Interview: Richard Elfman Talks Forbidden Zone 2

Creative mastermind Richard Elfman is here to talk about the long awaited sequel to his cult musical/comedy marvel, Forbidden Zone. It's about to get fun around here.

TMS: First off, what's a nice Jewish boy like you doing in the sixth dimension?

RE: I’m a Buddhist and nudist, Scorpio rising, with my penis in Venus, if that answers your question!

TMS:  In my later teen years, I was introduced to Forbidden Zone which ended up becoming one of my favorite musicals/movies of all time. Over the years it’s built up quite a cult following of film and music fans alike.  So, why now a sequel? Is it something you’ve wanted to do for a long time, is it just for the fans, and will it have the same effect and over the top comedic sensibility as the first?

RE: Forbidden Zone 2 will have all the zany absurdity of the original but will be Bigger, Badder and Bolder! FZ1 has built up a following, every few months I’m flown to a different city to address a screening full of kids. Recently some Rocky Horror troupes have been live “shadow casting” Forbidden Zone. Of everything I have ever done, this is who I am. Yeah, it’s time!

TMS: The sequel is going to be a brand new family that ends up toiling in the sixth dimension. Will there be a connection to the first or will this serve as a stand alone film? On that same note, will we get to see any characters from the first? I would die to see Frenchy again.

RE:   In a timeless cartoon-like, fantasy world, Papa Jupe, a tough crusty carnie geek, staggers drunk from his circus tent, just as it blows over in a Dust Bowl-era sand storm. He gathers his family and goes to seek a better life out West.

His wife, Ma, is a corn-cob smoking inbred. Son Stinky is a short hyperactive thirteen year-old (to be played by a short, hyper-active forty-year old). White trash daughter Petunia is a huge lumbering teenage slut. Together they drive across country where Pa finds some cheap ghetto shack to rent. Unfortunately the basement is connected to the Sixth Dimension! Just another typical story!

TMS:  Obviously your brother (Danny Elfman) has mad musical skills. Is he going to be as involved in the making of Forbidden Zone 2? And will this soundtrack be equally as amazing? I don’t use that term lightly either. That recording has been on constant repeat for years and has fueled many drunken nights with friends and fellow Forbidden Zone junkies.

Richard Elfman
RE: There is what I term “serviceable” music and what I call “memorable” music. Chicago was a great film but the songs  were“serviceable”--worked fine in the movie but—other than a few catchy bits like “all that jazz,” you kind of forget it afterwards.  Memorable music you hear once and keep it for life. That’s what we had in Forbidden Zone, whether timeless masterpieces by Cab Calloway, Josephine Baker or original music by my talented brother Danny. Forbidden Zone 2 will have a similar formula of killer classics along with amazing new stuff by Danny. Danny will have a little help on this one, but, o’ yes-- his stamp will be firmly upon it.

TMS: What can you tell us about the release of Forbidden Zone 2. Is it something we might get to see soon and what do you want fans to know about the making of the movie?

RE:  I’ve got to work around Danny and Jenna’s busy schedules, we don’t have a firm date yet. Oh yeah, my son Bodhi Elfman and lovely daughter-in-law Jenna Elfman will both play multiple roles in the film. Jenna, a trained classical dancer, will descend from the sky in the death defying, aerial “Ballet of the Chicken”-- gonna put Swan Lake to shame. She’ll also play a Rocky-esque male trannie school teacher—Danny’s writing her a show-stopper… only question—whose voice will really be coming through her lips?

TMS:   Who influences your creative projects and who would you say is your favorite film director of all time? Is there a certain movie you look to when creating something like FZ?

RE: I generally get my visual ideas from music, believe it or not—or when I’m dreaming of jerking off in a far away galaxy.

Fav film directors? Burton, Hitchcock, Scorcese, Lynch… the usual suspects.

TMS: How has the sixth dimension changed since 1980? Will it still be the same old world of black and white or will it have made the transition to color? I see a lot of CGI’d blockbusters getting released and a small but steady flow of artistic independent features lately. How does Richard Elfman feel about the state of movies today and what would you change?

RE:  FZ2 will be a 100% fantasy world, in color (as FZ1 one is now), but on a wilder scale. We plan to use backgrounds by various artists, Van Gogh, Dali, R. Crumb, David Lynch, integrated along with three dimensional “cartoony” sets. In terms of our army of one million marching giant pinhead clowns…  there will be no CGI whatsoever!

TMS: What can FZ fans do to help get this movie made? Is there an evil queen we need to overthrow or a big headed man frog we need to kill to get this thing done? Let us know because we’ll do it.

RE: There’s an evil Queen, ok, but it’s that sex-crazed Princess Polly you have to watch out for! Boner-inducing body, vomit-inducing monster face. She’s really just a poor girl looking for love—even if she has to kill ‘em after she fucks ‘em.

TMS: And how can fans help get Forbidden Zone 2 made?

RE: GO TO WWW.FORBIDDENZONE2.COM! Watch our crazy videos, get a real feel for the film, see the wonderful perks we offer—exclusive edition DVDs, posters, shirts, even be an extra in the film. Hell, for enough money you can buy Richard Elfman! One week left—last day of our campaign is next Sunday. SO COME JOIN THE FUN!!

As a long time fan of the original Forbidden Zone, I really appreciate Richard taking time out from his extremely busy promotional schedule for the sequel. I can't wait. Check out their website and support this film getting made.  

-Chris George