LRMonline GenreVerse

Big Kill: Scott Martin On Bringing The Ultimate Western Movie

Western movies need to be brought back.

The saloons, gun fights, good versus evil, riding in the desert—there’s plenty of western themes that made notable stars with Hollywood legends like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sam Elliott and Burt Lancaster.

In the recent western movie, Big Kill, it seems to capture most of those elements.

The film stars Jason Patric, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christoph Sanders, Scott Martin and Clint Hummel. It is directed and written by Scott Martin.

The storyline follows a tenderfoot from Philadelphia with two misfit gamblers on the run to make a new life in a town that gone bust called Big Kill. It eventually leads to the destined ultimate showdown with a deadly preacher.

LRM Online had a phone interview with actor and director Scott Martin. We talked about his love for westerns and capturing the main elements and themes for Big Kill.

It is playing in select theaters.

Read our exclusive interview with Scott Martin below.

LRM: Tell me where the original idea actually came from for Big Kill.

Scott Martin: I actually wrote the script twelve years ago. I’ve always wanted to do a western. I’ve been a huge fan of westerns for as long as I’ve been a fan of movies. Now I’m talking even from the thirties all the way through [today]. I just really liked the genre. We started it on about 12 years ago and it didn’t quite happen back then. It turned out to be a blessing. We had the opportunity here to do it.

The thing is I really liked. I liked the genre. I like all different types of westerns. Especially, I feel like right now there aren’t a lot of classic style western. The kind that I, myself, love to watch and grew up watching. That’s what I wanted to make as a western that I would want to see. You want to see over and over again. It’s something like Silverado, or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When it comes on the TV–well, I’m stuck there for two hours. I’m not moving. My plans stop and change. I’m watching the movie. That’s really on what I wanted to create. Something that is enjoyable for people to watch in a western or in that vein.

LRM: That explains all the different types of western scenes the themes that you actually included into your movie. The only thing that you were missing was a clock tower, in my opinion. [Laughs]

Scott Martin: Exactly. Exactly. That’s the other thing is that I wanted to do is, I haven’t really seen, blend the types the types of westerns. In my opinion, you have the classic big score, American styled western. The other side of that is you have the westerns that came out from the sixties. Of course, some of them from the US, but notably the Italian westerns that were made in Spain. They are the spaghetti westerns. It’s a very distinct style. They’re different and both very enjoyable. I wanted to do a sort of blend of those styles and create this movie. That was really the goal.

LRM: Where did you exactly a film this production now? It wasn’t outside of Los Angeles, right?

Scott Martin: It was New Mexico. The town itself was Bonanza Creek Ranch. It was a great location and is run by a fantastic woman. On the first day of scouting, she offered us coffee and apple pie she just baked. She sat us down and told us all about the ranch. She told us to make sure that the ranchers knew that we were supposed to be for parts of property, otherwise if they didn’t know us then they might shoot us by accident. I was, “Okay. This is west. This is where we need to be.” Perfect.

LRM: All those are building structures that are already there on the ranch. She basically had a mini town. Wow!

Scott Martin: It’s been there for a long time. They shot a lot of pictures there. It even goes back to Young Guns. Lou Diamond Phillips came out and he was telling us stories about being there for Young Guns one and two. We either stayed the same hotel that they stayed in for Young Guns. So there was a lot of good stories there.

LRM: Wow. That’s amazing. What kind of elements did you want to, for sure, include into Big Kill. And where did the name Big Kill came from?

Scott Martin: It was the name of the town Big Kill, right? It just kind of came up. I don’t remember exactly where I got from in writing. It just seemed appropriate. [Chuckles]The town became Big Kill.

For the themes themselves, to me, it’s a buddy movie. It’s an adventure. It’s a buddy adventure film. I really want the audience to go on a ride with these guys and get to know them. It’s to let these three guys, become their friends. It becomes the classic good versus evil. With the main bad guy, The Preacher, I also wanted to show that he has his own demons. He is the way he is because he has his own demons and his own things. He was more than just one dimensional.

LRM: Talk about the cast you’ve recruited. You’ve recruited some big names to play villainous roles for this film.

Scott Martin: [Laughs] I’m very fortunate. The role of Johnny Kane, that’s one that is particularly difficult and interesting to cast. We have a sociopathic killer, who is very, very dangerous, but also extremely charismatic. We have to have that right person who can do that well. [We need] the audience to like them when they come on screen. First person that we were thinking of was with Lou Diamond Phillips. His history of films and filmography with the things he’s done it–he just has that charisma that just bounced off the screen. When we sent it over to him,he read it and said, “Yeah. I want to do this.” I had surprised myself. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited.

We be able to get a Jason Patric for the role of the preacher. He was to play a kind of deep, dark character. It was those two guys were able to anchor the cast. We were able to get Danny Trejo to come out for a couple of days. He played a fun role. He really brought a lot of life and energy to General Morales. And there was even Michael Pare. We are very fortunate to get them. I guess they respect the materials and said yes.

LRM: For Lou Diamond Phillips’ costume, which is the red cowboy outfit, was that originally thought by you or was that someone else on your production staff?

