Interview: Frank Henenlotter (Bad Biology, Brain Damage, Basket Case)

Hi people! The Black Saint has been going through his files & I’ve dug up some interviews that I should share with all of my acolytes. The first one is with director Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case 1,2 & 3, Frankenhooker & the indescribable Bad Biology). I hope you enjoy our short chat.

The Black Saint: It is truly an honor to be sitting here with you Mr. Henenlotter. I am a really big fan!

Frank Henelotter: That’s wonderful to hear! Thank you.

TBS: You know when I tell people about “Bad Biology” & what it’s about, nobody believes me. I even show them the dvd package & they seem to think it’s not real, one even accused me of putting it all together with Photoshop! No one will take me up on my offer to watch it with me either..It’s so sick! & I mean that in the complimentary way possible.

FH: (Laughing) I think “Bad Biology” is really an appalling experinece & I think that should be celebrated!

TBS: EXACTLY! Was there a theatrical release at all?

FH: We played at some film festivals but the film wasn’t made for the general public. It’s the kind of film that will find it’s own audience I think. Or the audience will find it themselves.

TBS: Kind of like “Brain Damage” did?

FH: Yeah, but “Brain Damage” is one thing, “Bad Biology” is waaaay out there. It’s so far beyond the pale…

TBS: You got that right, I’ve never seen a film like it before. As I said earlier, when I try to describe the plot to people they just don’t believe it or they scold me for watching p*rnography! And while there’s tons of nudity & sex in the movie, it’s not p*rno.

FH: No it certainl isn’t.

TBS: Can you tell us about any other projects you’re working on currently?

FH: Well yeah I have a couple of projects I’m circling around right now but they’re all different. I want to point out that “Bad Biology” is it’s own statement so I’m going in different directions with my future projects.

TBS: Are they horror films?

FH: One is & one isn’t.

TBS: That’s interesting. I’d like to see a Henenlotter movie that wasn’t a horror film. Are you going the independent route with them as well? Do you have funding for any of them yet?

FH: Funding is always the problem! We’ve got half the funding for the non genre film & we’ll know in about a month or two if we’ll be able to proceed with it or not.

TBS: I hope you get the funding for both of them..

FH: I do too (laughing)!

TBS: You worked on “Bad Biology” with rapper R.A. The Rugged Man. Is he that over the top on the set as he is in his music videos?

FH: Oh yeah! R.A. is a force of nature! His music, his life, everything about him is bigger than you’d expect.

TBS: His lyrics are amazing..

FH: His lyrics are phenomenal…just phenomenal.

TBS: I’d never heard of him quite honestly before I saw the movie but I was struck by the power of his lyrics & the way he delivered them. The 2 music videos that are included on the “Bad Biology” dvd are incredible.

FH: He is a remarkable talent & even for someone like me that doesn’t embrace hip hop, I stood there & listened & just thought “Oh my god”!

TBS: Does he have a record deal with someone or does he own his own label?

FH: He’s fiercely independent!

TBS: He has his own label that he records under?

FH: I guess so but even when he was signed to a label he was fiercely independent. Just go on Facebook & look him up, he’s an amazing talent!

TBS: Do you plan on working with him again?

FH: Oh I hope so!

TBS: Did he contribute anything to the script for “Bad Biology”?

FH: Oh abslutely! He co-wrote the script with me. “Bad Bilogy” is as much his film as it is mine. Absolutely.

TBS: Oh wow, I like him even more now! “Bad Biology” is one of those films that ingrained itself into my head after I saw it. Much like “Brain Damage” did. I love the Aylmer (Elmer) in that movie! I think it’s such a brilliant movie. Did you go into writing it wanting to make a movie about drug abuse or is that just the way it turned out?

FH: Oh absolutely! That’s exactly what it was. Elmer IS addiction, any form of addiction.

TBS: Elmer’s voice was played by the eternal Zacherly. Was he on set during the filming?

FH: No. He recorded all of Elmer’s dialogue before we shot one frame of film. Then we used playback so that we could match the voice with the Elmer puppet’s lip movements.

TBS: Elmer was such a charismatic character & even though he perished at the end of “Brain Damage”, did you ever give thought to bringing him back for a sequel?

FH: Well, “Basket Case 3″ taught me to never make anymore sequels. I don’t want to do anymore sequels.

TBS: Ok, I loved “Basket case”, I liked “Basket Case 2″ but the third one was missing something that the other two had..

FH: Right, “BC 2″ worked but 3 was like stop, go away, I don’t want to be made!

TBS: Were you under some sort of contactual obligation to make the third one?

FH: No. I went into 3 with my eyes open but it really got out of control for me. It became the movie that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing it for!

TBS: Well, even though it’s not as good as the previous two entries…I enjoyed it & I own it.

FH: Well I didn’t enjoy it at all!

TBS: I just enjoyed seeing Belial again. He will be missed.

FH: Well I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as you do. At least someone enjoyed it!

TBS: I’m sure I’m not the only person that enjoyed it Frank.

FH: I’m not too sure about that! (laughing).

TBS: Well, it’s been a pleasure to chat with you for a bit Mr. Henenlotter & I hope we see your name on the big screen again really soon.

FH: Thank you so much! And for everyone who hasn’t seen “Bad Biology” yet…what are you waiting for?

TBS: You heard the man people! Get this movie…now!

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About The Black Saint

Those of you who don't know of The Black Saint & have yet to commit yourselves to him body, mind & soul will find yourselves in a most uncomfortable position when my army of acolytes is complete & ready to wreak havok upon this pitiful blue ball we live on. Oh, I really like horror movies as well & will take on all comers in a horror trivia contest. Bring it on!
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