ROBERT HALL is one busy cat. Not only does he streamline the EXCELLENT effect shop ALMOST HUMAN, he also, writes, directs and drinks like a sailor on leave (not sure about that last one, but I know I do). We recently caught up with the lad to talk about his directorial follow up to LIGHTNING BUG, the slasher LAID TO REST, which will carve DVD shelves on April 21st, 2009, (order it here, read our review here, see the trailer here) and here's what we pulled out of his abdomen.
ROBERT HALL INTERVIEW
Whatís your favorite slasher film? "Halloween" hands down. Although there were others along the way. F13 2,3,4 and 7 were all cheesy great. Then in terms of Art horror slasher nothing beats "Henry". It was miles before its time.
How did the LAID TO REST storyline trigger into your noggin? I wanted to start with a really simple premise that wouldnít take loads of back-story or exposition to explain. There's a serial killer. He has money and means to make wicked knifes and his own persona; complete with death mask. He obviously likes to kill girls and tape it. Its 2009, we see that kinda shit on Dateline.
How long did it take you to write the script and was alcohol involved?
YES! The script came quickly and easily. Probably about 3 months total of writing. I had a title, outline and the first act written and that damn writers strike was happening. Bobbi Sue and I went away to Thailand for almost a month (for holidays) and I wound up writing this southern gothic slasher while sipping mao-taiís poolside in Phuket. Not all the time was I drunk though..
LAID TO REST is quite the departure from your last directorial effort LIGHTING BUG. Why was it time for Robert hall to do a slasher?
It is a departure and it isnít. In a lot of ways I feel the tone of LB is very much alive in LTR...but of course this is balls to the wall slash. It was time simply because we has this window...when no one was working we all wanted to be creative.
In your opinion; what key elements does a slasher need to have in order to be successful?
You need to have a modicum of care for your leads... you can't want them to die. I know its fun sometimes but if no one cares if they die its just bad filmmaking. You also need tits. Boobs were there in the beginning and should be in this kinda film forever. If you can find a way to tastefully slip them in great...if not just go for it. And the most important thing....KILLS: Audiences see great deaths in video games now and have almost seen everything.
Be fuckin creative for Christ sakes. I get sooo many scripts where everyone dies the same way and itís lazy and obnoxious. Also producers need to need to start spending money on practical makeup efx again. That and tits (see above) are the only reason someone's gonna watch your opus. So often these cheapskate producers skimp on FX and audiences backlash...they feel cheated. We didn't do anything special in LTR...we just didn't skimp on what I feel is the most important element in this kind of movie.
Once the script done, how long did it take for the film to get off the ground?
2 minutes. We started out making the movie without any outside help so we were off and running in pre production immediately.
What was the biggest snag you had to overcome during production?
Money. We were a third the budget of "Hatchet" for instance so it was difficult to do anything. But our crew was committed man...really killed for us.
How did you nail the killerís mask and costume? What were you going for?
For ChromeSkull's Mask I wanted something that looked as though it could come off the cover of an 80's metal album and rip your heart out. That part was easy...my crew at Almost Human are the best of the best.
Why did you choose a knife as his main weapon of choice? Any particular reason?
I wanted to keep it real simple, basic and intimate. But it couldn't be a butcher knife. So Nick Principe (who has a stellar prop background) and I bastardized some different weaponry to give Chromey his blades.
Looking back, would you have done anything different on this show?
You always think that...So yea. But I'll never tell.
LAID TO REST has sequel written all over it, can we expect one?
I hope so. Not sure if I would direct or just produce with Dry County Films. I have an idea for a prequel and sequel so we'll see. Depends on how well it does on DVD, and if people stop stealing movies on the internet! If they don't no one will make movies anymore. The pirates will be stuck watching reality shows and people poking their own eyes out for a laugh on YouTube.
Whatís next for you, directing wise, any other projects lined up?
I hope to be shooting my back-masking horror film "Old Scratch" before the end of the year. Still have Lena Headey and Rob Schnieder attached to co star. And I want Gavin Rossdale for the lead. You heard it here first. Gavin Rossdale.
What TYPE of horror film would you like to tackle next as a director?
Always did want to do the king of all zombie films. I got that in me I think too. The sickest dead folks ever.....I would love that.
What was the first drink yo guzzled at the LAID TO REST wrap party?
Low Carb Monster (the Blue one) and Vodka. I did not however partake in the same substance that Kevin Gage did, that caused the Maryland Police to take him from our wrap party in Handcuffs and plastered on TMZ the next day. Legalize it already.
Thanks for slashing by the site Robert!
No worries... I love the site!
LOOK OUT FOR MY OWN REVIEW OF THE FILM - COMING SOON!