But Sid was familiar to many fans long before he met Mr. Zombie, and his acting career, dating back to the early 1960s, includes credits in TV shows like Star Trek, Batman, and Mission: Impossible and big-screen milestones such as George Lucas's THX 1138 (1971) (Picture: ) and the James Bond adventure Diamonds Are Forever (1971). (Picture: )
Haig is most beloved, however, for his roles in classic exploitation movies directed by cult maven Jack Hill, such as Spider Baby (1968), Coffy (1973), (Picture: ) and Savage Sisters (1974).
In recent times, Sid has kept extremely busy, appearing in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) and Rob Zombie's follow-up Night of the Living Dead 3D (2005), (Picture: ) a four-star skinstravaganza with off-the-charts nudity from Priscilla Barnes (Picture: ) and Ginger Lynn Allen. (Picture: ) He also stars in Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006), (Picture: ) the latest remake of the George Romero classic, which will be available on DVD October 17, 2007.
How did you meet Jack Hill and get into acting?
Wow. We met way back in 1961 when Jack was at UCLA doing his student film, The Host. The head of the film department was friends with the director of the Pasadena playhouse and went to her looking for a male lead.
Is that film available on DVD?
Yes, it's available in deluxe edition with commentary and a featurette about Lon Chaney Jr., who sang the theme song.
What is it like working with Jack Hill?
It's great! He knows what he wants and he tells you.
What's your favorite of the movies that you did with him?
I have a standard answer for this question. Do you have any kids?
Is this the "Which is your favorite child and we'll eat the rest" question?
Right. All the movies you make, whether they're good or not, represent some kind of development. I love them all.
Can you tell us about your experiences with hypnosis?
Sure. After I got sick of people thinking that all I could do was point a gun and look mean, I decided I wasn't going to play any more. I was already interested in psychology because I had studied it to understand the motivations of my characters. I went to an institute, and after several hundred hours of training and experience, I got certified, set up a hypnotherapy practice, and started seeing patients. And that went on until House of 1000 Corpses. (Picture: ) After that I got so busy I didn't have time to see my patients anymore.
Did your experience as a hypnotherapist influence your acting technique when you got back into movies?
Not really. Well, if it did it made me a better actor since I had a deeper understanding of why people do the things they do and what affects people psychologically.
What was your reaction to the idea of doing a 3D remake of Night of the Living Dead?
I wasn't that excited by the 3D aspect, but I was excited about doing a George Romero remake and the whole concept interested me.
So are you a big George Romero fan?
Oh yeah! He's a great guy and we've done a lot of horror conventions together. All these zombies that you see running around now, they're all because of him. He started the whole thing going. I was a big fan of the original film, but it did leave some things unexplained. This script sort of ties up those loose ends. I don't like loose ends.
Wasn't your character created for this new script in order to explain the presence of the zombies?
Right. My character, Gerald Tovar Jr., runs the funeral home where the whole thing starts, and he may or may not be the reason for it. This movie explains what's behind the zombies, while the original is very vague about it. There's also a lot of social commentary in the original film that we leave out.
How does this movie compare with the other remakes and how do you think horror fans will react?
Will fans appreciate it? Well, some of the hardcore fans out there are already up in arms because the role of Ben is being played by a white guy. [An African-American actor plays the lead role of Ben in both the 1968 original and the 1990 remake.] But when you ask Romero, he always says that the role of Ben wasn't originally written for a black actor but that Duane Jones just came in and read for the part and blew everyone away. But dissenters will always dissent. Horror fans who go to the movie to see a movie will enjoy it. This is a fun film, so just grab a bag of popcorn and have a good time! Horror movies are supposed to be fun.
Is your philosophy of horror movies that they shouldn't be weighted down with social and political commentary?
Well, Romero does it well, but this one is just for fun. Some things should be just for fun, you know?