From the vaults of Zombie Hamster: Dave resurrects his chat with the low-budget genius to coincide with the Blu-ray debut of his magnum opus.
“That’s a body of work I hope to eventually forget exists,” snarled genre legend Charlie Band when asked a few years ago about the films he produced in tandem with indie horror icon J.R. Bookwalter. To me, this was akin to a father abandoning his children. Admittedly they were the slightly ugly children, with a cleft palate and a pronounced lisp, but still: how could Band disown the micro-budget wonderment of Don Adams and Harry James Picardi’s Jigsaw (2002), or the gleeful depravity of David P. Barton’s Dead & Rotting (2002)?
Moreover, for a kid left wallowing in the desolate genre slag heap of Great Britain, Full Moon’s begrudged dalliance with Bookwalter’s Tempe Video provided a unique opportunity to obsess over the Bookwalter’s affinity for fellow backyard auteurs such as Wayne Alan Harold (Townies (1999)), Jason Paul Collum (October Moon (2005)), and the eye-popping output of Chris Seaver.
Chris Seaver’s knack is to skillfully blend his own brand of puerile humour with a gonzo directorial style, creating a litany of memorable and divisive films. Early work like Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker! (2001), Filthy McNasty (2002), and Quest for the Egg Salad (2002) should be high up on the curriculum for new Seaverists, but it’s THE WEIRDSIES (2015) that’s undoubtedly his most accomplished work to date.
“Well, I feel it’s a step in the direction I have wanted to go in for a while but didn’t feel as if I could,” Seaver admits. “Every now and then I would stray off the ‘formula’, or what everybody wanted from me, and make something just because I wanted to make it; not for a company or fan service. The Weirdsies was an idea that grew across two years and I felt it was time to pull the trigger. Luckily, my team, who have been with me for more than a decade and a half, were ready to help to make it happen.”
While The Weirdsies sees Seaver at the top of his game regarding writing, it’s the delivery of it by his ardent ensemble that’s vital to the film’s success.
“They’re my best friends,” is the matter-of-fact reason behind his faithful troupe’s nailing of the dialogue. “They know how my writing is, how I want things delivered, how over the top I like things. It’s a well-oiled machine. Having worked with them before, I love the chemistry between these people, and again it helps that we’re friends.”
The chemistry that Seaver talks about pops off the screen, as we learn that Kris (Meredith Host) and her friends Josh (Josh Suire), Jes (Desiree Saetia), and Catie (Kate Lewis) are all frustrated virgins, desperate to pop their collective cherry. “I’m twenty-five and my cooter is as dry as Tatooine,” muses Catie – but as luck would have it, Josh hatches a plan for a ‘necrosexual adventure’. He’s heard whispers of a recently deceased corpse lying undiscovered in a patch of undergrowth, and what’s more, word has it that this cadaver has died while ‘pitching tent’. After agreeing that no erection should go to waste, this foursome set out on a quest to quench their sexual urges.
The notion of a group of four friends making a journey on foot to find a dead body may well make you misty-eyed at the thought of an iconic coming-of-age film, but let me assure you: The Weirdsies‘ twisted sense of humour is far removed from anything that boats a Richard Dreyfuss narration. At just over an hour, this sick puppy of a comedy is a hedonistic delight.
Seaver is adamant that his film should be watched it on the biggest screen possible, which coming from a lo-fi master, is a caveat that raises an eyebrow.
“Well, it’s down to my friend and partner in Midnight Kids [his production company], Clint Kelly. It’s made me see that if we just spend a little more time on the way things look, it’s going to make the film better.”
Better? It looks remarkable! But did that require a change in the way he shot a movie?
“I’m a guy who usually cares more about the dialogue, characters and how funny it was, rather than how the film looked. Clint, though, who shot The Weirdsies as well as the last five or so features that we’ve done, really lit a fire under my ass in regard to the quality of my work and how it should look.”
Of all Seaver’s pictures, The Weirdsies is the one that demands the most attention, and the filmmaker acknowledges that it’s the perfect entry point for his work.
“Well, I DO want it to be seen by as many people as possible. I really want people to see what fans have seen for years, that we’re like this dirty little underground comedy group that have been thriving on the cult scene for eons.”
“I just feel it’s time for a wider audience to see what we’re made of.”
The Weirdsies is out on Blu-ray now via Makeflix