Slasher movies. You know the type. Cute blonde girl runs away from a masked gimmicky murderer. You’re bored of the formula, and have been ever since the 80s, or at best since the mid-90s when there was that ironic revival phase. All those clichés, stupid decisions and macguffins serving to provide lazy set-pieces and half-arsed jump scares. Wouldn’t it be nice if a horror movie went out of its way not to do that, to break the mould and bring life back into what is essentially a genre that has fallen over and twisted its ankle, while running away from some sort of knife wielding metaphor in a metaphorical metaphor mask.
Well, look who it is, Jim Rothman, creator of Scythe, a new ‘realistic’ slasher movie that promises to break genre conventions and return to good old fashioned scares. I sent a bunch of questions his way, and he was kind enough to reply with proper words and not just a GIF of someone doing a rude finger gesture. The Kickstarter for Scythe is well on its way to getting the $50,000 required to fund this independent movie, and a whole host of perks are available to supporters of the project.
FUDGECRUMPET – Hi Jim, thanks for the chat. Could you tell me a bit about who you are and what you do?
JIM ROTHMAN – I was born and raised in Seattle, WA and came out to LA in 1999 to pursue a career in acting. As time went on and I wasn’t getting as far as I liked, I decided to create a showcase piece to show myself off as an actor, with the film I’m Not Matt Damon. The success of the film caused people to inquire about my next project(s) I was working on…as a writer/director. Which surprised me because that wasn’t the original goal. But over the course of 7 years and there more short film i have grown to being a prolific filmmaker and now I am looking forward to creating my first feature film with SCYTHE.
FC – What’s Scythe all about, then?
JR – SCYTHE is a psychological slasher/thriller in the same vein of the classic and modern horror films Halloween (1978), Saw (2004), and films from the iconic director Alfred Hitchcock. We are looking bringing back the essence of what made classic horror films popular in the first place, by keeping the focus on suspense, drama, fear, terror and intensity, rather gore and blood. Coupling it with modern technology and updating it to more modern times is what separates SCYTHE from the average horror film, into a thinking man’s horror film where each character must find the fighting spirit within themselves in order to survive against the Grim Reaper.
JR – The short was test footage that essentially became a short film when we learned we had a beginning, middle and end and were to utilize it as footage that could play the film festival circuit and get the kind of response we need. The short is an actual scene from the script, so if you watch the short then watch the film you will recognize it right away.
FC – You claim the movie will be cliché-free, what sorts of trope are you hoping to avoid?
JR – The worst ones. People calling out in the dark, people tripping as they run, people who can’t keep quiet when the killer is nearby, people not firing a lot of bullets at once, people pleading for their life, teenagers acting like nothing could ever touch them or be oblivious to the situation as if it doesn’t personally affect them, people who can’t use car key. a doorknob, or anything that requires a key. Stuff like that.
FC – What are top three horror movies?
JR – Halloween, Saw and Psycho.
FC – How have you found the Crowdfunding experience? Do you think it is making it easier to make independent movies?
JR – It is has been exhilarating and daunting as we go. We are about $18,000 raised against the $50,000 that we need. Everyday you are approaching people to pledge towards your film and help your dreams come true, and you either find hardcore horror film fans or good people willing to help, or you find people wanting to help but financially can’t. It’s a lot to raise in a short period of time, but the one thing I understand about people is that they are mostly last minute. They wait until the last day or the last week to pitch in. But of course, they want to see progress during that time and to know you are going to make it. We have done an amazing job of closing the gap and I am confident the horror film community will hep us to across the finish line, because ultimately, this film is for them. It’s the type of film they have been asking for. A realistic take on an old fashioned classic slasher film.
FC – If the movie is a success, are there plans for a sequel?
JR – SCYTHE is designed as a three movie trilogy. A film told in three parts if you will. I have the intention of making each film pick up right where the last one left off. That’s something HALLOWEEN 2 did with the original and it’s something I would love to see happen with mine.
FC – If you were in a real-life horror movie, which character would you be what would you do to guarantee your survival?
JR – Find a weapon as fast as possible, standing near a sports car with the keys in my hand, with plenty of fuel in the car, holding with a satellite cellphone that was fully charged. I’m not looking to die.
FC – And finally, what is your favourite cheese?
JR – American. Slapped and melted nicely on a medium burger.
Check out Jim’s website HERE.
And if you really feel the urge, you can buy me a coffee HERE.