Texas Frightmare Weekend 2010: Robert Hall Panel Discussion (Pt. 2)

director Robert Hall at the Texas Frightmare Weekend

On the last day of the convention (Sunday) Robert Hall stopped by to show his never-seen-before trailer for his new project, Old Scratch and to answer his fans questions.  And believe me, his fans had a lot of questions!!  Please note; all pictures other than of posters are the ones I took at the festival

Let me first introduce Robert Hall for those of you who don’t know about this prolific man.  Robert Hall’s been on the scene since 1993, but he really made  his mark with the second movie he directed, Laid to Rest (2009; see my review here).  Laid to Rest was a brutal back-to-the-basics slasher flick with some amazing special f/x.  Amazing f/x!!  But he’s also done the special f/x and been in the make-up department for over 70 films.  For shits and giggles let me list a few of them:  Wishmaster (1997); Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (2001); 7 episodes of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2001-2003); 62 episodes of TV’s Angel (2001-2004); Frankenfish (2004); Superbad (2007); Pineapple Express (2008); The Burrowers (2008); Quarantine (2008); and The Crazies remake (2010).  Pretty impressive resume.

LOVE this pic for Laid to Rest!!

Hall first screened his “hot off the presses” trailer for his upcoming flick, Old Scratch.  Well “upcoming” is a bit of wishful thinking.  He told us that he actually had to stop shooting Old Scratch because he “ran out of money.”  Hall really bared his soul about the state of (trying to) make horror movies in today’s climate and it was pretty depressing.  Bottom line is unless you’re doing a remake, the money ain’t there.  Pretty depressing.  Old Scratch is another kick ass 1980‘s throwback horror flick.  As Hall describes it, it’s an “80’s rock and roll horror movie.”  In it Hall examines what he calls the “last great American urban legend”:  Backward masking on records (the belief when an album is played backwards there are satanic messages in the lyrics).  He didn’t have much to tell us about the project (especially since it’s been halted for the meantime) and I unfortunately don’t even have a one-sheet for it!!  The only thing I can tell you is that Rob Schneider and Hall regular Kevin Gage (who plays “Snake Man”) star.

More interesting is that Hall didn’t even have enough material shot to make a trailer for Old Scratch.  So to complete the trailer for the TFW, he hired a stand-in to play the lead actor (the lead role is being recast and Hall’s trying to attract a bigger name).  Pretty crazy.  But based on the trailer I don’t think he’ll have trouble attracting a known lead or even some financial backers.

And then the Q & A started and after a few questions I got to ask Hall mine.  My question:  “I hear that there’s already a new generation design of ChromeSkull [the slasher from Laid to Rest] made.  Is this a project that’s on your radar?  Are you involved?”  His initial response was “wow, I didn’t think anyone knew about that.”  And then he proceeded to tell us that not only is Laid to Rest 2 written and ready to go into pre-production, but a PART 3 is also already written.  That is sweet fucking news.  One is going to be a sequel and one a prequel, Nick Principe is attached to be ChromeSkull again, and part 2 will be shot by the end of the year!!  You heard it here first on http://anythinghorror.com:  There’s gonna be 2 Laid to Rest sequels and the the first will be shot by the end of the year.

He was full of a lot of info!!

Hall also gave us a lot of stories about his early career and some insight into a few of his non-horror projects (he loved working on Superbad and Pineapple Express and would love to direct a comedy one day).  We also learned that he directed one shot on The Crazies remake (the scene towards the end where Tim Olyphant is underneath the truck in the oil-changing bunker).  It was an uncredited gig but it was him.  Someone else asked Hall what makes him decide between shooting on film verses digital.  His response was pretty straight forward; budget constraints.  He says that Laid to Rest would’ve never been made if it was shot on film.  He took all the money from what it would have cost to get the film processed and “put that money up on the screen.”  Interesting stuff.  He also tells us how he taught himself to edit film while working for Roger Corman who “wouldn’t pay to get a real editor.”  And about his first industry job:  “I was working de-boning chickens when I read that a horror movie was going to be filmed in Alabama [his home state].  I jumped in my car and drove out there and begged to be apart of the project.”  He was hired and worked on it in another uncredited role.

