Julian Grant (INTERVIEW)
Julian Grant is the director of THE CROPSEY INCIDENT out soon on DVD. His previous credits include ELECTRA, ROBOCOP: PRIME DIRECTIVES and THE DEFILED.
THE CROPSEY INCIDENT sees a group of online social justice activists venture deep into the woods to uncover the truth behind a recent series of gruesome ritual murders - and to capture the person responsible. But what they come face to face with is something more deadly than any serial killer, an urban legend that is very real, and determined to make them his latest victims.
For those that aren't aware, what was the Cropsey incident? Well, the Cropsey incident is one of those urban legends that really was popular up and down the Eastern Seaboard, specifically New Jersey, Coney Island, and it's the story of, well, an escaped mental patient who was preying on children. I mean, in a lot of ways, it's kind of like the genesis for the hook-handed killer and the like. It really was a folk tale that was used to scare kids back in the day. "If you don't behave, Cropsey will come and get you." This film explores that event? Yeah, in a lot of ways, it does. I mean, it builds off of that. I mean, we have an homage, if you would, to the actual hook-handed killer, but it looks at, at its core, at what price fame, so it really is more social commentary meets urban legend, and that's what we tried to do when we put this together. Are these fictional characters, though? Well, sure, they're fictional, but they're also based on the Kardashian culture that's prevalent today. I mean, let's face it. We all have friends or maybe even ourselves that are dedicated to getting clicks, likes, smileys, winkies, call it what you will, and we build our esteem based upon that, so it's not a big stretch to have journalists, would-be advocates that lose their way because they start to see their numbers rise and start building or creating their own news. And in today's predominant fake news environment, of course, it's rather timely, don't you think? Who do you think the audience will be able to relate to the most? You've got a wide variety of characters in here, too. I mean, this is a horror comedy. It's one that you're supposed to laugh at. It's stupid. It knows what it is. I mean, this isn't great cinema, by any stretch of the imagination. It's supposed to be fun, mindless, preferably while you've ingested whatever substance or beverage of choice, and it's a goof, but it's, at its heart, again, something that does have a message that makes you examine the idea of, again, at what price fame. What makes your villain tick? Our villains, if you would, both have very separate agendas, if you would. Our first is all-consuming. He's monstrous. He is the true personification of evil. The second is also the same in a lot of ways, but she, of course, is driven by ego, fame, and the need to be a star. What were your memories of working on RoboCop: Prime Directives? We did that back in 2000, so 17 years ago now. It was great. I mean, 105 days at camera, the studio left us alone. We didn't have much money, but we had a lot of love for the material, and it's one of the few adaptations, if you would, or spin-offs from the original that both Paul Verhoeven, the director, and the original producer, Jon Davison, like. They called me personally to let me know how much they enjoyed what I did, and as a Canadian, I was uniquely poised to satire the American political system and, of course, the policing institutions. Would you like to be involved in another incarnation of RoboCop? Sure, why not? I mean, how ... There's lots of opportunities now. I mean, Robocore, make it more than just one. Expand it out. Go all anime on this. I mean, the great thing about what Verhoeven did and the original writers was, they really created a great satire, and that's the value of all the work that I've tried to do, is that it really shouldn't be read at face value. They are satires, and satire is needed more today than ever before. Well, thank you very much, BloodGuts.