Texas Frightmare Weekend 2011: Interview with Lucky McKee, “Cinematic Transvestite”

Lucky McKee in the press room at the 2011 Texas Frightmare Weekend.

By now you might be sick of me talking about writer-director Lucky McKee.  If you are, tough s**t!!  I feel like I discovered this huge talent and he’s been right under my nose the entire time.  I was lucky enough (seriously, no pun intended) to catch the screening of McKee’s THE WOMAN (see my review here).  I think I’ve already raved about that film enough.  So imagine how happy I was to learn that on the Saturday of the Texas Frightmare Weekend Lucky McKee was going to be in the press room doing some interviews.  Please note that I unfortunately wasn’t lucky enough to be one of the interviewers.  All the interviews were set up the week before and I wasn’t aware that McKee was going to be available.  So the clips below with McKee’s answers are shot by me, but I was not the one asking the questions.  Just wanted to be clear on that.

For those of you that might need a refresher, Lucky McKee came a horror household name in 2002 with his debut feature film, MAY.  MAY starred Angela Bettis who would become a staple in McKee’s films.  Then in 2006 McKee did one of the better installments for the Showtime MASTER’S OF HORROR series titled SICK GIRL, which starred Angela Bettis.  He also then did another feature film in 2006, THE WOODS, starring Bruce Campbell and Patricia Clarkson.  I honestly didn’t care for this one and felt it was very slow and didn’t really offer anything new or interesting.  Then in 2008 I was really stoked to see Mckee tackle a Jack Ketchum novel.  He was slated to direct RED, starring Brian Cox.  We all know how dark Ketchum’s novels get even when they don’t seem like they’re going in that direction.  But McKee, who was shooting the film for a few weeks, was mysteriously fired from RED and replaced by director Trygve Allister Diesen.  To even add to the mystery, Angela Bettis was also in the film and was just as mysteriously fired and replaced by another actress.  If I had to guess as to the reason why, I would say that it had something to do with the production having eight producers!!  These producers were probably bombarding McKee with “notes” on the filming and he either told them all to go f**k themselves, or he ignored the notes and just went along and made the film he wanted to make.  This is one thing I admire about McKee; he has a laser-like focus on every film he makes, and come hell or high water he’s gonna make the film he wants to make.  That’s my guess as to what happened!!

Anyway … McKee sat in the press room for quite a while and did three different interviews.  I taped all three interviews and then went through and edited them to give us the really interesting answers that expose a little bit about McKee’s style of filmmaking and his approach and philosophy of filmmaking.  Enjoy the interview and I’d love to hear what you think about both the interview and Lucky McKee!!

Question 1:  Interviewer asks him to discuss why it seems that in most of his films the protagonist is female.  Is this something planned or does it just happen through the writing process?

Question 2:  McKee is asked if he ever gets frustrated that he’s considered an “indie” director that hasn’t really had a breakout, mainstream hit.  He’s asked if he’s happy with his success.

Question 3:  McKee’s asked if he ever gets annoyed that his films, especially THE WOMAN, is labeled an “offensive film” while movies like SAW and HOSTEL get huge releases.

Question 4:  McKee is known for not being interested in making films that are sequels and for directing films that he wrote.  THE WOMAN is both a sequel and he wrote it with someone else (Jack Ketchum).  How, he’s asked, did he end up doing a film that’s a sequel and written in conjunction with someone else?  Why did he decide to do it?  “It seems kind of outta left field”

Question 5:  McKee is asked about his motivation for writing the Cleek family the way he did.

Question 6:  McKee is asked about the soundtrack on THE WOMAN and how the music is reserved for special parts of the film.

Yeah; Lucky McKee is a pretty damn intelligent man marked by incredible focus and sticking to his guns and making the film he really wants to make.  I really admire the fact he won’t compromise, especially in the face of a bunch of a*****e producers who generously provide him with “notes” about how to make a “great” film.  THE WOMAN is not a film you want to miss people.  I’ll keep you all updated on it’s distribution as it becomes available!!

Stay Bloody!!!

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