Lordi to rock theaters with ‘Dark Floors’

Finnish band will star in horror movie

STOCKHOLM — In an interview just after Finnish monster-rock band Lordi had won the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest with “Hard Rock Halleluja,” Mr. Lordi said that he wanted producer Markus Selin to contact him. He wanted to make a horror movie.

And, of course, a project based on the pitch “It’s a horror film starring the Lordi guys” is hard to resist.

Since last year’s contest triumph, a script has been written and shooting started on “Dark Floors” early this month. The film is skedded to preem in Finland on Dec. 21.

The project has a budget of about E4.2 million ($5.7 million) and stars the band: Mr. Lordi, Amen the Unstoppable Mummy, Awa the Vampire Countess, Ox the Hellbull and Kita the Alien Manbeast. They play the bad guys, naturally. Pic’s directed by Pete Riski, who’s shot all their videos.

“We were thinking about American and Japanese horror movies in general when we were writing the script and planning the style of the movie. It’s not aimed especially at teens; we will try to make it really scary and not aim it at the broader popcorn audience,” says Selin, whose Solar Films is one of the most successful producers in Finland.

“We are planning two versions of the film, because we know that a lot of Lordi’s fans are young — but there is also a following of older fans. So we’re doing a PG-13 version and a hard-core R version.

“We want to focus on the European market, Japan and America. America will be very exciting for us because Lordi will be one of the three topliners on the Ozzfest tour.”

The film will be shot entirely in English, with an English/American cast.

Swedish director-actor Rafael Edholm (“Baba’s Cars”) asked “if he could perhaps be eaten up or something in the film” when he first heard about the project, but instead Selin tapped him Swedish co-producer. “Dark Floors” also marks the first cooperation between Nordisk Film and Solar Films. “We are expecting very, very good things from this cooperation in the future,” says Selin.

Given the band’s take on music, a film in the lucratively resurgent horror genre seems a natural choice. “I don’t believe in genre thinking, that this and this genre will be big now, this and that won’t,” says Selin. “I always think that if the script is good, that is always the thing to go for.”

Of course, a romantic comedy starring the grotesque rockers probably would be a bad idea. But one never knows.

Lordi will be in Cannes through Saturday, and rumors have it they would also play a short gig. The monster rockers also planned to do “something special” during the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place May 12 in Helsinki.