Was going from music into movies always a plan of yours, or did it just happen as it happened?
It was always my plan, basically. I directed all the [White Zombie] videos and it was always something I wanted to do—it’s just not an easy transition. In fact, it’s a virtually impossible transition.
Why do you say that?
It’s hard to be successful in one field and try to move to another field. It’s hard to do, mostly because you’re kind of asking for lightning to strike twice. If you’re unknown at something, people are more likely to give you a break than if you’re successful at something else. Because the fact that you were successful at something else makes them think that means you can’t be doing this. So that’s a little weird, but it kind of happens that way.
You directed Ozzy Osbourne’s “Dreamer” video. How good was Ozzy at taking direction?
It’s kind of like anyone you work with: Once you know the person—I knew Ozzy by that point—you don’t bang your head against the wall trying to get somebody to do something you know they’re not going to be able to do. You sort of play to their strengths. And I know that he, um, doesn’t have the longest attention span. [Laughs.] So you kind of want to get through it and not let him get bored and plow through the work. But it was fun. I’m happy with that video.
For a few years, you designed attractions for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios theme parks. Did you ever try to do something that they thought was over the line?
They were fine with anything, which was kind of surprising, actually. I remember one part we were showing, on these big screens, real autopsy footage—they didn’t care! They literally let us do anything we could think of. We tried to push everything as far as we could, and we made it pretty extreme. It was pretty terrifying. We had to shut the ride down many times for people who were literally so scared they knocked themselves out. Me and my friends would hide in there, in costume, scaring people. That was a blast. People would just scream and run. This one girl ran straight into a wall and knocked herself out cold. So we shut it down and had to bring in a stretcher. It is amazing how scared people will become. They would react as though it were real. Funniest thing I ever saw.
That sensibility extends to your home decor, too, which leans toward lots of gothic art and taxidermy. What’s the oddest dead thing you’ve ever gotten as a gift?
Wayne Toth is the makeup effects guy on all my movies, and he gave me a bear that mounts on the wall, and it sort of looks like it’s crashing through the wall. That was pretty cool.