Horror fans love their icons. We watch our favorite movies repeatedly. We visit horror conventions to get up close and personal with the horror stars. We’ve worshiped the Romeros, Cravens, Hoopers and Carpenters and loved the Englunds, Moseleys, Todds and Hodders.
But in addition to them, we need new blood as well. Say hello to the next great one… Adam Green.
We need that next wave of horror icons. We love our horror stars, but to have the genre live on and thrive as it has, we need new horror superstars. But that is not an easy torch to take. We’re used to Romero, Craven and Carpenter. We accept them and will go to see any film they put out. When a guy from Holliston, MA came out of the blue and threw his hat into the horror genre, we collectively said, “Who the hell is Adam Green?” Then he dropped Hatchet on us and we learned just who the hell Adam Green was very quickly. And because of his great success and continuously stellar work, we recognize Adam Green with a Doctor Gash Tip of the Scalpel.
Chad: Hey, man. Who’s Victor Crowley?
Layton: Well, he’s nothing. A local bogeyman story about a retarded maniac who haunts Honey Island. People just use it to keep kids away from the swamp.
Chad: You mean like a Jason Voorhees or something?
Layton: Something like that.
Chad: When I was eight, I lived in this town called Glen Echo. Our ghost story is about this man named Leslie Vernon…
Parker O’Neil: Okay then, Lynch, what *is* the worst way to die?
Joe Lynch: What…
Parker O’Neil: No, no, no, you have an answer for everything. What is you biggest fear?
Joe Lynch: That’s easy. The Sarlacc Pit.
Parker O’Neil: I’m sorry, the what?
Joe Lynch: The Sarlacc Pit. From Return of the Jedi. Uh, hello. Being slowly digested over a 1000 years…worst death ever.
Dan Walker: [in a mocking whiny voice] Dan, why don’t I ever have a girlfriend? Why?
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Green is the amazing diversity of his projects. From the pure slasher madness of the Hatchet franchise to psychologically thrilling films like Spiral and Frozen to slapstick comedy in The Diary of Anne Frankenstein segment in Chillerama to a traditional (well, maybe traditional isn’t the right word. Archie Bunker didn’t have Oderus in his closet) sitcom with “Holliston.” Adam Green is not only a great writer and director, but he can deliver so many different styles of horror making his body of work incredibly diverse and impressive.
I first became aware of Adam Green when a friend asked if I had seen the trailer for this upcoming film called Hatchet. As I hadn’t, he quickly called up the trailer online. This is what I saw:
We’re all gonna die indeed.
And in a brilliant stroke, being a horror fan himself, Green understood the genre fans’ affinity to their heroes and went out and got Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd and Joshua Leonard to appear in the film. The rest is history. Hatchet took the horror world by storm, Kane Hodder had yet another iconic character to add to his resume and Adam Green was on the map. Hatchet was everything horror fans had been looking for. It held back nothing. We had been looking for an R-rated hero and Green delivered Victor Crowley to us on a silver platter and he was, and continues to be, awesome.
Green would follow up Hatchet by co-directing the psychological thriller Spiral with Joel David Moore and producing Grace through his production company, ArieScope Pictures, but it was his next film that really drove the point home for horror fans.
Frozen takes place on a chair lift high above Mount Holliston. Three unsuspecting people find themselves stranded on the lift on a Sunday night when the realization comes to them that the ski resort won’t be open again until Friday…a long time away. Too high to jump, too cold to stay, Frozen amazingly delivers a claustrophobic crush while being staged in the most open landscape possible. It has the same trapped feel as Cujo but it’s filmed on a wide open mountain. Green scored a huge victory in the eyes of horror fans with this film that was so incredibly different from, but just as entertaining as, Hatchet.
Of course Hatchet II was an absolute necessity and it wasn’t long before Green unleashed Victor Crowley again. This time he brought in the lovely Danielle Harris (as well as a slew of genre favorites as bounty hunters) and took on the MPAA head-to-head. Confronted with a laundry list of cuts he would have to make in order to get an R-rating, Green took Hatchet II to AMC Theaters and struck a deal to have it released in mainstream movie houses with an almost unprecedented ‘UNRATED’ listing. It had been decades since a genre film ran mainstream as an unrated feature, but Green managed to pull it off. However, the film was yanked after the first weekend due to ‘poor sales.’ This seemed strange because another horror film, Chain Letter, opened the same weekend as Hatchet II and did 1/3 of the business but still stayed around for two weeks. This was certainly a case of the MPAA striking back at Green for going around their iron fist. Hatchet II would go on to be a huge success on DVD, which allowed for Hatchet III to be greenlit and headed our way soon. And big respect went out to Green, who refused to let his film be bullied into a watered down version of his vision.
And, of course, we must talk about Green’s newest and longest marinating project, “Holliston.” A new adaptation of Green’s original film, Coffee & Dounts, “Holliston” was picked up by FEARnet as their first piece of original programming. Shot in the classic sitcom style, “Holliston” is a love letter to horror fans. It’s incredibly funny and charming and bloody and disturbing all at once. Green gets to act with his best friend (fellow horror director Joe Lynch) and his boyhood hero (Dee Snider). Does it get any better than that? He’s surrounded by a stellar cast that plays off each other like they’ve been doing this for a lifetime. And, just as he did with Hatchet, Green taps into the horror fans’ love of their genre and brings in an army of horror-related guest stars into “Holliston” like Bill Moseley, Derek Mears, Ray Wise and John Landis. It is perhaps the funniest horror-themed project I’ve ever seen.
We need to keep the life-blood of horror flowing and Adam Green is a perfect candidate to take the torch from the Cravens, Carpenters and Hoopers of the world. His work is diverse, horrific or hilarious; Green knows how to entertain his audience. And that’s because he knows his audience…because he was his audience. Green is making movies for people just like him and that is why we love him. He understands the genre, he understands the fans of the genre and he brings his best every time. And it’s for this reason that we give a big tip of the Doctor Gash scalpel to the great Adam Green. Market Basket.
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