When you think of Sundance, your mind doesn’t necessarily go straight to heavy metal guitarists with big hair and mirrored sunglasses. But former Guns N’ Roses guitar god Slash (who has actually been to Sundance many times as a movie buff, thank you very much) showed up at the festival on Sunday to announce the launch of his new horror-movie production company, Slasher Films, in which he’s partnering with Scout Productions. Turns out Slash – who’s currently on tour with Ozzy Osbourne – isn’t just into striking fear in the heart of teenage headbangers’ parents. He wants to scare everyone who goes to the movies, too.
EW: Where did the idea come from to get into producing horror movies?
Slash: It sort of fell in my lap. Rob Eric from Scout Productions is a friend of my wife, and one night we stayed up all night talking about horror movies. I’ve been a fan of horror films my whole life, and I have a pretty broad knowledge about them. Rob said, “You should start a production company and get behind making horror films. You could call it Slasher Films – it’s perfect!” I was like, “Far out!” So we said, let’s do it.
EW: Is there a hole in the current horror-movie landscape you’re looking to fill?
Slash: The big thing for me is, I was raised on really great horror movies. But sophisticated, dramatic horror movies died out in the late ’80s, and now I’ve sort of lost interest in going out and seeing horror movies because they’re usually gore movies and they’re not very creative. It’s all about the sensationalism and shock value. What I want to do is bring back character-driven, dramatic, intelligent, humorous horror movies – horror movies that have some depth.
EW: What kinds of movies are you developing?
Slash: We have four really great scripts we’re going to go into production with one right after another. The first one has the tentative title Nothing to Fear, which is going into production this year. It’s a really well-written demon story. It’s basically about a God-fearing Christian family who gets relocated to a small town in Kansas called Stull, which unbenownst to them happens to be one of the seven gateways to hell, and they’ve been lured there for an annual sacrifice [the townfolk] do for the demon that appears every year to satiate his bloodlust – otherwise he goes on a rampage. The ironic thing is that Stull is a real town that has this Internet folklore: It actually is supposed to be one of the gateways to hell, and the Pope won’t fly over it. I looked it up and was blown away. There’s another script called Theorem that’s about a mathematician who figures out the equation for evil and then, of course, there’s the hell that comes along with it. Then there’s another one called Wake the Dead, which is basically a modern, young Frankenstein story about a brilliant college student who’s discovered how to animate dead tissue – but he’s a teenager so he goes overboard. The last one is The Other Kingdom, which is about a big metropolitan hospital where the patients are overcome by an epidemic that turns them into these savage killing zombie types and the staff gets stuck in there with them.
EW: Rob Zombie also went from heavy metal into making horror films. Have you talked to him?
Slash: I haven’t talked to him since I got into this, but he and I have hung out and we both obviously have an affection for horror movies. I respect Rob a lot. I was impressed that he was able to resurrect the Halloween franchise and do a good job with it. But this is all a learning process for me right now. So far it’s been meeting a lot of people in the movie business and understanding director talk and writer speak and just being around a different group of professionals than I’m used to. We’ll see. [laughs] I have nothing to lose.