"We just watched Compound Fracture on the big screen in the screening room," smiles Tyler Mane. "When it ended, I got chills. It was so amazing and surreal to see a picture I put together on the big screen like that."
Mane deserves those good "chills". The star of Rob Zombie's Halloween and Halloween II, X-Men, and Troy has definitely put in all the requisite blood, sweat, and tears to get to this point. He reinvented "Michael Myers" to much fan and critical acclaim, and his towering frame and presence have evoked fear artfully in a slew of films. Now, he's launching his production company, Mane Entertainment, with its first project. The supernatural thriller, Compound Fracture, penned by his wife Renae Geerlings [who also stars in the flick] and himself.
The story follows Michael [Mane] as he returns to the home of his father [Muse Watson I Know What You Did Last Summer] in order to make a startling discovery and end up in a dark battle of wills. Elsewhere, another famous killer makes an appearance, the one and only Derek Mears of Friday the 13th-fame. Not only does Compound Fracture have an unforgettable story it's got three iconic serial killers in one dark ride—Mane, Mears, and Watson.
You can't miss it! There's a special screening for distributors in Los Angeles on September 25, and we'll have more info on that soon. For now, check out our exclusive interview with Tyler Mane and Renae Geerlings about Compound Fracture below.
Was it important for you to balance the dark elements of the film with an emotional family story?
Tyler Mane: Yeah, it's very story-driven. Renae comes from a theater background, and she's really into story. That gives another element to Compound Fracture that a lot of pictures miss out on. It's the story of a family pulled apart that needs to reunite to overcome.
Renae Geerlings: One of the things that really attracted me to the concept was the idea of all these broken characters. My history is really in theater as Tyler said. I spent a lot of years working around comic books. What moves me is based around characters. I said, "If I was going to do something with horror, it's got to be based on characters for me to really be excited about it". That was what I was able to bring to the table as far as that broken psyche goes and how to fix it.
Setting up the story with broken fragments draws the viewer in to want to watch how they'll come together.
Renae Geerlings: Exactly! One of my favorite scenes involves the sins of the father being revisited on the son. Every generation tries to do the best they can to give to the next. Sometimes, in doing our best, we mess the next generation up. Having Muse Watson as the patriarch of the family and having the brother-in-law played by Derek Mears, they both had their own ways of parenting and dealing with their insecurities trying to keep their family together. It gets dumped on Michael who's stuck in the middle.
The supernatural elements heighten the tension.
Renae Geerlings: They do! We're taught family is most important in this life. If you add the other element that it continues in the next life, you've got them all together in this storm, so to speak.
What resonated with you about Michael, Tyler? Was it easy to slip into his shoes?
Tyler Mane: It was. Renae said she wrote it with me in mind. He's a character who pulls away from his family at such a young age and has to reunite later on in life. He sees how things have changed from when he grew up and what his father has turned into. It's surreal.
How crucial was emoting through body language and saying something without uttering a word?
Tyler Mane: From a look you can convey how you feel about a situation. That also comes across a lot in Compound Fracture. We had Muse, the killer from I Know What You Did Last Summer, Derek, Jason from Friday the 13th, and myself. There are three serial killers right there. Add Leslie Easterbrook, Todd Farmer, Daniel Roebuck, and Renae. It's amazing.
Renae Geerlings: I tried to imbue a lot of Tyler in the character. Having such an infinite knowledge of Tyler, it was fun to write a character for him, knowing his verbal mannerisms and speech patterns. His dialogue came really easy for me. The dialogue for my character was probably the hardest [Laughs].
Were you listening to anything while making the movie?
Tyler Mane: I'm all '70s rock, my man! I'll listen to anything and everything '70s rock. We've got some great songs in it that take you back to that era. I'm so happy with that feel of it. Joel Richard did the score with Tyler Bates, and it’s unbelievable. After I listened to it, I called Joel and I said, "I just want to thank you for doing a hell of a job on this score". He said, "Well, my goal is to make it a cinematic experience". It was cool to hear that.
Renae Geerlings: I'd feel good about a scene. Then, I'd see it with the music over it, and it was incredible. There are whispers that happen within the score itself. They nailed it. During the process, Joel lost his father. I was talking to him, and he said this was an interesting project for him to work on at this particular moment dealing with the loss of parents and what that means. He poured that into this movie. It's just visceral.
What can you reveal about Penance Lane?
Tyler Mane: Penance Lane goes a little grittier. Compound Fracture is a supernatural thriller. Penance Lane is more of a horror thriller. My character gets released from prison and goes to a certain house to find something left behind. He encounters all kinds of craziness in the house. Throughout the story, it's revealed why and what he is looking for. Compound Fracture is more supernatural. Penance Lane is going to really freak some people out [Laughs].
Renae Geerlings: That one is such a different animal. It's straight horror. There's a creepy feel to parts of it. You don't really know what's going on. There are a lot of reveals. There's so much more action from the get-go. I'm excited to get into it.
Did you get to beat up Derek Mears?
Tyler Mane: Derek Mears is amazing to work with. We've known each other for years. I asked him to come on and try to beat my ass. He was all for it. When you work with a talented person like that and you have the ability to do fight scenes you enjoy doing where nobody gets hurt, it's such a pleasure to do this and create a vicious and violent thing. You walk away and go, "That was a lot of fun". He tries to kick my ass [Laughs].
What pumps you up for a fight?
Tyler Mane: I listen to Rush and Led Zeppelin—like "Immigrant Song". I'm a Pandora guy. I put on classic or old school rock and I flip through until I find something with a good, driving beat and I'm ready to go. I listen to Metallica when I'm ready to do fight scenes. It psyches me up.
What do you want people to walk away from this feeling or thinking?
Tyler Mane: Family's important, and you have to unite to overcome your obstacles. You have to set your differences aside with family because you are blood. Blood is thicker than water. You get the feeling family should come first at the end of the film.