Dimension Films Can Go F*ck Themselves – An Interview With Doug Bradley

October 30, 2010 by Chris Grosso

Liverpool, England native Doug Bradley is most notably known for his work as Pinhead in the Hellraiser film series. What you may not know about Mr Bradley is that he’s punk as fuck. In the following interview he tells Dimension Films to go fuck themselves, sncourages fans to illegaly download horror movie remakes, and explains why Rob Zombie’s Halloween was “horrible”. Happy Halloween friends…(The following interview was conducted on 10/17/10 in Worcester, MA) 

The Doug Bradley Interview

TIS: How does Doug Bradley relax on his off time?

DB: Well I tend to work seven days a week, so there’s always stuff going on. I am a devoted Football fan, of the round ball variety. I want to start a campaign to have American Football renamed “Throwball” because it has nothing to do with feet, apart from the one guy who gets paid a million dollars a season to come on the field three times a game and kick the ball, and then go off again. What’s that about?

 

TIS: A good question.

DB: I’m a lifelong fan of Liverpool Football Club. I also enjoy reading and watching movies.

TIS: You’ve done vocals on four Cradle of Filth albums. How did that come together?

DB: I vaguely knew Daniel already, so on the first album Midian, he asked me some voiceover work to which I said yes. Then on Nymphetamine, he asked me again, and I said yes, and on Thornography he asked me again, and I said yes, and on Godspeed And The Devil’s Thunder he asked me again, and I said yes. They just did another album, and didn’t ask me, so I’m not on that one. I believe they are going to officially change their name now though.

TIS: Really?

DB: Yeah, they are going to be known as Doug Bradley and Cradle of Filth. They are now my backing band.

TIS: Not too shabby. Can you tell me about your spine chillers book audio book series?

DB: Well the first thing we did in the series was The Outsider, which is an audio/visual presentation. I was filmed in front of a green screen, so I could be mixed with illustration and animation to tell the story. The response to that was excellent and we won an award with it. We’ve since completed the second installment in that audio/visual series which is the Tell Tale Heart, though it’s not released on DVD yet, but it’s done. When we were doing The Outsider the idea came up for doing straight Audio books, so we did. We currently have six volumes out and it will end up being a thirteen volume box set when it’s finished. We have one Poe story on each volume, and one Lovecraft story on each volume. We’ve also added one of Poe’s poems to the end of each volume.

We also feature work by Ambrose Bierce, W.F. Harvey, M.R. James, Charles Dickens, it’s quite a mix of authors really. Volume Six also sees Robert England joining me as a guest reader, who does a Bierce and Lovecraft story, as well as one of Poe’s poems which will be appearing on a later volume. Also, Jeffrey Combs has joined us as a guest reader and has recorded a variety of different things for the series. And there you have the Spine Chillers series, which are available on my website www.dougbradley.com or through Renegade Arts and Entertainment at  http://renegadeartsentertainment.com/.

TIS: I wanted to ask you about the T-Shirt you have hanging up at your booth, which I love. It reads “Pinhead says no remakes please. It’s a waste of good celluloid”. Are they talking about a Hellraiser remake now too?

DB: They’ve been talking about remaking it for three years. The line on the shirt is a riff on Pinhead’s line “No tears please, it’s a waste of good suffering”. The celluloid line just came to me during a Q&A while we were talking about remakes and I thought it was good enough to warrant being on a T-Shirt. It’s not only about Hellraiser, I just wish they would stop. I feel very impassioned about this, with one or two exceptions. Night of the Living Dead was a good remake and obviously something like John Carpenter’s The Thing was a terrific remake because he goes somewhere else with the film, plus the original really wasn’t very good anyways. I also thought The Crazies was a good remake. I don’t think George’s original version of the film was one of his better pieces of work. I know that Hammer remade Frankenstein with the same sort of time gap. Universal Frankenstein is early 1930’s, and Hammer remade Frankenstein & Dracula in the late 1950’s, so it’s less than the 30 year gap.

Here we are 23 years away from the first Hellraiser, so I suppose it would be that time, but things are different now with the TV & DVD market, plus you have Netflix etc, which transforms everything. If I had any feeling that people were coming to my table and saying “oh we love Hellraiser for a movie made in the 1980’s”, I mean if I honestly felt like the fans wanted a remake, then I would support it. But it’s clear that the movie is as fresh as a daisy to people who are just discovering it now, as it was 23 years ago. If you talk to kids in their 20’s about A Nightmare On Elm Street, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is nearly 40 years old, the majority of them do not feel that these films are aging.

