Ken Foree Interview (Horrorthon 2009)

Zone of The Dead Interview: Ken Foree and Milan TodorevicKen Foree

By Patrick Thompson

 

Ok so heres an interview thats about five years overdue. This interview was conducted at Horrorthon 2009 and was due to go online shortly after- if the website it was conducted for hadn’t gone down. Let me explain…

My name is Patrick Thompson. I used to write for the horror site necrocarnival.net a few years ago. I began writing for the website when I was added by the sites myspace page (which tells you how long ago It was). I was involved in a lot of horror communities on myspace and thought nothing of the add but when necrocarnival sent out a bulletin to their friends asking for people to write for the site I leapt at the opportunity and sent in a sample review of Grindhouse. The site already had a review of Grindhouse but Heather who ran Necrocarnival really liked my writing style and I began writing for the site on a hundred percent laissez-faire basis starting with a retro review of Pet Semetary.

So I wrote for necrocarnival between the summer of 2007 and 2009. When I said it was on a laissez-faire basis what that means is that there was no deadlines and there was no schedule. Most writers for horror sites are sent promo copies and are given a strict schedule that has to do with when films are released and the editor of the site would usually deal direct with distributors. Not here.

If you wanted to review something you could either watch it off your own steam or get in touch with the filmmakers yourself and asks for a promo copy (as I did a few times). I set up all the interviews I conducted myself which is why the interviews you can see on the site are all with fairly underground directors who were glad of the chance to speak about their work. The news section was updated when either Heather or someone else who wrote for the site decided to write a news piece. There was no real chronology to reviews either? See a horror film thats out this week? Write a review! Watch something from ten years ago on TV? Write a review!

Never the less I was so happy to interview the directors that I did and receiving review copies of books and DVDs in the post always gave me a thrill. On the pocket edition of Frazer Lee’s book “Urbane and other horror stories” you can see a quote from a review I did of the book for the site. I was also quoted on the poster for the independent film Mindflesh. There were little thrills like that along the way, another example was when Ed King told me that John Landis had read the interview I conducted with him for the site! As a massive Argento fan I also felt very strongly about my review for Mothers Of Tears. Whilst I didn’t think the film was flawless, I enjoyed it and was proud that the review I printed wasn’t swayed by the opinions of practically every other horror reviewer of the time.

Necrocarnival was run by a girl named Heather who used the pen name of Cynna with the help of her boyfriend Jason who did the web design and hosting for the site. I never meet Heather ofcourse or anyone involved in the site but never the less a micro community did develop between us. There was Heather, Jason, Myself and a young man named Patrick Campbell who also wrote for the site. Patrick even sent me a Christmas card one year!

However all things inevitably move towards their end. Heather made it no secret that she was a dialysis patient and this as you would imagine was more of a priority than the site. It meant that Heather couldn’t really keep up with the goings on on the site. The site went down for maintenance at one stage and didn’t come back up for nearly a year. During its downtime a Korean poker site had snatched the sites domain name prompting the change from necrocarnival.com to necrocarnival.net. The site was hacked several times.

Around 2010 Heather and Jason stopped replying to my emails. Whilst conducting this interview I had a feeling things were winding down with the site but I still persisted with interviews out hope. The site became full of bizarre spam on the message boards and generally one got the feeling it was abandoned. Eventually the site came down. The only way anyone can see it now is by using the wayback machine.

I don’t know what became of the people involved. I haven’t spoken to Heather or Jason in years. The last time I spoke to Patrick was a few years ago. Last year he disappeared from facebook. I went looking for him online but I couldn’t find anything. Its a strange sensation feeling nostalgia and affection for a time in which I interacted with people I never meet or honestly never truly knew.

With that in mind this interview is dedicated to two groups of people. Firstly to Ed King whose help in sourcing interviews for nercrocarnival was incredible. And secondly to the necrocarnies themselves. If you’re still out there and you see this, hit me up.

And as always Keep It Gory

(What follows is the original interview in its unpublished state)

At last year’s Horrorthon I had the pleasure of interviewing a genuine horror legend – Ken Foree.

