Exclusive: Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer Talk Drive Angry

If you happened to miss Drive Angry 3D when it hit theaters this past February, now you’ll have an opportunity to right that wrong as the explosive flick is finally hitting DVD and Blu-ray shelves on Tuesday, May 31st.

In anticipation of its home release, Dread Central recently caught up with the two masterminds behind all of Drive Angry 3D’s mayhem - writer Todd Farmer as well as director and co-writer Patrick Lussier - to talk about assembling one of the most entertaining but eclectic casts in recent memory, the state of 3D filmmaking and whether or not they have plans for a Drive Angry sequel.

Farmer, who also previously collaborated with Lussier on the 2009 remake My Bloody Valentine 3D, discussed where the inspiration behind stemmed from and how the story evolved from the beginning. “The basic idea we had when we first started writing Drive Angry was a guy who escaped from prison on a mission. Then we started to toy with the idea that he could escape from hell, which is another kind of prison, even though we never come out and say it in the movie. As we started putting the pieces together, though, we knew we wanted to take the idea just a step further than just Milton escaping from an ordinary prison, and I think that him coming from another realm really worked in Drive Angry.”

Lussier went on to discuss the supernatural elements of Drive Angry (Blu-ray / DVD review here) and how Farmer fleshed out the story so that fans would be getting more than just insane action sequences.

“We knew we wanted to incorporate the car movies from the 70s we have always loved in Drive Angry 3D, but we wanted there to be something more going on, too, so that’s why there’s this supernatural element that can’t be explained by conventional means in the movie as well,” explained Lussier. “Todd and I also recognized that the characters all have an extreme nature to them so we had to make sure we balanced that out well so even though they were all motivated by villainous motives, you still wanted to root for them too.”

“Even though Drive Angry is very much about the action, we still had to have an emotional core at the center of the movie, and that was what Todd really excelled at bringing into the mix. Instead of Hell just being a ‘fire and brimstone’ kind of place, we wanted it to be an emotional experience too. So instead it just being a guy with horns, it’s more about you having to watch everyone you ever loved or cared about going through horrible things that you can’t do anything about. That was the true torment for Milton and that’s why he had to break out,” Lussier added.

Love it or hate it, the one thing everyone can agree on is that Drive Angry 3D was by far the most balls-out widely released film of 2011. Farmer explained that even though the story in the film definitely goes way past the line, the studio behind his and Lussier’s vision never asked the pair to tone down any of the extreme violence in the film. Farmer said, “We weren’t really given any restrictions on the story or what we wanted to do with Drive Angry. We told Millennium Films what we wanted to do, and they said, ‘Go ahead and just don’t go over budget’ so we really got to make the movie we would want to see as fans of genre movies. It’s definitely not a movie for everyone, but I’m okay with that.”

When it came time to start assembling the cast of Drive Angry 3D in late 2009, Lussier explained how producer Michael De Luca was pivotal in securing Nicolas Cage in the lead role of Milton.

“When Todd and I first originally wrote the script, we showed it to Michael De Luca first. He’s worked with Nic before and told us that we had to approach him for this role because it really fit well with the kind of roles he’s passionate about as an actor. And of course both Todd and I were fans of his so we took a chance and sent him the script. He absolutely loved it when he read it and told us it was by far one of the most outrageous things he ever read but he totally dug how outrageous it was. I’ve heard him say he approached the role of Milton as ‘The Terminator Meets Edgar Allan Poe’ and I think that’s very fitting.”

Exclusive Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer Talk Drive Angry