Interview With Kristian Hanson - Writer / Director Of SLEDGE

A couple of weeks back I did a write up for SLEDGE to kick off SILVER SCREAM's new Indie Spotlight segment. Since then I've had the chance to ask writer & co-director Kristian Hanson a few questions about his upcoming film and it's villain, the sledgehammer wielding, wisecracking Adam Lynch. Read on for the full interview and don't forget to check out the trailer when you're done.

Synopsis: "SLEDGE: A True American Horror Story hits you from the beginning with originality. From the skull crushing death, to the killer, Adam Lynch, who in his psyche believes he is living in a movie and video game world. With each kill, he adds to his collection, which happens to be the faces of his victims. As a new group of people show up to the secluded rental camp ground, Adam meticulously watches them all to see if any is worth sparing their life. With Alex (Dustin Bowman) as the funny guy, Sarah (Stephanie Tupper) the girl Alex wants to be with, Nash (Russ Matoes) the pansy boyfriend who takes the insults Alex dishes at him, Shawn (Travis Hanson) the dimwitted friend and Michelle (Desiree Holmes) the girlfriend of Shawn, they begin their camping trip with fun, booze and sex, all the pieces needed for a good horror movie.
When the sun rises on the next day however, that is when the death begins and people begin to die, one by one in gruesome and hilarious ways. Sledge is a Horror Comedy not seen before, and will leave you screaming with fear and laughter as you leave the theater. Adam Lynch (Kristian Hanson) is one killer, you don’t want to mess with.”

Jake Cadaverous - "Hi Kristian and thanks for taking the time out for this interview. To begin with maybe you could give us a little background info on SLEDGE and the people behind it"

Kristian Hanson - "SLEDGE honestly came to light because we wanted to film an old school slasher film. We were prepping to do another script I had done, but with the restraints of not having any money, I told him I would come up with a fun slasher film we could film where he lives. My buddy John (who is co-director) lives in upstate New York where it is beautiful forests, so it would be perfect to film there. The idea though to film in New York came from my wife, saying that we should fly up there and film instead of trying to find permits and etc to film it in the Los Angeles area"

JC - "With so many classic slasher villains out there like Freddy and Jason, and more recent creations such as Chromeskull and the Orphan Killer, how difficult was it to come up with an original character? And an original mask for that matter?"

KH - "It honestly wasn’t too difficult because I knew what I wanted Adam Lynch to be. Jason, Leatherface, Chromeskull are all hulking monsters without a voice. I wanted my character to be funny, someone the horror community could get behind, while the casual viewer would be afraid of him"

JC - One of the things I've found while watching the trailer is that unlike a lot of masked killers, Adam Lynch actually talks. Is this something you decided right from the beginning? Why did you decide to give Adam a voice?"

KH - "Yes, I wanted my killer to be like me, kind of a smart ass. I didn’t want him to be a mute walking around the campground killing people. I wanted my killer to be like Freddy Krueger was later on in his career where he would make jokes while or before killing people. One of the best lines to me in a film is when Freddy grabs the girl while he is the television and screams “Welcome to Prime Time Bitch!” I instantly knew that I wanted my killer to have a voice after seeing that one scene and so he does, he talks crap before and after killing them"

JC - "Obviously Adam Lynch’s weapon of choice is a sledgehammer. Why choose a sledgehammer out of all of the available weapons out there?"

KH - "When John came down here to film our first film F4L:Friends4Life in April, we went to a store in LA called Dapper Cadaver. There I saw they had these foam headed sledgehammers and told John I was going to write a script using a sledgehammer as a weapon. I grew up watching WWE/WWF and my favorite wrestlers was Triple H and he always ran in and smashed people with a sledgehammer, so I think it just kind of fits"

JC - "Adam Lynch is described as living in a 'movie and videogame world'. Could you elaborate a little on that?"

KH - "Adam is nuts. At some point in his life he snapped and now believes that the world he lives in, is in fact a video game or movie. I don’t go into much back story of Adam in the film, but from what he says in the movie to the characters and his victims, you can tell he is a fan boy from the 80’s when it comes to video games and films"

JC - "What can fans expect in the way of effects? Is SLEDGE going practical all the way or will there be some CGI thrown in the mix?"

KH - "This film is all practical effects. We will not have an ounce of CGI in the entire movie. The movie again is a throw back to the great movies of the 1980’s, but at the same time, giving it something for this age of horror. I know we all want to look back and say the 1980’s were the best years for horror, but we need to start making this the new great era for horror"

JC - "Aside from co-directing the film, you also wrote the screenplay and play the villain in the film. Out of these roles which have you found the most enjoyable?"

KH - "I honestly enjoyed all of them equally. When I wrote the script I created characters that I grew up with in my friends. So while writing I got to look back at all of the fun times I had and then slowly have a slasher I created knock them off one by one. I used to joke about this happening during cabin trips or if we were out late at night, so what was more fun than actually getting to do it. When it came to directing I got to work with the actors a lot and that was great as well. They took what I had to say and I think you will see them shine through especially since they are not paid actors. They got paid in bug bites and store bought food. As for playing the slasher, it was a lot of fun. We did a lot of improve with what Adam says to the characters and it works really well especially in one scene with Alex (the main guy) and Adam himself. Overall, it was a great experience filling all of those shoes"

JC - "Are there any particular movies or directors which have inspired this film or influenced yourself? If so who and what would they be?"

KH - "Well Adam Lynch got his name from two people I look up to and they have always been very nice to me. That would be Adam Green and Joe Lynch from Holliston. When I was creating the name for the killer I was watching Holliston on my TV and figured what way would be better to say thank you to them, than to name my killer after them. I told them at Comic-Con and they were both happy about it, so I am happy I could do that. As for films that have inspired me, I’d have to say Dead Alive because it was the first horror film that I saw that could be funny. I don’t like when people say there isn’t any room for humor in horror. I have seen it work in Army of Darkness, Hatchet along with my favourite film of all time An American Werewolf in London and plenty of others, so to say they don’t mix is wrong"

JC - "And can you give all the SLEDGE fans out there an idea of when they can expect to see the finished product?"

KH - "SLEDGE is going to be done by the end of this year and then we intend to send it to film festivals. So check your local film festivals and request SLEDGE! If you have a film festival you are running and want SLEDGE to be a part of it, you can contact us directly and we would be more than happy to send you a screener and if possible show up to meet the fans and talk about the film"

JC - "And of course this being a horror blog I must ask you the inevitable question. What are some of your favorite horror movies?"

KH - "My favorite horror movies, not in order: An American Werewolf in London, Jaws, Nightmare on Elm Street (original), Halloween 1-3, Dead Alive, Living Dead Series (all of them) Project Metal Beast, Hatchet 1&2, Bad Moon, Silver Bullet, Evil Dead Series, Martyrs, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein, Original Wolf Man and the list goes on and on and on"

JC - "Thanks again Kristian for taking the time to answer my questions. Any last words for all of the SLEDGEheads out there?"

KH - "Please feel free to contact me on the SLEDGE page on facebook. www.facebook.com/sledgemovie I am always available and will write back when I get your message. Also, if you have a dream to make movies or write a script, just do it. Don’t make excuses. I made SLEDGE for $2,000, the key to making the movie is renting the equipment. You don’t have to buy $100,000 worth of gear when you can rent it and return it. I look forward to hearing from you fans and if there is anything I can ever do to help, please contact me"

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