Tony Randel is known best for directing “Hellbound: Hellraiser II”, amongst many other genre films. Tony has recently released his latest film “The Double Born”, which has been quite talked about within fans of the genre. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Tony about working in the business and his films.
Mike Gencarelli: Working on “Hellbound: Hellraiser II”, what was your biggest challenge?
Tony Randel: The main goal was to make a film that was as worthy as the first one. It is always a challenge to make a film people will enjoy but also to make a film that is appreciated by the fans as a direct sequel not a rip off. We really wanted to make “Hellraiser II” a film that could be spliced together with the first film and I think we did a very good job at that. The tone and look of the second matches the first almost flawlessly.
MG: Did you feel any pressure to amp it up from the “Hellraiser”?
TR: There was a larger budget to work with the second time around. We wanted to give the fans more and be able to explore concepts from the first film a little further. Everyone involved knew that if we wanted to tell the Cenobites back story that it was going to cost more to do so. The first film hardly tells anything of their story. Everything had to be created from scratch to show their world.
MG: “Fist of the North Star” is one of my favorite animes, how did you come to work on the live action film?
TR: I had a multi-picture deal with First Look Pictures and they had acquired the rights to the graphic novel series. There were several different writers involved but ultimately I ended up working with Peter Atkins on the final version. The studio asked for an adaptation and they chose me for that job. It was somewhat of a tough job because the graphic novel and the original animated movie didn’t have much of a story. We had to pretty much come up with a story line of our own.
MG: Tell us about your work on “Godzilla 1985”?
TR: I was the Director of Post Production for New World Entertainment. During that time the studio obtained the rights to “The Return of Godzilla” which I think was the original title in Japan. The film was a little longer than the studio had wanted so we actually took an idea that had been used by Roger Corman. The idea was to shoot some addition footage with an American cast and splice it into what had already been shot and while doing so edit the movie down to the desired time. Doing this provided the studio with what they were looking for both visually and it allowed them to market it with Raymond Burr. That film proved to be very successful for New World. They actually sold over 100,000 cassettes of that film.
MG: Tell us about your latest film “The Double Born”
TR: I was looking to do a smaller independent film as I have always been a fan of that genre. I had started working with some digital equipment and thought I could probably put together a full movie for a small amount of money. I looked around for an idea and decided to base it on a Bram Stoker story. In searching through his work I found he didn’t write a lot of horror which was interesting. I found one of his short stories that interested me so I adapted it and wrote the screen play very loosely based on that. I financed the film myself and used film school students as the cast. I think for the resources I had it came out very good.
MG: What drew you to that specific Bram Stoker story?
TR: In the Bram Stoker version there are two young characters character’s Harry and Tommy who are obsessed with knives and chopping things up. So what I did was make the two kids older and I created family drama based around these two psychotic individuals combined with a woman obsessed with having a baby. That’s really how the whole thing was born.
MG: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
TR: I’m working on a horror script that I have been playing with for awhile but I can’t give too much detail about that just yet. I recently have been doing a lot of editing which I have done for some time know. The business is very tough right now. A lot of independent directors like me from the 80’s and 90’s are all in the same boat trying to figure out how the business is going to work these days.