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Written by Administrator   
Sep 03, 2004 at 02:00 AM
An engrossing psychological examination of ERIC STANZE, writer, director, executive producerof the upcoming feature film, ICE PROM THE SUN

O'NEAL: You are currently shooting your fourth feature, ICE FROM THE SUN. Describe this film and how it differs from your last project, SAVAGE HARVEST.
STANZE: Before we made SAVAGE HARVEST, we didn't have a whole lot of freedom in what kind of movies we made. THE FINE ART (produced in 1992 -- now part of the SCARE GAME double feature) was heavily restricted because we were producing it through a very conservative cable station. Before that movie, THE SCARE GAME (produced in 1990) was restricted by our lack of experience and technical knowledge. I think SAVAGE HARVEST (produced in 1993) was the first movie of mine that came pretty close to being the movie I intended to make. And what I wanted to make was a pure-bred, undiluted horror movie. I did that, and then I wanted to move on. ICE FROM THE SUN is a story based in the supernatural, although I'd hesitate to call it a horror movie. It is much more an abstract visual onslaught born of the chaos existing in the main character's heads. I guess you could say that I've moved past my "horror movie" phase and now I'm in my "pretentious art film" phase. ICE FROM THE SUN will be pretty controversial as it contains subject matter that might offend the more conservative viewer. We don't pull punches. It's all in your face and unapologetic. The themes include drug addiction, street violence, the media, religion, and people of my generation throwing too many pieces of their lives down the drain. I believe it would be wrong to "clean up" subject matter that is so emotionally and visually cruel. The gritty images and ideas are presented in an explosive, punked-out style because, while I want the film to be about all this tension, I also want it to be a release of all this tension. ICE FROM THE SUN is extremely experimental in its imagery and storytelling technique. This may limit its audience in that some viewers will think "I've never seen it done like that! That's wrong!" But I believe our unconventional methods will ultimately impress more viewers than not. Really, I'm not all that worried about it. This is a very personal project and the viewer I am most concerned with impressing is me.
O'NEAL: When will the movie be finished?
STANZE: We should be done shooting in January 1997. Post production could take six months, a year. I really don't know.
O'NEAL: How strict are you about staying true to the script? Do you ever improvise on set?
STANZE: I generally stick to the script. However, if we have to change things around because of a problem, like a location being pulled or some effect not working, I usually do okay re-working it last minute on set; I also let the actors know that if they have problems with anything or if they have suggestions on how something could be played out better; I want to heat it. There is a bit of improvisation here and there, but not a whole lot.
O'NEAL: What went through your mind the first time you watched DAWN OF THE DEAD and saw the guy's head explode off in the apartment building raid sequence?
STANZE: I contemplated the infinite expanses of the human soul and how the transgression of one's self correlates to the continuance within a dispirited solitude... or something like that.
O'NEAL: What was your favorite movie when you were 7?
O'NEAL: If you were trapped in an abandoned warehouse with a hideous flesh-craving zombie after you, and you could have any weapon with which to defend yourself, what would your weapon be and why?
STANZE: Well, that depends on what kind of zombie it is. Is it a Romero zombie? A Soavi zombie? Now if it's one of those zombies who looks like his makeup job is mostly oatmeal plastered on his face, like say, a Fulci zombie, I would want to be armed with a pot of hot water, a bowl, and a spoon. This way I can melt the zombie down to mush and include him as part of a nutritious breakfast.
O'NEAL: How much fake blood do you go through on an average shoot?
STANZE: None. All the blood is real.
O'NEAL: If your parents sought psychological counseling for the problems in their lives, what would they tell the therapist about you?
STANZE: They would tell the therapist that everything is Eric's fault.
O'NEAL: What percentage of your life is spent writing, shooting, and editing movies?
STANZE: Damn near 100%. I do think this is a problem I have. I need to chill out. I have gone from one movie directly into the next without a break, over and over. I've been doing this constantly since 1988. I knew I needed to take a break as we started pre-production on ICE FROM THE SUN and I promised myself this break once ICE was completed. I'll take some time off from features and do some traveling, reading, work on other people's movies, and just do little stuff, like direct some more music videos or edit some short projects that friends of mine want to make. Who knows. I just know that right now I'm exhausted.
O'NEAL: How smoothly has shooting gone on ICE FROM THE SUN?
STANZE: Not smooth at all! It's been pretty wild. In July, we lived on location for a week about 200 miles north of where we all normally reside. We were living in a house on a farm and shooting in the barn, out on the back roads, in the surrounding fields, etc. Well, a couple of days into our stay there, the cistern supplying our running water ran out. No more water for cooking, bathing, or drinking. For the rest of the week there, the entire cast and crew was driving out to a campground that did not have showers, but did have a spigot sticking out of the ground that dispensed water approximately one degree above freezing. Groups of us would go out to this spigot and stand around trying to achieve some acceptable degree of personal hygiene. Many of these people had only met a week ago, and there we were, people soaping up

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