Beginning his career in theater Ken went on to play the iconic role of police officer in Romero’s classic Dawn of The Dead. Ken’s part represented a new breed of horror hero, a strong black character who was central to the plot rather than a supporting character, a character refreshingly free of sentiment who embodies the central theme of Romero’s zombie films, that man must look out for himself.

After this Ken continued in the horror genre, working with directors like Stuart Gordon and Tobe Hooper. He’s also worked in television memorably playing the father of the main character in the hugely popular Nickolodeon TV series Kenan and Kel as well as working on show’s like The X-files. More recently he has experienced something of a career renaissance doing voiceover work on the Grand Theft Auto series as well as working with Rob Zombie on The Devils Rejects, El Superbeasto (which he forgot about!) and his controversial Halloween remake.

Ken was in Dublin to promote his new Zone Of the Dead , the first ever Serbian zombie film in which Ken plays the main role! Also interviewed was Milan Todorevic, director of the film. Milan was a humble and self deprecating guy and also a genuine horror fan. Also present was Andrew Holohan and his girlfriend Rachel Kennedy who also talked to Ken! The interview was conducted in the film archive of the Irish Film Institute.

The film is worth checking out if your a fan of Ken or zombie flicks, the sort of film I recommend watching with some friends and a sixpack or two!

Interviewing Ken was a dream come true, he is incredibly humble, warm and a born raconteur who it was a pleasure to interview.

Patrick Thomspon: This is an interview for Necrocarnival.net with Ken Foree and Milan…

Milan Todorevic: Milan Todrevic

Zone of the DeadPT: (Laughs) Milan Todorevic. Were here in the Irish Film Institute just after seeing Zone of the Dead. My first question is for the both of you , how did the film come about and how did Ken end up getting involved?

Ken Foree: Well this is a long story (Laughs) So do you want to start this story?

PT: So I was trying to get some small zombie movie (made) with my friends in Serbia, it is very hard to make a movie in Serbia and at one point we made like one promo catalog which one Italian producer saw and he came to Belgrade to meet us and asked us “Do you know who Ken Foree is?” and we where like “of course” and he said “Would like to have Ken in the movie?” and we where like “what? Yeah!”. We really didn’t believe that it was going to happen but he was really certain that he could bring Ken Foree in because Ken is a close friend of his. So we made a new draft of the story and practically Ken’s character is written especially for Ken, he didn’t exist until we heard about Ken’s possible involvement. And Ken can continue here …..

KF: I was at the American film market, I was walking down the hallway and a guy came out of this room and he was running down the hallway shouting my name and he was like “Ken, Ken Foree, I grew up watching you , we have to work together!” and his name was Morris Kutchi and Morris eventually told me , I think I saw him next year at the American film market and he said “Listen there’s a group in Russia and they’re going to their government with financing to make a movie, to make a zombie movie and they want you to be in it” and I said “Oh great, well let me know” and time passed, about six months, practically a year and I saw on IMDB Ken Foree is staring in Zona Mythre and he’s negotiating with Interpol agent Morvin Merais. (Laughs) So I said “Interpol? That’s an investigative agency, that’s not a casting director or agent? What kind of name is that for an agent?” So there are several Russian communities in LA and I know several Russians and I had stopped by to make business and I said can you tell what this means? “Zona Mythre” (mispronounces).

MT: “Zona Mythre” (pronounces perfectly), You were close, very close!

KF: Mythre whatever, can you tell me what this means? And they couldn’t! So I thought if the Russians don’t know it and I’m going to Russia! (Laughs) What the hell am I involved in? So I told somebody take this off IMDB, I don’t believe it, someone’s just using my name and they said “No leave it on”. I did and the next year at the American Film Market I saw, well I got a message from Morris and said that it was Serbian and that we where going in to pre(production) and they would contact me and then Toky…

MT: Yeah everybody call me Toky….

KT: And then he emailed me and we talked and we got the script and we began to talk about the script that we would love to work together and it became a reality within a few months.

PT: So a boring question but where did the majority of the film’s funding come from?

MT: From the Serbian Government and from different funds and institutions so like ministry of culture republic and ministry of culture of the city of Belgrade, institutions like that and some from it from sponsors, some of them from Spain , from Italy because its a Serbian/Italian/Spanish co-production.

