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EXCL: Dave Payne on Reeker II

Horror sequel enters post-production

Principal photography wrapped recently in Lancaster, California on Dave Payne’s No Man’s Land, the sequel to the long-delayed Reeker, a festival darling starring The Grudge 2‘s Arielle Kebbel and Hostel‘s Derek Richardson that was finally released on DVD last week via Showtime/Paramount. Payne was well into shooting when the announcement came down that he was writing and directing a follow-up.

“We’ve created a movie that can stand alone and can work whether or not you’ve seen the first film,” Payne says from his post-production facility in North Hollywood where Shock dropped in to check on the sequel’s progress. “Both films feature the same world, the same logic and the same killer but it’s all new characters and a whole new situation. This one explores the origins of the Reeker. But you can’t make a scary movie where the killer starts as a hero, so it starts with where he comes from and how his world operates.” This prequel approach is only a fifteen-minute long set up for the thrust of the film which finds, “a couple of cops, a doctor and low-rent thugs who have just robbed a casino. They’re all at each others’ throats while trying to defend themselves from the Reeker.”

Payne, now, is overseeing the digital effects process and in this modest facility is where Shock finds a handful of CGI artists making hell out of some guy’s face on their monitors. We ain’t kiddin’. The actor’s cheek is ravaged, his nose is obliterated and the top of his head lopped off like a can. Payne pulls us to his laptop where he shows us a car that runs into a supposedly invisible barrier, the outskirts of the Reeker’s alternate dimension. The effect is pretty darn impressive for not being complete.

“We have a lot of fire gags in this, some big explosions,” Payne touts. “The Reeker carries a flamethrower so there’s some good burns. I tried to think of some horror films recently where someone died from burning, but in cool ways so you see the face melt like the older films where the flesh comes off. We want to update that effect – there’s this one character who gets fried by the flamethrower and you see the skin melt to reveal the bone and the eyes roll out.”

Returning to deliver such glorious gore gags is Monster FX who has designed a new Reeker suit, but it’s the digital effects grocery list, Payne says, that has grown significantly since the first film. “It’s a bigger movie, for sure. We spent more money on it, I had to entertain myself,” he laughs. “There’s just more. More gags…more bigger more better. There are more effects and I’m not so sure if that’s because we backed ourselves into a lot of corners budget-wise and said, ‘Wow, how are we gonna pull this off?’ and just did it digitally. When we made the first film we didn’t know much about digital effects. So we shot it thinking, ‘Well, we know we want the monster to move differently, but we don’t know how we’re gonna pull it off. We know we want a stench effect, we’ll figure that one out too.’ With this we knew a bit more and knew we could get away with a lot more. There’s one gag where a guy gets sliced in half and his lower legs go running off with his spine sticking out the top. Actually, it turns out we realized we didn’t need to do a digital effect with that shot. It turned out to be the perfect practical effect with the way the guy was hidden and the way we lined up the shot, it’s not gonna be a digital effect.”

Payne is prepping a preview of “Reeker II” or No Man’s Land (“We’re not sure what we’re gonna call it yet.”) for the AFM this November. Look for full coverage on the film in the future.

Source: Ryan Rotten