Father of Spider Baby by Yuck Foo

TCPUNK: Do you recommend film school, for young directors?

JACK HILL: Yes. That way you can start networking and get a reputation if you're talented.

TCPUNK: After school, were you drawn to the idea of exploitation films, or was it something that happened out of necessity?

JACK HILL: I needed the work, and that was about the only place you could get it. Also, it was a lot of fun.

TCPUNK: Was there a sense that you were making low art with B-pictures?

JACK HILL: Never had any pretensions to be making art. For me, it was just do the best I could with whatever I had to work with. Nobody was more surprised than I when some of my films hit number one on the boxoffice charts.

TCPUNK: I've often felt that without Spider Baby there would never have been Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Have other horror directors talked with you about the influence this film has had with them?


TCPUNK: Spider Baby seems dangerous compared to other output from that era. Was there controversy around this film?

JACK HILL: No. When it was finally released, it played very well, but hardly at all in major markets, mostly because the drive-ins didn't want to run black & white pics.

TCPUNK: Can you talk about other films from around that time, that spoke to a true sense of madness within American culture?

JACK HILL: Sorry. When you start talking about "American culture," you're going beyond my area of expertise.

TCPUNK: Do you talk about filmmaking with other directors?

I never discussed "film" much with other film-makers. I always thought I was making "movies." "Film" was what the French and Italians did. I never participated in groups or cliques.

TCPUNK: Does horror still interest you? Do you continue to see horror films today? What recent horror have you liked?

JACK HILL: Unfortunately, most horror films today are too violent and gruesome for my sensibilities, and are mostly just surface manipulation of the audience with effects. Also, there's a shortage of really new ideas. Me, yes, I'd like to do a really good horror film today; even been playing around with an idea that I don't believe has been done before.

TCPUNK: What horror directors do you admire?

JACK HILL: I was never much really aware of directors back when I used to go to horror movies. But it turns out some of the best ones were done by Jacques Tourneur, of course.