Cast & crew speak, new photos from the slasher flick
What? You thought Chrome skull (as played by returning cast member Nick Principe) was dead? C’mon, man. This is a slasher flick, of course he’s back! On the day Shock Till You Drop visits the set, no one is telling us how or why he’s back, but we can probably answer the latter: To kill a ton of people. And pieces of his victims are strewn about Hall’s FX shop Almost Human: A severed head. A slashed throat. A bit more we can’t talk about without getting spoiler-y.
Principe and Thomas Dekker are the only ones from the first film reprising their roles. When asked about “final girl” Bobbi Sue Luther who was last seen beating the crap out of Chromeskull, one crew member simply tells us the plot of this sequel “ties up all of the loose ends.” Okey-dokey. Hall, who is shooting most of the film here in his shop, and in a building about a block away, has called upon Brian Austin Green, Christopher Nelson, Danielle Harris, Johnathon Schaech and Mimi Michaels to fill out the cast. To learn more, we spoke with the cast as well as Hall and co-writer Kevin Bocarde.
Click here to see all of the images below in hi-res!
QUESTION: You brought a co-writer on board this time, why?
ROB HALL: We started about a year ago developing an idea if someone wanted to do a sequel. We fleshed them out and had pretty healthy outlines.
KEVIN BOCARDE: We had 2 and a 3, the original idea for a 3 is to do a prequel.
HALL: Kevin and I have been years since â98. He was working on other films when I was doing Laid to Rest and when this sequel came up, we had a small window to do it. I only had an outline and a little bit of time so it was a natural choice to bring him in.
BOCARDE: It was actor availability so we had to figure it out.
QUESTION: What are the different perspectives he’s brought in that you may not have thought of?
HALL: Kevin has written a lot of stuff that’s a bit different, but his forte and love for the genre is there which is why we bonded. Guy in mask, guy chasing a girl, the stuff we love. I’ve never written with anyone before, so it’s good to have that perspective, have a sounding board.
BOCARDE: And I had written with someone on something else and that didn’t go well. Rob asked and I was like, let’s do it.
HALL: Kevin would come in and lay something down like logic and I’d come in and sprinkle, what do you call it?
BOCARDE: Bloody Tabasco. There was a point where we were doing this and I’d lay out the structure, we’d have this outline and do this, this, and this. And if I don’t love it, Rob would stay up all night and come in the next morning and I’d tell him then to give it the Tobasco, the spice that really makes itâ¦
HALL: Laid to Rest-y.
BOCARDE: Some of the bizarre stuff. The first movie is very straight forward and simple, there are things in this that will make you go, where did that come from? And you’ll make the assumption – oh, because there’s a new writer on this and he probably brought that to the table. That’s not necessarily the truth, a lot of the weirder stuff from the movie is from this guy. Thomas told me some of his favorite stuff is what occurred in the bathroom over there and I’ve never seen it in a “guy in a mask” slasher movie before. Without giving anything away.
HALL: Thomas likes weird stuff. Anyways, it’s good to have a sounding board who I trust and likes the same stuff as me and knows me and my writing.
BOCARDE: Except when I just write “stabbed in the face.”
HALL: That’s the bullet point. Kevin will just get to this cool scene, they do this, they go here and then Chromeskull comes up and Kevin just draws a blankâ¦”he stabs him in the face.”
BOCARDE: Can we come up with anything more than “stabbed in the face”?
QUESTION: You said you were expanding the universe but keeping Chromeskull’s motivations under wraps still?
HALL: I don’t know if they’re unknown. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t ask the audience to take too many intelligent leaps of faith in these kinds of movies. The only leap of faith I ask is do I really have to explain why Chromeskull does what he does? I mean, Jesus. I don’t know why a guy in Canada cut off another guy’s head on a bus. You never know. If I could talk to Jeffrey Dahmer and asked him why he had all of those people in his freezer, he probably wouldn’t be able to give me an answer, so why do I need to explain why Chromeskull kills? You won’t get that from this movie.
BOCARDE: One of my favorite movies of all time is Halloween and I love in the original that you have no clue why [Michael Myers] did what he did. The sister thing gets added later, you don’t have that in the first film. When Rob wrote Laid to Rest while in Thailand, he sent over the script and I loved it. I don’t want to know he’s the bastard son of a 100 maniacs, I don’t want to know he’s a hillbilly inbred.
