“INHUMAN RESOURCES”: Tom Savini sees “Redd,” Part Two
It must be kismet. Horror/makeup FX king Tom Savini, a hero to FANGORIA readers since we first profiled him in the very first issue of the mag in 1979, appears in and supervised the FX for INHUMAN RESOURCES (formerly REDD INC), the first “volume” of FANGORIA Presents’ new VOD/DVD label; see here http://www.fangoria.com/new/fango-presents/ for details). INHUMAN RESOURCES follows a deranged corporate manager/convicted serial killer Thomas Reddmann (Nicholas Hope) who kidnaps six people and holds them hostage in a deserted office. Soon the tortures begin, but all is not what it seems… Fango caught up with Savini in Australia during production of his latest splatter flick, and you can see part one of this interview here .
FANGORIA: What’s your on-camera role in INHUMAN RESOURCES?
TOM SAVINI: It’s a cameo. I was joking that there’s no use for this cameo, but then they pointed out how crucial it is as far as evidence presented. When you want the audience to know something without telling them everything, you give them the desire so that they can’t wait. It gets a bit of suspense going on. There’s a clue that happens in my scene that turns the tide, so to speak.
FANG: So you’re really keen to get your head in front of any camera?
SAVINI: Sure, I mean SPARTACUS is right up my alley. For my whole life, I’ve fancied to wear a cape, ride a horse and carry a sword. I’m in the wrong century here [laughs]. I did play the Sheriff of Nottingham in ROBIN HOOD: GHOSTS OF SHERWOOD in Germany. We shot in a castle, rode horses, choreographed fight scenes for the 3D effects for the camera. And I had to stop my horse’s head an exact distance from the camera. For the fighting, the sword had to be exact or you wouldn’t get the 3D effect.
FANG: Does INHUMAN RESOURCES require any physical activities like that?
SAVINI: No. I wish. Actually, INHUMAN RESOURCES did require me to do some physical activities [laughs]. The scene is me in the door, and there are two naked women on a couch behind me, and I’m wearing something over my shoulder. Some people will get it, some won’t…[laughs]. I’m being interrogated by a detective and am looking for an excuse so I can get back to what I’m doing.
FANG: Did you design any of the effects?
SAVINI: No, the MEG guys did all that. Though I did say, “I hope I haven’t been too annoying,” because I’d come on and say, “You need to lift that or move that.” But that’s just my supervising. But they’re big enough. It’s not ego saying this; it sounds like it is though, but I can imagine the way they’re talking about how much fun it is to be working with me, or someone like me. To me it would be like working with Dick Smith or Rick Baker—for me, that would be a thrill, a dream come true. Self-deprecating I say, “Oh, I hope I haven’t been too annoying [laughs]. Am I in the way? Am I helping?” I think I’m helping.
FANG: What advice did you provide the production?
SAVINI: People are chained to their chairs, the ones who are being tortured, and the singular thing I have learned as a director is, always have a cutaway because if something isn’t working you think, “Oh, wish I had a cutaway.” So I suggested just shooting the hands. I did the same thing with Hayley McElhinney’s character of Sheena, too. Always have a cutaway, just nuances, little saver things. That suffocation scene that those guys did was pretty intense. My only suggestion that day was to Dan Krige, the director, that before you call “action,” just say, “Take a deep breath,” because she gets a plastic bag over her head. We tend to treat people like props sometimes. Hayley couldn’t see what was going on because of the prosthetic eyepieces, but we informed her all the time, someone was always talking to her. She got nauseous in the scene before that, in the reaction scene—the smell of the blood, the taste of it; she was ready to throw up. So somebody took a handkerchief with fragrance on it and held it near her nose so that, even though she was blind, she could still breathe something pleasant and have someone talk to her. It was quite a scene; I mean, she had to die blindfolded and as soon as she heard that it was the last time she would have to do it, she burst into tears. It was a release for her in a really intense scene, as if it was actually happening. The fear that she had to convey, and the physical stuff that was happening to her, and the way it looked; it was pretty grisly. I don’t like stuff like that; I don’t like the real stuff. My demons are always people who probably can’t exist, like Jason. But these kinds of creeps are actually out there. I’m afraid of people, afraid of weird, psycho people. And that is something this movie taps into. Some of them are really quite normal looking in a nice tie and suit, but underneath there’s a hideous psycho.
FANG: How was it working with the star heavy, Nicholas Hope?
SAVINI: He’s very creepy. I’ve never seen BAD BOY BUBBY. He looked at me as though I was the next meal or something, or he couldn’t wait to kill me. He’s a fabulous guy, a sophisticated, elegant, well-read guy. But in front of the camera, he’s sort of like Hannibal Lecter in the office.
FANG: Do you keep up with the horror scene, and where will INHUMAN RESOURCES fit in?
SAVINI: Yes, and I go to conventions all the time and am asked what is the best horror film you’ve seen recently? Well, there hasn’t been a good horror film lately. PASSION OF THE CHRIST, that to me is just like FRIDAY THE 13TH. But there hasn’t been a decent horror film that has scared me lately. The Swedish film LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was pretty good. I haven’t seen the remake because some of them don’t work. THE RING really did; the moment that made my hair stand up was the girl in the closet. That was Rick Baker. But the rest of them, I just don’t know what’s going on. Maybe it’s the rebirth of the splatter generation? The splatter decade! [Laughs] Maybe we will see the reemergence. Well, shouldn’t it be with me involved in it? Why don’t we make it that, why don’t we just call it that? INHUMAN RESOURCES will not be like a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie where you can’t wait for those idiots to die; teenage morons. You do actually feel for and like these people.
FANGORIA Presents INHUMAN RESOURCES is now available On Demand and iTunes here