Recently I told ya creeps my thoughts on the new flea-bitten fright flick BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF. In short, I loved the damn thing! And, as fate—along with an arcane ceremony involving spells etched on human flesh, a coupon for 2 for 1 strip steak at Sizzler, and a dog-eared copy of Swank—would have it, the die-rector and producer of ol’ BUBBA are here right now with me in the Crypt o’ XIII! So let’s put our paws together for Brendan Jackson Rogers and Will Phillips!
Famous Monsters. How did ya hear about ol’ Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, and what made ya think that lovable lycanthrope would make a bone-a-fide fright flick star?
Brendan Jackson Rogers.
First off, we couldn’t be more excited to be talking to the Coffin Club. Thanks for having us! Our introduction to the redneck werewolf began with meeting Mitch Hyman
[who I just so happened to have a jaw shesh with right here
! – XIII] through a mutual friend. Mitch had seen our previous movie, FLASHBACK, and approached us about doing the Bubba movie. His enthusiasm for the project was quite infectious, but I have to admit what really got us excited was the title. I mean, “Bubba the Redneck Werewolf”? What’s not to like? Add to it that it’s based on a comic series and we were instantly hooked. We’re huge fans of mixing horror with comedy, and the script by Steve Biro
did a really nice job of that. We knew from the beginning this was going to be a fun ride, and we couldn’t wait to get started.
Will Philips. When looking at the comics, it became clear that they were as much about following the madcap antics of Bubba as they were about showcasing the crazy world of Cracker County in which Bubba lives. Brendan and I were fresh off our first feature, FLASHBACK, in which we got to create the all-digital world of a zany futuristic film studio—and with Bubba, the prospect of getting our hands on another zany world filled to the brim with sight-gags and background jokes,was instantly appealing.
FM. What was the filming of the flick like, and was there any standout ball-bustin’ moments gettin’ the thing in the can?
BJR. Filming was a blast. We were very fortunate to have a great cast and crew and at times very lively extras. The bar we used in the movie never actually shut down during production, so we literally had to shoot around people. I can’t tell you how many times patrons would shout at Bubba (Fred Lass) or the Devil (Mitch Hyman) during a take. Quiet on set was often times not an option, especially when Bobbie Joe (Malone Thomas) or Jamie Sue (Sarah Humbert) were filming. They seemed to get real vocal whenever they were around. Production often would halt because patrons would want to take pictures with the characters. Mitch would be pulled over countless times by someone who demanded to have a photo with the Devil. As ridiculous as this could be, I have to admit the patrons made that location authentic. They brought it to life in the film, and for that I am forever grateful. They even played Werewolves of London on the jukebox when we wrapped production, which made us all smile.
WP. And, of course, anytime you have duties both behind the camera and in front of it, that leads to additional challenges. With Brendan both directing and playing Bubba’s pal Cousin Clovis, he had to constantly ham it up on screen, then slip out his false front teeth and make sure everyone was on track. Meanwhile, I played the Butcher—a Cracker County local who’s got beef with Bubba (pun unfortunately intended)—and whenever you’re acting, the goal is to lose yourself in the character and his or her circumstances and worldview. But when you’re simultaneously worried about shot composition and lighting and staying on schedule, you have to do everything possible to separate the two active headspaces in your mind. The character can’t be burdened by on-set concerns. It’s a challenge you relish, though, as it’s an awesome opportunity to bring such wacky characters to life!
BJR. Our makeup and special effects team was really second to none. I can’t emphasize enough how blown away I was by their work. One of the funniest stories on set, however, had to do with a malfunctioning vomit gun. We were shooting a sequence with the Gypsy (Gail Flemming), and this scene required some light vomiting… as most quality gypsy scenes do. The location we had secured was a beautiful old historic house, full of gorgeous antiques. The gypsy had a pressurized hose with the fake vomit fluid attached to the side of her face. When I yelled action, the idea was the fluid would spew out at a controlled rate. Unfortunately something had gone wrong with the pressure, and when the cue was given, vomit literally spewed all over the room, covering the antiques as well as the actors and crew. It was frustrating… but also hilarious. And it definitely elicited authentic reactions from Fred and Malone.
WP. And while we’re on the topic of ball-bustin’ moments, I feel I’d be remiss not to point out that we have a shot in the movie where a man with gargantuan testicles (don’t ask) is literally punched in the nut. Doesn’t get much more ball bustin’ than that.
FM. This is premature (if I had a dime for every time I’ve had to say that to my legions of ghoulfriends), but any putrid plans in place for a follow up flick for our flea-bitten fiend?
BJR. The fact that there is so much material from the comics to pull from is awesome. Bubba is literally already a franchise. I personally would love to see Bubba battle other classic monsters (vampires, mummies, Frankenstein’s monster, etc), but to give each of these monsters a southern twist. A movie where he has to protect Cracker County from an onslaught of redneck monsters—that would be amazing.
WP. Becoming a werewolf is the best thing that’s ever happened to Bubba—and that makes him pretty unique as a movie monster. Normally in werewolf stories there’s a struggle wherein the hero must try to stave off or fight away his wolf side. Since the value of the identities are reversed here, and Bubba’s happy to be a permanent wolf, I’d love to see Bubba forced to try and fight away his human side. On another note, I think there’s a surprising absence of local law enforcement in this first Bubba movie. Now that Bubba’s established himself as something of an unofficial local deputy, I’d love to see what more authorized agents of justice think about his appearance on the scene. Bubba causes quite a bit of carnage on his quest to save Cracker County—so I imagine they’d be none too pleased. There’s even a perfect character from the comics, Hatchet Hattie, waiting in the wings to fill just this role.
FM. Since we’re jawin’ about wiley werewolves, do ya have a fav werewolf pic (besides yer own that is)?
BJR. I’m a huge fan of John Landis‘ AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. The transformation sequence in that film has never been equaled, in my opinion. The humor throughout it is fantastic. I think when done correctly, comedy and horror are perfect partners, and honestly it was that mixture of genres that excited me most when making Bubba.
WP. I’ve got to admit I usually enjoy werewolves best in ensembles—like in MONSTER SQUAD, the GROOVY GHOULIES, or even Oz in BUFFY. There’s something great about the primal nature of the werewolf when juxtaposed with the scientific nature of a Frankenstein monster or the romantic aura of a vampire. But I think that’s what makes Bubba such a great character: you infuse a fun-lovin’ slacker with these primal powers, and what do you get? A really powerful fun-lovin’ slacker! Bubba’s a werewolf more concerned with his next beer than his next kill, and I think that makes him one of the more relatable werewolves out there.
FM. Where can the Coffin Club keep up on your upcomin’ goings-on?
To follow all news Bubba-related, ‘like’ BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF
immediately! Keep up with what Brendan and I are up to at the And You Films website
We’re constantly releasing comedy short films like The Hobbit Games
, The Walking Inbred
, and House of Mouse of Cards
. We’re still touring conventions with our first film, the sci-fi comedyFLASHBACK
, and we’re gearing up for pre-production on our next feature, DAYLIGHT SAVINGS MUST DIE
, about friends who go on a crusade to stop day light savings time with apocalyptically unfortunate results. Thanks so much for having us! It’s an honor to be down here in the crypt with you.
FM. Well, I’m honored that yer honored! Ya know, you dudes could always hang around; I can always use a good bunion scrubbin’ or pile lanci… hey, where are ya goin’! Man, what a couple of ingrates!!