So what’s next for Robert Hall?  Besides finding the financing to finish Old Scratch and plans to shoot Laid to Rest 2 before the end of the year, he’ll keep plugging away as the special f/x guy on a few projects (“it pays the bills”), the most notable being Quarantine 2, the US remake of [rec]2.  He tells us there’s plans of shooting Quarantine 2 but doesn’t know if he’s gonna get it because “the project is gonna move fast.”  And he also plans on continuing his web series Fear Clinic, which can be found on http://www.fearnet.com (look under the “shows” category).

Robert Hall proved to be a really nice and well-spoken guy who has a passion for making horror movies. Make sure you support Hall; he’s part of a dying breed.  His panel discussion was a great way to end the Texas Frightmare Weekend!!

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89 Responses to “Texas Frightmare Weekend 2010: Robert Hall Panel Discussion (Pt. 2)”
  1. autumnforest says:

    Why can’t we have more like him out there making “indie” horror and succeeding like indie bands do?? I can’t wait until big studios and big recording companies are a thing of the past and we can actually get honestly talented and creative free-thinking folks making our art–it would inspire a generation instead of putting them to sleep. Great question you asked him! You sure know your horror shit!

    • Thanks AutumnForest!! It was a great coincidence; the day before I was chatting with the producer for the Laid to Rest films (among others) and he let that one slip. Perfect timing so I could impress Robert Hall!!!

  2. autumnforest says:

    I would so love to be around the minds that make our horror movies. I have a few I’d probably knee in the nuts, but the ones who make the precious awesome ones–I’d love to pick their brains.

    • In the next day or so I’ll be posting an article about the indie horror scene in Texas (Austin, Dallas, Houston). Its a really talented, close-knit group of filmmakers who support and help each other!! I met them all over the TFW and the are an awesome group!!

  3. It was extremely interesting for me to read the article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon. By the way, pretty good design this site has, but how about changing it from time to time?

    Julia Benedict

    • Thanks Julia. I’d love nothing more than to change the style/format of the website, but being that I’m running this site alone, doing all the writing and research, and that I post 2-3 times a day I kind of run out of time!!

  4. l3pr3chaun says:

    Nice work here Scott! I tell ya if we can only get folks in H-wood to stop F’ing around with crappy remakes and get some new and original material out there. They eventually will run out of material to remake at this rate and will thirst for new content. Makes me really root for the Robert Hall’s, Shaun Robert Smith’s, and Neil Marshall’s of the world. Now what I really would like to see are some more female voices to the genre step up as writers and directors because I know their take on the genre would be bloody brilliant! I do not normally judge a genre based on gender but this particular genre of Horror has been a male dominated one for most of its history particularly in the positions of power as writers and directors. I am happy to see more women cast in roles of the protagonist (The Descent) now and not just as victims or eye candy.

    • Right on Bill!!! I think that’s why Descent and Inside were such hits!!! We got the “female horror perspective” for a change!! Now we just need more female horror directors!! But I met a few female directors over the weekend at the convention. They are very active in the indie horror scene in Texas. One girl, Emily, is a 17yr old who is now shooting her THIRD horror movie. 17 yrs old and she’s already on her 3rd flick!!! Awesome. I’m doing a little write up on the Texas indie horror scene… more on this later.

      I got some really great insight into the world of filmmaking this weekend. Mainly: Hollywood is a business and doesn’t look at movies as “art”. Films are products, and like any business Hollywood wants to make sure they SELL those products. Thats why remakes and 3D and remakes in 3D (lol) are so hot right now….. they SELL tickets!! We’ve talked a little about the NoES remake. It had a good opening ($30-32mil), yet everyone is just bitching about how horrible it is and that it should have never been remade. Well here’s an idea: STOP GOING TO SEE REMAKES AND HOLLYWOOD WILL EVENTUALLY STOP MAKING THEM!!! Basic “supply and demand” people.

