looking for one thing that may line up together with his pursuits and what they’d be prepared to greenlight. I spotted that I had a script I’d been engaged on. It was basically “Satanic Panic”, however the primary character was a dude. And I instructed him, “Hey, if we just switched the gender here from a man to a woman, this script would be in the ballpark of what you’re looking for.” So we did that, and he got here up with the concept for the title “Satanic Panic” and we labored on it collectively for a bit, and Dark Sky was actually excited. And we introduced it within the trades. And then, via the vagaries of movie financing, they’d a crew able to go to do a interval piece that Ted had needed to pitch referred to as “Mohawk”. And I feel at that time “Mohawk” was actually only a three-paragraph pitch. On January 24 of that 12 months, they have been like, “Okay, well, let’s do ‘Mohawk’ and it’ll roll in May.” And so Ted was like,”Well, have you learnt something concerning the War of 1812?” Which was good as a result of I occur to be a giant War of 1812 boss. So, we wrote “Mohawk” and it was quick, man. And then they went off to shoot it and I feel “Mohawk” took us six weeks. We have been simply in my little workplace day by day, he and I. Two folks barely slot in there. When he bought executed with “Mohawk” he was fairly zonked and needed to do one thing in addition to “Satanic Panic” at that time. But I nonetheless thought the script was good, and Adam Goldworm, who’s one of many producers, who’s additionally my supervisor, thought it was nonetheless good. So the Fangoria guys bought concerned. And that’s the way it went from there.

CS: Right. And what affect do you suppose having Fangoria on board dropped at the movie?

Hendrix: Well, I don’t know if precise affect from the journal got here to the movie, however they weren’t very hesitant about embracing the actual horror style components. Other producers and distributors had been nervous about issues like the sensible make-up and a few of the weirder results, needed to do CGI and issues like that. The Fango guys actually needed to embrace the cultier, weirder particular results and so they needed to maintain all the things sensible, with little CGI elaborations right here and there. I feel it being a Fango venture actually let it embrace its horror coronary heart just a little greater than it could have elsewhere.

CS: Having Chelsea on board to direct appeared like a great name as a result of she has an incredible horror background. Because the story is so female-centric, how do you suppose it was completely different than if a male director had executed it as initially deliberate?

Hendrix: You know, I don’t know, to be sincere. I actually really feel prefer it all has much more to do with the person director. But I do suppose that given the quantity of ache and struggling the 2 feminine leads undergo, and the truth that virtually all of the leads are feminine, I do suppose it helped the actors to have a feminine director. I feel they felt that Chelsea actually empathized with them and was actually watching out for them and taking good care of them. Chelsea and I labored actually intensely on the script to get it prepared for manufacturing proper up till a few days earlier than the digicam rolled. We did a desk learn with the solid and saved tweaking. I feel that was large.The additional the author may be concerned, the higher as a result of each drawback you possibly can remedy in preproduction, all the things you possibly can anticipate, all the things you will get into the script simply to make it simple whereas cameras are rolling pays off 10 occasions.

CS: I feel the film passes the Bechdel check like eight occasions or one thing like that.

Hendrix: Yeah. You know, I’ve by no means truly sat and utilized the Bechdel check to one thing I’ve executed. I truly get fairly annoyed as a result of every so often I actually need to write one thing about dudes, however I at all times appear to wind up not with the ability to pull it off and writing about girls as a substitute. I don’t know why that appears like a extra pure match for me.

CS: Speaking of that, do you suppose it’s a coincidence that each this movie and your ebook “We Sold Our Souls” each have feminine musician protagonists?

Hendrix: No, under no circumstances. I imply, as I completed rewrites on “Satanic Panic” I used to be writing “We Sold Our Souls”. So no, under no circumstances. I used to be within the heavy metallic headspace. And in actual fact, actually the truth that there’s an earlier draft of the script the place Sam’s love of heavy metallic is a a lot greater a part of her character, that positively got here from doing “We Sold Our Souls” on the identical time. So Sam’s a youthful, much less cynical model of Kris Pulaski in “We Sold Our Souls”.

CS: Just since you have been in that very same headspace, so there was cross pollination.

Hendrix: Oh yeah, positively. And Kris is far smarter than Sam. But on the identical time, Kris is smarter, however in some methods, much more form of a prisoner from her personal viewpoint. She’s much more cynical than Sam. Sam’s not very vibrant, however she’s an everlasting optimist and actually believes that there’s at all times a means.

CS: You truly reside in New York, however needed to work on the movie in LA. How do you type of take care of the space?

Hendrix: Actually, this was shot in Dallas, Texas. And yeah, and for the desk reads and stuff, I simply flew down for just a few days. But yeah, no, LA just isn’t unhealthy. It’s a 5 or six-hour flight and I am going on the market just a few occasions a 12 months to pimp screenplays and search for work and issues like that. Lots of people come via New York and I feel a number of of us are completely happy to have punch with somebody in New York after they’re right here. I’ve bought some mates who’re in manufacturing who’re going to be out right here in September, and I’ve seen a bunch of them, so it goes forwards and backwards, actually. I imply, if I used to be in LA, I’d most likely be richer and extra profitable, however I’ve a tough time residing wherever that’s not New York. I like having 4 seasons.

CS: Same. And I’ve to know, as a result of I’m a giant fan of website gags: Was “Holland Oats” truly in your script or was that only a intelligent prop particular person?

Hendrix: Wait, the what?

