|Dark Floors – The Lordi Motion Picture|
Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Pete Riski|
|Produced by||Markus Selin|
|Written by||Pekka Lehtosaari|
|Music by||Ville Riippa|
|Edited by||Antti Kulmala
The Icelandic FilmCompany
|Distributed by||Solar Films
Dark Floors – The Lordi Motion Picture is a 2008 Finnish horror film that features Lordi band members playing the monsters. Mr. Lordi has also designed the logo of the movie. The film was released in February 2008 and stars William Hope, Leon Herbert, Philip Bretherton, Ronald Pickup, and Skye Bennett. A new Lordi song, Beast Loose in Paradise, is featured in the end credits of the movie.
Sarah (Skye Bennett) is an autistic girl, residing at 'St. Mary's Hospital'. Her father, Ben (Noah Huntley), concerned about the state of the hospital, finally decides to take his daughter home as an MRI catches fire with Sarah inside it. They board an elevator with a group of strangers, including a businessman, Jonathan or "Jon" (William Hope), a nurse named Emily (Dominique McElligott), tramp Tobias (Ronald Pickup), and security guard Rick (Leon Herbert), but when the elevator reaches the next floor down, the hospital is abandoned. It soon becomes clear the safety of the group rests upon Sarah.
- William Hope as Jon
- Leon Herbert as Rick
- Ronald Pickup as Tobias
- Philip Bretherton as Walter
- Noah Huntley as Ben
- Dominique McElligott as Emily
- Skye Bennett as Sarah
- Mr Lordi as Lead Monster
- Amen as Monster
- Kita as Monster
- Awa as Monster
- OX as Monster
Dark Floors was a concept that Mr. Lordi had maintained interest in since he had first launched his band. Horror films had played a key role in shaping the look of the Lordi costumes. Indeed, with the production of 'The Kin' in 2004, Mr. Lordi's expertise in makeup, costume design and prosthesis had gained him some considerable experience. Shortly after the band's Eurovision victory, Mr. Lordi asked film producer Markus Selin to contact him with any movie ideas he may have. Mr. Lordi had previously worked with Selin as a storyboard artist.
The vast majority of leading actors in the film are British, a choice made by Mr. Lordi.
The film was produced between March and April 2007. The general populace of Oulu largely played the background characters, from the living nurses to the dead, yet animate, bodies. Amputees were also largely asked for, to play the zombies, and many were willing to collaborate. Each extra had five minutes screen time maximum.
Lordi's part in the film
All of Lordi's then-current lineup are present within the film. The band had been working on an accompanying end credits song (which turned out to be Beast Loose in Paradise). Performing this song for the end credits, the band members believed, would not ruin the atmosphere that became one of Dark Floors's strong points. Indeed, none of the Lordi members have spoken dialogue in the film, choosing instead to communicate with roars and growls. In addition, stunt extras were used when certain shots were difficult for the actual members to pull off, notably a stunt double actually running in Ox's costume.
Only Awa was present in the film by means of special effects; her scenes were shot using green screen. The four other members – Mr. Lordi, Kita, Ox and Amen – were all present in person for their scenes.
Mr. Lordi, in addition to designing the film's logo, conceived a large portion of the story, and co-wrote the aforementioned song 'Beast Loose In Paradise.' The film's atmospheric musical underscore was composed by Ville Hang.
During most of Dark Floors' production, Lordi was actively involved in Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest tour, with stunt doubles filling in for them for certain scenes. Nonetheless, each member took an active part in the overall development of the movie. An example of a scene shot without the involvement of one of the actual bandmembers occurs in the morgue scene, in which Kita pulls out one corpse's internal organs.
The full budget of Dark Floors reached $4.3 million (U.S.), making it one of the most expensive movies made in Finland. Most of the budget was spent on special effects design, set construction, and a large marketing campaign, along with the post-production process.
Scenery and Special Effects
The sets were the largest constructed in Finland, taking up a massive 1700 square metres during the basement carpark scene. Electrical work was very much conventional, using the same method as for a family home. It had been originally planned to shoot the film on location in the Baltics, but the village of Oulu was chosen instead, with special effects used to replicate a city when necessary. The production team visited hospitals to research the workings of an X-ray, thereby adding both credibility and authenticity to the CGI-rendered X-rays shown.
When principal photography was completed, the extended post-production phase was launched, including the insertion of Awa's ghostly appearance. This served to complement the other special effects that contributed in no small measure to the film's overall look.
Advertisement and promotions
The film was originally intended to premiere in 2007, at the Eurovision song contest in Helsinki, whose opening number, featuring Lordi, with a performance of 'Hard Rock Hallelujah.' Unfortunately, the team could not finish their tasks in time; moreover, Lordi were already putting final touches on their Bringing Back the Balls to Europe tour. Post-production was therefore expanded into May of the same year, and was eventually rescheduled to December.
The press conference was held at the Cannes Film Festival the weekend of the 19th and 20 May 2007. Lordi appeared personally, as did director Pete Riski, producer Markus Selin, and virtually all the leading actors. All involved responded to questions, and shared unusual anecdotes on making the film.
Dark Floors was slowly 'leaked' by way of a marketing campaign, and the press were permitted to witness the production of Kita's lift scene, although everything else was kept under wraps.
The film was released on Region 2 DVD in the UK by Metrodome Distribution on 20 April 2009, priced at £12.99 RRP. The release includes several extra features, listed as "Behind the Scenes of Dark Floors", "Cast & Crew Interviews", and "Dark Floors World Premiere featurette including Q&A with Lordi, the cast and crew and a live Lordi performance". The film is rated 18 by the BBFC for "strong bloody violence and horror".
Even though the film was a box office disappointment in Finland, it rose to gold in the DVD charts.
Elsewhere it has largely been criticised for confusing plots and little explanation, but has sold reasonably well, with new DVD releases in separate countries still taking place.
- Solar Films
- "dark floors -arvostelu - Arvostelut.net". Arvostelut.net<!. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- Helsingin Sanomat (2008-02-06). "Lordi-elokuvan avausviikonloppu oli vaisu - HS.fi - Viihde". HS.fi. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- DVD Times - Metrodome in April
- BBFC - Dark Floors classification information
|Wikinews has related news: Lordi to star in horror movie|
|Wikinews has related news: Lordi horror movie receives 300,000 euros of Finnish government funding|
- Solar Films's Dark Floors Site
- The Finnish Film Foundation's Dark Floors page
- Nordisk Films: Dark Floors
- Nordisk Film International Sales: Dark Floors
- Kaleva newspaper's Dark Floors gallery
- Dark Floors — The Lordi Motion Picture at the Internet Movie Database
- Dark Floors — The Lordi Motion Picture at AllMovie