  5. autumnforest says:

    I’m in total agreement! The problem is that to make a movie in Hollywood, you have to get backing and it’s exactly like politics and politicians. What you end up with is a lot of crapola in movies and politics. I am all for indie movies–big time! Hell, I’d direct my own film, but I’d really rather write it!

    • You write it and I’ll direct it!! LOL During the panel for the upcoming I Spit on Your Grave remake, the director (Steve Monroe) talked about the illusion of director’s being the “kings of their pictures.” He says a director has to fight for everything they want in a movie, and they’re fighting these suits sitting in an offic who has no idea what real fans really love. Real eye-opener!!

  6. goregirl says:

    Great news! I quite enjoyed Laid to Rest! The only horror function I’ve ever attended was when I went to Toronto last year on vacation and attended the Rue Morgue Film Festival. I actually met Robert Hall and Nick Principe (chromeskull) at the Anchor Bay booth (I think it was Anchor Bay?!) and they had a showing of Laid to Rest where he also did a question and answer. I will definitely watch out for his new flick(s) and I know I can count on you for updates…after all, this is where I get most of my new horror news now!

    • LOL … I’m glad I can supply you with the horror news you need (especially since I know how well versed you are in the genre)!!!

      I’m really stoked about him making 2 more Laid to Rest flicks. I really enjoyed the 1st one and can’t wait to see what Hall does with a prequel and a sequel. And I know he’s only played the role in 1 film so far, but I couldn’t imagine ChromeSkull being played by anyone but Nick Principe. Tiy met him? Is he as tall as I’m thinking he is??

      • goregirl says:

        I am well versed when it comes to older stuff but I lag badly when it comes to new horror!

        Nick is very tall, very tattooed and super friendly too boot! I have a bit of a crush on Mr. Principe!

      • Things I read about Principe it sounds like he’s a great guy. I really wish he was at the convention last weekend!!

        I’m the opposite: I’ve seen all the classic Hammer and Universal horror and creature features growing up, by my working knowledge of them is spotty at best. If we ever team up we’d kill any competition and have the old and new covered!!

  7. eazy says:

    nice is a decent guy talked to him a couple times i am also looking forward to the laid to rest follow up’s people came down way to hard on the film i loved it. Anyone have anymore info on the follow ups ? i noticed someone said chromeskull is gonna have a different look.

    • Yeah; the only thing I could get out of Hall @ the convention (which I was able to confirm with one of the producers of the Laid to Rest sequels) was that 1 of them will be a sequel & 1 will be a prequel. And yes; there are new designs of the ChromeSkull mask that the producer called “next generation designs.” I almost got him to send me pics, but he said that Hall would kick his ass if he did. LOL

  8. eazy says:

    whos producing this time around and thanks for the response so the second flick should be out by the end of the year is this correct. I kinda liked chromeskulls look well i did like it in the first one i hope the new look does not differ to much.

    • If everything falls into place (translation: he gets the funding), Laid to Rest 2 will be shot by the end of he year. It definitely won’t be having a 2010 release. Due to budget constraints Hall said he isn’t able to shot Laid to Rest 2 & 3 back to back. That’s OK with me….. some things are worth waiting for!! And from what he said about the “new” ChromeSkull mask, it embodies the mask from the original one but is more “bad ass.” Good enough for me!!

  9. eazy says:

    that sucks it won’t be out this year hopfully it eventually does come out be terrible if it did not get funded. Hatchet 2 is coming have that to look forward to in the mean time

    • I’m with ya on that!!! I can’t wait for Hatchet 2!!! About 10 minutes into the 1st Hatchet I knew we had something special and that Adam Green was a true talent!!

