It was recently announced that iconic guitarist Slash was going to be producing his second genre feature, The Hell Within, which will be funded via a fan campaign in which those out there who want to help get the upcoming project made can enjoy a multitude of badass perks that will be offered throughout the production process. A bunch of incentives have already been announced at, but the site will be continually updated with new perks over the coming weeks as well.

While at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, Daily Dead caught up with Slash to discuss his involvement with The Hell Within, his excitement over being able to engage with his fans on his latest project, as well as his thoughts on the world of indie filmmaking.

Great to speak with you again, Slash, especially now that we’re here talking about a brand new movie only about a year after our last chat, which is pretty exciting. How did everything for The Hell Within come together?

Slash: After Nothing Left to Fear was done, I just kept my nose to the grindstone looking for stories, reading a lot of different scripts and books - this, that, and the other thing, so I have all kinds of plates spinning right now. But then this script came my way and I was just shocked because it was so well-written. It was such a good script. It's written by Jeff Buhler, who really knows how to put together a story. I think what happened is the guy who was directing it, Dennison Ramalho, is a Brazilian guy, really intense director, like somebody who really knows how to put something scary visual together. He got involved with Jeff on the script and moved the whole thing into South America and it just made it really, really dark and really ominous. I was really in love with it.

So it was already established that it was something that they were going to do, so I said, "Can I be involved?" and they were eager to have me involved. We got to know each other first and finally we were all like, "Okay, we're all on the same page here." That's basically it. Now we're heading into production in January and I'm just getting the word out and doing my little bit to use whatever influence I have to get people into it.

I think it’s really cool that you’re bringing this to your fans to get them involved. There's a lot of bad that comes with social media, but there's a lot of good that comes with it and without it, you couldn't engage fans like this 15 or 20 years ago.

Slash: It is really great because you can get everybody involved with the entire production as much or as little as they want to be throughout the whole thing. It's exciting to get as many people who are interested on board and involve them through the whole making, feeding them bits and pieces of stuff that nobody would normally see. Having the support of this army that you sort of built behind the movie, like its own built-in fanbase. It's a lot like how I approach music.

I used to hate dealing with the outlets that you had at your disposal because a lot of it was so inaccurate. You're telling people one thing to go through their filter to be put out in different publications or whatever, that's basically where the information came from. If it was from Hit Parader Magazine or Rolling Stone or whatever it was, you sort of relied on them to promote your music or your tour or whatever it was. It's a very similar situation that happened with movies where you're leaving the marketing team to do their thing. Now, with social networking, you can really put that information in verbatim, there's no middle man - it's cool.

Going back to the story for a second, you mentioned this setting is a Brazilian jungle, which sounds like a lot of fun. Are you guys planning to go to Brazil for this? 

Slash: We're going to shoot it in Colombia. We'll spend six weeks in a Colombian jungle doing this. That's going to be really exciting.

That's really ambitious, especially working on the independent level of film. Is that a little nerve-wracking for you at all? 

Slash: I don't play there all the time, but sometimes we do South America and it's one of our biggest fan bases. Colombia is one of those, like playing in Bogota is hit or miss, because sometimes there's political stuff going on and you're not able to go. But there's a fucking amazing, really passionate audience there, so to be just you and your crew in the middle of the jungle shooting a movie with the cast, that's a whole different concept, and I've never done that, so I'm really excited and intrigued by that. It's in January, which is still pretty warm over there. I'm a big fan of snakes, so I know what I'll be doing, spending my off hours running around chasing after snakes and spiders [laughs].

What I think is really fun about where we are right now with horror is that most of the interesting things happening these days tend to be on the indie side. Was that in the back of your head when you were looking at this project, that it's not really something that you could take to a studio? It's something better kept on your own terms?

Slash: The way I look at it, and I might be a little bit naïve because I haven't been treading water in this business for the last two or three decades. I don’t know a lot about it. But I think the movie industry still, like movies in general, still delivers quality stuff that has a pretty broad spectrum of things that are really good, whereas the music business, which I've been in, treading water for a long time. And I love music, but I don't really like the business, and I think it's become so overly commercial and so nobody takes any risks anymore. I see it in the movie business too, but I still see some really great stories coming out.

But, in the horror genre, studio movies that are good are so few and far between that the only thing you can do is make a movie and cater it to a studio if they're interested. If it flies without having to fucking cut the guts out of it, great, but if you can make it on your own and release it independently, that's fine, because I don't like where it goes when it gets into the studio side of things. I think The Conjuring, which was a pretty good movie, and was also a commercial success, is really, really rare these days. I've seen a lot of studio movies that are so bad, I kinda go, "How did this get made? If anything this should have been the one that went to the VOD and whatnot, how did this get into regular studio circulation? I'll never know."

One last thing I want to ask, just because you obviously have a huge passion for this genre - do you feel like having that passion and being able to know, as a fan, what makes us tick, helps you understand better how to get these movies out there, how to find the right projects, and basically how to connect with the fans, too? 

Slash: I think it definitely helps me find the right projects, in other words, I can read into whatever I'm getting, scripts or stories or whatever, and I can see it when it's something that's really good or something that's not good. I think I'm on a level with the fans where I understand, and I think we're all on the same page, especially on music. I've been doing that longer. I've always related to the same people that I am, and I understand where they're coming from.

As far as the actual trying to get it to the people, that's the trickiest part of filmmaking because there's so many facets you have to deal with aside from just getting the financing for it. You start getting into agents and all the different hurdles you have to jump in order to find the right components to make the movie you want to make. It's tricky, but I think that you just have to be passionate enough and tenacious enough to want to do it and to be able to hang in there through thick and thin until it can happen, until you can produce it. That's the one thing that I feel is definitely compelling enough for me to keep doing it.


  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.