Hello all! Day One of Horrorhound Weekend is already behind me, and I already have things to report. Apart from getting to meet up with some folks (including Emily from The Deadly Doll’s House, The NOTLP crew, the Bloody Good Horror folks, Grey from The Dark Hours Podcast, Mike from Cadaver Lab, and many more), I also got a chance to take in one of the day’s panels for Laid to Rest II. With director Robert Hall, Chromeskull Nick Principe, and Laid to Rest II star Angela Armani in attendance, the assembled crowd was given a first look at the teaser trailer as well as a couple of scenes.
Laid to Rest II, shot in 19 days down from the original’s 24, picks up right where the action of Laid to Rest left off. If anyone remembers what state the sequel’s titular character was in at the end of the last movie, you might imagine that Chromeskull is feeling pretty put out about it. Getting back to his killing weight and to continue his reign of terror, Laid to Rest II promises to clear up some of Chromeskull’s origins (it appears he’s working for some kind of secret organization), but leave the viewer with more questions and more thoroughly satisfying and gory kills.
Principe How many gory kills? Nick Principe stated there were three times more deaths than the first film, and Hall echoed that sentiment stating that Chromeskull: Laid to Rest II is “chock full of f**king violence”. From the kill I got to see featuring a girl getting half her face sliced off with Chromeskull‘s, they’re just as gory as last time. That kill by the way was what Nick Principe referred to as his third favorite, and if that came in third then I can’t wait to see what one and two look like.
After showing off the footage, the trio of guests took questions from the audience that yielded a ton of great information. Hall stated that Laid to Rest was never meant to be sequelized , but after the strong reaction to the first film, they decided to go into production. When asked if he planned of making Laid to Rest a franchise, Hall mused as to how many films qualified as a franchise and added, “when I send the fucker to space, is it a franchise?” To approach the second film, the writers looked into the case of a man who had his whole face ripped off by a bear and reconstructed, and consulted several plastic surgeons in order to bring some degree of realism to the film. Also, some of the logic problems that plagued Laid to Rest, namely lack of cops and cell phones, are portrayed more realistically. That means there are plenty of cops, and according to Nick Principe and Robert Hall, there is plenty of cop killing. I don’t know what it says about a Horrorhound crowd, but this got the second biggest cheer, second only to the cheer after the death scene.
Everything is bigger this time around for Chromeskull and Laid to Rest. The cast, which now boast the talents of both Brian Austin Green and adult actress Angela Armani, has grown quite a bit from the first outing. Green appears to play someone connected to the organization which thinks it controls Chromedome, and Armani plays a detective on the killers trail. However, I do have sad news as Armani stated that the clothes “stay on”. As far as the sequel’s titular killer, while he will be more explored as a character, don’t expect any answers. As Principe stated, “evil is just f**king evil”, and that notion neatly sums up Chromeskull.
As for Robert Hall, when asked about Lightning Bug, he said he would be quite interested in returning to a drama, but he imagined it would still retain a darker tone. Principe talked a bit abut seeing Lightning Bugbefore he met Hall and how the film captured the feeling that he had as a young man moving from the East Coast to Hollywood to gamble on a career in the movies. Hall also briefly mentioned filming Lightning Bug in his actual hometown (the thought of which made him shutter) and encouraged independent filmmakers to set their own first films in their respective backyards. Hall plans on making a third Laid to Restfilm, but he also mentioned one of his other scripts, Old Scratch, which concerns a musician who plays his own records backwards only to find hidden messages to himself. From the way Hall described it, it sounded like Memento meets Metal, and I can’t see how anyone could pass that up.
Well that about wraps it up for day one and my coverage of the Laid to Rest panel. I have to admit after poking fun of Laid to Rest and liking Lightning Bug, I’m more than a little interested in what Chromeskull: Laid to Rest II has in store for us. The film should make its debut in September after bouncing around the horror convention circuit a little later this year. It sure looks to me like Robert Hall has an interesting eye, and there just might be something to his tricked out slasher after all. I’ll see you folks tomorrow (or Monday lets be honest) with more Horrorhound goodies, and remember, because it bears repeating, “evil is just f**king evil”,