Dimension Extreme has now officially released Feast III: The Happy Finish on DVD at retailers everywhere. We caught up with director John Gulager to chat about the end of the trilogy and to reminisce about the Project Greenlight days. Read on for the skinny.Dimension Films hired John Gulager to direct both sequels to Feast back-to-back. Both were shot in the same location.
“Oh yeah, the stuff is in the town except for the rooftop because its too dangerous. Everything else was kinda on a stage… as soon as they go into the sewers it’s all those little sets.”
When shooting the first film, they were focused solely on that film, but Gulager always knew it could be a franchise.
“[It was] just getting through that first film, but it’s a monster film, so you just figure it could have a sequel and become a franchise.” He continues, “In the original script for the original film, it didn’t stop right there… the original script was like a 40 million dollar movie [laughs], then it got paired down to a group of people in a bar. It didn’t really end where it ended, but we ended it there, where they walk out and the car drives off.”
There was a lot of speculation about the reshoots that went on before the first film was finally released. Gulager goes on record about the final budget and some changes.
“It was about $4.5m bucks, that’s over the break up of the companies and shot over a couple of [extra] days. [There was the scene with] the little bastard with the Biker (Diane Goldner) in the desert and shot the explosions – we never got the explosions [in the original].” He explains more in details, “Remember when the Harley Mom blows up in the desert? Originally it was just a red/orange light on [her] face. We never had the explosions or the reverse angle. So we built the little broken out piece of the building looking out into the desert and rebuilt the inside of that with doubles, we shot that reverse angle, we also shot the little bastard running out into the desert.“
One of the most interesting aspects of the Feast franchise is that the gimmick is anti-cliché. Gulager talks about veering off the path.
“It’s set up so you can kinda do whatever you want,” he jokes, “I always say you’re breaking a genre convention, but the thing is that we basically do whatever we want, whether we think anyone likes it or not. You know the so-called rules of horror, and what people expect…. you know if you veer off that path at all, you’re messing with the genre anyways, so yeah, I dunno, it’s pretty clever that-that’s what these films are about.”
Anyone who has seen the Feast films knows that it’s a guy in a rubber suit movie. Gulager explained that it was not as fun as it sounds (for the people inside the suit) and also chats about filming a horror movie in the daylight, as opposed to at night.
“That was one of those things that you do what you don’t expect. We thought it would be kind of neat to shoot a monster movie during the day — although I was watching The Host again and it took place during the day.
“If you’re trying to make scary movie, you put it in the dark so you’re kind of filling in the blanks on horrible this monster really is. But that’s not what we were trying to do with these. We were trying to make it a little more Hard Days Night and a little less Halloween.”
Gulager then chats briefly about his love for the rubber suits. “In my world it gives a certain charm to have guys in rubber suits, but I know a lot of people had a lot of problems with that, even though it’s a man in a rubber suit movie. I grew up with The Creature from the Black Lagoon and stuff like that.” He continues, “Rubber suits are hot, the monsters could only run for a little bit of time and would have to sit down on folding chairs with fans and maybe get a little oxygen. It’s not that easy.”
When Feast 2 came out, a lot of people said to me that you have to see it with an audience. Gulager reacts to this notion with talk about how the internet disrupts the fun he sees in watching a film.
“You just make a movie and however people watch ‘em… although I have to say,” changing thoughts, “I’ll read stuff on the internet and go ‘I watched it up until… and then I had to come and write on the internet about it and now I’m going to go back and watch some more.’ What a bizarre way to watch a movie,” he exclaims with honest confusion. “What a bizarre turn the culture took, you know, as far as not only watching a movie but feeling you have to be the critic instantly and tell people what you think. It just seems strange… I like when you go to a theater… I don’t walk out of movies. “
If you guys stick around for Feast III: The Happy Finish, there could me more in the pipeline.
“This is it right now, it hasn’t even come out yet… [although,] there’s already a script for another one, but you know… we’ll see.”