Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl saw a ‘river of blood’ in Encino while filming horror comedy ‘Studio 666’
Something is wrong with Dave Grohl.
With a bad case of writer’s block, the Foo Fighters frontman begins to lose his mind as he and the rest of the band – guitarists Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel, drummer Taylor Hawkins and keyboardist Rami Jaffee – move into an Encino mansion to record his 10th studio album.
At least that’s how the story begins in the Foo Fighters’ new horror-comedy feature, “Studio 666,” which hits theaters nationwide on February 25. The film was shot in the same Encino mansion where Grohl & Co. ended up writing and recording the “Medicine at Midnight” album in late 2019.
It was screenwriters Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes who helped push the band to star in what would eventually become a “Spinal Tap” meets “Evil Dead” style film directed by BJ McDonnell, who had previously worked on the TV series. “American Horror Story”. “, the films “Hatchet III”, “Annabelle Comes Home”, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” and music videos for the metal group Slayer.
“We didn’t have to dive into heavy dramatic roles in the Foo Fighters music videos,” Grohl said in a recent phone interview. “They were all just slapstick comedy. With this project, we had a scenario and we had to act. Granted, we had to act like the Foo Fighters, which we’re pretty good at, but it was still very different.
Without giving too much away, once the band are inside the house and start recording, evil takes over. One by one, the band members encounter hilarious and gory scenarios. These scenes include plenty of old-school horror gore courtesy of special effects artist Tony Gardner, who created the prosthetics for Foo Fighters’ “Run” music video.
“I have to be honest: I’ve never heard anyone say ‘less blood’,” Grohl said with a laugh. “It was usually, ‘No more blood! More blood! Carry on with the blood! It was really funny actually because one night I walked out of the house and walked down the street and there was fake blood running down the drain. I am not joking. I looked at the sidewalk and it was just a river of blood. It was awesome.”
McDonnell said they wanted to limit the use of CGI, so gallons of scene blood were readily available. A replica of one of the house’s bedrooms had to be built outside for a particularly exaggerated scene, which was likely why the streets of Encino were dripping with (fake) blood.
“If we had done this in the house, it would have destroyed the house,” he added during a recent interview with Zoom.
For everyone involved in the project, the goal was to make a true horror movie that would appeal to both Foo Fighters fans and connoisseurs of the horror genre. That’s why, McDonnell said, the film had to have a shocking opening — and it does, featuring the “Scream” and “Insidious: Chapter 2” actress and Palm Desert native Jenna Ortega.
“We needed a strong lead actress and a strong performer to open this movie where people don’t expect them to go up,” McConnell said. “I think a lot of people think they’re getting into a fun Foo Fighters thing, but we wanted it to be gnarly.”
The film also stars Whitney Cummings, Leslie Grossman, Will Forte, Jason Trost, and Slayer guitarist Kerry King.
Grohl said he was really impressed with the acting skills his bandmates showed during filming and that there could be at least one Foo Fighter who could potentially have a lucrative movie career after his performance in ” Studio 666″.
“When we sat down at our first table reading with the directors, producers and extras, reading the script, I started to think that Rami Jaffee could probably quit and end up with a crazy career in a series of hilarious movies,” he said. . “Taylor Hawkins wouldn’t read his lines that were written for him in the script. He said, ‘I’m just going to say what I’m going to say.’ And he comes across as the most genuine Taylor Hawkins I’ve ever seen in my life He’s done a great job Pat Smear, though, it’s hard to take your eyes off Pat He lights up the screen every time time it crosses it.
Grohl has said that he is a big fan of horror movies. Growing up in Virginia, just outside of Washington DC, he spent a lot of time hanging out on the famous steps shown in “The Exorcist,” a movie subtly referenced several times in “Studio 666.”
“It’s where punk rockers drank on weekends in the ’80s,” he said. “I was obsessed with ‘The Exorcist’ and I can honestly say it’s my favorite movie of all time. I also grew up hanging out in that house. I never went in there. I almost bought it once, but then I thought, “Man, that’s weird.”
Since he’s such an admirer of the genre, Grohl said he took a leap of faith and personally reached out to filmmaker and composer John Carpenter, known for classics like “Halloween,” “The Fog” and “The Thing.” , to see if he could get involved in the project.
“I said, ‘There’s no way John Carpenter is in our stupid horror movie,'” he recalled. But Carpenter agreed to make an appearance in the film and the director, who also composed the music for his own films, even offered to write the theme.
“I still don’t believe it,” Grohl continued. “When he sent the music, it’s such a classic John Carpenter composition. People will hear it and think, “Oh, that sounds like ‘Halloween'”, and yes, it is! It’s John Carpenter! I got chills when he sent it and almost cried. I can not believe it. I was like, ‘You know his name has to be the biggest name on the poster, right?’
Although the band’s 25th anniversary release was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, Foo Fighters will celebrate 27 years on the road this year and play two hometown gigs at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Angeles on August 18 and 20. Not only did the group release an album during the pandemic, but they released a new documentary, “What Drives Us,” and Grohl released a book, “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music.”
So even though he has some downtime, he’s not spending it resting for the tour, he’s in the studio working on something very special. He records metal music for a fictional band that appears in “Studio 666”, meeting a tragic fate just before the Foo Fighters move into the house.
“I was like, you know what I gotta do, I’m gonna do their lost record,” he said. “So I wrote this crazy metal record and I’m sitting around writing lyrics for it. I mean, what else am I going to do? I’m starting another book, I’m writing this record heavy metal. There’s always something going on and I like it. I never let the grass grow under those two feet.