PT: The American Lead Actress how did you get her involved because I believe she was in Rob Zombie’s Halloween

MT: Well that’s Ken’s Fault

KF: (Laughs) They had an actress, I think she was Italian at one point….

MT: I think she was American

KF: She was American

MT: She was in Tony Scott’s Domino she had some small role.

KF: She fell out of the picture for some reason and Morris told me, he was very depressed and angry, he said he was looking for an actress and I said “hmm Eastern European” and since Christina is German, her mother and father are German, she was born in America but they were born in Germany and she has an Eastern European look I said “I know somebody who would fit the picture”. I put Morris in touch with Christina and then they had dinner the next night or a few nights after and they sealed the deal and that’s how she became involved.

PT: I asked this in the Q and A but for the necrocarnival readers how did you find the experience of working in Serbia, with the Serbian crew and how did you find Serbia in general?

Ken ForeeKF: Well you know its a wonderful country and any one will say that about a country they visit especially with someone from the country sitting right next to me (laughs). But um it was a wonderful experience, I really had a great time working with them, a really professional crew, they knew what they were doing. I would do it again as I said in the Q and A, that I would do it again in a New York minute, it really was a great experience for me working with them. We shot in a place called Pancevo which is supposedly the most polluted city in Europe….

MT: I live there (Laughs)

KF: (Laughs) He lives there. And so it was interesting… every morning we drove to Pancevo and every evening we drove to Pancevo, we shot all night and every morning I would come back to exercise in the hotel to get rid of the fat gut. I would do an hour of treadmill and a 100 sit ups every morning that I got in for thirty days and dieted till I got rid of that belly… you can cut that out (laughs). (In the Q and A Ken mentioned his gut!)

PT: Milan I don’t know if this is the first Serbian horror film but I know that Serbian horror films aren’t well known so how did the Serbian film community react to that or what was the reaction to a genre film being made in the country especially one with such a big genre star as Ken?

MT: Well it was kind of strange. It’s not the first Serbian horror movie, there were others before, a few but this is first zombie movie and when everybody heard that Ken Foree was coming it was all over the press, it was really one of the most advertised movies so the hype was really on. The press was coming every day, the national TV, everybody was there. And after the film came out, it’s strange that most of the people that are not fans like the movie more than the true fans. (All laugh). So we get more press. But the film is very well received, reviewed and the thing is that most people didn’t see this as a Serbian movie because it has American actors as main characters , it has English as spoken language and it looks kind of American because Serbian movies look like… crap. (Laughs).

KF: You’re going to get in trouble!

MT: [They’re] usually comedies with some issues of past war or something like that you know its either depressing or really shallow humour but I think the Serbian funds and government should invest more in genre movies as they can see in the example of Zone of the Dead the movie has sold in eight or ten territories, it’s going around the festivals and is very well received so I think the possibilities through genre movies are much bigger than the artistic movies that actually nobody is watching anymore even in Serbia because theatres are empty. Before Serbian movies had like a million admissions and lets say for example Titanic had less than that and now no one is watching Serbian movies anymore because they are all the same… crap.

KF: Yeah and they played our movie at 11 o’clock at night, something like that didn’t they?

MT: Yeah they had really late times for our screening because they bill it like a real horror movie but the thing is that kids loved it the most. So we were at the festival in Niche, it is a town in Serbia, and biggest festival in Serbia and Ken was there. So I think all of the kids from the city came and they were saying that this is the best film they ever see, they made facebook groups, fanpages, they were quoting the lines from the movie, talking to Ken everyday so it was actually for a younger audience I think.

KF: And most of them wont get to see it unless they see it on DVD because they weren’t allowed to be out at twelve o’clock at night you know.

PT: (To Milan) What was your film background previous to making the film?

MT: I graduated film production at the Belgrade Film Academy. I did some short movies before this one and this is my first long one.

PT: Out of curiosity, before Ken got involved was the film always going to be shot in English?

MT: No, no that was one of the conditions of the Italian producers to get involved was to shoot it in English. At one stage we decided to make it half Serbian half English because we had some scenes which are really Serbian like train station scene but in the end we got Spanish actors to be in those scenes so it was impossible to do it. And we got some actors that said that they spoke English but didn’t!

KF: (Laughs) It was a little challenging.

