News Article

News Article

Todd Farmer Writes Us a 'Bloody Valentine' and Sends 'Messengers 2'!


Screenwriter Todd Farmer is awfully quiet for a guy who writes horror movies for a living.  Hey, hang on a sec… aren't the quiet guys always the killers?  Well, at least we made it out of the interview alive. But Farmer's latest film, My Bloody Valentine 3D, has some of the most inventive kills in recent memory.  At this weekend's Bloody Valentine press junket in Los Angeles, the screenwriter talked to us about keeping the audience guessing, how he got roped into a small cameo as a total douchebag (director Patrick Lussier happened to be on hand to give us the gory details), and working with a "Death List".

P.S.  He also offered a sneak peek at his upcoming The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow.


Tell us about this "Death List."

Farmer: It was created by Gary Tunnecliffe, our makeup supervisor.  It was a list of different ways to kill a person with a pick axe.  I think we really got the best of the best from that list.  I always call Patrick the Ron Howard of horror films.  He's such a nice guy, and you don't get a lot of that in this business.  But at the same time, you would be working really late into the night, and he would call and say, "Okay, there is this girl, and there is a shovel, and the guy takes the shovel, and cuts her face in half."  I'm like, [long pause] "Uh, okay."  I've done movies like this before, and these are some really excellent kills.

What is a bad pick-axe killing?  In the foot?

Farmer: In the foot?  No, in the foot would be great!  That's a good one – I'm going to steal that one.  That one causes pain… it's a build-up.

How hard is it to find that middle ground between keeping the audience guessing who the killer is, and yet not losing them in the process?

Farmer: There is a lot of back and forth, but that is the fun part of this process.  At the end of the day, we were very aware of the movie we were making.  But at the same time, the horror audience is a lot smarter than people give them credit for.  So we constantly wanted them to be able to turn on a dime as to who the killer was.  For this type of movie, that is a lot of the fun.  A lot of time was spent on it, from draft one.

You have a role in the film yourself.  You play a sleazy guy fucking the brains out of the character Irene (played by Betsy Rue), while secretly taping it.  Did you hand-pick that role for yourself?

Farmer:  No.  Patrick did.   There was some concern about hiring a local.

Lussier: We auditioned several different actors to play the role of Frank, but what we discovered is that they were getting really self-conscious about the fact that they would have to be naked.  And they would play the part like total assholes.  Todd plays it as a kind of loveable dick.

Farmer: Which is what I am.

Lussier: Frankly, I wanted someone who was going to make it all about Betsy.  I knew Todd had an investment to make it all about Betsy.  I had seen Todd act before, in Jason X.  I knew he could do the part.  From the second the character Frank was created, I saw Todd in that role.  I didn't tell Todd that. 

Farmer: Betsy is the actress; I'm the T&A.

Can you give us a preview of Clock Tower, the ghost story based on the video game?

Farmer: Honestly, probably not.  I was the first writer on it, but there have been several writers since.  It was a video game – Clock Tower 3 – that I really enjoyed.  I played games religiously, and when I played Clock Tower 3, it physically scared me.  So it was a fun project to work on, but I think it has changed significantly.  It is out of my hands now.

And what about Messengers 2: The Scarecrow?

Farmer: That one is a funny story.  For the first one, I was the first writer on that.  It changed quite often, as Hollywood movies tend to do.  My original script was not what ended up coming out.  But the studio read my original script and said, "Hey, let's make a movie out of this."  So I wrote one script, but made two movies out of it.

So Messengers 2 is your Messengers 1?

Farmer: Yes – but my Messengers 1 is also my Messengers 1.