  10. eazy says:

    to me hatchet seems to have come across to alot of people like laid to rest you either love it or you hate it. I think people owe these flicks at least a couple watches to form a solid opinion reason being the first time i watched hatchet i watched about half and took it back without watching the rest thought it was terrible.I think it must of been the whole comedy mixed with horror took sometime to grow on me watched it the second time loved it and still do. I actually bought it the second time a rogers pre viewed for 10 bucks if you wanna chat flicks and such anytime let me know i can drop you my email or something. take care and thanks for keeping us posted oh yeah shock till you drop or bloody discusting has some newer info on hatchet two they saw a couple of the films kills and said it is looked good gonna be alot more kills in hatchet 2 apperently.

    • The body count in Hatchet II is gonna be 17!!! Its gonna rock. I instantly fell in love with Hatchet and Laid to Rest. Blown away by them!! Anytime you wanna chat, just stop on by and post anything you like!!! If you have any suggestions for discussion topics, email me at anythinghorrorscott@gmail.com!!! Glad to have ya on board!!

  11. eazy says:

    likewise glad to be here did rob let you know when more info might be coming for the next laid to rest flicks by chance ? be cool to go to one of these horror conventions i dont think they ever have them in ontario though unfortunitly.

    • Hall is trying to get the financing to finish his film Old Scratch and is doing the f/x on a few upcoming flicks. His f/x company/shop is called Almost Human … if you ever see that in a film you know Robert Hall did the f/x!! He’s gonna be working on the f/x for Quarantine 2. I wasn’t crazy about the 1st one but I thought the f/x were banging!!

      Where in Ontario are you? I lived in Ottawa for 6 years in the 90’s. I know there’s a few pretty big film festivals in Toronto though!!

  12. eazy says:

    a little ways from kingston and yes i am aware of almost human i watch the laid to rest special features to. They did the first Quarantine flick i believe i liked it actually more so then Rec actually. They did the remake of the crazies that was just in theaters a few months back and if i am not mistaken buffy the vampire slayer that really took me back a bit i am watching buffy daily now lol. Does anyone know how well Laid to rest did sale wise ? its a shame robs right when he said people need to start supporting things they like instead of downloading everything can really hurt fans in the long run.

    • Robert Hall did the special f/x on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Jumanji, The Relic, and did special make-up for over 70 movies. Most notably Buffy the Vampire Slayer (as you noted), Angel, Frankenfish, Vacancy, Superbad, Pineapple Express, Quarantine, and The Crazies remake. He’s a talented mother fucker and I’m gonna follow his career for a long time.

      Even though I thought the f/x in Quarantine were fantastic, I hated that remake. It was a bland, sterile, and didn’t recapture any of the horror of the original. Have you seen [rec]2 yet? That is an amazing movie; better than the 1st and one of the best horror films I’ve seen in a while.

  13. eazy says:

    not yet need to check it out though and lets not forget its awhole team of people at almost human that do the work not just rob though that needed to be said. Old scratch looks pretty creepy and crazy might i add

    • Its good to point that out. I just assume that my readers know there are teams of people doing the f/x on genre flicks. Just like KNB F/X is more than just 3 guys, Almost Human is a fleet of talented, creative people making our nightmares come alive!!!

  14. eazy says:

    Just saw the trailer for rec 2 whoa is all i’m sayin lol. hope everyone had a good weekend

    • If you thought rec1 was scary and intense (and it is) you’re gonna be blown away with rec2!!! Its scarier, faster-paced, gorier, and more intense that the original. Its a great friggin’ movie!!

      I’m having a great weekend … you?

  15. eazy says:

    pretty dull around here as usual my sleeping is all out of wack so up all night sleep all day kinda thing. Hope i can pick up rec 2 at a decent price around here the only thing that bothered me about Quarantine was they took out the religous aspects it seems and the last ten minutes you wanted jennfer carpenters character to die she became so annoying. Did everyone know that demon/possessed thing in the addic in rec is a real dude ? i read an interview with the guy who plays the part and it freaked me out even more if you want more info i can elaborate. i think in Quarantine they went the cg route with the creature

    • Let me guess … are you a student?? When I was a student I was up all night long and slept all day. I LOVED being a night owl, but having 2 young kids turns you into a morning person pretty fact … whether you like it or not. :-)

  16. eazy says:

    i guess it would kids can get pretty loud and be harassers in the morning time lol. I would think rob would make a good living doing effects i would think it would pay pretty damm well. i wonder why he has budget problems with the next couple laid to rest flicks the first could not of been that much to make could it ?

