So here goes.... (and as always Spoilers! Not all but some.)
Four siblings and their partners gather together for their parents 35th anniversary... and yes they are gathering at their parents big in the middle of nowhere home.
Their only neighbors have been killed in the opening of the movie, so its already not looking good for the family.
So the family, firstly we have Mother and Father, Paul and Aubrey, the rich parents.
Paul and Aubrey have bought the house in the middle of nowhere to fix up, a project to work on since being forced out of his job with a tidy severance.
Next up is eldest brother Crispian and his girlfriend Erin. She used to be his student. (much like the couple who are killed in the opening, Erik and Talia, who Aubrey says he left his wife to be with one of his students, as they drive past and up to the house.)
Then we have Drake and his wife Kelly, Drake seems to be the sibling that has followed his fathers footsteps into business.
Then I figure Aimee is next age wise, with her boyfriend Tariq.
And finally the baby of the family Felix and his girlfriend Zee.
Side note of irreverence... 2013 is the 35th anniversary of Halloween but this was made in 2011, so happy coincidence that it got released now?
Not too irrelevant when you can see the influence of Carpenters masterpiece in You're Next... The POV shots, the monotonous, in a good way, and repetitive score. Seriously I loved the music in this movie.... Very Argento in parts, (especially the part where Erin is doing her best Home Alone impression.)
Music suddenly cutting out as the scene changes was effective and gave a jarring effect on me watching it, making me notice the music more... A real feature and not just background noise... Music was really used to set tone, a dark and often comic tone that could only work when the movie went so dark that I was left with nothing but a reaction to laugh.
Adam Wingard swept me along, there is no down time in this movie, I'm not saying there isn't a breather here or there when the action picks up but I never got bored and there was plenty of moments to get to know and care about the family... When the only daughter in the brood goes to make a run to the cars... And as her brother and father swing the doors open and she passes the threshold her throat is sliced by almost invisible wire. I laughed... At first.
I was expecting her to get shot as soon as he doors opened but the sudden throat slitting was like a well placed punch line. Then as she is slowly dying, bleeding out on the floor with her family panicking around her, it had the reverse effect on me, and I wad suddenly on the verge of the room getting a little dusty.
Had we gotten to know Amiee? She had arrived with her documentary underground filmmaker boyfriend and we had been told that she was her daddy's little princess. Not too much to go on but we can infer from the families interactions so much about her life up to this point. To me she is like the rest in that she comes from a wealthy family, privileged and so when she heads off to an Art College, as she doesn't need to follow her father into business like her older brother, she hooks up with Ti West's character. What we see of him before he is killed with an arrow is that he's an "underground" documentary filmmaker.
The paring of Aimee and Tariq makes sense, I can see she probably has travelled the world and is interested in helping those less fortunate.
Yeah, I make my own versions of characters lives a lot.
And before she makes a run for it to the cars... She expresses how her parents had never believed in her... And she would do this selfless act to help save her family and prove to them she is as capable as her brothers. I was routing her on but I wad expecting her to die relatively quickly and I wasn't hardly expecting the cars to be in working order.
But more than all that is that my younger sister is called Amy too. That hit a little close to home. Just like Andrea having to shoot Amy in The Walking Dead... Age difference was similar in that case too.
Another use of music in the movie which is great is the song 'Looking for the Magic' by Dwight Twilley Band being stuck on repeat at the neighbors. I'm not sure when the movie is supposed to be set but this gives the same weight and feeling in time that the use of The Zombies and Dead Man's Bones did in The Conjuring.
The song even has Tom Petty on guitar.
Speaking of nudity on the movie... I wasn't but now that I am. I didn't find it exploitative, it was using the conventions of horror. We didn't see Erin bare any skin and she almost survived... She was literally raised on a survivalist colony. A little fact she had yet to disclose to her boyfriend Crispian.
But she went out like Ben did at the end of Night of the Living Dead. Yet the ending feels fresh but lets not forget this was done many decades ago. Perhaps it's part of a trend of downer endings. But this was after all filmed back in 2011 and has went through Lionsgate buying Summit, and therefore acquiring this movie. So we've had time to get hyped up. I'm sure the hard core horror nuts know about other hard core horror fans having tattoos of this movie, or The Alamo Drafthouse having painted a 'You're Next' emblem on the building, up until it's renovations at least.
