When I saw that Alex Cox would be visiting the Alamo Drafthouse to screen Repo Man and his latest, Searchers 2.0, I pitched a feature to the Decider: My five favorite Alex Cox movies that never existed. (Cox has a ton of unproduced screenplays on his site, some of which sound more interesting than movies he actually made.) That was the plan until word came through that Cox was available for an interview – so instead I asked him about those unmade movies. The interview is here. The disappointing tale of Cox’s no-show at the Alamo is here. And an exclusive right here for you – outtakes from the interview:
SVD: There’s one called Zero Tolerance, which you were writing with Rudy Wurlitzer (Two Lane Blacktop, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid).
AC: Zero Tolerance, that was great! It was all about drug dealing, the CIA, Oliver North, all of that – it was very pertinent. Still is very pertinent. Rudy Wurlitzer wrote that. I did a little bit of work on it, but it was mainly his script.
SVD: Do you think we’re far enough from the Contra war of the ‘80s to make it feasible to make now, or is it just something no studio would touch?
AC: One drug-fueled war goes out the window, another comes in. We could make it about the heroin trade in Afghanistan now. It’s doable. There’s always money to be made from drugs and films to be made about them.
SVD: Will this be your first visit to the Alamo Drafthouse?
AC: I’ve never been to Austin before. I know the Alamo Drafthouse guys because they do this thing called the Rolling Roadshow.
SVD: And that was a sort of inspiration for Searchers 2.0?
AC: That was the inspiration for the Searchers, because I went out to Monument Valley to see them show Once Upon a Time in the West, and it was so much fun. And then I went back a year later and saw The Searchers – the original. And then we hired them to come back out and bring the inflatable screen when we made the film. They brought out a whole bunch of trailers – spaghetti western trailers, stuff that Tim League liked. So we showed all these trailers of films and paid people to sit in the audience and watch them. It was quite cold, so I think we did that whole scene in about half an hour. It’s such an amazing location.
SVD: You mentioned spaghetti westerns and that’s sort of a passion of yours. You have a book on the subject.
AC: Yeah, I wrote a book on spaghetti westerns that came out yesterday, I think. I haven’t seen it yet. I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive.
SVD: And you’re showing one of those movies at the Alamo as well, Arizona Colt.
AC: Yes, they got a print of Arizona Colt, which is a very interesting film – an entertaining spaghetti western with a moral problem. Well, thank you very much. It’s been nice talking about these films that never were.