For no more pressing reason than it’s been Halloween not so long ago, and we LOVE BruceLaBruce, we thought it would be cute to publish in a more, well let’s say ‘readable’ way the interview we did with him on Skype in 2009, about his zombie movies, Otto, or Up With Dead People & LA Zombie, which also inspired our White Zombie fashion shoot …
[22/09/09 23:38:21] Riccardo Slavik: is your arm ok? i’ve read you had a little accident
[22/09/09 23:38:51] Bruce LaBruce: Well it’s fractured. i have to have it in a sling for two weeks. I’m on painkillers
[22/09/09 23:39:38] RS: sorry to hear that … sometimes it’s easy to forget that the body can be broken
[22/09/09 23:40:04] BLB: I know. I’ve never broken a bone before. It makes one feel fragile
[22/09/09 23:41:08] RS: i never broke anything either, iand when it happened to my mother it was a bit of a shock, that something could be broken just falling..
[22/09/09 23:41:48] BLB: Someone said it’s happening a lot lately because Mercury is in retrograde or something!
[22/09/09 23:43:36] RS: well a lot of little accidents and things have happened to people i know in august, actually our magazine’s staff was in pretty bad shape in august, mercury was working against us big time..
[22/09/09 23:43:57]BLB: There you go.
[22/09/09 23:44:11] RS: let’s hope mercury moves soon
[22/09/09 23:44:31] RS: so did you finish your new zombie project?
[22/09/09 23:44:51] BLB: I shot it in August. I won’t be editing it until end of October in Berlin.
[22/09/09 23:45:25] RS: but is this just hardcore porn or are you doing two versions?
[22/09/09 23:45:49] BLB: I’m doing an arty version too, just for fun.
[22/09/09 23:46:20] RS: how did this ‘zombie moment’ start?
[22/09/09 23:46:31] BLB: Mine?
[22/09/09 23:46:55] RS: yes, well i guess there’s a bit of a trend in the air isn’t there?
[22/09/09 23:47:21] BLB: I suppose, although it’s seems to be all about vampires these days
[22/09/09 23:47:52] RS: yes vampires have become quite mainstream, it’s taken a bit of the fun out of liking them
[22/09/09 23:48:41] BLB: My zombie detour has been a reaction against the trends in zombie movies. I was tired of zombies being represented as worthless homeless people, a disposable underclass that can be annihilated for sport or fun.
[22/09/09 23:49:27] BLB: I also wanted to go against the grain and portray zombies who are more individualistic, with a personality. Not the conformists of most zombie films, but misfits and romantic outsiders.
[22/09/09 23:49:57] RS: well i guess Otto is political in that too, your zombies are ‘alternative’ zombies, and Otto is a misfit even as zombies go
[22/09/09 23:51:54] BLB: In a way. Although Otto is really a typical gay teen in a way. Gay teen suicide rates are way higher than average for teens, partly because of the fear of homophobic violence, the disapproval, etc. Otto is supersensitive, and his zombieness can be read as a reaction against all that hostility.
22/09/09 [23:51:20] RS: do you think zombies are back because they can be a metaphor for a lot of things nowadays?
[22/09/09 23:52:45] BLB: Of course. Zombies are consumers. Zombies are viral. Zombies are apocalyptic. It’s all part of the zeitgeist.
[22/09/09 23:53:21] RS: and you’re also left with the doubt that he might not even be a zombie after all.. one thing people tend to forget is that your movies are funny too.. i guess the porn bits and gore distract them..
[22/09/09 23:54:45] BLB: Sure. People sometimes resent it when you don’t play by the rules, especially the gays, which has always astonished me. The gays want their porn, and they don’t want anybody tampering with it and making it political or self-referential or bloody or whatever.
[22/09/09 23:55:37] BLB: Horror geeks resent that I made a zombie movie that turns into a sensitive gay love story and that is romantic and so on. That was part of the plan, to torture these geeks with a romantic gay love story!
[22/09/09 23:55:57] RS: ahahaha they deserve it 🙂
[22/09/09 23:55:32] RS: one thing i wanted to ask you is this..considering how well written and often verbal your movies are, how do you think working with actors willing to do porn has affected the way the movies come out in the end? in terms of acting etcetera?
[22/09/09 23:56:56] BLB: People often criticize me for the bad performances in my movies, but considering that I often work with non-actors and porn stars who have never had to work with dialogue, I think my actors have done splendidly. Besides, I like a more artificial, “bad” acting style personally.
