Busy Rob Zombie: ‘There is only one of me’

Rob Zombie has a bad-news Halloween bulletin for his longtime fans: His seasonal haunted house in Chicago, the Great American Nightmare, will not be curdling blood in 2016, because, he says, “It’s a lot of work.” The good news: He’s got a new record coming out and new movie in September. “There is only one of me, and only so much time,” says the former White Zombie leader, whose sixth solo disc is “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Orgy Celebration Dispenser.” His latest film “31” is about a theme park filled with killer clowns.

So with “31,” you’re tapping into that old childhood fear of clowns?

Perhaps the idea started that way, but it didn’t really finish that way. At first, the idea was that we’d use just clowns. But as the production progressed, there was a pretty wild amount of variation on the clowns. Some don’t look like clowns at all, because I thought if it was just clown after clown, that would become monotonous. So I messed with that template a bit. But I think it’s the best film I’ve done. It’s one made right for the fans.

You’ve wrangled Malcolm McDowell and the hypnotic-eyed Meg Foster into “31”?

Yeah. And this is actually the fourth time Malcolm and I have worked together. He’s a great guy, and he really helped me out of a bind on this one. For the role he plays, I needed somebody really iconic. It’s not a big role, but when that character appears, it needs to be very memorable, and Malcolm came in at the last minute and nailed it. And Meg is super-cool. This is the second time we’ve worked together, and she’s just a sweetheart.

You also voiced a character in “Guardians of the Galaxy”?

I’ve known director James Gunn for 10 years, and I did a voice in his early film “Slither,” and then I did a voice in “Super.” So now I did one in “Guardians,” too, to just keep that process rolling.

Now you have your own pinball machine? Do you have some sort of sinister-achievement bucket list?

I don’t ever look at it that way. But I love having a pinball machine. When I was a kid, Kiss had a pinball machine, Elton John and Ted Nugent, too. And I always wanted my own, and the opportunity arose, so I went for it. And it’s a really high-quality machine, too. I’m big on quality control – if my name’s on it, people know that I am part of it, 24/7.

Rob Zombie & Korn: Return of the Dreads Tour 2016
Where: Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View
When: 6:30 p.m. July 29
Tickets: $25 to $89.50
Contact: (650) 967-4040, www.livenation.com

Tom Lanham

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