Also, they just don’t do the remakes well. The Omen was horrible. I love Rob Zombie, but his Halloween remake was horrible, at least I thought so. I’ve always said that Halloween works because Loomis is basically playing Van Helsing to Michael’s Dracula. In the first movie, Loomis is running around telling everybody that they have no idea what they’re dealing with. And after a while he gets under your skin and you start wondering what exactly is going on, thus entering the supernatural element with Michael. When he gets shot four times, and then proceeds to get up and walk away, it’s scary.  In Rob’s movie, he gives us the back story. Michael is a fucked up kid with a road kill obsession, a hang up a bout masks, and a bad attitude towards his family. Well I’m not scared of him. Now he’s just a big lunk with a mask on who doesn’t scare me. When he gets shot four or five times, he needs lay the fuck down and die already, because now he’s a human being.

I actually thought to myself, as I walked out of the cinema, that I’m part of the problem, and not part of the solution, because I bought a ticket. I tell the fans they are being so disrespected in the whole process. They don’t care if you don’t watch the film. If you go to the cinema, buy a ticket, and then turn around and go home they’re happy, because money is the top line, the bottom line, and every line in between. There is nothing else going on here, it’s all about money. I actually say to people, which gets me into a lot of trouble with SAG, but I tell people to illegally download the remakes. If you don’t give them your money, and they’re not making money, they will stop making them. But as long as you keep buying tickets, and help them make millions of dollars at the box office, they’ll keep making them. I will not go and see a film like A Nightmare on Elm Street. As a fan, I’m offended that they would do that and leave Robert out of it.

Unfortunately, I broke my own rule a few weeks ago while in Texas. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had some time to kill so I went and saw Let Me In, which is the American remake of the Swedish film Let The Right One In, which I think may be the best vampire movie ever made. It’s an extraordinary film and Let Me In is horrible. Without even making comparisons to the original film, as a horror movie it’s a complete mess. If you look back at all of these franchises they are now fleecing to make money, Hellraiser, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday The 13th, if you look at the original versions of these films, they were all made for not very much money. They were made as an act of faith by someone who believed in the project, in someone’s vision. Their job is to find the new Sam Raimi’s, Toby Hooper’s and Clive Barker’s, and not one of them can look me in the eye and tell me that the talent isn’t out there. I could give them four scripts tomorrow. I’m sitting on six or seven, three or four of which honestly aren’t that good. If they get made, fantastic, but they’re not really all that good. They however, deserve to be made more than a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street or Hellraiser.

In the case of Hellraiser, it pissed me off that Dimension would run down the budgets on the movies as the series went on. They gave us second hand scripts. Inferno, Hellseeker and Deader were all pre-existing screenplays that were given a spin to turn them into Hellraiser movies.  Dimension couldn’t even be bothered to go out to writers, who I know are out there and are huge fans of Hellraiser to get an original script. Instead, they round the budgets down, release them straight to DVD and now they’re going to spend fifteen million dollars on a remake, well they can go fuck themselves. Let me get off the soapbox and tell you what I really think (laughter).

TIS: It seems like the Pinhead vs. Michael Myers has become the next Freddy Vs. Jason in that there’s constant rumors of it being green lighted and then nixed. Can you tell me where exactly it stands right now?

DB: Well the story with that is very simple. Dimension films said that crossover movies don’t work, that Freddy vs. Jason wouldn’t work. I’ve been told they’d turned down two scripts on the Michael Myers/Pinhead crossover the year before Freddy vs. Jason was released. Freddy vs. Jason came out and stomped all over the box office. Dimension however wanted, or really it’s Miramax we’re talking about, but they wanted a Hellraiser/Halloween crossover yesterday. They got their wish list in place. Clive Barker said he would write it, John Carpenter said he would direct it. I was getting quietly excited as I’d love to work with John, and to have Clive write the script would be fantastic. My understanding is that the late Moustapha Akkad, of the Akkad brothers, who produced the original Halloween film must have retained vito rights over sequels and he simply didn’t want this movie made and that was enough to kill it. It was absolutely on, and then absolutely off. Never say never, but I haven’t heard it mentioned since then.  

TIS: So if I were interviewing Pinhead and not Doug Bradley, would I have any chance of getting out of here alive?

DB: I think he would say “you have bothered me long enough mortal, and now is the time to leave or I’ll tear your tape recorder apart, along with your soul”.

TIS: And with that, I’ll get while the getting is still good. Thank you for your time.

DB: Not at all.

Visit Doug Bradley’s Website Here!

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Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I've Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, Celebrate Your Life and more. Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner.
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