Pret-a-Reporter

Watch: Director Robert Rodriguez's Short Film for Happy Socks

Courtesy of Troublemaker Studios

‘Sock ‘Em Dead’ is a bit of a departure from his usual horror-flick genre — but not that far off.

If there's one time of the year when it makes sense for film director Robert Rodriguez — who works with actresses like Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba and just directed Demi Lovato’s most recent music video — to do a collaboration with colorful Swedish brand Happy Socks, it’s the time leading up to Halloween. Appropriately enough, his just-released designs and film, titled Sock ‘Em Dead, are full of fangs.

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Rodriguez, whose flicks tend to be action-packed and scary, was approached by Happy Socks and given carte blanche to do whatever he wanted with a video. He said, “What about an action-type horror idea?” Even better, he was able to piggyback the shoot on his show From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series in Austin, Texas, so he had the “extra-huge layer of production value.”

The short film stars Madison Davenport and also features Wilmer Valderrama, frequent Rodriguez collaborator Danny Trejo and a very convincing vampire. The storyline: behind the scenes of a horror-film set where the actress "encounters a real vampire in her trailer while she is admiring her socks, and she has to become a real vampire hunter, using the socks somehow," said Rodriguez. The result was the perfect combo of funny and frightening.

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The director said the goal with this project was “the idea of the brand and product [to] make you smile or laugh or get scared. I always like to think how I can make the brand the hero and entertain the viewer at the same time.” And, as a cartoonist, he especially enjoyed the design process that led to three styles, which are now available in stores, including the new Abbot Kinney shop.

“Originally, the idea was that the blood would be dripping from the lips and pooling up in the bottom of the sock, but that was going to be too hard to do as a repetitive pattern, so they just have the teeth and fangs,” said Rodriguez. “But it’s my drawing on there, and I am very proud of that — of seeing my name in a pair of socks, of all things, I thought that was cool.”

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