Last month saw the sad passing of actor and genre cinema legend Sid Haig, whose most famous role just might be that of Captain Spaulding from 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses and 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects. With the recent 3 From Hell, the psychotic clown was able to make one final appearance, but to the disappointment of some viewers, the character effectively took on a supporting part, with Richard Brake’s Foxy serving as the new third member of the film’s titular trio.
As director Rob Zombie explained to Entertainment Weekly last month, Haig’s part was significantly reduced due to the actor’s declining health. And in a more recent interview with Kerrang!, the filmmaker and frequent Haig collaborator recalled how they anticipated the backlash but felt they made the right decision:
“It was kind of a drag, because I knew people would wonder about that. And especially, you know how fans are — ‘Fuck you, man, you shoulda’ done it like this!’ But I wasn’t in a position where I could tell what was happening, because it’s not my life, it’s someone else’s private business, their health. So I was slowly letting on what was happening, because it became more public — that he was in the hospital, what was going on.”
Though Haig’s screen time was a fair bit shorter than expected, Zombie argued that they were lucky to even get the small dose of Captain Spaulding that they did:
“But we’re very fortunate that we got that scene. People are like, ‘You should’ve done more and more,’ but it’s a miracle we got that. I’m very happy for that, because it would’ve been really a drag to not complete that character’s journey, especially with what is happening, and what has happened.”
Zombie went on to recall that Haig believed at the time that 3 From Hell would be his final big screen appearance:
“Sid knew that was going to be his last thing. I mean, we talked about it, how ill he was. He put on a brave face, but he knew that was probably…you never know for sure, but he was pretty sure that would be his last appearance in a movie. So we had to make it happen. And it got dicey for a minute that it wasn’t gonna happen at all, so it’s good that we got that. The scene, although fairly brief, is pretty good.”
That being said, Haig is still expected to make two more posthumous film appearances, starting with the upcoming horror movie Hanukkah, followed by the James Marsters-led Abruptio. As for 3 From Hell, the Devil’s Rejects sequel already enjoyed a three-night run in theaters last month, and is expected to make a brief return to the big screen on October 14th. After that, you can catch the film on Blu-Ray and DVD from October 15th.