RIDER STRONG (CABIN FEVER, CABIN FEVER 2, BOY MEETS WORLD)




*BE WARNED WE DO TALK SOME SPOILERS… NOTHING MAJOR… EXCEPT A CAMEO*

On his Cabin Fever 2 Cameo:

Rider: It’s so funny because we were doing interviews about other stuff and they were like ‘we hear you’re in Cabin Fever 2!’ and its like ‘Ah… Im not supposed to talk about this…’ the worst was when they brought me onto stage at Fangoria with the rest of the cast on stage right after we finished filming and I was literally filming for only 1 day, and they’re treating me like a regular cast member during the Q&A… and I’m like ‘Maybe we should hand that over to Noah or somebody who was there for the whole movie…’ now that the sort of secrets actually out, people kinda know I don’t really live that long…

Steve: *laughs* Yeah I kinda think if people took into account how long the victims kinda last they could’ve figured out how long your character was gonna last in part 2!

Rider: *laughs* Yeah right! Right!

Steve: But it was a pretty good cameo, I mean Lions Gate set me up with the screener, I was sitting there and I saw you come up and I’m like ‘Oh cool that’s the guy from part 1!’ then you’re stumbling across, and I’m thinking ‘Oh that’s pretty cool…’ and then well… (see the movie, I’m not spoiling the rest) But your scene, was great!

Rider: *laughs* Yeah!

Steve: Just your scene, it was great. I mean, I spoke to Eli the other day (Eli Roth), and his other movie, Hostel, when they said Jay (Hernandez) was coming back for part 2 and then… you saw both part 1 and 2?

Rider: *laughs* I only saw part 1… not part 2! *laughs*

Steve: Aaaah ok… well then I won’t spoil his fate in part 2 for you *laughs*

Rider: *laughs* Ahhhh ok I have a feeling… It’s ok, it’s a classic little twist, but you know when I read the script for Cabin Fever 2, I was like ‘that’s just too funny I have to do this!’ it’s the perfect way to introduce the tone of the second one! I mean in the first one we spent 45 minutes introducing the tone of the first one, it’s like we’re gonna spend you know about 45 minutes getting to know the lead characters, there’s a plot, the second one, its just absurd, let’s just splatter people, it’s clearly gonna go to a whole new level of craziness and (gives away exactly what happens to him, I’m not saying what happened.)

Steve: Your scene in it was *really* reminiscent in it, I don’t know wether they meant it or not, but it really reminded me of the original Robocop movie?

Rider: Yes!!! No we talked about that because when the makup, they already did all the molds and stuff and when we showed up on set they finished all that makeup and Im like ‘Half my face is like completely melting off!’ and that’s exactly what we were reminded of, was that Robocop moment cause, yeah, I don’t know if Ti intended that or if it was subconscious but we talked about that, yeah at least in the makeup department we talked about it. It was like, it was pretty over the top, definitely different to what Eli did in the first movie, Eli in the first movie was far more subtle, it was much more like, if people had the disease they looked normal, they were just bleeding or itchy, they were just *makes grunting noise* whereas in the second they look like the Toxic Avenger! *laughs*

Steve: *laughs*

Rider: I was telling the Producer Lauren, you coulda just put someone else in my clothes, my right eye, that’s the ONLY thing recognisable on me, that’s what you’re paying me for! I mean yeah I’ll take it! Just so you know, I don’t have any lines or anything!

Steve: *laughs* So you’re basically the worlds first ‘Right Eye Model’!

Rider: *laughs* Yeah I like that! AND I got top billing!

On peoples initial reaction to Cabin Fever:

Rider: I’ve always said there were two moments in the movie that were litmus tests for wether people would either love it or hate it. I think that those were like, the only two reactions that people had for Cabin Fever, ah, and those were the moments that Guiseppe, comes on as Deputy Winston and he’s doing such a wierd character, and the voice… and the little mullet, the mullet, the karate, the pancakes screaming blonde kid… those are like, very bizarre moments, and our reviewers literally either singled out those moments and said ‘That’s the funniest most wierdst thing I’ve ever seen, that’s what makes this movie great!’ or ‘That was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen and that’s what makes this movie terrible!’ I mean I love those moments, I was there for the genesis and the conversations of them and it was really, it really came from the excitement that was built on the set, mostly generated by Eli of course, and his vision, but a real willingness to have fun and not take ourselves so seriously, and be like, ‘this movies gonna like reinvent horror’ and a lot of the movie came out of Eli’s passion for the films that he loved as a kid and that I loved. We would all talk about that, you know like ‘do you remember when horror movies had tits, blood and looked dirty, grainy’ and all that, those were all conscious choices on Eli’s part to really try to capture all that, there was a sense of excitement and a childish wonder about what we were doing, you know, there was no studio involved so Eli was free to make those kinds of weird choices that *I* think have served to aid the movie really well in establishing itself in the cult movie-dom.

Steve: And it has, Cabin Fever did it for sure, it did it within a couple of years easily. The thing I loved was you had the character of Winston by Guiseppe, you had his character in Cabin Fever 2, have you seen it yet?

