Arriving in theaters on July 31 is Freestyle Releasing’s The Collector, which is already receiving a massive push from the studio. Why? Maybe because it’s from the duo behind the Feast films and Saw IV-VI! We caught up with co-writer Patrick Melton who talked with us a bit about the film and revealed some really, really interesting tidbits including how The Collector was almost the Saw prequel! Read on for the exclusive story behind one of the summer’s big slasher films.
Patrick Melton tells B-D how The Collector was nearly a prequel to the SAW movies!
“Well, the story is that Leigh [Whanell] didn’t want to do any more after 3. So, they were looking for writers. They didn’t have much of a story for 4, and an executive over at Twisted read The Midnight Man and thought it could be a good prequel, explaining a traumatic incident that happened to John Kramer when young. Mark and Oren didn’t want to do a prequel like that, so the idea got squashed, but the script as a sample is what got us the deal to write Saw 4, 5, & 6.”
After Twisted passed on making a prequel, Melton explains how the Weinstein Company ended up making it.
“Well, it all sort of happened at the same time. Fortress Features paid us to write the script with the agreement that Marcus directs,” he explains. “They were going to fund it, but ended up needing more money and pursued other investors. However, Marcus didn’t have a good reel, so Fortress funded a shoot to make a five minute concept teaser (like a fake trailer). Based upon that, we met with a bunch of investors hoping to make it independently (Twisted being one of those companies). Bob Weinstein ended up getting his hands on the concept teaser, and when he saw it, he stomped to his office door, slammed it shut and said, ‘You’re not leaving this office until I have this movie.’ When Dimension showed interest, two other studios also started bidding for it, but Dimension ended up winning out in the end because they agreed to make the film with Marcus at the helm and with a big penalty if we didn’t go into production within a year.”
With Dimension and the Weinstein Company producing the film, Melton explains how Freestyle ended up with the finished pic.
“Once it was made, Bob found himself in a tough spot. He liked the film and we have a very good relationship, but all his money was tied up in bigger movies (Inglorious Basterds, Halloween 2, Pirahna 3-D, etc.) and he couldn’t put it out into theaters. He graciously allowed us to show it to other people and Mickey Liddell ended up buying it, setting it up at Freestyle to distribute theatrically.”
Being that this was conceived as a Saw prequel, it shouldn’t be all that shocking that the film is quite bloody and violent.
“It’s pretty hardcore. We didn’t necessarily set out to make an overly violent or bloody movie, but when our lead character finds himself in the deadly situations of the film, it gets pretty violent and bloody,” Melton reveals to B-D adding that it’s not violent for the sake of violence. “The violence, though, is organic. There is no gore for gore sake. When someone is being hurt, there is a purpose. Information is either being elicited or our hero is hurting himself in order to save others. That being said, by fade out, this might end up being the hardest R in theaters this year.
“Probably the craziest scene is this sex scene in a room filled with potentially deadly traps,” he continues talking about one of the most suspsenseful moments in the film. “The people having sex don’t know what is going on around them, and the scene is shown from the perspective of the killer and our hero. It’s an erotic, titillating moment, but at the same time it’s very intense and suspenseful because our hero is trying to save the people before they set off the traps.
It sounds pretty crazy, which is why it took so long to get an R-rating.
“We got an NC-17 for “Pervasive, sadistic bloody violence.” I believe we were the first film to get that. It took four times at the MPAA to get that down to an R. But as I said, it’s pretty hard. Sorority Row this ain’t.”
The Collector arrives in theaters July 31.