    • My guess is that Rib makes pretty good money from the f/x work he does. And I’m also guessing that the 2 enterprises (his f/x workshop and his filmmaking company) are 2 different companies entirely. The $$ he makes from doing f/x stays in the Almost Human company and pays both the salaries of those artists and the costs of running that business. That’s my guess; they are 2 different entities entirely.

  17. eazy says:

    yeah true probly a decent size staff he pays as well did you see the crazies remake at all ? they worked on that heard it was a pretty decent flick as well.

    • I’m sure he has a good sized crew over at Almost Human!! His company works on more than one film at a time.

      I did see The Crazies. I really liked it and thought it was one of those rare remakes that is way better than the original. Good updated story; good acting; great f/x!!

  18. eazy says:

    the hills have eyes remake is bonanza as well.

    • Absolutely, eazy!!! The Hills Have Eyes remake was way better than the original!! I was really surprised with how boring the original was after just recently watching it again.

  19. eazy says:

    i am terrible i have yet to see the original to be honest. I have the remake though very good reccomended highly. Back to laid to rest couple things i am curious about just wanted your input why did he only comunicate through technology ? and how did he survive the end i mean dude got massacred. Have a good weekend as well

    • As far as ChromeSkull surviving I have to say that there’s no way in HELL he could of survived. Like you say, eazy, he got massacred!! I appreciate that Hall actually killed him off at the end, but like any good slasher flick there’s always a way to bring back a killer no matter how fucked up he got!!

      As far as why he only communicated through technology; he’s a killer for the new age of technology!!!

  20. eazy says:

    Did you see the glove seen at the very end right near the credits ? someone mentioned this on a board and i watched laid to rest and caught it right at the very end when the credits begin to roll. And very true they always seem to be able to bring them back. I think the fact he is so tech savy and the victims were shows just how much people depend on technology on a daily basis now and that it can come back and bite you in the ass lol.

    • I did see that gloved hand …. its a typical way to end a slasher flick. “Never completely kill off your bad guy. And if you do, always leave an opening just in case its a hge success and can become a cash cow!!”

  21. eazy says:

    was it supposed to be chrome’s hand ?

  22. eazy says:

    have you seen a flick called 100 tears or the hills run red by chance ?

    • I haven’t seen 100 Tears (I should actually be getting it this week from Netflix); and I saw The Hills Run Red and really liked it. It has great energy, strong performances and good gore.

  23. eazy says:

    we seem to have similar taste i need to see it still been hoping i could come across it previewed at blockbuster someday but still no luck. 100 tears looks alright a boat load of kills in it i have heard i have seen some clips so realistic gore killer looks good to babyface from the hills runs red looks amazing to.

    • I agree …. 100 Tears looks pretty damn bloody. But I’ve been burned by “killer clown” flicks before!!! I’m still looking forward to it.

      Hills Run Red is just fun all around. William Sadler gives a great “bat shot crazy” performance!!

  24. eazy says:

    if you have any reccomendations etc feel free to email them to me etc. or you can add me to a messenger as well if you have any

    • If you love the old-school 80’s Italian Cannibal flicks you have GOT to see Isle of the Damned (2008). Its an homage to that genre and director Colegrove NAILS it!!

  25. eazy says:

    i dont think i’ve ever seen a cannibal flick unless you count zombie/virus type flicks as cannibal flicks to because they do tend to eat people.

    • Oh you don’t know what you’re missing Eazy!! Go get yourself a copy of Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox, or Eaten Alive (to name a few) and dig in for a wild ride!!! You’ll thank me …. maybe. Either that or you’ll never speak to me again!! LOL

  26. eazy says:

    I have read about those flicks cant stand any animal cruelty so i think i shall skip those flicks.

