Q: SKELETON KEY is at the opposite end of the horror spectrum than your previous movie, SHADOWHUNTERS, it being a horror comedy. Why did you decide to switch gears this time around? Is there a hidden comedian inside you?
JOHN: I love the fantasy/horror realm, most of my films will fall into that category, but that is a huge genre to be in. It can vary from comedy to drama as long as you got a monster or hobbit you'll fall into the horror/fantasy column. SKELETON KEY 1 was a remake of an older feature I made now entitled SKELETON KEY 0, which was built off of a short film entitled SKELETON KEY -1. So this feel of comedy/horror was always with me. And for a while on an affiliate of PAX television I ran a sketch comedy show to pay the bills. Until they found out I wasn't a member that is. So comedy is one of my suits, which I'll throw on from time to time. Sadly, it is a difficult genre to sell.
Q: Your middle name doesn't happen to be John, does it?
JOHN: No. But, I am thinking about changing it to JonJon.
Q: One of the main characters in the movie is an Indian guy named Cornelius, who probably does the majority of the talking-in Indian with no subtitles! I kept on wanting to know what he was saying-real lines in the movie or did you just let him improvise?
JOHN: One of the nifty things about this flick is that the entire film was improv. We only had a few sentences in the script telling us what happens in the film and we did the rest. Cornelius was no exception. The tough thing about that was, none of us knew what the hell that man was saying. But at the premiere there was a small army of Indians watching the film and every once in awhile they would bust out laughing and we realized that Karthik had said something funny. I think the commentary on the film is flooded with us asking Karthik "what'd you say there...and there?"
Q: There's one scene in which your evil persona/the devil makes you throw yourself around a motel room for a few minutes-how much did that hurt afterwards?
JOHN: Yes. This seems to be one of everyone's favorite scenes, ripped right from the headlines of EVIL DEAD 2. I did take a bruise or two walking away from that one. The nice part was it was a scene from SKELETON KEY 0 chopped into the film, so I didn't have to do it again in the remake. Now, the sequel is another story.
Q: How did you get "Scream Queens" Debbie Rochon and Brinke Stevens in the movie? Were those parts written specifically for them?
JOHN: I called them up and begged. The parts weren't written for them, but they were adjusted once we knew who was playing the role. We kinda create the character with the actor since there is no dialogue written. The script is more of a guideline, they do all the work. Although having icons like that in the film was a new experience that I hope to do again. It was really cool to work with Debbie and Brinke in the double dip, with a little Conrad Brooks sprinkled on top. I would recommend it to any and all filmmakers in the future.
Q: How did you get so many actresses to bare their breasts?
JOHN: I'm Italian.
Q: What was the most challenging scene to shoot?. In the out-takes there's that incident with the redneck police guy stopping you guys from shooting at night. Were there other incidents like this?
JOHN: Yes. Billy-Bob needs to find a nice hole somewhere and die. Though, I doubt he would fit. Making the SKELETON KEY is an adventure to be had. We were chased by Five-0 quite a few times during production. But we would always wait until the coast was clear and sneak back to finish the scene. It is sad really, I graduated from the police academy, and so I hate it when police officers are put in a bad light, but that outstanding individual needs a moment in hell.
Q: One of the most hilarious scenes in the movie is towards the end, when you start singing to your character's love interest. How challenging was this to do, both from a director/writer point of view and as an actor/singing point of view?
JOHN: In my normal day life, I love to sing. In the car on an elevator wherever. So that wasn't too hard to do. What was difficult about that scene was the fact it was the dead of winter and I was being sprayed with a garden hose for the whole song. I had to shut down production for a day to warm up and take us over schedule to finish the scene. It was tough...But worth it.
Q: I don't mean this in a bad way, but in this movie you kept on reminding me of Edward Furlong (how he looks today)-has anybody ever drawn that comparison before?
JOHN: I look like John Connor, huh. Nope I have never heard that one before. But if Robert Patrick shows up at my door, I'll send him to your house.
Q: I heard that you are working on another SKELETON KEY movie?
JOHN: Yes, come this May we are shooting 667 NEIGHBOR OF THE BEAST: ANOTHER SKELETON KEY. We are really excited about it. I think I will be making the SKELETON KEY's until the day I die. And maybe even one or two more after that. For those who are interested contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to come out and be a zombie for a day. We could always use some more.
Q: How can people get a copy of SKELETON KEY?
JOHN: Go out right now to your local Best Buy and demand it! Pull that clerk across the counter and tell him it is a matter of life or death. Tell that fool you need a copy of SKELETON KEY (without Kate Hudson) or the first season of the hit show THIRTY-SOMETHING stat! Otherwise the world may end in an ocean of fire and cheese!!! You can also order it from our website.