Justin Slayer Directs <i>Merc</i> for Evil Angel

VAN NUYS, Calif. - AVN award-winning director Justin Slayer is nearing completion on an ambitious project called Merc. Tentatively slated for September release through Evil Angel, the high-definition feature stars Slayer, Cheyenne Jacobs, Roxy Reynolds, Melrose Foxxx, Nat Turnher and Greedy.

Merc is an endeavor Slayer kept tightly under wraps until it was almost done … even from the powers that be at EA. His secrecy, he told AVN in an exclusive interview, stemmed from a desire not to have the creative process of making the movie hampered by deadline pressure.

"When you work under the pressure to complete the project, what happens is it forces you to compromise some of what you want to put in the movie or what you need to get in the movie in order to make the deadline, in order to make the release date, in order to get an AVN ad, in order to get the artwork done," Slayer said. "Now you're worrying about all the other shit that don't got shit to do with the movie! That's what fucks up movies."

Slayer described Merc as "a murder mystery sex scandal all rolled up into one." The director told AVN that he drew on his own experiences for the story, and embarked on the project with one goal in mind: to break away from his established form.

"I wanted to do something different. I got a lot of titles, man, and a lot of them have pretty much been the same type of style and feel and format," Slayer explained. "I wanted to switch gears a little bit and test the market with a product like this one. So we decided to come up with a plot, make a movie, as opposed to shooting gonzo.

"I really tried to stay true to [the gonzo aesthetic], as far as making it real, that whole Blair Witch Project type of feel," he continued. "I came with that from the start, from day one … we made guerilla gonzo. So now I'm coming into the feature situation, and we decided to shoot it so it looks like a feature, it looks like a movie. I wasn't gonna try to do no Gone With the Wind or no bullshit like that, because that would have been a stretch. That's usually what makes adult features bad, is that you got adult movie actors [trying] to pull off complicated dialogue and situations that take them too far away from their normal personalities. So what I wanted to do was create characters and use the talent pool available to be able to pull off the character."

Slayer allowed his actors to riff on situational and/or emotional prompts he gave them, as opposed to making them adhere rigidly to a script.

"It's like jazz, man," he said. "The bass line comes in first, and now you get a vibe based on the bass line. And then your keyboard is gonna come in after that, 'cause he's gonna pick up on the vibe on that bass line. And now the song is created by the feeling that happened from the bass. It's a rhythm, it's a vibe … so the same thing happens when I'm making movies. We're playing music, man. Motherfuckers just chillin', so we can pick up a vibe and an energy. And then when the sex happens, it's even better, because now the girls are into the shit, the shit is more real, and that's ultimately what I'm selling to the people."

Merc is planned as a trilogy, with the first release actually falling in the middle of the complete story's events. The following release will serve as a prequel and the third part as a sequel.