Actor Gregg Henry, whose genre credits include JUST BEFORE DAWN and Brian De Palma’s BODY DOUBLE, RAISING CAIN, FEMME FATALE and upcoming THE BLACK DAHLIA, gave Fango a little scoop on James Gunn’s alien-invasion epic SLITHER, which Universal releases January 6, 2006. The movie marks Gunn’s first time at the helm after scripting the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake and others, but Henry states, “James hardly felt like a first-time director at all. He knew exactly what he wanted and was always in control, from the very first shot right on until the end. He was very confident during the whole shoot and made us feel very comfortable. It was a great pleasure and quite a surprise.”
Those who saw SLITHER’s outrageous teaser trailer at San Diego’s Comic-Con (it can be viewed here) already know that Gunn’s film is a no-holds-barred, go-for-the-jugular splatterfest which promises to push the limits of the R rating. “That trailer got me very excited,” says Henry. “The movie is not finished yet, and that’s the first thing I saw of it. I know they’re working on the first theatrical trailer right now. James wanted to do a film that brings back that ’80s feeling, because he was concerned that most horror movies made today in our country are aimed directly at kids.”
For all the slime and bloodshed, Henry says that his character throws a little humor into the mix. “I play the mayor of the small town that gets invaded,” the actor explains, “and he tries very hard to be in charge, but is unable because he’s a little inept—like most politicians. He’s the kind of character who thinks his own jokes are very funny. He adds a little comedy in the middle of all this horror.”
Just like co star Michael (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) Rooker’s character, the mayor becomes infected by the alien plague, and Henry had to go through plenty of prosthetic time. “I had to sit there for about three and a half hours in the makeup chair, but I was used to it because of my work in BODY DOUBLE and STAR TREK: INSURRECTION. It’s not a new thing to me, but it’s time-consuming and takes a lot of patience. It’s better if you don’t have ADD or claustrophobia,” he jokes. “But those were wonderful, wonderful makeup designs by Todd Masters.” Look for Rooker’s comments on SLITHER in Fango #248, on sale October 25, and a full SLITHER set visit in issue #249, on sale December 6.