“And the interesting thing about a hit film is that if it smells like hit they [the studio] won’t give it you. So it’s a catch 22. The only way to get on a hit film is to have made a hit film. But if they think it can be a hit film forget it. So what you have to do is get in a film that’s supposed be a little thing and have it go big.” -Very interesting and accurate observation from Dan Lebental (editor of IRON MAN, ELF, and other films). This is also why only making big tentpole blockbusters is a bad move. It’s harder to find new talent.
And what I love about Nic is that I love– I keep, again, thinking about like Johnny Depp in Pirates. When he did his character people were like, “What are you doing?” And the studio shut everything down, they were so worried. It’s like, you’re playing like a gay Keith Richards? What are you doing? But sometimes like the eccentricity it’s not just for being eccentric. It’s because it’s real. You know what I mean? We’re all weird. People are weird. And when I first wrote Johnny Blaze, I wrote him as a guy who’s drinking Jack Daniels out of the bottle, smoking, death wish. And it was a cliche. And Nic said to me, “I don’t know anyone who drinks Jack Daniels out of a bottle. Have you ever?” I’m like, “No.” Do you ever drink any hard liquor out of a bottle? I’m thinking, I’ve never done that. Who does that? Who does that? Nobody but the movies. You know what I mean? [Laughter] And so Nic said, “For me, if I’m Johnny Blaze, it’s like being in a dentist’s chair.” And that came with the Carpenter’s idea. It’s just like, it’s that music playing. It’s just like, Superstar playing in the background, or whatever it is. And any minute they’re going to hit a nerve and you’re going to explode. And it’s like, God, that’s so smart. You know what I mean? It’s so honest and so unique and so different. And jelly beans, the idea of that, again, it’s childlike things, trying to comfort yourself. Keep the monster down. It hurts to explode. Keep it down. Do things that make you comfortable, because any moment it’s just going to go bad. I thought, how unique. How different. And how against what I initially wrote, but the same spirit of what I wrote.
—Mark Steven Johnson on working with Nic Cage in GHOST RIDER
I did a few dozen interviews but this one is probably my favorite.
It goes without saying that Razorback is the greatest monstrous-pig-on-a-rampage film of all time — but what kicks Russell “Highlander” Mulcahy’s 1984 film into highly special territory is its deluge of weird and wonderful artistic flourishes. Not content to sit back on his laurels and simply deliver an Aussie Jaws rip-off, Mulcahy imbues this simple man-vs.-nature premise with the same sort of hallucinatory glee he also employed to great effect in Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” and “Union of the Snake” videos, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” video, and too many others to mention here. Add to that his natural Australian tendency to go gonzo with the violence and the gore, and you’ve got yourself one wild boar of a good time. Razorback is very rarely every screened theatrically, so don’t miss your chance to see this in gluttonous, glorious 35mm!
The pilot I directed for Machinima is now online.