ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 - Interview with Robert Hall

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 - Interview with Robert Hall
Laid to Rest 2, ChromeSkull, Nick Principe, Robert Hall, Kevin Bocarde, Mimi Michaels, Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker
Updated: 02-18-2011

Staci Layne Wilson


Be sure and read our full LAID TO REST 2 SET VISIT REPORT, with photos

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 picks up three months after the end of the first film. Tommy (Thomas Dekker), who's struggling with vivid memories of his first encounter with the masked killer, has been abducted by Preston (Brian Austin Green), who harbors a mysterious connection to ChromeSkull (Nick Principe). Meanwhile, the technologically saavy slasher -- he videotapes his victims as he’s killing them -- has set his sights on Jess (Mimi Michaels), and after the young girl disappears, Detective King (Owain Yeoman) races against time to find her and Tommy before it’s too late and try to put an end to ChromeSkull's blood-soaked legacy. (Official synopsis)
The movie has just been picked up my Image Entertainment, but at the time of our interviews at Almost Human with director Robert Hall and writer-producer Kevin Bocarde, the movie was still being shot (literally... I could hear the victims' screams in the background).
Q: You brought a co-writer on board this time, why?
Rob Hall: We started about a year ago developing an idea if someone wanted to do a sequel. We fleshed them out and had pretty healthy outlines.
Kevin Bocarde: We had 2 and a 3, the original idea for a 3 is to do a prequel.
Hall: Kevin and I have been years since ‘98. He was working on other films when I was doing Laid to Rest and when this sequel came up, we had a small window to do it. I only had an outline and a little bit of time so it was a natural choice to bring him in.
Bocarde: It was actor availability so we had to figure it out.
Q: What are the different perspectives he’s brought in that you may not have thought of?
Hall: Kevin has written a lot of stuff that’s a bit different, but his forte and love for the genre is there which is why we bonded. Guy in mask, guy chasing a girl, the stuff we love. I’ve never written with anyone before, so it’s good to have that perspective, have a sounding board.
Bocarde: And I had written with someone on something else and that didn’t go well. Rob asked and I was like, let’s do it.
Hall: Kevin would come in and lay something down like logic and I’d come in and sprinkle, what do you call it?
Bocarde: Bloody Tabasco. There was a point where we were doing this and I’d lay out the structure, we’d have this outline and do this, this, and this. And if I don’t love it, Rob would stay up all night and come in the next morning and I’d tell him then to give it the Tobasco, the spice that really makes it…
Hall: Laid to Rest-y.
Bocarde: Some of the bizarre stuff. The first movie is very straight forward and simple, there are things in this that will make you go, where did that come from? And you’ll make the assumption - oh, because there’s a new writer on this and he probably brought that to the table. That’s not necessarily the truth, a lot of the weirder stuff from the movie is from this guy. Thomas told me some of his favorite stuff is what occurred in the bathroom over there and I’ve never seen it in a “guy in a mask” slasher movie before. Without giving anything away.
Hall: Thomas likes weird stuff. Anyways, it’s good to have a sounding board who I trust and likes the same stuff as me and knows me and my writing.
Bocarde: Except when I just write “stabbed in the face.”
Hall: That’s the bullet point. Kevin will just get to this cool scene, they do this, they go here and then Chromeskull comes up and Kevin just draws a blank…”he stabs him in the face.”
Bocarde: Can we come up with anything more than “stabbed in the face”?
Q: You said you were expanding the universe but keeping Chromeskull’s motivations under wraps still?
Hall: I don’t know if they’re unknown. I think it’s one of those things where you don’t ask the audience to take too many intelligent leaps of faith in these kinds of movies. The only leap of faith I ask is do I really have to explain why Chromeskull does what he does? I mean, Jesus. I don’t know why a guy in Canada cut off another guy’s head on a bus. You never know. If I could talk to Jeffrey Dahmer and asked him why he had all of those people in his freezer, he probably wouldn’t be able to give me an answer, so why do I need to explain why Chromeskull kills? You won’t get that from this movie.
Bocarde: One of my favorite movies of all time is Halloween and I love in the original that you have no clue why [Michael Myers] did what he did. The sister thing gets added later, you don’t have that in the first film. When Rob wrote Laid to Rest while in Thailand, he sent over the script and I loved it. I don’t want to know he’s the bastard son of a 100 maniacs, I don’t want to know he’s a hillbilly inbred.
Hall: Frank Darabont could come in and write a back story, anyone could, and it would never been good enough. You don’t need to know a bunch of bullies pushed him around on the playground because he had a plate in his head and they called him chrome dome and now he’s mad. Nothing I could come up with would be better than people drawing their own conclusions. It’s creepier that way.
Bocarde: You can relate to a man behind the mask a bit differently than a person. There’s something about him where he doesn’t become a monster, but there’s a bit of distancing factor, so you can do things with him, make him stronger or whatever. When you give someone the rational of the bullying, I now start relating to him more and more like a person. So if I see a giant new Michael Myers, I go “shoot him in the head” - he’s a person, you’ve shown me that. Yes, you watch the first Laid to Rest, there’s something a bit creepier there, something unknown.
Hall: You don’t have to over-explain it.
Bocarde: There were two different outlines for this sequel we did. There was a 20 page one and a one-pager and this story is a merger of both.
Q: Is it a lot more fun to expand the world?
Hall: It is more fun. It’s a complete 180 in terms of the first movie, except for the kills and Chromeskull. We tie up loose ends from the first movie. There’s a lot of deaths this time, people who complained about the first one for not having cell phones or cops, this movie is chock full of cops and cell phones and they all work. It’s awesome to have new people every day. Every couple of days we get someone new to come in and their performances are fucking out of this world. I’m so happy. We were adamant about using people who would give it credibility and that extra thing. When people see Brian Austin Green in this, they’re going to shit themselves because it’s by far the coolest thing we’ve given to Laid to Rest viewers. I like the fact that people have expectations of him and think 90210. I want them to go in with that because he’s going to surprise you.
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