MT: But as I said before Ken was going to be involved it was going to be a very small movie. His character didn’t even exist , just the the prisoner and the girls and some people from the party. And then we added Kens character who was first the other character- the Serbian cop that gets killed at the start of the movie because we thought Ken would only be a special guest. But then they said Ken can be there from day one to the last day so we just switched the characters.

PT: Aside from Kens involvement was it a very different script before Ken got involvement or was it pretty much the same?

MT: The storyline was the same like they start with prisoner transport ,they end up in the police station and then they go to the river but it was really a lot different. I think the only character that remained the same the most was the prisoner.

PT: And the sort of maniac character who escapes from the asylum where did you get the idea for that?

MT: Well…

KF: He was an executive producer! (All laugh)

MT: No we had that character from the very start, he was a really different character. He was a gravedigger that was a crazy UN soldier that arrived here for Bosnian war and remained here and took all the guns, had them in a casket in the back of his car. He was like waiting in a graveyard for the thing to happen. We changed the character because of the actor that was playing him. The actor that was playing him now couldn’t play the old guy gravedigger and everything so we just changed him to a lunatic who is reading the bible and quoting the bible. And actually the actor that is playing Ken’s partner in the movie, Michan Kostavich he was cast first for that role.

KF: He would have been great for that role.Patrick & Ken

PT: (To Ken) You have worked with Rob Zombie three different times now…

MT: This is not connected to Zone of The Dead (laughs)

PT: No, this is just for Ken! Three times now you have worked with him Halloween, Devils Rejects and aren’t you in Super Beasto?

KF: Yes. Yes I am, thanks for reminding me! It’s interesting working with Rob because Rob is a very open director and he likes to collaborate and he wants you to have input which is always a wonderful thing for an actor. He’s a brilliant guy , I love his dialogue. Some people don’t. Some people have problems with his latest venture, I haven’t seen it yet. I think Rob has a style and if your not prepared to enjoy Rob Zombie‘s film and you don’t recognize and you don’t appreciate it then you might have problems with it. I think that Frank Capra had a style and I also think that he had alot of failures too. (Laughs) If you like a director and you like what his theme is for the piece and you become a fan of him or you don’t. I’m a fan of Rob Zombie’s. I loved Devils Rejects. I loved the first Halloween. I thought it was a great, ambitious and creative effort on his part to bring out the childhood and the life of this maniac killer. I enjoyed that , I thought it was brave of him to do it. I didn’t want to see another copy of what John Carpenter did and all the other Halloweens that followed…I didn’t want to see another one of those. I think I saw the first Halloween and that was it, I don’t want to see another repeat of the original with nothing that makes it interesting and I think at least Rob made it controversial and interesting. That is for the audience to say “I am having an experience”. Even if I disagree with some of the shots or anything at least I have an opinion and I’m touched by this in some way. And you can not say you are not touched by a Rob Zombie film! That’s Rob Zombie.

PT: Just out of curiosity was there a difference in the atmosphere on set between The Devils Rejects which was a film that wasn’t really a lot of hype around, a film that was a bit unexpected to Halloween which was a film with a lot of hype around with a lot of media interest and speculation?

KF: I think The Devils Rejects with what happened with House of 1000 Corpses, with what he went through to get that in theatres and out on DVD it took him a while for Rob to get that going. And when they started shooting Devils Rejects I think Lionsgate gave him a free hand to do what he wanted so it was really a kind of a happy set. Halloween I don’t know because I didn’t spend as much time on that set. I think that when your dealing with a franchise like Halloween, when your dealing with another production company like the Weinsteins…I don’t think its the same. I don’t think it could be the same. If you have a different production company and your dealing with a franchise like that then its got to be different than the set of something you’ve created. I mean when it came to House of 1000 Corpses and with The Devils Rejects they (the producers) said alright let him go off and do his own thing but when it came to Halloween it was a franchise and its a different production so I imagine there was a slight difference in what Rob had to deal with. I mean he had to deal those people who owned the property, like Moustapha Akhad– well Moustapha’s a great guy I don’t think he had any problem with him- but who knows. I don’t know what happened on that set but I imagine was a difference between been given free reign and having to deal with a load of other issues like other people being in charge.

PT: Going back to a role which I’m sure you have asked about a lot about at this stage- Dawn of the Dead– did you think before going in to that film that it would impact on your career as much as it has?