22/09/09 23:57:33] RS: well i always wondered wthether in the end you didnt actually prefer it that way
[22/09/09 23:57:55] BLB: Of course. I’m from that sort of Warholian school
[22/09/09 23:59:10] RS: yes it does give it a Wharol touch 🙂 even though except for Women In Revolt his movies were rarely that funny
[23/09/09 00:00:30] BLB: Oh i don’t know about that. Ingrid Superstar and Viva and Ondine and Mary Woronov were all great comedic actors
[22/09/09 23:57:08] RS: i guess you never play by the rules, ‘The Revolution Is
My Boyfriend’ is great because it’s too porn to be art and too arty to be porn…
[[22/09/09 23:57:39] BLB: Always give them what they don’t want, I always say.
[22/09/09 23:58:17] RS: our motto at the magazine is: ‘if that’s not the way it should be , then it’s the way it should be’..
[22/09/09 23:59:41] BLB: There you go. We live in a very conformist period of history. People don’t llke you to rock the boat. You are supposed to conform to certain standards and styles. But I’ve always been a nonconformist.
[23/09/09 00:00:28] RS: you described porn as a’cheap special effect’ would you say dicks are tomorrow’s gore?
[23/09/09 00:01:34] BLB: Well, you know, you have to do something new with the dick. In LA Zombie my alien zombie, played by Francois Sagat, has a cock with a scorpion’s stinger on the end of it, and he comes black squid ink!
[23/09/09 00:02:11] RS: ahahaha well i’d say that’s a new twist, especially for a porn movie
[23/09/09 00:03:12] RS: seeing the photos from the new movie i’ve seen that you’ve changed a bit the tpe of actor you use..
[23/09/09 00:05:02] RS: the men seem to be quite beefier, is that a coincidence or was there a particular reason?
[23/09/09 00:04:55] BLB: Yes I used much beefier guys, partly because there’s more meat on them to rip up and eviscerate.
[23/09/09 00:04:17] BLB: LA Zombie is also “homeless porn”. Francois may actually be a homeless person who thinks he’s an alien zombie. Once I got to LA and saw that there were three times as many homeless people than I’d ever seen there, I altered the script to make it more about homeless people.
[23/09/09 00:08:47] BLB: Still there?
[23/09/09 00:10:28] RS: sure
[23/09/09 00:10:31] RS: 🙂
[23/09/09 00:11:01] BLB: See above. I also wanted to use a more typical porn type because it’s being marketed to a porn audience also.
[23/09/09 00:11:06] RS: is there more gore in La Zombie?
[23/09/09 00:11:39] BLB : Yes. Not as much as I wanted, due to circumstances beyond my control. But there is quite a bit more than Otto, yes.
[23/09/09 00:12:20] RS: so it’s a sci-fi homeless gay porn movie… and it’s marketed to gay porn audiences?
[23/09/09 00:14:51] BLB: Go figure. Personally I would pay to watch Francois Sagat have sex if he was dressed as a suburban housewife or a rodeo clown!
[23/09/09 00:15:26] RS: ahahah sounds like next project
[ [23/09/09 00:15:50] RS: how did your collaboration with Rick Owens come about? ( Otto’s costumes were by Owens )
[23/09/09 00:16:09] BLB: I made contact with him through my friend Kembra Pfahler
[23/09/09 00:16:44] BLB: I just asked him for clothes for the movie, and he said yes.
[23/09/09 00:17:13] RS: the clothes were great they really took the movie to another level i think
[23/09/09 00:16:15] BLB: She has a cameo in Otto.
[23/09/09 00:16:41] RS: last question since our issue’s theme is hate, what do you hate?
[23/09/09 00:18:20] RS: sorry again for keeping you so long… it was great chatting with you
[23/09/09 00:18:24] BLB: I have a real hate on for mindless celebrity culture these days. I hate that people take all the vacuous celebrities so seriously and that so many people seem to be more concerned with the details of the lives of these people with mutilated egos then they do with their own, more authentic lives
[23/09/09 00:18:54] BLB: That’s my pet peeve lately
[23/09/09 00:19:23] RS : mine is Lady Gaga, i’m more specific i guess but it’s the same thing really
[23/09/09 00:19:24] BLB: I also hate the new rudeness.
[23/09/09 00:20:19] RS:I know it all seems to be getting more stupid… i wonder if there’s a way out
[23/09/09 00:21:11] BLB: I think the problems the world faces will become so serious that the interest in celebrity culture will eventually fall away and be replaced by something more urgent – like survival.
[23/09/09 00:21:35] BLB: Of course a revolution of the proletariat would be nice also.
[23/09/09 00:22:06] RS: i’m afraid survival will come sooner than that, but we can always hope
[23/09/09 00:22:26] BLB: Indeed. Okay I must go. TTFN!
[23/09/09 00:22:38] RS: thank you again for everything