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in Filmmaking
on May 16, 2006

I went to see the Al Gore doc, An Inconvenient Truth, the other night (it’s great — kind of old fashioned in its “man and a slide projector” style, but in a good way; it has real respect for the audience and is compelling without being overblown and pessimistically alarmist) but misread the press invite and showed up at the Broadway Screening Room instead of the Paramount Screening Room on Broadway. I wasn’t the only one who made the mistake — there were a few other confused people there as well.

“What’s screening here?” I asked the publicist who was on duty.

See No Evil,” she said.

“What’s that?”

“A horror movie.”

“Who’s the director?” I asked.

“Gregory Dark.”

Gregory Dark… the ’80s porn auteur? I picked up the notes and discovered that the film stars Kane (pictured), World Wrestling Entertainment’s big star, as a psychotic serial killer picking off a group of teens. I had heard nothing about this film, and I had to think about it for a second, but I did wind up bolting over to see the Gore doc.

Now, though, Daniel Epstein over at Suicide Girls fills me in on what I missed. He has an interview up with Dark in which the director discusses his transition from porn to horror (including his comments on directing probably the most chaste video Britney Spears has ever done) as well as the new film, but first he muses on the adult artform:

“I don’t know what pornography is anymore. I could argue it either direction. You could say See No Evil is pornography but there’s not any sexual content per say. You can say a movie like Hostel is pornography. There was a Newsweek article where [Lionsgate’s co-president of marketing] Tim Palen at Lionsgate was interviewed and he talked about torture pornography. It’s no different from sexual pornography I suppose. It’s a different way of approaching the emotions. I don’t consider pornography a bad thing if you think about it philosophically. I think it’s a very healthy expression of society. That’s how I looked at it when I made adult films. I also did things like conceptual art pieces using sex scenes where I didn’t try to make them erotic. I tried to make them bizarre and unusual and almost anti-erotic to see how the viewer would react.”

Later, Dark talks about being brought onto the project by WWE’s Vince McMahon and working with him on the movie:

“We shot in Australia so he wasn’t on set. But we’d run stuff by him and he’d like it or he wouldn’t. This is his first theatrical release movie, so needless to say he wants to see it work. I thought it would be really interesting to make an old school type of horror movie like from the early 80’s. I didn’t develop the script but that’s what the script was. I thought that was interesting because so many horror movies of today are like TV movies. They are really boring in many ways. They’re not horrible, they’re not brutal but they’re not upping the ante in terms of brutality or anything like that. They’re a lot of wind blowing and sound design. Those are the elements of more contemporary horror especially with the American remakes of Japanese horror.”

And how does Dark describe his take on the material?

“I looked at it like a rollercoaster ride of death. You’re locked in this box with this crazy guy who’s hooking you, squeezing you, chopping you so how are you going to get out? That was the idea.”

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