Director Paul Morrell Discusses Latest Horror/Thriller ‘HUFF’

paulMOnce upon a time there was a cool director named Paul Morrell who had a vision to direct a horror/thriller based upon the story of The Three Little Pigs. Together with a talented cast and crew, his vision of creating a twisted version of the classic fairy tale exceeds all expectations. The result of his efforts, “HUFF” contains all of the scares, screams and sexiness that make for great thrill ride.

“HUFF” stars Charlie O’Connell as Huff, an abusive stepfather to three teenage girls living in poverty in California. While on the verge of making a lucrative drug deal that will give him the money he needs to escape to Mexico with his sexy mistress, Laci (Natasha Alam), Huff’s plans unravel when his battered wife Lorelei (Elina Madison) secretly gives the money intended for the deal to her daughters and tells them to run away and seek better lives. The events that follow triggers a chain of rage-induced asthma attacks, as Huff attempts to locate the three runaways and recover his money.

HUFF also stars Marie Bollinger, Jenna Stone and Clint Howard and will be released in April. The film will also be released internationally under the title, “Big Bad Wolf”.

I spoke with Paul and got the inside scoop on “HUFF” as well as his next film project, “Casket County Massacre”.

How did the project for HUFF begin?

Paul Morrell (PM): We really wanted to write something that would hold up, so we came up with the concept of using The Three Little Pigs; an age old story.  It was also great timing. I had done a film called ‘Filth To Ashes’ that had received quite a bit of press, including a mention in The New York Times. The film even had a better opening weekend than ‘Paranormal Activity’.  From that, we were able to sign some really great actors.

There are quite a few innuendos with The Three Little Pigs.

PM: Some of the innuendos are quite blatant, like the use of the inhaler and Charlie’s character’s name (Huffington). In our research, the story kind of got neutered over the years. In the original story, the wolf actually eats all of the pigs. [laughs]

Tell me a little about the cast: Charlie O’Connell.

Charlie is known for comedic roles so this role was a bit of a challenge, but he came with great input. His comedic chops really shine without taking away from the story line. We ended up with a villain who’s both likeable and hate able at the same time.

Natahsa Alam.

PM: Natasha was extremely comfortable on set. She’s not just a model.  She’s super professional and her acting chops are top notch.

Elina Madison.

I wish we had her on set for longer. She was fantastic. We had originally written an enormously longer scene but the way she executed the scene was great with her eyes and her emotion was perfect.

Isn’t there a story behind how you got in touch with Marie Bollinger for the role of Brixi?

I have a really close friend, Sarah Zurell, who was in a movie with Marie called ‘Pelt’. When I sat down to watch the movie, I was immediately distracted by her. There was just something about Marie that was perfect. We wound up connecting with each other through Facebook.

What was the filming process like?

PM: When we were shooting some of the night scenes it was very cold and windy. It was abnormally cold for southern California. Jenna Stone (Styx) sat in the side car with that “bloody” face for almost three days. All night long while shooting, it was freezing cold.  I was all bundled up in boots and heavy jackets and was still cold. The girls were out in the cold in little bitty tops wearing a blanket in between takes. They were troopers.

Any funny stories you can remember while filming?

In the opening scene, when Charlie is reading to the little girls, we had him actually reading a nursery rhyme to them while we were shooting their faces to get laughs out of them.  Then, right in the middle of telling Goldie Locks and The Three Bears he goes into HUFF dialog, changing his voice and everything to “They were raped!!…”  It was incredibly funny. [laughs]

What are some of your favorite scenes?

PM: I really love the opening scene where Charlie is out chopping wood and then goes inside to read a bible story to the girls. I love how that turned out.  So creepy. I also love the fight scene with Elina when she and Charlie are sitting on the couch.

Another one of my favorite shots is where Charlie is holding Marie’s character down and pressing that knife into her chest. They were both so into the moment, she’s screaming and he’s holding her down. That scene was great.


What project are you working on now?

PM: We’re working on an horror/icon film called ‘Casket County Massacre‘.  We’ve got Kane Hodder (Jason Friday The 13th) and Tyler Mane (X-Men, Halloween). We’re also working with Charlie and Clint Howard again.  The plan is to start shooting in January. We’re excited about it.

What’s the story of ‘Casket County Massacre’?

The legend of Casket County is, there were three brothers (The Garlock Family) who took over the town and slaughtered everyone in it while looking for gold. When they couldn’t find any, their ghosts were stuck there forever. An all-girl rock band cruises into town with plans to shoot a music video. When they get there, the ghosts are there and all hell ensues.

Article first published as Director Paul Morrell Discusses Latest Horror/Thriller HUFF on Technorati.

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