Wicked Channel Interview-Mike Mendez


God what timing do I have. We have to be the first website ever to do 3 interviews in one day by three different people. This Tuesday Mike Mendez’s new film Big Ass Spider hits the shelves, so I wanted to chat him with for a few minutes about it. If you dig what you read, support the man on Facebook and by all means at the store this Tuesday. 3 interviews in one day, read all three give tons of feedback and support all of the people that interest you as a consumer.

1. Mike it is such an honor thank you so much. What was the first film or television show that inspired you to be a director?

Well, like any kid who was born in the ’70s, “Star Wars” was a huge influence. There were also certain film going experiences that felt like religious experiences to me. The first time I saw “Raiders of the Lost Arc” or the first time I saw “Evil Dead 2” or “Nightmare on Elm Street” were all very life-changing experiences that steered me in those directions.

2. If directing failed, what was the back-up plan?

Never thought about it.

3. Let’s go back a little you directed a little film called Bimbo Movie Bash. What was that experience like?

It was my first real job, even though I got credited as “director,” it was really only an editing job, but it was the first time I made $300 a week, so I’ll call it a win.

4. As a director so young at the time, did you get nervous or intimidated by some of the names you worked with on that film? Also, you worked with a lot of scream queens and names in the industry on that film, any stories to share? How was working with Adrienne, Linnea, Morgan and so many more?

Well, I did work with Adrienne, but the other fine actresses that you mention were stars of assorted clips that were given to me to edit, so I never really had the honor of truly working with them. As for nervous or intimidated by an actor or actress, there were always first-day-of-school jitters when working with new people, but so far so good. Never had a problem yet.

5. I will go on record; I was a fan and still am of The Convent. How was it working on that film? Any dirt to dish, which our readers always seem to love.

My sister had an abortion on the third day of shooting. I’m just kidding. It was my DP. Also Coolio smoked a lot of weed.

6. Before we go into your later films, looking back are you proud of your films as a whole? If you could any of your films, which ones would it be and what would you change?

Am I proud of my films? Yes. If I could change any of my films and tamper with it, it probably would have been “Gravedancers.” There were a lot of creative choices that I probably would have made differently, but now in hindsight to try to make a more consistent tone with the film.

7. You been in the director’s chair for a long while now, you know with a new film what that means, reviews and critics. Do you read all the press your films get? If so does the bad stuff hurt you?

Yes, I have a bad habit of reading as much as I possibly can. And yes, the meaner stuff does get to me sometimes, but I’ve grown a fairly thick skin over time and thankfully I at least at this moment, I feel I get more love than hate, and that’s a lovely thing.

8. Let’s talk about The Gravedancers. How did you get involved with After Dark Films? Also, would you work with them again?

After Dark came to us after the movie was finished. They were in intriguing company at the time because it was the first year they were doing horror fest. But over time they horror-fest brand seemed to have faded, so it doesn’t seem like there would be a collaboration between us any time soon.

9. Do you think After Dark did a good job at promoting your film? Also, did you watch any of the others from the first year, if so any thoughts?

I think After Dark did a great job promoting the films the first year. They sold hundred of thousands of units and sold many cable and pay-per-view providers, so they did a great job over getting the movie out there, so I’ll always be thankful to them for that. I think filmmakers in subsequent years were not so lucky. I did see many of the other films in horror festivals. Some of my favorites include “The Abondoned,” “Frontiers” and “Autopsy.”

10. Do you think people were fair to the film? Do you think maybe some watchers may have misunderstood it?

Yes, people were fair to the film. It’s too weird for some people, and that’s fine.

11. We are on the verge of the dvd release of Big Ass Spider. This is your chance, give us a sales pitch that would inspire the reader to stop what they are doing and buy it?

It’s Greg Grunberg vs. a giant spider with a wacky Latino by his side. And there are girls in bikinis and melting faces…and Ray Wise goddammit! It’s a fun movie. I think you’ll like it.

12. Your films seem to be different each time out; we went from this form of horror to this form to now a giant spider. Was it always your goal to be diverse in what you give the viewer, or did it happen that way?

I like all different types of movies, so all sorts of different things appeal to me. I think there are many different sides to the genre. I think you can do horror action, or horror comedies, or action comedies, etc. I have a good time blending genres, but the bottom line is that I just try to make movies that appeal to me and hopefully others.

13. In addition to directing you have also had a few walk in roles. One in Hatchet II, how was it working with Adam Green? Do you ask him for advice, or do you just stand in a corner and be told what to do and who to talk to?

Adam Green is a really good friend. I love working for him. I just stand in the corner…and look sexy.

14. Don’t Kill It looks to be your next film. What can you tell us about it? Any stars you can tell us about?

It is a demon possession movie kind of in the same vein of “The Hidden.” Hopefully there will be some new announcements soon.

15. What would you tell a young kid who wants to be like you when he grows up? What advice do you give him?

Make films by any means necessary. By any means, just keep creating.

16. If you had the chance to remake any film you wanted, what would you remake? And who would you cast?

I would like to remake “It’s Alive.”

17. What are your goals right now?

To make as many movies as possible before I drop dead.

18. This was not so hard, thanks so much and tell these fine readers anything you want, promote, plug and thanks so much

Please buy “Big Ass Spider” on Blu-ray or VOD on January 7.