I put this sort of hype out of my mind and was expecting something akin to The Strangers, which had been hyped up for me to begin with. That movie and this are both pretty awesome.
So I was pretty much very impressed with this movie, especially as its a movie that answers the question that me and my sister often ask at the end of a slasher.... How does the survivor girl explain all the killings? (Hatchet III did a good job in trying to answer this question too.)
She doesn't get a chance to... As the cop turns up when she is defending herself and it looks to an outsider that she is the deranged killer and he shoots her.
Which a normal horror movie cop wouldn't do as we all know cops in slasher are useless... But sometimes if Wes Craven liked you... Invincible. (Not that the cop makes it out of the movie either.)
So I'm some sort of conclusion... See this in cinemas if you can, pick it up on home release or Netflix it... whatever just show the studios that horror is profitable.
First off I'd like to thank all involved in this project and how welcoming they all are, great bunch of guys! They really deserved their project to be successfully funded!
Can you tell readers a little summary of 'Welcome to the Bubs' and what you hope to accomplish in the future with this project, as I know you are already an award winning filmmaker?
Tony – Welcome to the Bubs is a story about what is the difference between survival and living, and do we as people deserve to live after something like a Zombie Apocalypse.
Where did the idea spring from for 'Welcome to the Bubs'?
Tony – The idea came from a joke we had about seeing Zombies in odd situations, and originally we toyed with a situation comedy and a groan track instead of a laugh track, but soon realized that would be funny for about 30 seconds… so then we morphed that into a story we thought would be a little different and fun to see.
How will your zombies be set apart from zombies we have seen in media in the past?
Kyle - Our zombies will be different in that some have been "domesticated". We've only seen a glimpse of such in past films ie. Day of the Dead and Shaun of the Dead.
Tony – I am a George Romero fan and so my goal is to fit in that world, I loved what Tom Savini did in Day of the Dead, and the spirit of those zombies.
What is your involvement with Welcome to the Bubs?
Anissa Matlock - I play ZL19, the one with the end-goal in mind at all times. I also do a little behind the scenes work: Choreographing fights, assisting with Zombie recruitment, and I'll also be assisting our Key SFX Makeup Artist with the zombification process.
Josh Milligan - I'm an executive producer, location scout, script editor/contributor and many more jobs. Basically if Tony needs something, I make it happen, **cough** squirrel dinner.
Kyle Moncrief - My involvement with Welcome to the Bubs is making Tony's vision a reality, with a few surprises dropped in. I'm the "Key SFX Makeup Artist".
Tony Reames – I am the Director, and the guy with the camera. I am the one that comes up with crazy ideas and present them to these guys and they go, yeah let’s do it even BIGGER…
What interested you about this project?
Anissa - I see it as a great opportunity to gain experience in my field. I also really love Zombies.
Josh - The word zombie, what else do you need more than zombies. As a group we morphed a simple commercial contest into a short.
Kyle - My interest in this project is to do the very best I can to make the audience believe what they're watching! Maybe get noticed and .... I'm with Josh, "Zombies! What more do you need!"
Tony – Personally I love shooting shorts, and I went to school in Pittsburgh so I still go back to the
Monroeville Mall when I am home (from original Dawn of the Dead), it’s like a zombie mecca.
Why do you think it's important to support indie film?
Anissa - Indie filmmaking is what is bringing about our future big-time filmmakers. I think the world wants more than just cookie-cutter-Hollywood-style films and the way to get them is to support independent filmmakers and their craft.
Josh - Indie films are important because they keep the movie industry moving. Indie films do not need heavy backers in order to create something everybody wants to see. Indie films helps the dedicated film maker's dreams going and it shows the film industry that the dedicated can make things happen just as well if not better than the larger muggles.
Kyle - It's important to support indie filmmaking as the most innovative and imaginative ideas spring forth from the simple passion and drive to see a project to fruition! No constraints of public opinion during preproduction. I mean, what would Netflix do to fill their libraries without Indie films, can I get an "Amen"!?
