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#SDCC15: Slash Takes Us to The Hell Within – Part 1

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The Hell Within

There are rock stars… and then there are rock legends, and we were fortunate enough to catch up with one of the latter on the final day of the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con. Who else could I be talking about but Slash, the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist who’s making quite a splash on the horror scene.

We got together late Sunday morning at the Hard Rock Hotel (of course) to talk about his new film project, The Hell Within, which recently kicked off a FanBacked campaign.  We were able to ask to spend a nice chunk of time with him so we thought we’d split the interview into two parts, the first with some general information about the film and the second delving into the team Slash is working with.

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First off, we wondered what the title means. Is it the hell within each of us? Some sort of hell within the forest location of the film? Slash explains, “I’ve been trying to not let too much out of the bag in regards to The Hell Within, but let’s just say story-wise the title is very literal in the sense that it is something that’s internal.”

With his crowdfunding efforts having just kicked off, we asked how things are going.  “The FanBacked campaign is going great thus far,” he enthused. “We figured it would be a great way to raise some capital for the film without having to lean so much on investors. That enables us to have a lot more creative control in terms of there not always being someone looking over your shoulder. Even from a music standpoint, FanBacked is just a cool way to involve the fans… the core audience. We’re planning on taking as many of our own people along with us on our journey as we can. We can get them things they normally wouldn’t get elsewhere… a copy of the script, the opportunity to be an extra, giving them a call from the set. Basically whatever it is that people really dig so we can build up this little legion of people really participating in the movie that they want to see. The idea is just too intriguing to ignore, ya know?”

Some time has passed since Slash’s first film as a producer, Nothing Left to Fear, and we were curious what he’d learned since then, what he might want to do the same and what he definitely hoped to do differently.  “Everything about making the last film that I produced, Nothing Left to Fear… man, it was a really good learning experience. In terms of everything that could possibly go wrong on a project, let’s just say the kitchen sink and then some was thrown at me. And I mean everything, even down to the smallest thing like missing a cab,” Slash says with a laugh.

“If there was ever a testing ground to see if I really wanted to do this, THAT was it! Thankfully the movie did get made. I mean, there was stuff about it that I wasn’t happy about, but then again, there was a lot I was really pleased with. I learned an ENDLESS list of things on that production in terms of what to do and what not to do.”

So, how hands-on is he in this fairly new role of producer? “Being a producer really speaks to me. I’m that kind of busybody who loves to be involved in everything… seeing everything from the simplest artwork to the most complex of the special effects. One of the things that left me hanging on Nothing Left to Fear is that we had so many problems that the shooting schedule kept getting pushed back and pushed back. I created this window in order to be able to complete this entire movie before going on the road, but it ended up directly conflicting with my touring schedule. So after shows I would be looking at dailies and then scoring at the same time. It was just craziness.”

“This time around, we were going to shoot in August, but I begin touring in September. So we decided to bump the shoot until [next year] because I finish the tour in December.”  (We’ll have more about the tour in Part 2.)

There were some big names in Nothing Left to Fear… Anne Heche, the great Clancy Brown.  We asked if there was any casting news ready to be revealed yet, or maybe certain “types” they’re looking for – established actors or more unknowns? “Right now we’re casting, and the plan is to begin production in January,” Slash says.  “In terms of casting, I’m not as much looking for bigger names as I am just trying to find the right personalities to fill each role. It’s a really small cast, and the film takes place in South America, where it’s being filmed. We have a pretty cool list of actors that we’re looking at. There are some really effective actors on it with HUGE personalities and a presence that fits.”

Hopefully we’ll be learning more about those actors shortly, and in the meantime look for Part 2 on Wednesday!  If you’re already intrigued, head over to The Hell Within FanBacked campaign to learn more and help out.

Synopsis:
Marie and her husband, David, live a charmed life in Manhattan. He’s a successful environmental attorney, and she’s built an international aid organization that helps families in need across South America.

The only thing missing is a child.

When they start receiving disturbing phone calls from Teresa, a young girl in Brazil pleading for help, Marie can’t shake the feeling these calls are connected to her charity. She convinces David to travel with her to Rio to locate the missing girl, and soon a series of strange events and a shocking suicide lead them into the heart of the jungle.

Marie and David find themselves isolated in Seringal, a village overrun with drug runners and lost souls, steeped in ritual and superstition. And as David falls ill to a mysterious disease, Marie begins to realize that the missing child was only the beginning of “The Hell Within.”

The Hell Within

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