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The “Crank” guys tell me all about the “psychological warfare” of “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”

February 14th, 2012 by Rick Marshall · No Comments ·

Last week, I attended the press junket for “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” and in addition to having an awkward moment with Nicolas Cage, I sat down for a nice chat with the directors of the film, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.

Probably best known as the guys who directed “Crank,” the pair were fun to talk to about the film (which I’m not allowed to talk about yet due to a review embargo) and we had a nice discussion of how they approached “Spirit of Vengeance” after the last film was such a disappointment. We also talked about all of the Danny Ketch buzz and which superhero movie they’d make if they had their pick, as well as the more horror-heavy vibe of the film.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

IFC: There were a lot of familiar horror-movie elements in the film, like the way Ghost Rider lurches around at varying speeds and just suddenly appears in front of his victims. It’s something we see a lot in modern horror films. Was there a conscious effort on your part to make this more of a horror movie than a superhero movie?

NEVELDINE: Yeah, we wanted him to be frightening. We love those horror elements, because they feel like a natural part of the character. When you think about this character, he should frighten the person he’s standing in front of.

TAYLOR: He is more of a horror character than a superhero. A lot of that stuff we came up with while talking with Nic, too. There’s a particularly inexplicable and insane moment when Ghost Rider kills all of the guys at the quarry, and when the smoke clears you find Ghost Rider levitating in the air, slowly spinning around like a clock or a compass. That was something that came out of us batting around an idea with Nic that the Ghost Rider inflicts psychological warfare on his victims as much as he does physical, and a lot of what he does is similar to the demonic presences in “Evil Dead” and “The Ring” and movies like that. They’re fucking with people’s minds and want to destroy your brain before they destroy your body. [Ghost Rider] does a lot of stuff like that because he’s a demon from another dimension, and you will never understand why he does it. Humans will never understand why he does what he does, and you’re sort of in awe and horror of it at the same time.

You can read the rest of the interview at IFC.com.

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