Wednesday, December 15, 2010
PATRICK FABIAN INTERVIEW
Leave it to The Waltz luck and the fact that my recording device was not working. Because of that I decided to write this down to get the gist of the interview down and running.
The Last Exorcism is a film where Cotton Marcus, played by Patrick hires a film crew to expose the falseness of his own profession.
Then they get to the farm where something is happening like nothing he has seen before.
I asked Patrick why a guy who is better known for his television work decided to do something like The Last Exorcism. He told me that he went through the audition process. They were looking for someone charismatic and could come across as an evangelical preacher. On his second audition he wrote his own sermon and took a lot from the ministers of large, mega churches.
While I have seen a few of the films that could be considered mockumentaries, I thought that this one pulled it off a little better. None of the shaky amateur camera work that is abundant in films like Cloverfield or Blair Witch Project. Patrick said that this was a camera crew that he hired, within the context of the story, so it would look more professional than either of the aforementioned works which is supposed to be completely amateur work.
We talked about how the ad campaign blares the words THE LAST EXORCISM at you and the word Exorcism has some baggage from films like The Exorcist so, you go in a little tense. Then it opens nice and normal. The movie lulls you into that false sense of security until that scene where Caleb hits the van with that ball of mud and there’s that loud BOOM! From the hit and it shocks you back into remembering this is a horror movie and now that you think you’re all nice and safe it’s time to make you jump. Patrick said that this was his favorite part of the movie.
I also liked the ending. No neat ending of any kind. When I mentioned that to Patrick that the fate of his character was unknown he laughed and told me that he had friends that told him he had a great death scene even though nothing like that is shown. He also had others who told him that it was smart because it left it open for a sequel. I liked that it seemed that here was a man with a crisis of faith who reaches that point where he knows better. He rises to challenge the demon that is starting to appear from the flames. Patrick agreed that this was a pivotal time for Cotton and it changed him.
I also asked about the name ‘Cotton Marcus’ and its similarity to Cotton Mather, one of the famous witch hunters from the Salem Witch trials. Patrick said that the name is a nod, but just the name as the characters are radically different.
I asked him about his co star the possessed Nell played by Ashley Bell. He said that all of her contortions were on set and not altered in any way. She was able to contort her body into a pretzel and Patrick said it made his job so much easier. He just had to put on a shirt and a tie and react to what was happening in front of him. Apparently Ashley showed the director the back bend a few days before and he said that they could use that. There was no idea that she could do that when she was hired. Just an example of good fortune.
In the end The Last Exorcism is a fine example of what can be done with some intelligence and acting in the realm of mockumentaries. Using the restrictions of the sub genre to its advantages it can make for an interesting movie. Patrick Fabian was a gentleman and actually knows people in Kalamazoo and we wished each other a Merry Christmas and that was it.
I am still upset that the recording equipment failed, but I would have to recommend The Last Exorcism which hits DVD on January 4th from the fine folks at Lionsgate. I can already see a sequel with a demon damaged wild eyed Cotton surviving his encounter. It would be so cool.