Rider: Yeah I did I saw it at the premiere in Austin it was great! I only read the script once because (SPOILERS GIVEN I WONT TRANSCRIBE IT) it reminded me of, the first part reminded me of the old 80’s highschool movies like Teenwolf, I LOVE that shit, in a way it reminded me of a callback to the old style Highschool movies, I LOVE that, the look and the feel. You know, it even kind of feels like he’s out of one of those movies, a character caught in one of those old love triangles, its ridiculous and that a flesh eating virus descends on this particular ground of people… I love that! *laughs*

Steve: Yeah I was saying to Noah that I loved how they skipped a few of the conventions, how they got a lot of it out of the way, like ‘I love you, deal with it.’ They got it out of the way quickly. Cabin Fever part 1 did it too, the tone of the movie jumped all over the place in a really good way. It was a comedy one moment, then a serious horror the next, then a complete psychological mindfuck the next…

Rider: It was tough too, because when we first showed up on the set for Cabin Fever there was a lot of debate for that stuff, because Joey Kern, thought that he was in a comedy, you know, because his part is a comedy more or less, a lot of comic relief and the way he dies? I showed up taking it more as a straight forward horror, I didn’t see that much humor in it, and in a way its both of those things and it jumps back and forth constantly like Elis brain jumps back and forth constantly, and it’s one of those things where I think a lot of people don’t like that about the film, but in a way it kept it from being more mainstream but it’s also what secured its place, jumping around and, I love that stuff, I think that those are the movies that last and stay with you and throw you for a loop and you’re never quite sure what kind of movie youre in. When you’re an actor and you’re not sure how much to play it, when we’re aware of how funny a lot of the stuff was gonna be we didn’t quite know, should we wink at the audience, is this a SCREAM type movie, are we self conscious type characters where we know we’re in a horror movie? Eli was like ‘No, no, we’re play this real. Everybody play this real.’ In a way we were all in our own films. I was in this sort love movie, one were I was gonna get the girl, Jimmy was in one where he was in a frat boy comedy movie, and it works in a way, cause we all have our own little narrative arcs, it all boils down to this flesh eating virus screwing up everyones little movies! It all works in its own little way!

On reuniting for the commentary for the Bluray:

Steve: Now Eli was saying he got four out of five original actors to come back for the Cabin Fever bluray commentary? Were you one of them?

Rider: Oh yeah!

Steve: How was that reuniting after like, seven or eight years to redo the commentary for it?

Rider: It was great! It’s always great getting together with those guys. I mean I shot another movie with Jimmy DeBello, called ‘The Penthouse’, it’s going to DVD sometime soon? He and I did this movie, but he didn’t come to do the commentary but that’s probably a good thing cause he goes a little crazy which would’ve kept us from being a little focused…*laughs*

Steve: *laughs*

Rider: It was great seeing the directors cut too, because that’s the way I love the movie, I’d seen the directors cut a few months before, at a screening in LA, I’d seen it, and I talked to Eli, and that screening may have been a lot of the impetus for Eli to push Lionsgate to release the directors cut on Bluray. I mean I really think its a better movie, the endings better, there’s a couple more bizarre dream sequences which really help to, I think they help contextualise a little bit of the bizarre stuff, they happen early on, like when we put Jordan Ladd in the shed? Like some of them are bizarre flashes, of stuff that hasn’t happened yet? I think it sets the tone, that yes the movie is bizarre, that it’s more ‘David Lynch’ than it is ‘Scream’? Really, the difference between the Directors and the Lionsgate cut, that which was originally released, which was around four minutes, which was just enough for me, cause when I saw the movie in Toronto? I was excited, I loved it, but when I saw it in the cinema? I walked out thinking ‘Somethings missing…’ then when I saw the Directors cut I felt ‘THATS the movie I signed on for… THATS the movie I love.’ I’m really glad it’s finally seeing the light of day. Plus there’s a whole section of this wonderful monologue that’s finally seeing the light of day, it originally got cut in half, it’s like ‘Wow there’s all these lines that got cut out’, it’s not like they were integral to the plot, by any means, but it brings my character full circle.

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Rider was great to talk to, just as Noah Segan was, just as Eli Roth was. Three awesome people who I had an absolute blast with. I really hope I can catch up with them all in the future to discuss their projects again. I still can’t believe this is the guy who I used to watch on ‘Boy Meets World’…

So this brings our Cabin Fever interviews full circle, I’d like to thank Eli Roth, Noah Segan and Rider Strong for their time, all of them were fantastic to speak to. Cabin Fever and Cabin Fever 2 are both fantastic movies and I really have to say, if you haven’t seen them yet, you’re really missing out. Get your ass out there and watch them pronto.

Bring on Cabin Fever 3 and more Deputy Winston!!! (And hopefully a certain someone else if you’ve read the interviews…)

Cabin Fever: The Directors Cut is only available on Bluray and is out now.

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever: Unrated DVD is out now now.

Written by
Your interviewer from Down under, I’ve never ‘thrown a shrimp on a barbie’ or ‘tied a kangaroo down sport’ much to my countrymen’s disappointment. I’ve developed a love for cinema over the years that’s only matched by my love for talking to people. I’m raising my ten year old son myself while studying my Bachelor of Education to teach Math and English in high school. I was once told I could never do interviews, that it was too ‘select’ and that ‘you have to know people’… one Skype and IMDB pro account later here I am.

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