  27. eazy says:

    i know but its real and thats not something that interests me at all thanks though. Anyluck with 100 tears yet ? i am interested in checking out the collector

    • Still haven’t gotten 100 Tears yet …. it’s on “short wait.” Definitely check out The Collector … not a perfect film by any means but gory as hell and really fun.

  28. eazy says:

    i will do need to go to the local blockbuster always deals on previewed flicks the collector should be in the previewed section hopfully by now. Yeah heard mixed reviews on it but sounds and looks interesting and what is perfect anymore ? it is nice that originality still exists in a day of remakes but at the same time no one is ever satisfied they bash the remakes then when something original comes along laid to rest is a great example people tear it to shreds. Not that all remakes are bad because i own and have enjoyed quite a few but the originals are so good

    • I’ve enjoyed the occasional remake here and there as well …. but I’m also always looking for something original and bad ass … that’s why I’m keeping my eye of the French. Their horror record for the last 6-7 years is amazing!!

  29. eazy says:

    dont know if i have even seen one yet lol read about a few and looked into a few though. some j horror looks crazy to heard alot about a flick called audition.

    • I was never a huge fan of J horror. Its all pretty much the same and marked with overacting, terrible camera work, and indecipherable plots. Audition was good. Not great, good.

  30. eazy says:

    overacting, terrible camera work, and indecipherable plots could be said for all kinds of different flicks of all genres so giving j horror alone that label ain’t really fair.

    • True, but these elements seem to come standard in every J horror and “hardcore” asian flick. I can’t stand them. You can’t say this about the recent flood of French hardcore flicks!!

  31. eazy says:

    no comment lol i have not seen many of either pretty much none to be exact

  32. eazy says:

    dont know if my guts are strong enough to handle it lol i have been interested in seeing inside for awhile now but i dunno lol.

  33. eazy says:

    besides frontiers martyrs inside and high tension whatelse french horror wise comes reccomended ? i just assume the ones i named are good because i have heard all about them good or bad.

    • I recommend everything on your list but Frontier(s). I really hated that flick … it was just a rehash of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a torture-porn core….. and it was just boring and WAY over-hyped!!

  34. eazy says:

    frontiers is amazing just watched it just kidding :) muahaha lol

  35. eazy says:

    did you see the elm street remake ? if so how was it ?

  36. eazy says:

    http://movies.ign.com/articles/110/1103143p1.html

    this is terrific lmao sure to bring a smile to some people including me serves people right for seeing twilight.

    • That is AWESOME …. yet another piece of evidence about how retarded and “un-horrific” the Twilight series is!! I’m gonna re-post this article!! Thanks brother.

  37. eazy says:

    Glad you liked have a good weekend

  38. eazy says:

    hows it going ? been awhile just wanted to check in see how everything is going

  39. eazy says:

    anymore info on the laid to rest follow ups yet ? anyluck seeing hatchet 2 yet ? looks pretty good hopfully the fans dont have to wait for the dvd to come out. Anyway been along time hope all is well take it easy

    • I was all set on seeing HATCHET 2 this weekend at the Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin. I scored a press badge but soon realized that a press badge for this festival means jack shit. It doesn’t guarantee you entrance in to any of the films. Unless you shell out about $300 for a VIP pass or you’re a celebrity, tough shit!! Its really lame and has put me in a really shitty mood for the last 3 days.

      It has been a long time … too long. Hope you’re doing well!!

  40. eazy says:

    Rob’s gonna be on carson daily tonight if anyone is interested.

    • I didn’t even know Carson Daily still had a show on the air. I thought they took him out to the shed in the backyard and put him outta his misery!!! Did you see the interview? What did Hall have to say?

  41. eazy says:

    yeah he has a late night talk show comes on at 1:30 in the morning or so here after jimmy fallon. the spotlight was on him and talked about some of the movies he’s worked on devil being out now and working on it then showing a clip and a quick walk through the studio he showed a couple things it was mad fast swear it was only two or three minutes long.

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  • Some of my favorite horror movies:
  • Dawn of the Dead (1978)

  • Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)

  • Martyrs (2008)

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