HALL: Frank Darabont could come in and write a back story, anyone could, and it would never been good enough. You don’t need to know a bunch of bullies pushed him around on the playground because he had a plate in his head and they called him chrome dome and now he’s mad. Nothing I could come up with would be better than people drawing their own conclusions. Itâs creepier that way.
BOCARDE: You can relate to a man behind the mask a bit differently than a person. There’s something about him where he doesn’t become a monster, but there’s a bit of distancing factor, so you can do things with him, make him stronger or whatever. When you give someone the rational of the bullying, I now start relating to him more and more like a person. So if I see a giant new Michael Myers, I go “shoot him in the head” – he’s a person, you’ve shown me that. Yes, you watch the first Laid to Rest, there’s something a bit creepier there, something unknown.
HALL: You don’t have to over-explain it.
BOCARDE: There were two different outlines for this sequel we did. There was a 20 page one and a one-pager and this story is a merger of both.
QUESTION: Is it a lot more fun to expand the world?
HALL: It is more fun. It’s a complete 180 in terms of the first movie, except for the kills and Chromeskull. We tie up loose ends from the first movie. There’s a lot of deaths this time, people who complained about the first one for not having cell phones or cops, this movie is chock full of cops and cell phones and they all work. It’s awesome to have new people every day. Every couple of days we get someone new to come in and their performances are fucking out of this world. I’m so happy. We were adamant about using people who would give it credibility and that extra thing. When people see Brian Austin Green in this, they’re going to shit themselves because it’s by far the coolest thing we’ve given to Laid to Rest viewers. I like the fact that people have expectations of him and think 90210. I want them to go in with that because he’s going to surprise you.
QUESTION: Tell us about your roleâ¦
MIMI MICHAELS: I play Jess. She’s sort of just your happy-go-lucky young 20s gal, and basically she gets shell-shocked when Chromeskull has chosen her as one of his targets, and he shows up in her home and all the craziness ensues from there. To add insult to injury, she has early stages of glaucoma. So while this maniacal bastard is chasing her down, everything is very blurry. She doesn’t know what’s going on, and she can’t see. It’s just craziness.
QUESTION: How does he target you though?
MICHAELS: That’s the thing. For my character, she never knows why he decides to pick her. This whole crazy journey of confusion and not knowing or understanding why she is one of his victims. Yeah, I guess you will have to ask Chromy that. [laughs] But the whole time, she’s like “Why me? What the hell is going on?” and she is very puzzled the whole time.
QUESTION: And the glaucoma thing is just âtough shit’?
MICHAELS: [laughs] “Yep. You’re going to have to deal with that too.” But it’s been cool, because I’ve never had to play blind or going blind, and it’s hard, especially with all of the emotions of being chased down by this crazy man. Like I also have to create this word where I can’t really see, and it’s difficult, soâ¦
QUESTION: Did you draw upon any other actor’s performances for things like that, like Jessica Alba in The Eye? That’s really odd. [laughs] But is there anyone you drew upon as an actor?
MICHAELS: Actually my mom, who’s been dealing eye issues recently. I was talking to her, and it’s a lot of things dealing with your periphery. I unfortunately have 20/20. But yeah, just dealing with that and walking around with my eyes shut or bleary eyed. I’ve been using stuff to put in my eyes to make it blurry for myself, so it’s more realistic for me. Just trying (not necessarily watching others), but trying to find it within myself.
QUESTION: I can imagine. That’s rough. So, talk about working with Nick (Principle aka Chromeskull), who has quite the height on you now.
MICHAELS: He’s what 6’7″? He’s huge. Actually the other day, we were filming a scene where he just throws me over his shoulder, and throws me into a coffin. I felt like a feather. And he so kind of, “Meh.” It’s just so easy being so big. Nick is amazing, which is so funny. Because when I first met him, he’s very intimidating. I mean, his a big guy, playing Chromeskull. And it was nice to feel a little bit nervous because of the health of my character. But he’s such a nice guy. And it’s been really cool, the scenes that I’ve had with him â with the mask on, he’s so menacing and intimidating, and it really helps me get into character so easily. He’s really great. In the film, in one of his attacks, he gashes my leg, and Nick gave me some advice to put some pebbles in my shoe, which helped with the walk, because it’s actually really painful. But it was a nice suggestion on his part. He’s really great to work with.
QUESTION: Besides the knee dagger, were you privy to any other kills?
MICHAELS: She sees some stuff go down. I don’t want to give too much away. But yeah. In her blurry vision, she does get to see some things don’t think she’d forget too soon. Kind of a whirlwind for her. But she’s privy to some scary things.
