2010 saw the release of Klagger, a cool and nasty short film about the title character who haunts an abandoned factory in Texas. Writer/director Casey Crow took time to answer a few questions about the short and the feature-length film currently in production…
1. How did you come up with the story for ‘Klagger’?
The story for KLAGGER came about by chance during pre-production on another project. My brother and producing partner, Gene was scouting locations when we were approached by an old man who wanted to know what the Hell we were doing near his property. After some fast explanations identifying ourselves as filmmakers, Mr. Crane (as we came to know him) chilled out and began telling us a story about a co-worker who was killed inside the abandoned factory across from his house. Mr. Crane’s story combined with the visual “coolness” of the old factory prompted us to dramatize what seemed to be a gift from the movie Gods. Dramatic liberties were taken in order to bring the thematic elements into the horror realm, but had we not met Mr. Crane on that day, who knows? Anyway, KLAGGER lives! Thanks Mr. Crane!
2. What are some of the challenges of making a feature-length film from a short?
From my perspective, the challenge is expanding an idea which was never meant to be anything more than a 13 minute short in the first place. Film festival programmers and audiences began to strongly encourage us to make KLAGGER into a feature as far back as 2011, but we were like “what would that entail?” Do we just increase the body count? Have KLAGGER leave the factory and start destroying cities like Godzilla? (shrug) The right approach seemed to be “why is KLAGGER in there?” What is the backstory? How would people deal with a supernatural force like this? Can you destroy KLAGGER? Asking these type of questions led us into a much more involved narrative that touches on real life issues such as alcoholism, poverty, aging and domestic abuse. In the short, KLAGGER kills one guy without leaving the factory at all. In the feature version, KLAGGER is a powerful source of evil that touches human lives in a disturbing way that hits home for everyone.
3. Will you be using the song “Tomorrow I’ll Know” by Pat Murphy and the Cimarron Cowboys again? I liked it because it’s old-school and wistful, yet creepy in context with the character of Klagger.
We will be using “Tomorrow I’ll Know” again because of the qualities you mentioned but the movies score has broadened to include other, old-time, creepy tunes like “Satan is Real” from the Louvin Brothers. Look it up on YouTube and imagine tracking shots through an old house or empty warehouse. Zoinks! Run Scoob!
4. What are some of the pros and cons to being an Indie filmmaker?
Being independent means you can do anything you want without a studio making undesirable changes. Being independent also means it’s hard to find money to make a movie. They’re expensive! Horror fans have been very supportive of KLAGGER and although it’s taken a while to advance into a feature I’d much rather do it the independent way. Just like “Chainsaw” and “Halloween”.
5. Weapon of choice?
How bout a chrome plated, # 24 pipe wrench! KACHUNK! (squish sound)
6. Besides Horror, what other genres would you consider making films in?
Gene and I were planning a rural, family drama before KLAGGER came along and I think we may actually go back and resume that project at a later time. It’s based on a true story involving a situation where my uncle shot and killed a man because of a tragic misunderstanding. It would be a very dark, character drama similar to “No Country For Old Men.” We’ll set it in the 60’s even thought it happened in 1993. The 60’s looked better.
7. What inspires you (filmmakers, music, authors, artists, etc.)?
Filmmakers? Kubrick, Ridley Scott, Cohen Brothers. Music is a great inspiration for film! Someone said that music is 50% of the cinematic experience. I’ll hear a song and right away, images begin to form. KLAGGER will have lots of music ranging from Country, to Metal even Rap.
8. Speaking of music, what would we find on your current playlist?
Lately I’ve discovered bands like M83 and Laroux, Hank 3 and Luck Tubb. I’m a little late to the party on some of those but, hey, better late than never!
9. If you had to do a remake, but otherwise had final say on all aspects of it, what would you revamp, and who would you cast ?
I hope this never happens, but IF Universal said, “We’re remaking JAWS and you should do it” I would strongly encourage them to make a really cool shark movie based on a great book by Steve Alten called “MEG” and leave JAWS ALONE! However, if my feet were held to open flame and the JAWS remake was happening anyway – A good cast might be Jon Hamm as Brody, Andrew Garfield as Hooper and Russell Crowe OR Ray Winstone as Quint.
10. Thanks, Casey…anything you’d like to say to the Horror fans out there?
Horror fans are the best! I’ve had an opportunity to meet many of you at the CON’s over the years. Where else can you meet hundreds of like-minded horror freaks from all over the world and geek-out over who’s better, Romero or Fulci??? Next stop for us is Fear Fete in Mississippi. Come on up and say, hay!