Scott Martin: It’s our costume designer, Toby Bronson. I call him a mad genius. He’s fantastic. Before we even went out there, we went through the different types of looks that I was looking for. I want to make sure that there’s a lot of color in the movie. There was a lot of color in the west of that time. I wanted to make sure there’s a lot of color and a lot of personality. All the characters needed to be different. Each one needs to stand out from the others. When we got to New Mexico, he started pulling costumes and stuff. He showed me some of the ideas for Johnny Kane played by Lou Diamond Phillips. I was blown away. I liked this one and this one. But, he wanted me to be more specific.

One of those was the red one. One the day that Lou came out to set and was doing his fittings. I had just happened to go back into my trailer to grab something. Somebody knocked on my door and I opened it up and there’s Toby’s standing there with Lou in this magnificent red suit. I don’t know how to describe it. My jaw was about to hit the floor. This is amazing. We have to do this. They’re both excited about it and it just worked. Lou Diamond Philips is one of the only people who can pull off that suit, I mean it and make it right. He made it right for the character and not look outlandish or crazy. It just worked perfectly with him.

LRM: I agree. I believe that worked perfectly as the character’s personality. That was an excellent decision.

Scott Martin: Exactly. He’s got that mustache. H always got this smile after .basically threatening to kill somebody or kill somebody. It was creepy and awesome all at the same time.

LRM: Now, how did you come to the decision to direct the movie yourself and also put yourself into the film?

Scott Martin: When I first wrote it 12 years ago, I was always intended to play the role of Jake. Clint Hummel, who plays Travis, was definitely Travis. We’ve been on this this idea on who we wanted to play. We brought it back up again recently. I’ve grown up as a filmmaker with other pictures. At this point, I knew the story and the characters so well. It just made sense for me to direct it as well.

LRM: What do you suppose was the most difficult thing you had to do for this project? Besides that it was a 12-year long project.

Scott Martin: [Laughs] I would say the hardest part was shooting in New Mexico in November and December. I didn’t realize how cold it gets. I had no idea. It intended to be a warm movie with the sweat and the grit. The wardrobe was geared that direction. We had nights in the single digits. It got so cold that the propane feeding our heaters froze. I didn’t know propane freezes. I didn’t know that was possible. Everybody was game. Everybody worked through it. We seemed to have a really good time, but that was really interesting to be shooting in the cold. Trying to draw a gun quickly that is metal and freezing with our hands that don’t quite work is pretty interesting. [Laughs]

LRM: One of the things I’ve noticed, but I don’t know if other people noticed. It’s the music and sound throughout the entire film. You’ve captured that western feel. Could you talk more about that? It’s very unique.

Scott Martin: Thank you. Thank you. We spent a lot of time and we were very specific with the music. It’s a blend of the idea of using a blend of the bigger brass type of music you would find in some westerns then mixing that in with specific like the spaghetti western type of feel. And even some modern sounds to it. We wanted to add in some interesting sounds. There were certain points where I wanted it to sound sort of like a heartbeat leading up to something. I wanted the trumpet to, especially in some of the fight scenes, be leading up to the big fights in finales. I wanted the trumpet to be the star. I wanted the trumpet to lead. It just had such a good sound. When it gets up there in higher notes and it just unbelievable. I told Kays [Al-Atrakchi], who did the score, I said I wanted a song leading up to the big showdown with Kane and the boys and with the good guys. I wanted the trumpet to sound like a woman wailing–for a soul about to be lost. That’s what I want. Then underneath that, a march to battle.

I think he did a brilliant job with it. I think it had just a really good job. We were very, very happy with the music that, that Kays created. I really hope he gets some recognition for it, because it’s very unique. It’s all created just for this movie. And then there’s even the sound part! We had Tim Tuchrello and Kami Asgar over there who do much bigger movies in this. They did the sound design. We’re very fortunate to have them. I’m thrilled with the way the sound came out.

LRM: I definitely noticed that.

Scott Martin: Thank you.

LRM: One last question. What is your all-time favorite western that you love watching?

Scott Martin: Man, that’s a tough one. I can’t say an all-time favorite. I can go more towards different style like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Love it. Obviously, Tombstone and Unforgiven. I think Silverado doesn’t get recognition that deserves. I think probably one of my favorites might be Once Upon A Time In The West. That’s an amazing movie. Searchers. There may not be a more beautiful movie out there than Searchers. I don’t know if I can say a favorite.

You definitely do sound like a western fan. I will have to admit it. Excellent. Well, I appreciate this conversation. I loved a lot of the western themes you put into this movie. I really love the eye close-ups of all the people in the finale. That was a pretty intense and that just brought me right me memories of all the other westerns. Excellent job.

Scott Martin: I’m glad. Thank you very much.

Source: LRM Exclusive

Night Terror Banner   GenreVerse FOR FANBOYS, BY FANBOYS Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcasts and videos on The Genreverse Podcast Network? Available on YouTube and all your favorite podcast apps, This multimedia empire includes The Daily CoGBreaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, Anime-Versal Review Podcast, and our Star Wars dedicated podcast The Cantina. Check it out by listening on all your favorite podcast apps, or watching on YouTube! Subscribe on: Apple PodcastsSpotify |  SoundCloud | Stitcher | Google Play
Share the Post: