Actress Adrienne Barbeau became a horror icon of the '80s thanks to roles in films like The Fog, Escape From New York and Creepshow. Barbeau could have potentially had a career resurgence in
"In the horror genre, because they’re just too violent or gruesome or offensive for my taste," the actress told Tom Holland's Terror Time about why she turns down roles. "Listen, I turned down The Devil’s Rejects. Not sure I even read it all the way through, I just knew no matter how good it was and how fine a director Rob Zombie is (I later did one scene for him in his Halloween and loved working with him), it was not something I could do."
Devil's Rejects was the follow-up to House of 1000 Corpses and followed three sadistic killers on a blood-soaked road trip in hopes of evading cops. Like many of his other films, Rejects carried with it Zombie's signature black humor and stomach-twisting special effects.
The gruesome nature of a script isn't the only reason the actress will reject a project, as she revealed that even spelling mistakes could kill her interest in a film.
"I’ve turned down myriad roles. Sometimes after reading 20 pages of the script," Barbeau confessed. "And especially if the author hasn’t bothered to learn how to spell, learn correct grammar, and had someone else check for typos."
Barbeau's disinterest in gore and guts almost cost her the part of Billie in Creepshow, one of her most iconic characters. The film is an homage to EC horror comics and is comprised of multiple disjointed horror stories. Her character is an antagonizing wife who a husband hopes to silence for good.
"I almost turned down Creepshow because I thought it was too bloody and gruesome," Barbeau noted. "Until Tom Atkins clued me in on the comic book style George [Romero] intended to use, and John Carpenter told me I’d be nuts to turn down the opportunity to work with George. I didn’t know. I don’t watch horror films. I’d never seen Night of the Living Dead."
Zombie is reportedly working on a follow-up to Rejects, which perhaps will give Barbeau a second-chance at appearing in.