KF: No I didn’t think it would play Guam. I mean I read the script I was a stage actor pretty much , I mean I had done a guest staring role in an episodic and I had done my first major film – All Star Travelling Motorkings with James Earl Jones and Richard Pryor– had a great times. Actually talking about stories I should have told (in the Q and A) that’s a great one. That’s a great one ,I needed three hours!….What was the question? (laughs)

PT: Did you expect it to change your career?

KF: Nah I said “Jesus this is incredible and there going to be pulling out peoples guts and all sorts of stuff”. I said “Oh my God the censors are never going to let this through”- it was released unrated by the way. As a matter of a fact I was a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) actor and that point and this was a non SAG film. I said this will never get in the United States, ok I’m going to take a shot at this. At the time I was a bartender-slash-doing off Broadway, so I needed the money! So I thought I’ll do this. The distributors , they opened it. It opened in every major theatre in the United states, every major drive in in the United States and im sure across the world. I don’t know about over here (Ireland) but it must have because all over the world I meet people who say they saw it as a kid. It was playing at the Wintergarden in the West Side in New York and as some of your readers may know that’s a major theatre, that’s near Broadway! It was playing at the NBC on the east side, the Wintergarden on the west side and the NBC on the east side. The NBC’s on the corner of 2nd street and 1st avenue, that’s a major theatre, I mean you would think it would be playing at 42nd street and all the old theatres and I’m sure it played all the drives ins… I heard that the choreographer Bob Fosse, you probably don’t know him. (To the group) Do you know him? Cabaret, Chicago?

MT: He directed Cabaret

KF: Then he did that movie with Roy Schneider and it had that song.

MT: Yeah Roy Schneider. What was that? Ok anyone who’s reading the movie where Roy Schneider played Bob Fosse, played his life.

PT: A prize for the the necrocarnival readers who know it. Actually no prize there’s a credit crunch on.

KF: (Triumphant) All that jazz! Yeah I didn’t know him, I was in the airport and he said “Ken Foree! Ken Foree!” And I didn’t realise because I was Ken Foree, I was Ken Foree the working actor I wasn’t Ken Foree the horror icon and this guys running up to me and backing up and he went “I loved your movie , I saw it with my girlfriend at the Westchester drive in in New York city.” I went “Who are you?” and he went “I’m Bob Fosse. Aren’t you Ken Foree the actor?” and its been like that ever since! I had no conception it would be like this and I’m absolutely thrilled and amazed. A lot of times you go in to the supermarket or your going to the department store or your going to have a McDonalds with your kids and your thinking about how am I going to deal with my aunt that’s sick or do I got to pick up milk and someone says “KEN FOREE!” (Everyone laughs). “What? What?” “Ken Foree your the greatest”. You don’t think about it most of the time, you don’t go around thinking about it. We where walking down the streets today and then some kids saw me and I kind of see them out of the side of my vision. I’m walking bye and I noticed that one kid turned and I walked on and he said “Kenan and Kel” and then they said “Dawn of the Dead” too and I kept walking. Sometimes your not just thinking that. Sometimes your thinking like you “I gotta catch a bus” and then someone says “Ken Foree!”.

MT: That club we went to after we wrapped the movie…

KF: Yeah

MT: After we wrapped the movie we went to a club and we where dancing and suddenly people were coming up wanting to get pictures with him.

KF: Yeah it happens, I can go to almost any airport in the US and almost everyone in security knows me. Even in Europe I get recognised almost everywhere. You would think that I would become accustomed to it , expect it but I don’t it. I have my mind on other things like daily filling… life! Life like is my wife going to talk to me next week, I don’t know like im thinking now I gotta get those presents for my wife, she wants these clothes. Well forget it shes going to have to just suffer! (Laughs) Ill suffer but (laughs) I’m getting a sweater and all of a sudden some says my name and I turn in to that guy again.

PT: Do you find that people recognise you from one thing? Is it Dawn of The Dead, is it Devils Rejects, is it Kenan and Kel?

KF: Its a variety. Some people its Devils Rejects but mostly its “your that actor!”. (Laughs) “Your that actor, what have I seen you in?” I was on my way here and the bartender…

MT: Yeah the bartender in the pub last night?

