Joe Rogan Talks Horror Films & Books, Monkeys, and the Psychedelic Experience
DC: While reading your message board, I sensed the outrage you had at Splice when it came out. You could tell you really wanted it to be good …
JR: It sucked SO hard. [laughs] The way I described it to people was, “Here’s how bad it was… they made this artificial human and they put this artificial human in a basement where it grew to full adulthood within a couple of months and, a couple of weeks after that, Adrien Brody fucked it. So, it’s not that he just fucked a monster, but he’s a pedophile monster fucker!” He fucked a baby monster. The whole thing was so wrong on so many different levels and so stupid and at the end when it changed sexes…
DC: What got me was… as soon as it got a dick, it went out raping.
DC: It was like in 28 Days Later, where the soldiers were capturing women to have sex with them. I’m like, “Dude, it’s been 28 days!” It’s not even been a month. I’ve gone a year without getting laid. Calm down!
JR: I know. It’s pretty ridiculous. I get upset… I got upset at THE WOLFMAN. It was so weak. I was really disappointed in Rick Baker because I was a huge Rick Baker fan as a kid. At one point in time in my life, I actually contemplated being a makeup artist when I grew up. I loved The Cantina scene in STAR WARS and how Baker would talk in great detail about how he fabricated all these masks and what he did with AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. I mean, AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON was awesome and was really a great werewolf movie even though the technology was a bit limited at the time. Like when he had the werewolf moving through Piccadilly Circus, moving through the crowd, you see him for a second, two seconds, you just see this thing on four legs and it’s fuckin’ awesome. It was terrifying. It looked menacing. It looked powerful. It looked like a real monster. And then you have this Benecio Del Toro thing where it’s a stupid mask and it looked so hokey with the bottom teeth sticking out like the old Lon Chaney, Jr. I guess they were trying to do a tribute to that, but god what a letdown. It wasn’t even remotely scary.
DC: When we sat down to watch it, as soon as Del Toro starts reciting Hamlet, we were like, “Oh boy…” [laughs]
JR: [laughs] “Here we go…”
DC: [laughs] But Baker goes from American Werewolf to Harry and the Hendersons . I think he just likes putting hair on people.
JR: You may be right there. HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS… you gotta kind of give him a pass on that. He was just trying to make a kid’s movie, but fuckin’ WOLFMAN… there’s no pass on that. I mean, the fuckin’ scene where Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins are fighting… Jesus Christ! It looked so dumb. It was awful. It’s like, “You guys have made a movie with 2010 technology and 1980s sensibilities. So hokey and shitty.
DC: When you say that you and your mom used to watch a lot of horror films, was this when you lived in San Francisco?
JR: No, it was even before then… when I lived in New Jersey. My whole life I’ve always been a huge, huge fan of horror movies, horror comic books. I just recently bought a bunch of the book versions of the CREEPY and EERIE comic books. I love those. They brought back a lot of memories.
DC: Do you remember the film that really hooked you?
JR: I was always a big fan of werewolf movies for whatever reason. Those were always my favorites. I loved THE HOWLING… I just loved the idea that some regular guy who was just going along in his life and all of a sudden he gets bit and now he’s fucked. And now, he’s got to figure out what to do because he turns into a monster. I just loved that.
DC: I think it taps into that whole “beast within” thing.
DC: From what I know of you, I notice there are a few things that are sort of touchstones. One is werewolves and the other is apes. You really seem drawn to those creatures. I mean, your special was called Talking Monkeys in Space and you have a production company called Talking Monkey Productions…Is your interest in apes part of that same thing that drives your interest in werewolves?
JR: Definitely. I mean, there’s a part of all of us, especially if you’ve experienced as much violence as I have, where you realize that there is a certain line that gets crossed in the human mind or the human psyche. There’s something in the consciousness that gets crossed where you literally are exactly the same as an animal. There’s no difference at all. There is no language. There’s no contemplation of the consequences of your actions. It’s just pure primate violence. I’ve been very close to that my whole life with martial arts and I’ve just seen a lot of fucked up shit in my life. I’ve always been fascinated by the origins of human beings and I have always had this deep, deep fascination with all sorts of primates. I find it amazing that these things, which are so similar to us, are all around us at zoos and, in some parts of the world, people actually live around them. It’s a really interesting thing. Any time someone gets fucked up by a monkey… Like if I go to the news or some shit like that and I see something like that guy in India who was a mayor of a city and he got killed by a monkey… that’s the first shit I want to read! [laughs] I wanna read it. Like “Whoa, what happened to that guy?”