CS: When Ruby Modine pulls a gun out of container of oats, and the oats says “Holland,” just like the nation Holland, after which “Oats.” [Hall & Oats]

Hendrix: Yeah. Oh no, within the script it’s positively oatmeal, however the prop particular person did the branding.

CS: Okay, so props to the prop particular person there. That was a hilarious website gag.

Hendrix: Yeah, precisely.

CS: The title is “Satanic Panic” and naturally there actually was a satanic panic in America across the late 80s, early 90s, the place sure people have been saying that there have been cults in suburban areas and that there have been Satanists performing rituals, and so on. I do know you’re a giant analysis freak. How a lot of that did you pull from type of that period?

Hendrix: The factor with the satanic panic, which is that after I was a child and it was taking place, I keep in mind being terrified extra as a result of it appeared like the costs that have been being leveled at folks have been so patently ridiculous, and but so many individuals have been taking it severely. This is much less pulled immediately from the satanic panic, however with the film it’s extra, okay, properly, let’s take it actually. Here is a satanic cult that’s utilizing virgin sacrifices to summon demons and management the world. What would that truly appear to be? At the tip of the day, it doesn’t look too far off from the world we reside in. There’s at all times been this concern of a small bunch of privileged elites who’ve bizarre rituals, whether or not it’s iowaska and neti potting and happening yoga retreats or it’s virgin sacrifices and child cannibalism. I actually like literalizing stuff, as a result of I feel that’s the place you discover a number of humor in it. I’m probably not trying to make it humorous. I’m trying to make it extra actual. When you begin making issues actual, they do get just a little ridiculous, since you have a look at one thing like a satanic cult film from the 70’s, like “Devil’s Rain” or “Race with the Devil” or one thing, and even like “Werewolves on Wheels”, which has the cult in it. You suppose, “What do these guys do on the weekends? They can’t spend all their time in robes chanting. Do they like movies? What bands do they like? They’re going to age out of this. Do they have a training/recruitment program?” As quickly as you begin to literalize these things, it will get realer, nevertheless it additionally at a sure level begins getting sillier. So my job is to cease earlier than it will get too foolish.

CS: Obviously, conspiracies at all times make for excellent film fodder. Even when you don’t consider in conspiracies, they’re nice engines for scripts.

Hendrix: Yeah, completely. Movies are so structured. They actually are like conspiracies. They virtually mirror that construction. You see two actors on display screen having a espresso and also you don’t see the key community of technicians surrounding them to ensure it “looks real”.

CS: It was introduced a short while in the past that “My Best Friend’s Exorcism” was being tailored by Chris Landon, who simply introduced that he’s doing a distinct movie with Vince Vaughn. What’s the standing of that proper now?

Hendrix: I don’t know. I’m the author, so I’m the final individual that anybody tells something. If everybody met within the room, I’d be the man they requested to get espresso. I do know they nonetheless have the script, and I do know that it’s nonetheless in movement. I do know folks maintain juggling job titles from director to producer or to author. I’m probably not certain what’s taking place. All I do know is it’s nonetheless in movement, however I do know they’re wanting round and individuals are swapping hats and issues. So you’ll most likely hear it earlier than I’ll.

CS: When I first heard that it was Chris Landon hooked up, I used to be like, “Oh, well that’s a good match with Grady’s sensibilities.”

Hendrix: Oh certain. Yeah, completely. One of the issues for me is finally, what I do is I write books. I imply, I do screenplays, too, however I do books. And so, I actually maintain my head down. If you observe that stuff too carefully, it’s like demolition derby, you get hooked up to this director after which it’s that one after which the opposite one. I’m simply type of like, “Let me know at the end.” I simply wrapped up a ebook. I’ve bought a ebook popping out subsequent spring that I simply wrapped up final week and I’m doing revisions on the ebook that’s going to be after that one proper now. So I’m simply making an attempt to maintain my head down and write as many books as attainable earlier than somebody catches onto what I’m doing and the truth that I don’t have an actual job and makes me cease.

CS: I hope this one was much less of a chore than “We Sold Our Souls,” on which I perceive you went via like 4 or 5 completely different variations.

Hendrix: Yeah, no. This one’s referred to as “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires”. It was robust as a result of it’s actually exhausting for me to write down mother and father. I don’t have youngsters myself, and I discover mother and father actually troublesome to write down, and it’s a ebook fully about mother and father. So, that was actually, actually exhausting, however no, it was not the awful descent into a private hell that was “We Sold Our Souls”.

CS: “Paperbacks from Hell” was an enormous phenomenon inside the horror neighborhood. It appeared to revive curiosity in these outdated paperbacks. And then, you truly began a line of reprints with Valancourt Books Is that also going robust as an ongoing factor?

Hendrix: Yeah. So we simply printed the fifth of the primary wave of the “Paperbacks from Hell” reissues for Valancourt, and we truly are about to announce the subsequent 5. We’ve bought 4 of them just about nailed down and one in all them we’re making an attempt to line up earlier than we make the announcement. But they’re actually good. We’re actually psyched. There’s a few books we couldn’t get as a result of the writer’s simply, I don’t know, they have been similar to, “Ah, it’s not worth our time.” But we’ve bought 4 and hopefully fingers crossed, this fifth one, which are going to be superb. One of them’s a very well-known title that’s been out of print for a very very long time that we have been form of shocked was obtainable. So yeah, no, Jay’s been on the market from Valancourt, sending out demons into the world to do his darkish bidding and safe some stuff. I imply, one of many books we’re doing has by no means been printed within the States. One is well-known and has been type of in limbo for a very long time, so we’re tremendous psyched.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

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