Kenan's DadKF: Yeah we where in the pub last night? What was its name? Foleys! And the bartender was going “I know you! I know your face! How do I know you? We didn’t go to school together did we?” and I went “No no!” and that happens a lot. And sometimes its Kenan and Kel… a lot of the people who are eight and nine years old and where going to see Kenan and Kel are now old. Here’s a short story, I’m full of short stories! But we shot it at Orlando, Kenan and Kel, we shot it for two years and the audience coordinator would bring in kids and parents you know that kind of thing. They would always fill up the audience when we shoot! And there were a few kids and they were local and they would come out and go “can we get in?” and they would go “ah come on in!”. They would let them in. I don’t remember this young lady but she was always there according to the casting director, the audience coordinator and she became Miss America. So I see a lot of people your age (my age, 19 at the time) who come up to me now and go “ah your Kenan’s dad! Ray this is Kenan’s dad!” and I go what are these grown people doing but then I have to think and these were the kids that were watching me in Kenan and Kel. Mostly its “love your work, keep doing it, keep doing what your doing” or “your that guy, your that guy, what where you in? I know you were in something. I see you in somebody’s stuff” and I did! I did a lot of episodic, I did comedy, I did soap operas , I was on stage, and I did horror films, I did thrillers, action adventure. I worked the gamut and if you’ve got an ugly face like this people remember you! You know what I mean. Someone compared it to Marty..whats his name. The guy that died that was in Frankenstein?

MT: Mel Brooks?

KF: No the guy with the eyes, Igor!

Rachel Kennedy: Oh that was kind of offensive!

KF: It was offensive! I didn’t like it at all! But that’s the face I have, some people say other things.

MT: Some people say Tony Todd!

KF: That’s the one I hate!

PT: Really?!

KF: No they do, they ask him (Tony Todd) the same thing “Aren’t you Ken Foree? Aren’t you in Dawn of The Dead?” “No!” he says. People ask me “Are you Candyman?” “No!” You know and we look nothing alike.

PT: Do you have people coming up quoting lines at you?

KF: Oh all the time! Ive gone to malls and heard people behind me going “da dun dun da dun dun dun da dun da dun da da dun dun “ (the mall musak from Dawn of The Dead). (All laughs). They get embarrassed , I don’t know!

PT: This is the last question I promise related to Kenan and Kel but when you where on that show did they know you had a history of being in horror films?

KF: The writers were fans! They were fans! “Sign this Ken!” They were Dawn of the Dead fans!

MT: Like me!

KF: And the executive producer was my agents brother. I knew him when he was this size, when he was a young boy. But that’s not why I got the role. There was nothing like that. I had to go in and audition in front of twenty five people. And I had to convince all of them. So it had nothing to do with him or my relationship with his sister. I mean that might have hurt me! (Laughs!) It was interesting.

PT: Dawn of The Dead allowed you to have a career working in genre films but do you ever feel like you have been typecast or that you would like to break out of that? I mean you have done other stuff..

KF: You know its kind of strange because the horror fans are such great fans. I enjoy being with them, I enjoy the love. I mean anyone who loves you that much you got to love back. Its like sharing the love. I mean I enjoy that aspect of it. Ive done a lot of television, a lot of American television especially in the 80s you know and ill probably go back to television.And Ill probably do other things. Ive just finished a thriller you know. I don’t want to be typecast, I hope im not typecast. I don’t think I can get away from being this horror icon. I still want to do horror films and if people want me to do horror films I’m kind of there. But I also can do other things. In fact I’ve just reinstated in to a theatre company I once belonged to twenty years ago and were going to start to do Shakespeare so I’m looking forward to doing that.

RK: What are you going to do, what play?

KF: I’m going to take a shot at King Lear. Im probably going to do Othello but ill probably play Iago. So I don’t know what I’m going to do, they can decide what I’m going to do when I get there. They can say no “you just stand there and do what we tell you” so I’ll see.

PT: Milan , back to you finally..

KF: Why? Why are you going back to him? Hes not interesting! Im a more interesting person than him. No no I’m kidding, I love him really, go on ahead!

PT: So what other projects do you have in development? What else do you plan to make? You did mention something about a possible zone sequel or another horror film with Ken..

