Helter Skelter – NOWNESS

Inspired by Martin Scorsese’s 1967 shocking short The Big Shave—an unflinching body-horror that metaphorically criticized America’s involvement in the Vietnam War—London-born directors Noah Lee and Danny Lee set out to create their own interpretation of the scene, enlisting Palo Alto star Jack Kilmer to play the role of the ‘shaver.’ The young man’s self-mutilation draws creatively on Scorsese’s original bloodbath, while pushing the act in a wholly new direction.

“The self mutilation depicted in The Big Shave was more or less always seen as a metaphor for the self-destructive involvement of the US in Vietnam,” explains now LA-based filmmaker Noah Lee. “Instead, we wanted to avoid any sort of political statement and focus more on one specific character’s very extreme attempt to conform to the pervasive disturbing societal and religious beliefs around him.

“We were also just desperate to see the legend, Jack Kilmer (one of People magazines 50 under 50 sexiest people alive) shave his beautiful, angelic face off. Jack did a scary job at bringing a level of humanity and innocence to this lonely character and we’re forever in debt to him and the other legends that were a part of this skeleton crew, including: maestro cinematographer Chris Ripley, Jason Collins and his legend effects team at Autonomous FX, and always Duke Nicholson for his love, shelter and affection.”

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