Hell is a rock-and-roll musical comedy about a washed up wanna be rock star who dies and goes to a hell run by an out-of-touch devil whose conception of evil is completely outdated. At least that’s how it starts. Saying anything more about the plot would potentially spoil the movie before we’ve even started filming, but if I stop writing now this blog post will only be one paragraph long.
So to describe what Hell is about I've put together a list of movies that helped inspire it. This list certainly isn’t complete, and I’m sure George and Jamie and everyone else involved in writing the script would make their own lists. But here it is!
The Muppet Movie
A goofy musical about a bunch of weirdos. Of course the original Muppet Movie is on the list.
Oh look it's a Scorsese movie, establishing that I am both male and a director. After Hours is his weirdest (well, arguably) and funniest film, about an office dude who has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop. It has great cinematography, and is darker and more surreal than that blurb makes it sound. This is probably visually closest to how I want Hell to look.
Phantom of the Paradise
Phantom of the Paradise is a bizarre rock-and-roll version of the Phantom of the Opera. It flopped when it was released (except, oddly, in Winnipeg, Canada where it was a huge hit) but over time has gained a much deserved cult following. It really should be as well known as the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Terry Gilliam's Brazil is about a bureaucrat in a retro-future world who tries to correct an administrative error and ends up becoming an enemy of the state as a result. No movie had a bigger influence on how I initially envisioned both the heaven and hell of Hell.
A very funny and absurd movie from The Lonely Island that almost no one seems to have seen. If Hell gets half as many laughs as Hot Rod gets from everyone I've shown it to, I'll be very happy.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A very funny and absurd movie that pretty much everyone has seen. Made on a much smaller budget than you might expect, the split responsibilities approach that Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam took when directing Monty Python and the Holy Grail inspired the approach that George and I are taking with Hell.