I was doing some e-cleaning recently, and stumbled across an old interview I did with Robert Hall, the co-writer and director of horror flick (in case the title didn’t tip the fact) Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2. Well… sort of. The main reason I never got around to posting the thing was because Hall was apparently completing some sort of decathlon whilst chatting with me, and so the sound quality was shitty to the point of near-indecipherable. Oh, and we also got cut off five times in the span of 15-plus minutes. My over-under on such shenanigans is typically four, but since I’d already transcribed a portion of it, here are a couple questions and answers, I guess, courtesy of my compulsion for pointless over-extension and completion:
Brent Simon: With a lot of the most memorable horror villains, there’s a visually iconographic element to them — be it Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees or Pinhead from Hellraiser. Chromeskull certainly has that; he’s visually arresting. What was the inspiration?
Robert Hall: I wanted him to represent technology without being super-gadgety or super Saw-like. I designed it in a heavy metal-influenced kind of way, which is ironic because [the character] wouldn’t be listening to heavy metal, he’d be listening to pretentious jazz or something. I knew that he would be set against this backdrop of decay. I thought that would be a nice juxtaposition. It’s been a long process. I spent a really long time designing the look of Chromeskull, and it changed so much from the first film to the second.
BS: On the DVD you give away some of the secrets [of certain shots], which blend practical and prosthetic effects with digital work. Does that combination immediately come to mind in writing some of these kill sequences, or do you say, “Here’s an idea, and I’ll worry about we achieve it later”?
RH: That’s usually how I work — I try to think of something that would be difficult first. I sort of work backwards, trying to think of something outrageous and incredible.
BS: You also talk about writing parts with specific actors in mind.
RH: Yeah, Brian [Austin Green] and I were friends, and had talked before. He came to the premiere of the first movie, kind of jokingly said if I ever did a sequel he’d be game for it, and I then thought some about how I could use him. It became obvious to me that he could be the impetus or catalyst that would bring the whole thing together and make the whole thing gel and work. In a lot of ways he’s the man behind the scenes who’s just no more than a simple clean-up guy who gets a taste of the work Chromeskull does and then thinks that he can [get involved]. His… [past work] didn’t matter to me. Even myself, I’m pigeon-holed all the time.
To purchase the Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 DVD via Amazon, click here.