I find myself infused with a new sense of purpose. It's a little more than a month away from The Hills Run Red hitting the dvd shelves and I'm gearing up for shameless promotion time. It's strange I honestly find talking about myself and promoting something a little awkward.
I seem to feel that when I do interviews that the people asking the questions are doing it just to be polite and really could give two shits about me or the movie. I mean there's a million of guys like me out there - struggling to "make it" whatever "it" is.
So while doing one recent interview I was asked the question...
"How bloody is it?"
It got me to thinking. I answered honestly, but also realize that in early answers, in the same interview, I diplomatically excused why some of the more turgid material that we shot, was now in truth locked away in some dark vault most likely never to see the light of day.
The point is that stuff wasn't cut because it was too bloody, but it was graphic. Sometimes graphic doesn't mean amazingly sculpted pieces of brain splattering someone or a camera going in for the kill on a Vag-shot. Sometimes there are horrific things done that are unsettling and in your face and yes even ugly. For a while, almost right up to the point of shooting the scenes, I was hesitant to film these things and can't say I'm surprised that they got cut.
It would have taken the movie to a different level to be sure and they would have been talking about some scenes for their shear batshit craziness - so in a way I feel like one ball was cut off. But I've also thought that it could have turned the movie into a kind of geek show. It's more traditional now and honestly I don't know yet if this version will get me more of what I want, or if the geek show one would have made people curious, pay attention.
These are some of the hardest times for filmmakers like me. The movie has been finished for months - but it hasn't come out yet. Many people haven't seen it - and for me, part of those many are agents, managers, producers - basically someone who could get me another job or open a door. Right now I'm the unknown - the buzz has been pretty good and more people have heard or know about the movie than I suspected. But it's the dreaded waiting around, and since offers aren't coming in - developing something new.
I was lucky with one script because with a few minor revisions - the script I read, I thought was really good. The other - needs work - I think I'm the only one that sees it for what it is - or at least what I think it should be, but I think I also speak the same language as it's creators.
The funny thing, and this brings me back to that question...
"How bloody is it?"
Is how that question has gotten me thinking about not just what I do, but the genre. Now don't get me wrong I love gore as much as anyone when it's well done - unless it's Irreversible where it was done too well - thus achieving the desired effect. But horror has always been more than blood and guts.
I find it a bit off putting to be honest that today if a movie is rated PG-13 as a horror movie that people automatically think that it'll suck. Granted what's been coming out for the most part that has been branded with the PG-13 has sucked, so perhaps it's peoples reaction to those films. But for example Drag Me to Hell was PG-13 and I thought it was a blast. A old fashioned funhouse ride. Big, over the top, fun. It seems like people today want their horror just mean spirited and ugly - with so much bloodshed that you can see the victim's digestive system live and at work!!!
But lest I be called a hypocrite - I will admit that there are several sections in Hills Run Red that do or try for the same thing. We have several scenes that would now be cataGOREized as torture porn. Funny how going for suspense turns into torture, but then again we are living in a world where The Last House on the Left remake is called a Crime Drama.
But my much belabored geeky point is that, when did horror become all about blood and guts? When did just trying to scare the pants off of the movie goer not become enough?
Are Poltergeist, Fright Night, The Haunting(original), Rosemary's Baby, Invasion of the Body Snatchers... hell Frankenstein not horror enough?
Is that why Drag Me to Hell didn't do well? If all the audience wants is more blood, what does that means for us the filmmakers? What does that say about where we are going?
With that I encourage you shamelessly to enjoy The Hills Run Red. It's rated R - so ya know there's the good stuff in it ;)