Darren Bousman on blackmail, Zydrate and his new film, The Devil's Carnival

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Darren Bousman gets all the fun gigs. He directed Saw II, III and IV, the cult classic Repo! The Genetic Opera and his newest soon-to-be-cult-classic, The Dark Carnival. Has all this success turned him into an unapproachable ass-melon? Not even a little bit. We recently had a chance to talk with him about some pretty important topics -- like the "Saw III blackmail" rumor, fictional drug abuse, pimping out Paul Sorvino, and why Paris Hilton is not in the new movie.

Bousman was a good sport. Little does he realize that we were dead serious about the last question...

Westword: Since there are ravening hordes of Repo! The Genetic Opera fans here in Denver, I gotta go retro for a few questions or else I'll be beaten in the streets of Denver like a zombie-dog.... Is there any truth to the rumor that you had to blackmail Lionsgate by withholding your participation in additional "Saw" movies in order to get them to agree to distribute Repo?

Bousman: I will neither confirm nor deny the following statement! Well, kind of not really... It would not be a falsehood to say I strongly leaned on them to make this movie, and I might have used a little pressure of the Saw variety...

Westword: If Zydrate was a real drug, would you use it?

Bousman: I am already an addict!

Repo has been touted as being "the new Rocky Horror Picture Show" -- how do you feel about your movie being compared favorably with the greatest cult classic film of all time?

Not sure how to respond when people say things like that except, LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN!!! It's an honor to even be mentioned in the same breath as Rocky... It was just an important film, and I am humbled to sit next to them on the DVD shelf.

Why is Terrance Zdunich so fucking awesome?

Is he? I kid, I kid... He's GraveRobber AND Lucifer, I am pretty sure that makes him a badass right?

I read somewhere that you had an opera diva cast before Sarah Brightman took the role and made it her bitch. Was it Celine Dion?

It was actually Todd Bridges from Different Strokes. That guy can hold a tune!!!

And, of course, the predictable biggie: Will you ever do a prequel or sequel to Repo?

Ahhh, now I am forced to get serious. I think all of us would LOVE TO, but the reality is, REPO! Is no longer ours. It's LGF's. It's up to them to come to us and request one. That being said, I am not holding my breath... Hence why Devil was born, and why we are spending so much energy on that. It's our new baby... and boy do we love her! Now, let's dig on some Devil's Carnival! What fresh-hellish thing inspired you to direct/produce this movie?

I love things that are different. Out of the box... Things that don't fit within the mold, as I am not sure I fit within the mold. The Carnival is a celebration of all that is weird...

How did you get Shawn Crahan from Slipknot to be a carnie in the movie? Did you offer him free funnel cakes?

No, I called him... he said yes... sometimes it is that easy!

I heard a rumor that Paris Hilton was originally cast as the Hobo Clown, and that Ivan L. Moody (Ghost of Five Finger Death Punch) was second choice. Is that true? Was there a cage match for the part?

Ha, that would be a pretty epic battle. No, Paris was never cast as Hobo... However, I did want her in a role. I think Paris is great, and loved my experience working with her. This is episode one; I would not be surprised if she pops up in some of our future episodes.

Why are you so fucking awesome?

I find myself standing in front of the mirror day after day asking myself the exact same question. I am afraid there is not enough time or space in your article to really scratch the surface on this question!

Will there be any lustfully-entrancing violin playing from Emilie Autumn (The Bloody Crumpets) in the film?

Guess you have to watch and find out... I could spoil this for you, but then what would be the point?

Soooo.....Paul Sorvino plays God in the movie, which is right and fitting, and he's a fine-looking chap -- any chance you could hook me up with some "alone time" with him...if you know what I mean...::wink wink::?

I have called and texted him your number. Expect a call!

(I hope Bousman was being dead serious about his response to this last question...,)

The Devil's Carnival will premiere at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 6 at the Oriental Theater, 4335 West 44th Avenue. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 720-420-0030.

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