MaXXXine Is All About ‘The Shiny Parts Of Hollywood Vs. The Seedy Parts Of Hollywood’ In The 1980s


by Ben Travis |
Published on

With X, Ti West lovingly re-conjured the scuzzy spirit of ‘70s classics like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. With its surprise prequel Pearl, he dialled back to clock to early Technicolor game-changers like The Wizard Of Oz, taking the yellow brick road and painting it blood-red. And now, for his trilogy-capper MaXXXine, he’s heading into the 1980s – taking Mia Goth’s aspiring star Maxine and plunging her into the sinister, seductive world of Hollywood.

As well as taking audiences six years beyond the events of X, in which Goth’s Maxine was the sole survivor of the Farmer’s Daughter massacre, the ‘80s setting of MaXXXine is a major influence on how the film looks and feels. “A big part of the aesthetic of the movie is the shiny parts of Hollywood [versus] the seedy parts of Hollywood,” West tells Empire in the Deadpool & Wolverine issue. “The shiny type of movies that are made, and then the sleazy or low-budget type of movies that are made. In the same way that Pearl’s Technicolor-adjacent vibe is part of the aesthetic, this is more influenced by the aesthetic of both A- and B-movies in the 1980s.”

That meant going old-school during production. “We just did everything the way you would always traditionally do it,” West promises. “There’s not a lot of modern trickery with it — mostly it’s the same way you would have made it back then, with the same equipment.” The result is, according to West, aiming for something other than the “dorky ‘80s” aesthetic we often see today. “Terminator is just as much an ‘80s movie as The Breakfast Club,” he points out. Rather than drawing from specific 1980s films, MaXXXine is all about twisting together the threads across West’s entire trilogy. “It is full of things that are referential to the trilogy as a whole — like, to an absurd degree,” he says. “People will go, ‘That red light, it’s Argento!’ But it’s more, there’s not a scene in MaXXXine that does not have some subtext related to the [trilogy] as a whole.” Get ready for a killer third act.

Empire Summer 2024 cover – Deadpool & Wolverine

Read Empire’s full MaXXXine story – speaking to Ti West about wrapping up his A24 slasher trilogy – in the Deadpool & Wolverine issue, on sale Thursday 9 May. Order a copy online here. MaXXXine comes to UK cinemas from 5 July.

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