The writer/producer cranks it up for his first foray into the medical/horror/thriller genre

Having created Crank, one of the most kinetically charged films of 2006, writer/director/producer Mark Neveldine knows how to get inside people. This idea is taken to the extreme in his most recent effort as producer of the film, Pathology. Filled with more gruesome scenes that you can shake a stick at, this medical/horror/thriller is about a group of med students who hatch a scheme to see who can commit the perfect crime -- one that even a fellow pathologist couldn't unravel.

During our visit to the set, Neveldine took a few moments away from putting blood and meat byproducts into fake bodies so he could share some insights into the film.

We've heard about the research that went on for this film...

Mark Neveldine: Yes, Brian Taylor (Pathology co-writer and producer) and I love hanging out at the morgue. We thought for this movie, it's about Pathologists, why not bring the whole cast and crew down and... anybody that really wanted to go to the morgue for a tour, so we did four or five times. Basically, what we did with the actors is we made them watch the full autopsy. Through the Y-cut, removing the rib plates and taking out all the organs, weighing the organs and reflecting the skin away and taking the brain out; then sewing them back up. We even showed them some... tests and x-rays and how they photograph the body when they come in. We thought it would be really important for them to know.

The funny thing is, on days like today, when we're ripping a body open and we're trying to do this all in f*cking 10 minutes, it's good that all the actors know what's going on because some of them will say, "Well, wait a second, that colon is not in the right place!" Or, "That chest plate is not on properly." It's great. So everyone is sort of helping out and collaborating with this. It's sick little world we're creating but the fact is people are doing this every day by the millions; they're doing autopsies on people. One out of every three of us will end up in a morgue because of an accidental or unnatural death. We just kind of want to get the story out there and show some of this in a cool way. Which is, a game between really cool, awesome, intelligent pathologists; young residents.

Are you aware of any parallels you might be drawing to Alfred Hitchcock's Rope?

Mark Neveldine: I don't know if we were aware of that. We love Rope, we're big fans of Hitchcock but consciously, no, definitely not. Now somebody brought it up on a blog and I think my mom sent it to me and she's like, "People are saying it's like Rope!" I'm like, "Really? I guess?" Have you read the script?

Not yet.

Mark Neveldine: It's like Rope but the Rope is a small intestine. It's like 40 feet long. (Laughs) That's basically what the rope is.

When was this film written?

Mark Neveldine: We wrote Crank in 2002. In like 4 and a half days. Then we waited two months and we started talking about this idea in a bar. We wrote it like 4 months after Crank; after we wrote Crank. Of course, neither movie got made until 2005. So yeah, we wrote it after.

Were you ever going to direct Pathology?

Mark Neveldine: I was at one time. Funny enough, it was going to be a our first film. It was going to be that little $5 million dollar indie film. We were gonna bang it out, get all blood and guts with and Sam Raimi that sh*t. What happened was that Crank ended up going first. Brian and I moved in a direction of wild, frenetic, action mode movies. So, of course, (laughs) we signed a bunch of deals at studios and kinda locked ourselves into movies we were like, "Damn, we really can't direct this movie so lets go out and try and find somebody who can." We met a bunch of directors and Marc (Schoelermann; the director) just had a really sick take on the movie. A real honest take.

He didn't want this to be some other f*cking horror film. He wanted the audience to feel like we're gonna walk into a morgue.

Pathology hits movie theaters April 18th from MGM.

Evan Jacobs at Movieweb
Evan Jacobs