MT: Yeah we are working together now on a sequel. Actually we have a story already written so know we are like ….preparing the production.

KF: Yeah we’re in pre-pre-production. We have the story, we have people interested, we have investors interested and it looks like it will probably be a go. We will know in the next few months if we can go or wait a bit with it but it looks like were in pretty good shape.

MT: It’s called “Wrath of the Dead

KF: “Wrath of the Dead” and its going to be great!

PT: Id say you want to keep quiet about it at this stage but what characters from the original return?

KF: None of those guys are coming back! (Laughs) We get rid of all of them Its just me! No we don’t know yet. Were playing with that and we want to bring Christina back, I would like to bring Milio back. There’s been talk of having them back, I would certainly like to bring them back.

PT: Bring back the crazy guy!

KF: Hes coming back but hes coming back as a zombie. He’s not going to speak at all.

PT: Just make a slasher series about him!

MT: He will be really interesting in the sequel because he will be like half zombie half human.

RK: Sort of like a Bub (the intelligent zombie from Day of The Dead FYI)?

MT: Not really because he will go with guns again, killing zombies and eating people.

KF: Its going to be great.

PT: What kind of distribution do you have in place for Zone…? Do you know is it going to come out on DVD in the US and Europe?

MT: Well hopefully as I said we have sold some territories so I don’t know what there going to do, they have the rights.

PT: Its up to the distributors.

MT: Probably DVD mostly. UK [rights] has sold to Metrodome.

PT: A big company.

KF: DVD and some countries will probably put it in theatrical too and then DVD. I think the system or philosophy of the sale is you open in theatrical for a week then you go to DVD so you get a better sell for it. Some companies may do that and the DVD market is falling so far down the tubes that it might go in to pay per view or view on demand that kind of stuff. We’ll see, its eight countries so far. Were opening in the United states soon, Canada and you know a few other countries that have taken care of.

MT: It’s already shown in Argentina and Brazil in festivals so possibly South America.

KF: Yeah South America. Its getting around so it will probably play the US and Canada within the next year.

PT: What sort of reaction are you getting back from fans in general? What kind of festivals have you played, aside from this one?

MT: Yeah it was in Stiges, it was in Pipan.

KF: Where else? Niche.

MT: It was in Croatia, it was in Bosnia. Croatia, it was crazy.

KF: Yeah they loved it in Niche and they loved it in Stiges. They were very responsive to it in Stiges. The reviews have been fairly good. The only bad review I read was somebody who hated us!

MT: Yeah the only guy who wrote a bad review hates us because we didn’t want him as cameo in our movie.

KF: That was the review.

PT: Was he an actor?

MT: No he was a film critic! He wanted to have a cameo in our movie, we didn’t allow that and later he made a review of the movie. In Niche he wanted to do an interview with Ken and I said “No Ken don’t”. Same night the bad review was everywhere.

KF: Oh he put it everywhere. I haven’t seen it.

MT: That night!

KF: I haven’t seen it , yet I only heard about it.

MT: Lucky you.

KF: I don’t care!

PT: To be honest I don’t think that most horror fans care what mainstream critics make of their films because in general mainstream critics aren’t fans of horror.

KF: No. There allowed to have their can of film and we embrace it. You listen to a critic and you go “oh ok” but then you go and see it and you go “I enjoyed that, I had a pleasurable journey here”.

PT: (To Ken) Whats coming up for you? I know you’ve mentioned some things.

KF:Yeah , the four that are coming out now, Ive got four out Zone..is one of them and that’s coming out in the states. I got a thing called Live Evil that’s coming out, El Superbeasto Rob Zombie’s thing is out now. Did you see El Superbeasto? Has it come out?

PT: No I haven’t seen it.

KF: No I haven’t seen it either.

PT: It got delayed, I haven’t seen anything.

KF: And then I have one called DC sniper which is a thriller that I’m in. That’s coming out.

PT: Its based on the events in DC a few years back?

KF: Yeah yeah exactly. Those I have coming out. I hear my agent is in negotiation for two other films, those whatever they say. Were negotiating. Were talking with them. I wont say its happening till were on set and the check is cleared. I mean in this economy, I mean I had a film that was meant to meant to be happening in February and that fell through so they moved it to June and it fell through in June. The economy’s a bit strange right now so im not sure. With my career I’ve always said I’m not doing it until I cash my cheque and im doing the film. But really the way thins have been going I don’t count the chickens until they hatch.

