Kristian Hanson ('Sledge')
'It's Hammer Time!'
He didn’t drown. He didn’t burn. He’s just a psychopath with a sledgehammer!
'SLEDGE', a bloody good horror-comedy in the tradition of 'Tucker and Dale vs. Evil' and 'Shaun of the Dead,' premiered on VOD this past September and comes out on DVD and Netflix this October.
A spoof of the horror genre, and littered with nods and references to fright flicks of yesteryear, the film fixes on a psychopath who not only believes he’s in a movie and video game but that he’s the hero of this story.
“Sledge is a horror comedy that takes a loving poke to the horror classics we all grew up with”, says writer and co-director Kristian Hanson. “Adam Lynch is an original slasher who loves to talk and make jokes as he viciously mutilates the dumb campers who always return to a site of mass murders for no apparent reason.”
Chatting recently with the man himself, Kristian Hanson, I first wondered, being that the movie includes the extended tag line: 'He didn't drown. He didn't burn. He's just a psychopath with a sledgehammer!' how one actually DOES go about killing Adam Lynch?! "That is one of the funny things, because he is a human. So if he was burned, drowned, etc. as the tag line states, he would probably die. The tag line is a nod to Jason and Freddy since that is how they ended up dying and becoming who they are. Adam doesn’t really have a back story besides the fact that he is a psycho!"
As you are the writer, producer, director and even the man behind the mask, what DIDN'T you do on this bloody set?! "I didn’t hold the camera! That is the one thing that I did not do and did not want to do. John Sovie II, my co-director is, and was the director of photography and cinematographer. He did an awesome job and has only gotten better since filming 'Sledge' back in 2012."
So at what time in your life did 'Sledge' first come to mind as being something that you envisioned would be great for moviegoers to enjoy? "We were going to film our first movie that was never released, titled 'F4L: Friends 4 Life' back in March 2012. Visiting the store Dapper Cadaver in Los Angeles I saw a prop sledge hanging and told John that if I wrote a serial killer character that his weapon would be the sledgehammer. I ended up writing the script in June of 2012, a few months after finishing 'F4L' and around the end of August we were filming 'Sledge'."
And being that it is a delicate mix of both horror and comedy, in reflection do you think you got the balance just right? "When we started off filming 'Sledge' we said it was going to be a Horror/Comedy, but when we were done we said it was a Comedy/Horror film instead! I am a giant fan of comedy and horror, so watching the film and seeing the reaction from those that have had the chance to view the film, I would say yes, I was able to mix the two well."
Indeed, where there things that you would love to have shot that were on paper but just couldn't be, for whatever reason, perhaps? "If you ended up reading the script of 'Sledge' and then watch the film, you would see two completely different movies! We ended up adding things throughout the movie. For instance, the Dickie character along with Assly’s True American Horror and the Couch girl character. I wish we could have done more with the special effects side and shown the deaths, but due to only having a $800 budget, we just couldn’t do those things. We even made some props to use during death scenes, but it just didn’t work or look right, so we went with more off camera things."
And as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, please tell us a little behind-the-scenes secret about the filming of 'Sledge' "When you see the brain matter fly, it was actually an idea brought up by Tino Faygo. We were sitting at lunch and he said that we could chew up hot dog and spit it into a cup to make the look of brains. My mom, who plays Mean Lady in the opening, ended up doing just that. So that is how we made the brain matter!"
Your character, Adam Lynch believes he is in a movie and video game that he has created in his head and so acts out, so to speak. Sounds just like your average long term gamer chugging endless bongs of weed, to be honest! Minus the sledgehammer, of course! "Funnily enough, I’ve never done any drugs, but I can see Adam doing something like that. The Dickie character is in himself a drug burnout, so I can see why Adam would want to hang out with him ... if that is the case and what happened to make Adam snap."
And what inspired the choice of mask creation for Adam? "The mask idea I knew I wanted it to be created from the faces of his victims sewn together. That is a nod to Tobe Hooper and Leatherface. I told Monster Matt Patterson when he was making the mask to add initials and dates to the mask to give it something different. On the mask you will see KH for Kristian Hanson along with MM for Monster Matt. More subtle things that you will only see up close are dates like my wedding anniversary and the birthdays of his children, etc."
There's another Hanson that plays the character of Shawn - a relative, of yours, one assumes? "Actually no, we hadn’t met him before we went to film the movie. He is a friend of my Co-Director and we are not related at all. His character name Shawn is named after my brother Shawn, but we ended up calling Travis “Cousin Travis” during film making since we shared the same last name."
You have said that 'Sledge' is a horror film made for horror fans like yourself. So, growing up, which horror films sucked you in and began you on this road? "My first horror film was 'Child’s Play' at the age of five and 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' when I was six. I have been a fan of horror ever since. My mom and I would go to the local video store or Blockbuster and search out the newest VHS tapes on the New Release wall when my dad was out of town for the military. One great find that I still love today both came from my Summer's in Chicago when I was a little older. 'Return of the Living Dead 3' and 'Bad Moon.' Two of my favorite films."
So, what's next for you after 'Sledge'? "'Sledge' just got news that on October 7th it will be available to rent on DVD from Netflix. So please make sure to add it to your DVD QUEUE to check it out. As for Adam Lynch himself, we have written the sequel, 'SLEDGED' (creative, I know) and we intend to film next August at the same time we made the first 'Sledge.' The reason for the name 'Sledged' instead of 'Sledge 2' is we again wanted to lovingly mock the unoriginality of horror sequel names."
Finally, we here are Exclusive Magazine LOVE Penguins, so we were wondering if you did also? "My wife and I actually love Penguins. The penguins from the film 'Madagascar' are my favorite. Also, the first date that I went on with my wife to meet her friends was at Sea World and being from Brazil when she would say Penguin it would come out PenQweeen! I thought it was cute and ended up buying her a stuffed 'PenQweeen' from that trip. Luckily, her friends liked me and the rest is history!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED SLEDGE poster, just answer this question about the man himself, Kristian Hanson: What has Hanson nicknamed his legion of 'Sledge' followers? The answer is on the www.sledgemovie.com website, so run away, my pretty things. Run now!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED SLEDGE poster from Kristian Hanson! Just send us an e:mail here before January 1st, 2015 with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SLEDGE SIGNED POSTERs to: email@example.com