Rob Zombie and writer Steve Niles have partnered up to form Creep Entertainment International, a Los Angeles-based production company that will develop feature films, comics, books, video games and music, with their shared love of horror as the common thread.
"A year ago, I was buying a Christmas tree and the guy right next to me was [wrestler] Diamond Dallas Page," Zombie says. "We started talking and six months went by and he started calling me, telling me I had to call Barry Levine at Dark Horse Comics. I never got around to it, but he was persistent. And eventually I thought he might kick my ass, so called him. And [Levine] really wanted to get me and Steve together."
The two men quickly hit it off. "It's really hard to collaborate with people," Zombie says. "Either you get along with 'em or you don't. But it was like we'd known each other for our whole lives. We're the same age, grew up in similar backgrounds. Sometimes you just meet somebody and feel like you already knew them. Our styles and sensibilities were so similar."
Those common sensibilities will inform one of Zombie and Levine's first projects, a multi-part graphic book due in mid-2004. "We were both big fans of the Bigfoot legend because it was such a big thing in Seventies," Zombie says. "And I know it's been debunked and it's become campy and stupid with things like Harry and the Hendersons. But we felt there was still a way to take it and make it cool."
Before Bigfoot, the pair will release a four-part graphic book series, The Nail, described as "a tale of survival set in a world of Satanic bikers and Seventies wrestling," in March.
Zombie is also working on the sequel to House of 1,000 Corpses, his cult fave film from earlier this year. The script is finished, with casting to follow next, and then Zombie hopes to start shooting in the spring. "It's not going to be 'House of 1,000 Corpses II' or anything like that," he says. "I wanted to so something like Star Wars, where you have that first film and then you have The Empire Strikes Back. You get a totally different thing. It's truly the sequel to the movie, but it's a continuation of the story, not just the same story again."
Zombie also just released the second volume of his graphic horror anthology Spookshow International, which he describes as "goofier, with a Munsters-style sensibility," in contrast to his upcoming Creep projects.
The numerous projects seem to leave little time for a new Rob Zombie record. Though he included some new tracks on the recently released Past, Present and Future anthology, plans for a follow-up to 2001's The Sinister Urge are murky at best. "I am thinking about the next one," he says. "That's how it always starts, thinking about how it's gonna be. But I have talked to Scott Humphrey [who produced all of Zombie's solo records]. We talked about hooking up at some point in December. But there's really not enough time for everything. It seems like the sun comes up and the sun goes back down, and I'm just like, 'Oh boy.'"