DC: Or the woman who got her face eaten off who was on Oprah. What the fuck was that all about? [laughs]
JR: I’ve been telling people for years that chimps are super fuckin’ violent monsters. If chimps lived around us, we’d have to shoot them all the time. They’re really dangerous. They’re the closest things to us and they’re some of the most brutal and vicious animals in the animal kingdom because they’re intelligent and they have a plan. They go for your genitals. They bite your fingers off. They pull your face apart. They’re not trying to kill you. They’re trying to fuck you up and that’s a scary, scary thing.
DC: I remember a National Geographic documentary I watched once that showed an orangutan that was handed a coconut. He held it in his hand and suddenly you see coconut milk start leaking through his fingers and then the coconut just collapsed in his fist. There weren’t any grimacing or any visible signs of exertion. It just held it and crushed it - no problem.
JR: We can’t wrap our heads around how strong they are. They could literally pull your arms right off your body. POP! We were on the set of NEWSRADIO back in the day and there was a baby chimp on set for some scene and it was only two years old. This little guy got on my back and started beating on me. I was holding on to him and it was like he was made out of wood. He felt like he was carved out of ebony wood, just solid and dense. You can’t imagine how strong they are and this was a baby. A little tiny baby. Imagine a hundred and fifty pound grown male… my god! The strength those things have. And now, they’ve found those super chimps in the Congo called Bondo Apes. I am constantly fascinated by that. These are huge six foot tall chimpanzees that the locals call “lion killers.” They have two different names for chimps: “tree beaters” and “lion killers.” These enormous chimps… they sleep on the ground in nests like gorillas because no one fucks with them. They don’t even have to climb up in trees. They are so loked out, they just get to sleep wherever they want. They’re like, “Fuck you! Come get some!” These are giant chimps, man and they’re real. This was like a myth for the longest time… The book and the movie CONGO was a big part of that and it was based on mythology, based on some really old photos from the early 1900s. Someone had shot and killed one and they had it propped up on a stick, their arms were hanging from a stick and they had it standing at its full height. I remember it was a really controversial photo where people were like, “Is this a mutant gorilla? What is this thing?” As it turns out, it’s not a mutant gorilla. It’s an entire sub-species of huge chimpanzees that lives in one particular area of The Congo.
DC: But we take something like a chimpanzee and put it in a suit and put it on a tricycle and give it a smoke... just bizarre.
JR: I know, right? We have this weird thing that we do with all dangerous animals where we make them like our cute little buddies. Tony the Tiger… “They’re grrrrrreat!” Klondike Bars are sold by polar bears. Polar bears are fuckin’ ruthless cunts. They’re the most vicious animals. They live in the harshest climate. Have you ever seen videos of the polar bears trying to kill pilot whales that are stuck inside an ice patch? The whales get stuck and there’s only one hole where they can go to get air. There was too much ice for them to swim and get out to the open sea. So, they kept popping up in this one area. The polar bears recognized this and they started just clawing at them as they were doing that, just biting junks of them as they come up. You’d see these poor whales popping up every couple of minutes or so covered in scars and open wounds and every time they’d pop up, the polar bears were there grabbin’ them.
DC: I imagine the polar bears couldn’t image what it was that is underneath the ice… or the size of it.
JR: They don’t give a fuck.
DC: They just see a potential food source.
JR: They’re pretty ruthless, man. There’s a terrible story I read once where these guy’s boat hit an iceberg and was taking on water, so they had to get off the boat and onto an iceberg… or ice island… and they called for help, but help was hours away. So, as help is coming, they see a polar bear and the polar bear starts getting closer to them. Then, the polar bear dives off of one particular ice island that he’s on, dives into the water, comes onto their ice island, and kills one of the men. He then grabs him, swims through the water, pulls the body onto the other ice island and start eating him in front of everybody. Whoa…
To be continued…
Check back soon for Part 2, and in the meantime look for Joe online at the official Joe Rogan website or on The Rogan Board (Joe's messageboard). Also, don't forget to follow Joe Rogan on Twitter.
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