Why did you read comics as a child? It was the adventure. Comic books and radio were my escape. I even remember 3-D comic books where you put on the red-and-green glasses and Mighty Mouse would punch you in the face.
It was the literature of the day for kids my age who were too bored with listening to “Peter and the Wolf” on the record player.
What is your opinion on the current wave of 3-D movies? I believe and hope that we are in the gimmick phase. I was the first kid in the audience during the first wave. I saw films in 3-D that no one knows were made in 3-D. “Dial M for Murder,” “Hondo” and Brando’s “Desiree” were all in 3-D.
Every time I left the theater, I would hear dozens of people say, “Oy, this gives me a headache.” People would take the glasses off and watch the double image instead of watching it with the glasses.
When I came out of “Avatar,” I heard the same complaints. When they convert 2-D films into 3-D — like “Alice in Wonderland” — and the cuts are so quick, I saw people leave the theater.
They need to perfect the technology and take away the headache factor.
What would it take for you to do a 3-D zombie movie? It would take somebody with a checkbook. I don’t know. What I would like to do is one of those theme-park attractions like Captain EO or Honey I Shrunk the Audience that is a real sort of experience.
What are your thoughts on computer effects in films? The two great things about computer CG stuff are I can now do gags I would never have dreamed of in the old day. There are a couple of gags in “Survival of the Dead” that I could not do practically because actors will not allow you to do that to them.
And, it really enables you to get off the set quickly. When you are working with low budgets and you have a gunshot with a squib and it goes wrong — the gun flash does not synchronize with the squib or whatever — it takes half an hour or 40 minutes to clean it all up and reset it. It’s much easier to use a computer to paint in the flash and splatter.
Still, I would much rather do everything mechanically, much like I prefer the original “King Kong” to Peter Jackson’s version. There is something charming about the original, and you can appreciate the craft of the people doing the animation.
What’s the future for zombies? They are just part of the mainstream. I think the craze will die down, but then someone will make another zombie film, and it will be back. And, they won’t have the same start-up costs I had. They do not have to explain what they are; everyone already knows.