The Joe Lansdale interview – The Hemingway of East Texas – Part 2

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LYON;FRANCE – MARCH 29: American crime novelist Joe R.Lansdale poses while attending a book fair in Lyon, France on March 29, 2008. (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

One of our favorite writers at 1428 Elm, Joe Lansdale dropped by our offices for a chat. Join us for part 2 of his epic interview where we talk Bubba Ho-Tep, Bruce Campbell and his latest venture Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers comic book series plus so much more!

“Never, but never, f*** with the King.” – Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep

Genre Breaker, Risk Taker

Joe R. Lansdale is an interesting man. As a matter of fact, he is like the Hemingway of East Texas. We have long been admirers of his work at 1428 Elm. So, when the chance came up to talk to him about his latest project, Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers comic book series, we jumped at it.

A man of varied pursuits such as martial arts, he is also a genre breaking writer. In a homogenized world where it is better to blend in, Lansdale definitely stands apart from the crowd. Not one to be categorized, his writing freely moves between horror, science fiction, crime and historical stories.

He has lived a full and rich life which shines through his best works. Tackling themes such as diversity, race relations and aging he not only entertains but he makes us think. That is the hallmark of a great writer.

Get ready to delve into part 2 of our epic interview where we discuss his affection for Bubba Ho-Tep, the brilliance of Bruce Campbell and Don Coscarelli as well as his advice to up and coming scribes.

(To read Part 1 of this interview, click here.)

The Interview – Part 2

And the Award Goes To

And the Award Goes To – Bruce Campbell – Courtesy of Silver Sphere Corporation

JL (Cont.): I think people are going to remember Bubba for a long time. When I saw the show, I realized they got the bottom line of the story. They got that feeling about how it is to face mortality.

They remembered how it was to be young and active and looking your best. Growing older is something we all face. Some of us age better, some of us along the road of life do better but we all get that same little situation. I think that’s why it lasts and why it has an impact.

1428 Elm: Bruce gives a very personal and reflective performance in Bubba Ho-Tep that is unusual from his past work. Do you think that is also another reason why this film has made such an impact?

JL:  I always wanted to write something for Bruce that was very character driven. It just never happened. Our careers go in different directions and that’s just the way it is. One of the things about that movie is it got great reviews but then it got some where they were looking for that kick ass Bruce Campbell movie like an Evil Dead film.

A Shot at Redemption

A Shot at Redemption – Ossie Davis – Courtesy of Silver Sphere Corporation

JL (Cont.): Then some of those people years later liked the film because they were older and they saw it differently. Also, when I wrote it I was in my 40s, I had always been in touch with mortality since I was relatively young so it was on my mind.

A lot of people when they read it again, they were drawn back to it or they saw the film, it had even greater resonance because now they lived life longer.

They understood more about it. It wasn’t just a mummy, it was something else. The fact that it was taking the lives of these people who we kind of just push away and say, “Good luck!”

You’ve gotten old or you’ve gotten sick so you are of no importance anymore. I think with Bruce and Ossie playing those characters and being heroic, it gives heroes a chance for redemption.

A Door Closes and Another One Opens

A Door Closes Another One Opens – Bruce Campbell – Courtesy of Michael Caulfield at Wire Images

1428 Elm: We know that Bruce has retired from Bubba Ho-Tep. Do you foresee a possible future collaboration with him?

JL: I would love to! We have talked about it loosely. Bruce has his life, I have mine and he has his career. I think he has things that he wants to do that he controls completely and I am doing the same thing. Honestly, I do hope to work with Bruce again.

I would like to work more directly with him.  For a couple of years, I have had an interest in directing. I would love to do something with him being a filmmaker myself or script or story that I provide that he or someone else could do something with.

We talked about it two or three times. I actually wrote a script with my brother which was just a fun script that he might have done for a low budget film deal. But the low budget film deal didn’t actually happen.