Horror auteur Don Coscarelli on meat monsters, Paul Giamatti and getting typecast

Categories: Film and TV

Coscarelli, on set with Paul Giamatti

Speaking of your previous work in relation to this new film, it seems like Phantasm and John Dies at the End could almost be set in the same universe. They both have this element of dimensional travel, and these young guys fighting evil across multiple dimensions. Obviously, they're very different tonally, but it seems like you could do a crossover pretty easily.

[Laughs] Actually, that's a pretty cool idea, which I hadn't really given much thought to. Listen, they're definitely all in my wheelhouse, so to speak. I love the dimensional travel. I love the sense of unreality, of looking beyond the layers of what we consider our daily existence. I probed into that a little in Phantasm, and of course when I was reading the John Dies at the End novel I just loved it, and that's probably why I was so attracted to it. It's not a bad idea -- John and Dave versus Tall Man. That's a pretty cool image.

Speaking of where John might go from here, is there any truth to the rumor that it could become a TV show? Is that something you're trying to do, or would even want to do?

There are all kinds of possibilities. It's so premature right now, because the movie is just coming out. But the response has been excellent and it seems like a lot of folks really enjoyed the movie, to the point where they'd be interested in it, which is really great. That's fantastic. The other aspect to it is there's so much source material still available. The original novel, I probably had to leave out two-thirds of that. Plus the author, David Wong, has written a sequel, This Book Is Full of Spiders. Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It is the title. And it has a lot more adventures with John and Dave that are pretty amazing, really. A lot of possibilities, we'll see how it all shakes out. It would be a load of fun to work with those actors again, that's for sure.

Looks like we're about out of time, so is there anything else you wanted to say before we're done?

Just that, obviously, working with Paul Giamatti was just a pleasure and an honor. He's one of the greatest living actors we have working now, and I can see why all the major movie directors want to have him in their films, because he makes it so easy. And at the same time, we had some great young cast, young guys in their first movies -- Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes -- and they were very dedicated artists, easy-to-work with actors who turned in great performances. The last thing I'll just mention is the guy who created that suit I was talking about, for our meat monster -- Robert Kurtzman, the prosthetic make-up effects maestro -- also created the Bubba Ho-Tep mummy. So he's two-for-two now!

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