Read Shockya's exclusive interview with filmmaker, screenwriter and make-up effects supervisor Robert Hall, whose latest directorial effort, ‘ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2,’ is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. The film is a sequel to the 2009 cult classic horror movie ‘Laid to Rest.’ The follow-up chronicles the infamous killer ChromeSkull, played by Nick Principe, as he relies on his assistant, Preston, portrayed by Brian Austin Green, to take care of his business. When Preston develops his own taste for killing, ChromeSkull reemerges with a new gory massacre. Hall discusses with us, among other things, why he decided to continue the story of the killer, and how the sequel differs from the original film.
Shockya (SY): You directed and co-wrote ‘ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2,’ after helming and writing 2009′s ‘Laid to Rest.’ Why did you decide to continue the story?
Robert Hall (RH): Honestly, the fans. The fans of the first movie were far and above what we ever anticipated. We started seeing people getting ChromeSkull tattoos, and they were talking about it. They were talking about the characters, and talking about the kills. We thought we had something, and we thought we could give people more of what they liked about the first one.
SY: While you were filming the sequel, did you feel any pressure to exceed the effects that you included in the original?
RH: Tons. (laughs) Yeah, tons. A lot of sleepless nights over that stuff. Any movie that I do, because of my effects background, I can never have bad effects, especially in the ‘Laid to Rest’ movies. I set up a precedent in the first movie, and if I didn’t deliver in the second movie, people would turn away from it. So a lot of pressure. There were also pressures to have great performances, pressures to stay under budget and pressures to make the kills bigger and better than the first one. So there were a lot of sleepless nights.
SY: Besides the effects, how is the sequel different than the original? Are there any similarities between the two films?
RH: The sequel is really a completely, completely different movie. It’s really apples and oranges from the first one. The first one has a super simple story with a mysterious killer that takes place over the course of one night. There’s very few characters. The second one picks up right where the first one leaves off, but this film has a completely different look. The new movie is an ensemble piece. Brian Austin Green has a really big part, and Thomas Dekker has an expanded part (from the original film). The sequel has about 27 speaking parts, and the most in the original was maybe eight or nine. So it’s a much bigger scope, and a lot more to deal with. The only similarity is the kills, I wanted to have really stellar kills. The kills in ‘ChromeSkull’ is the only similarity (to the original film), everything else is completely different.
SY: Nick Principe reprises his role of ChromeSkull in the sequel. What was it about his performance in the original film that convinced you to cast him again?
RH: It was his undying commitment, more than anything. His performance goes a long way, and it’s difficult to do what he did without speaking. It’s his commitment to the character and the genre that really sold it for me. He wears this stuff on his sleeve. If he didn’t play Chromeskull, he’d probably have a tattoo, or at least a Chromeskull shirt. But I think he was just born to kill.
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