QUESTION: Is there a future for your character after this movie? Possibly?
MICHAELS: There could be. I was talking to Rob (Hall) â the director â and I love his idea of a Chromam. [laughs] It would be the 3rd installment. And maybe Jess experiences “Stockholm Syndrome”. [laughs] Could be interesting.
QUESTION: Sounds like Hannibal.
MICHAELS: Exactly. But I may live to tell the tale. Maybe.
QUESTION: Who else do you get to work with besides Nick?
MICHAELS: Well, Brian Austin Green is right now getting his bald cap put on. So, it might be his big death scene today, or not. I don’t know. So, that should be an interesting scene to watch. He’s great, working with him. He plays a disciple of Chromeskull, and he’s really good at playing this evil character.
QUESTION: I saw a little clip. He looks really menacing.
MICHAELS: Totally. And we had a couple scenes where I believed I was “in there”, because he was really scaring the shit out of me. Yeah, everyone I’ve worked with: actors, crew, everyone are really just so cool.
QUESTION: So when you guys were shooting the first one, there was already a sequel in the works. But how did it change from what your expectations might have been, originating this role and now continuing it?
NICK PRINCIPE: It all happened so fast. I think originally when we did the first one, he was planning on doing a second one, and I think halfway through filming â the way things were kind of going â I’m come on it’s a slasher movie; it’s pointless. Because I think slasher movies should be like comic books. You know, every three years just do another one, or something like that, instead of like monthly. You know, they’re never going to win an Independent Spirit Award, or be up for an IFC award, or something like that. And if it did, it would e like “Wow, great!” But for the most part it’s just fun. They’re fun movies usually.
QUESTION: Could you tell us something about the tattoo?
PRINCIPE: It was something I said I was going to do on the first one anyways, and then he (director Rob Hall) said he needed a shot where this other character is actually getting one, and he said he’d pay for it. So, I did it and it’s on my back.
QUESTION: It’s on your back. You don’t have any room there.
PRINCIPE: I know. I don’t have any room.
QUESTION: So, Nick’s going to have his own little tramp stamp now?
PRINCIPE: Yeah. But I thought if said: BORN TO KILL, it would be different. [laughs] So, I said, “Fuck it!” Initially, what I wanted was to do a whole horror leg â like I wanted to do my leg in just horror shit, and I initially was going to get the (Chrome) “skull” on my knew, have the eyes be there and shit like that. But it didn’t work out that way, and I’m not getting two of them. I don’t like them that much. But it’s free. Tattoos are not that big a deal for me anymore. That was like the most serious tattoo I’ve gotten in like fuckin’ ages. Before that, the last one I got, I was super drunk. And I usually only get tattooed back east by a really close friend of mine. And I was like, “I want THUG LIFE on my stomach. Wouldn’t that be funny?” [laughs] And I don’t even like TUPAC (Shakur) and shit like that. But I just thought it would be funny.
It is almost shameful, but I need the money â I got a call back for GLEE. I’m going to make more in one day than I am two weeks here. I’m playing a tattoo artist, so I don’t have to sing and dance. [laughs] I don’t think my pride would let me do that. I can’t even watch a musical. That would be the twisted fate though. Like, “we need you to do this number” “How much is it?”â¦uhhhâ¦. Prideâ¦ Overdrawn bank account. Prideâ¦ Overdrawn bank account. Damn you, overdrawn bank account! [laughs]
QUESTION: How’s the make-up FX this time out?
PRINCIPE: It sucks! (joking) It’s a lot different from the first one. I call it the Kane Part 7 cowl, because all I remember in Fangoria as a kid was seeing Kane (Hodder) with the face cowl cut up like that and how silly it looked, and mine is ten times sillier. It almost turns into an S&M mask/the Gimp mask (ala PULP FICTION). In the first one, it was just paint the nose black. There were little pads in the cheeks and forehead, then you just glue it and stuck it on, and that was it. This one, rubber mask, big circle thing, slip it on, becomes a sweat chamber. There’s a couple times when I’m standing over actors waiting for something and there’s sweat dripping out on them. At least it happened to the stunt guy, so he doesn’t mind it as much. If anybody did mind it, they weren’t very vocal about it.
QUESTION: What’s the level of brutality this time verses the last one?