PT: Is there anything else you would like to say to necrocarnival readers either of you?

KF: I want to come back to Dublin! And I want to come back in the summer and I want to come back for a week or two and if anyone has a problem with that tell them to see me personally!

PT: Would you make a film here?

KF: I’d make a film here in a minute. Did you tell your readers I’m part Irish! I have touched homeland here.

MT: You told the same story in Serbia!

KF: No I didn’t! I never said I’m half Serbian! I never did! It’s an interesting idea though that I’d be half Serbian! No as I said in the Q and A I love being with the Irish, I have always wanted to come to Dublin and Ive always been upset that I’ve always ended up in London or Scotland. I got to the airport here once and I went damn, I got to collect a flight! But I’ve always wanted to come here and I’d like to spend more time here, this is really truly one of my dreams to come to Ireland because I’ve heard so much about it. The history’s so rich and there’s my family and you don’t want to talk about that! That’s a story and I can’t get in to it because its too long but its a story of how they were mistaken for Irish when they were really African American with Irish blood. All the things that were said when Blacks are not around people would say to them. Yeah that’s a long story, so long long story but interesting, interesting.

PT: Milan do you have anything you would like to add?

MT: No.

KF: Look for The Wrath of the Dead.

MT: Wrath of The Dead coming soon staring Ken Foree who is going to kill a hell of alot of zombies this time.

PT: Nice!

KF: Darker, funnier. Well not funnier, thats a comedy!

MT: Ken will do a step dance.

KF: Yeah I’ll do my two moves! And were going to kill a whole lots of zombies.

MT: Yeah well have a scene with santa clauses sleigh.

KF: Well have a scene where I jump of a train. I wanted to jump of the train (in Zone) but we had to use a hoist.

MT: Yeah Ken wanted to jump of the train.

KF: I wanted to jump of the train in to a box! In to an in inflated bag! I wanted to just take a running start and jump. I said im going back to the days when I was young and could do anything!

Talking to Ken after the interview Andrew asked Ken for his favourite horror film and he said Shaun of the Dead was one of his favourites. I asked Ken if he had meet the guys behind it and he proceded to tell this story.

KF: I was in England at NEC in Birginham.

PT: Was that at collectorama?

KF: No that was called memorabilia. I had been in England for about a week and I kept seeing signs on the bus stop and on the tube saying “Shaun of the Dead” with Simon Pegg there with the cricket bat. So I went to people “What’s this Shaun of The Dead? It’s familiar, it’s similar. Should I know something about this.” “Oh it’s just some silly thing”. So I said “Ok”. I kept seeing it but I just went “ah I’ll see”. So im in memorabilia and three young, I guess they must have been fourteen/fifteen year old boys had smocks on with tags that said “Foree Electrical”. So they came past and I said “Hey hey stop right there. Can I see you for a minute you guys?” They panicked! I guess they must have thought I was going to hurt them because as I got up, they started running and they ran away from me I couldn’t catch them! I said “What the hell is this?”. So I’m in San Diego about half a year later, I’m at the comic con and a guy comes up to me and says “Hi I’m Edgar Wright” and I said “Yeah”. He said “I made a film called Shaun of The Dead”. I said “You’re the guys I’m looking for”. Simon comes up! They invite me to the film, to the premiere at the gaslight theatre in San Diego. I go, I bring a group of people, I’m sitting there, I’m absoulutely stunned and thrilled to see this thing. It was wonderful and we’ve been friends ever since. We meet in LA, I visit them there, we talk and I sent them my tee-shirts! Ken Foree tee shirts! (Laughs) Because I thought “What do you get someone who has everything?” “Here have a six dollar tee-shirt!” So yeah they’re good friends. Good guys both of them. I’m very happy for Simon’s success and Edgar’s doing well too. I enjoyed it, talented individuals.

 

So there you have it. Special thanks must go to Edward King for getting Ken over to Dublin as well as setting the interview up. And of course thanks to Ken and Milan!

As always keep it gory!

Patrick Thompson