Lucky McKee’s film The Woman, was easily one of the most shocking at Sundance. Reactions have been pretty extreme and it’s certainly an ‘interesting’ movie. With the film on many people’s minds, we decided to sit down with Mr. McKee and ask him a couple questions about the movie.
For those unfamiliar with the film, here’s the synopsis from the Sundance website.
Good-old-fashioned-horror impresario Lucky McKee (McKee’s May screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival) returns to Park City with an outrageously sadistic peek under the surface of family values gone terribly wrong. When stern patriarch Chris Cleek stumbles upon a wild woman while hunting deep in the woods, he does what he believes is the only logical thing—he stalks, captures, and imprisons the savage in his shed with the intent of civilizing her. Naturally, Cleek wants his whole family to participate in the process; refusal is not an option for his frail wife, reluctant daughters, and all-too-eager son. As his training methods turn increasingly torturous, resistance is met with brute force and animalistic urges, building meticulously to an unrelenting, carnage-filled climax. Writhing through themes of abuse, legacies, and adolescent pain, McKee’s exercise in cruelty gleefully grinds the classic Pygmalion story into a macabre pulp for all to enjoy.
Check out the interview below.
We Got This Covered: First, congratulations on your film, The Woman. Having it selected to be screened at Sundance is always an honor.
Lucky McKee: Thank you. It was a wild wild ride. Good times.
WGTC: Rumor has it, you’ve been a fan of the horror genre since you were little. Can you list a few directors that influenced your own work?
LM: There are so many, genre and non genre. I’ve even been able to meet a whole lot of them. But I think of all the ones I’ve admired and/or met, Tobe Hooper tops the list. He’s really been a mentor to me since he first saw MAY.
WGTC: How about a few of your favorite horror films?
LM: Well. Here again, it’s all about Tobe. There will never be a greater horror film than Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
WGTC: You and Jack Ketchum are credited with writing The Woman. It seems these sorts of stories are coming in the real world news more and more often. Can you tell us a little about where the idea for the script came from. Is it based on something you heard in reality?
LM: You hit it right on the head. The news was a big inspiration. It seems they try to spoil my dinner every night with stories of darkness and the evils that men put upon one another. Humans are scarier than any imagined monster.
WGTC: Does the film have a distributor? If yes, what plans do they have for the film? When will people be able to see The Woman?
LM: It’s all up in the air. It’s very important that it finds a loving home. A place where it’s understood. We just have to be patient as we interview for “parents”…aka…distributors.
WGTC: What sort of budget were you working on, and how long was the shoot?
LM: Sorry. Can’t disclose the budget. As for the shoot, it took a couple months for production, a few months for post. And then there was the year and a half before that, dreaming it all up and getting on paper in book and script form.
WGTC: There have been some pretty crazy reactions to the film. Some calling it a feminist film, some calling it misogynistic. What is your reaction to these extremes? Do you feel that any of them are justified?
LM: I think anyone’s opinion is justified if it’s coming from a pure honest place. I don’t mind getting beat up a little. It’s good for humility and self examination. Thankfully, I am still capable of looking at myself in the mirror every morning. People can say or think what they want, but I’m just a normal fucked up person like anyone else.
WGTC: The Woman is extremely shocking in some parts. Is there a chance the graphic content will be edited down before either submitted to the MPAA, or released theatrically?
LM: We already have an R rating from the MPAA. Received it just before the fest. I will protect my cut with my dying breath. I worked my ass off to make a movie with absolute creative control, and I’m not going to just fork it over and let someone brutalize it. If you think too much about a cut and constant tweaking you can strangle a pure piece of expression. I won’t do that. I have to let it all go when we lock picture and sound. It’s hard to stop working on it, but you have to if you want to make more.
WGTC: Is there anything else you’d want people to know about your film?
LM: Just that it’s an extremely frank examination of abuse, so come prepared. I dare everyone out there to endure it. It just might change you a bit. And it sure as hell makes for interesting dinner conversation.
WGTC: Do you have any other projects in the works?
LM: I have lots and lots of ideas, just need to see which one takes to the soil and sun and starts growing.
WGTC: Where can people keep up to date on information about the film?
LM: They can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I try to keep folks updated there. My site should be up pretty soon too.
WGTC: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us and good luck with the film!