Tony – I grew up on B-Movie/Grindhouse/Indie movies. Anything from Motel Hell all the way to El Mariachi, and I think the most inventive creative people come from situations where they had to do more
When is “Welcome to the Bubs” being released?
Tony – We are still finishing up principle photography then we have editing and post, so we are hoping to have it ready to screen in the late Spring.
How is this different from other Zombie movies?
Tony – Well this story take place long after the apocalypse, and is about a small group of survivors who want to stop surviving and go back to living.
It was a great idea to place the outcome in the hands of the backers, why did you trust the fate of the survivors in their hands?
Tony – This is an experiment. I always hear people say that they like this ending or that ending, and 9 times out of 10 it is the typical ending where everything is summed up nicely and makes the audience feel better about the whole journey. This time I want the people to tell us, we want it to end this way…. We wrote two endings, and one is a nice neat ending, and the other is dark and left open… we shall see what people want.
Who do you admire in the field of special effects and make up and what has drawn you to it?
Kyle - Frankly I have many influences and mentors. Dick Smith, Rick Baker and Stan Winston are idols! I was making paper masks and hats as early as 4 yrs. old, the rest is history.
Tony – As a kid I LOVED ILM and applied for an internship every year. And got very cool rejection letters every year. So I would say pretty much the same as Kyle, but maybe add Ray Harryhausen, I LOVED his work too.
Who are your favourite horror characters and what makes them iconic and memorable to you?
Kyle - Predator, an intergalactic hunter. Raw, primal, yet intelligent! H.R. Giger's Alien, much like zombies, yet faster and you're completely aware of the infestation and pain! And Ed Gein, he is a real American freakshow!! Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs and Psycho were all based on Ed Gein's real life!
Tony – As a kid of the 80’s I have to say Jason Voorhies, Freddy Kreuger, and of course Ash from Evil Dead. I love that time period for film. Growing up they just seemed larger than life.
Why after so many decades do you think zombies are such a popular sub-genre?
Tony – They say that zombie movies gain popularity in times of economic crisis, I am not sure how true this is, but the good movies have always had something to say about the current climate in our culture. I think its popular now because of Walking Dead and the fact that they are telling it from a different perspective and making it about life’s struggles. Like my wife says to people, I love Walking Dead and I am not one of those people that likes Zombies, blech.
What was your first horror movie that had an impact on you and what was the movie/film maker that drew you into the love of filmmaking?
Tony – Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and not because I liked it. My dad rented it for me when I was a kid, and I will never forget I was eating a Dairy Queen hamburger and the scene where the guy gets into the van and starts acting all crazy, I got nauseated and sick. To this day I remember it, and I am not sure if it was food poisoning or that horrible creepy guy. But it stuck with me, so kudos to you Tobe Hooper.
What would you list as your top 3 movies of all time?
Tony – Empire Strikes Back, Army of Darkness, and Hitchcock’s Rope. Odd choices huh?
My top 3 Zombie movies of all time:
1.> Dawn of the Dead (original)
2.> Night of the Comet
3.> Dance of the Dead
And do you have a list of Guilty Pleasures?
Tony – I don’t watch much TV, but I do watch two shows EVERY time, Psych and Colbert Report, do those count?
Of course tv counts, and those are pretty awesome shows nothing to be guilty about there... I play spot the pineapple too. Favourite zombie kill in a comic/tv show/movie?
Kyle - Favorite zombie kill has got to be the recent head stomps on Walking Dead S3!
Tony – hmm. I think the Scene from Friday the 13th when Jason jumps through the window after the woman. I remember this because I remember levitating off the couch
Where can we learn more about the project and what can movie fans do to help now?
We are going to need help getting the word out once its complete, and hopefully we can get some screenings at festivals.
And if all goes well, we can shoot the sequel “Greenville 66” which is both a prequel and a sequel.
Lets support indie movies... you don't like what the studios churn out year after year... well help the little guy, where they don't need to stick to a formula or aim at money off certain demographics... its all about creativity!
One last thing... Needed to post this too, these guys are so awesome that the Fake Shemp that is Bruce "The King, Baby" Campbell retweeted them.