Crispian Mills takes us baCk to Class for his CoMedy-horror slaughterhouse rulez
I’m not a massive fan of really frightening movies,” laughs Crispian mills. “i’m too sensitive!” still, that hasn’t stopped the former Kula shaker frontman-turned-director from confronting the “horrible stuff of nightmares” as he puts it, for his new movie, Slaughterhouse Rulez. set around an elite public school, it begins when a fracking company’s nearby drilling creates a sink hole that unleashes some vicious monsters.
the script, co-written with former film critic henry fitzherbert, was originally set in america when mills first joined the project. “i really liked the idea for lots of reasons,” he says. “it had a slightly zeitgeist-y feel to it. in the same way godzilla was the result of Cold War and nuclear paranoia, we had these fracking monsters coming out.” the film’s setting was eventually relocated to an english boarding school.
featuring asa Butterfield, hermione Corfield and finn Cole as the school pupils facing off with these carnivorous creatures, the cast also includes an impressive array of adult stars “who are there to get in the way of the kids,” says mills, including simon Pegg and nick frost, who are on board as executive producers. Slaughterhouse Rulez marks the first film for their new company stolen Picture. “i think the film has a Shaun Of The Dead vibe, but we also have to be careful that it’s not that,” says frost, citing edgar Wright’s 2004 zombie comedy that broke frost and Pegg into the big-time. “inevitably there will be comparisons. But if you make something that’s honest and fun and frightening and a bit gory and sick, then i think it will stand up on its own.” While frost plays an anti-fracking protestor, Pegg – who previously worked with mills on 2012’s A Fantastic Fear Of Everything – co-stars as a new teacher at the school, run by michael sheen’s head. frost and Pegg also get to reunite on screen – the first time since 2014’s Cuban Fury. “it’s just a little scene, smoking a bit of weed,” he grins. “not real, obviously. that time has passed now.” mills may not be so keen on gory horror but he is looking to ramp up the scares – not least in scenes shot in Chislehurst Caves. the monsters are played for real, rather than realised with Cg. “i really was very keen to get that balance between practical creatures and imperceptible magical Cgi,” says mills. even so, he doesn’t want it to look too slick. “sometimes i like seeing there’s a bit of rubber!”
People kept asking them if they were part of the Harry Potter convention.