PRINCIPE: I don’t know. It’s like how any good sequel should be. Double the body count. Same amount of original different kills as the first one. Again, just taking as much as time as we did with the first one. I don’t think it matters what actors are in the movie â it obviously helps for this and that for distribution, blah, blah, blah. I just think with the LAID TO REST movies the real star is the effects, the kills. Because that’s the one thing â love or hate the movies â you cannot talk shit about the kills. They’re a reason to watch alone, I think. The kills are spectacular.
QUESTION: You have a fairly gratuitous gag coming up today, right?
PRINCIPE: This one’s really fun. Again, it’s heavy mix of the practical with â I guess, it’s technically â CG. But it’s more visual FX. I guess the best way to compare is the Lena Headey kill in the first one, how it was a dummy that gets stabbed in, but then they composite her real face in with it. So it ends up seamless at the end of the day. It’s the same thing, but way more brutal. I had a talk with him (Rob) today, and I thought it was going to be three swipes at the guy’s neck, and he like “No, you’re going to just keep hacking at the thing until I say stop!” And it’s literally going to be real meat, inside the thing with two real knives and keep cutting’ and hacking and cutting and hacking until it actually rips. That should be the “star kill” of the movie. But when the movie is finished, you usually judge it by other people; what they think is the best kill. So far, I think this one is going to be the best kill.
QUESTION: Did you think they were going to take a supernatural route after the second one?
PRINCIPE: We wanted to avoid doing the supernatural thing, and it’s a good explanation. You lose some parts of Chromey form the movie. But it’s purely to explain everything from the first one. He (Rob) really didn’t leave any loopholes. So, there’s like this mini-recuperation period, and he did talk to a bunch of cosmetic surgeons and stuff like that, saying basically, “If the brain wasn’t damaged, the guy wouldn’t be pretty. But if he got immediate response care, and healed after awhile he would live.” We saw a bunch of stuff about this guy in Russia, who was hunting bears, and a bear literally took a swipe at his face, and it was just gone. From here, it was just a tongue, and no eye sockets, no nose. Just nothing there. And they reconstructed it to a point to where he kind of looked like the Unabomber. Like if you were just passing him in the street, you wouldn’t notice it. It’s the same kind of thing, except you can wear a mask to cover it up. That’s what’s cool; you get to see him (Chromeskull) without his mask, and see the nastiness. And it certainly is nasty.
QUESTION: Yeah, we saw some of the skin.
PRINCIPE: Oh, the flappings? It’s just like the first one; there’s a lot of things alike. A couple things, I don’t agree with. But I didn’t write it. It’s my job to do the best of it with Chromeskull. I definitely love Chromeskull. He’s like my bastard adopted son, and I try to do the best I can with him. And then hope for the best at the end of the day, and that’s all you really can do.
QUESTION: You always got GLEE to fall back on.
PRINCIPE: Yep [laughs]. I got the call back for that. I mean, it’s not set in stone. But I’ll take a Fox (Studios) paycheck, man. Us actors, we’re whores. Won’t lie. I try to work only in horror and action films and thing like that. But if they call for something in your description, and there’s a few 0’s on that check â my rent don’t pay itself, man.
QUESTION: Do you have an agent looking for different things for you?
PRINCIPE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I really stress to look for certain things, and he really does. But unfortunately, a lot stuff I get back is kind of crap. So, I’ll turn it down. But ever since the first LAID TO REST, I get a slasher script, probably every two weeks. And since LAID TO REST, the only script that I liked was that movie MADISON COUNTY, and what those guys did. So, I went down south and shot that one for them. But I give a slasher script 30 pages, which I think is liberal â if I don’t see something within there then, sorry I already booked that time, or this, that or whatever. But that one was good. Of course, no else is playing Chromeskull as long as I’m alive. I’m really trying to get onto SONS OF ANARCHY.
QUESTION: Oh, yeah? That would be incredible.
PRINCIPE: That would be my dream gig, because I got a chance to have “walk-on” role, for just like a day. But I turned it down, to hold out to be one of the bikers. I’d kill for it. Sometimes I regret it. But there’s always next season.
THOMAS DEKKER: I’m back a lot more in this one than I was in the first one. Now I’m like a real character, and am in the whole movie, instead of the last five minutes in a convenience store.
QUESTION: Where is the character now?
QUESTION: Has Rob changed at all, director-wise?
QUESTION: As an actor, is this the darkest place you’ve gone?
QUESTION: Your bid blood today is today. Are you looking forward to that?
Stay tuned for distribution and release date news soon!
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor