Chris Seaver and Low Budget Pictures have a very special place in my heart. It extends beyond my personal friendship with him and the work we’ve done together (my band has written and recorded songs for a handful of his films and I had the honor of being in Deathbone). First and foremost, I am a fan of LBP and what they do. Chris is one of those freakish, pervert geniuses like John Waters, H.G. Lewis, or Kroger Babb in the sense, that he doesn’t hold back…at all. He’s not afraid of pushing the levels of acceptability or decency for the sake of the laugh. One can’t just pigeonhole his films into the horror genre. Then again, they aren’t just comedies. Each one of them is a hybrid of weird worlds that he’s created around him. Magical, demon-fighting sisters, half man/half ape, time-traveling sexual deviants, mythical heroes with Philadelphian accents, overly aggressive rednecks, and all things absurd inhabit these worlds.
Closing in on their 20-year mark, LBP has a crop of films coming down the pike to keep up the tradition. Some are revisiting some old familiars (Filthy McNasty 4 and Mulva 3!) but most are heading into new territory that will surely excite his fans to no end. Seaver’s brand of nastiness isn’t for the casual moviegoer but it is steeped in the tradition of 80’s slasher schlock that has kept horror fans loyal to LBP. As time goes on, he seems to be spreading his wings further and further, which allows new ideas to burst forth and keep us coming back. And unlike a lot of micro-budget film companies, LBP’s stable of regular actors outshine a lot of their competitors with the ability to understand Seaver’s writing. This would include understanding the horror genre’s lighter side as well as being able to spot the joke-all things that make watching LBP flicks entertaining.
The following conversation I had with Chris Seaver is he at his best-funny, candid, and honest. All things I’ve grown to love about the guy. He answers the questions without worrying about being political or having some sort of diplomacy. Rather, he puts himself out there with a refreshing self-awareness that you’re not going to find with a lot of film makers. This should draw you to his movies if you’re not already familiar and have you in love with his work. Supporting guys like him is what keeps the genre moving and we need Chris Seaver to keep moving…and keep making us laugh.
BS: So, for a guy who has now been making films longer than he hasn’t, you’re still pretty fun-loving and happy go lucky. How have you maintained a good sense of humor in such a nasty business as indie film?
CS: You have to. Sure, things can get to you now and again. But I have always said not to take this shit to heart. Just have fun with it. Its fucking movies, for Odin’s sake. We aren’t creating a fucking solar system or curing diseases and what nots. Entertainment. Pure and Simple. Just have a blast.
BS: The Low Budget Pictures universe is unlike any other in the sense that it has it’s own way of speak and hybrids of people and personalities. Where did the whole world come from? Is it something that you had always sorta anticipated doing, or did it take on a life of its own as time went on? Are there any characters specifically that you will always love and/or wish would fucking die?
CS: Well, I think it just turned out that way. I went off of what the fans were telling me. The response to some of the characters I was flinging at people were overwhelming to some degree. Some hit and some miss. I just figured they all needed a place to stay, to live, so everything became Bonejack oriented. Bonejack High, Bonejack Heights, Bonejack University, so on. It worked pretty well for a while and people seemed to really dig it. I LOVE Heather and Puggly, big time. They are the best characters I’ve created in my book. I know lots of people disagree, but that’s cool. There are enough to go around. I am sick of Teenape and Bonejack, for sure. I LOVE Deathbone and Choach, love Caspian and Leo, Marge is AWESOME, Jock De Queaf seems to be a new fan fave. It’s just sweet to have people respond to something you create.
BS: Over the last couple of years, your films have been pulling away from that old LBP way. Explain how you feel about that world and what you want to do with your films from here on out.
CS: It’s natural progression, I think. It gets old real quick, I think. Writing the same shit over and over can get lame. I do it for the fans but the inching away from that world has been me wanting to do different things. Yes, keep some of the characters but put them in different situations and adventures that DON’T connect to any of the other flicks or the world. I am liking it shit tons more with each film. Sometimes I go back for the companies, like some of the sequels here and there have been all studio requests and what not. I don’t mind it, if it has some time to brew and stew. Like, we went back to Filthy 4 for Tempe and it has been 6 years since we did the last one. But I injected my newer shtick into it to keep it fresh. I am also doing a new Mulva, again, 6 years since the last one. Its coming up on 10 years since we did the first flick! Crazy. I look forward to the disconnected stuff way more though. I understand that people love that world and I will go back from time to time for sure. But I like the direction I’m going in.
BS: I’ve always considered you similar to guys like John Waters and H.G. Lewis, because you were deliberately going over the top and making the writing, characters, and effects completely insane. Who are the guys from this world that have really been a source of inspiration? I know you like the big budget fellas, but you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing without some of these sleaze masters. Especially looking at a John Waters film, you do the similar thing of writing these outrageous characters that could only exist in THAT world. Are the characters inflated versions of actual people in your life, like Mr. Waters, or is it just all part of the weirdness that goes on in your head as you’re writing?
CS: Well I love John Waters, Sam Raimi, Romero, John Carpenter, Peter Jackson, J.R. Bookwalter, Charles Band, Dave Decoteau, Albert Pyun, Robert Rodriguez, Roger Corman, Tom Holland, Fred Dekker, James Cameron, Lloyd Kaufman(not so much anymore) John Hughes, The Zucker Brothers, Python, and so on. I think, my stuff came about due to my love of Airplane, Fright Night, Toxic Avenger, Bad Taste and shit like that. I am big into Comedy and Horror and I think it was just a natural thing for me to explore. Even though I can say without hesitation, that my stuff is far more goofy than scary and that’s how it should be. I make comedy with horror themes for sure. Some of the characters are based on people I know for sure and I just bend them to my minds version of these people. Some just come out of nowhere.
BS: Over time, LBP has gained and lost some really fun actors. I am certain that not all these partings were amicable, but I also know that making a film can be very strenuous, especially when it’s an indie film with a lot of budget and time restraints. Looking back, are their any situations where you think ” I really miss that person in my movies. Wonder if there was anything I could’ve done differently in that situation”? Or, are you in the mindset of just saying good riddance and moving on with out them? I know that for myself, as a fan, there are some folks that I miss seeing in the films. What has happened with some of these people? Where’d they go, and do you miss any of them?
CS: Well, truth be told, some of them are back. Some will NEVER come back and it is for a good reason. They were shitty people. I have a low tolerance for dick heads and shit tards. If you fuck me over, or the gang over, or the movies over in someway then you are dead to me. I am a big fan of loyalty. Jesse Green came back recently and it was cool. We had a good 6 year break and it was like old times when he came back. I just called him outta the blue. I’m not gonna go into it as far as why I booted him outta my life in the first place. But it is very cool to have him back. Some of the gang just decided to leave on their own. They wanted to move on or do other things. Some are sort of in and out. When they CAN do a movie they will do it, that sort of thing. You have to understand, that none of the LBP crew are actors at all (besides Billy Garberina and Debbie Rochon). They all have lives and such, and I bring us all together. Yes, some of them live close and we do
hang out all the time, but a nice chunk of the gang are pooped about the country and come to the Avengers Assemble call when a movie is ready to rock and roll. The people that have been with me for years, these people are the loyal bunch. And I LOVE them all dearly. And I can tell you this, for not being actors, they kick SO much ass doing it, you would think that they were.
BS: You’ve been pretty open with your love for films that get panned pretty hard by critics ( i.e. Transformers), and you’ve also gushed over films like Avatar that were HUGE blockbusters. I think a lot of folks would find that surprising, after watching one of your films. If you could, please sound off on the current state of film and where it’s all heading. Are we all viewing things the wrong way or is film in a good state right now? Give us your thoughts.
CS: Well, here is the thing…I’m a geek that does not nitpick. I’m a geek that does not have the movie already playing in their head before they SEE the movie, and when said movie does not live up to their version playing in their head, FLIP the fuck out all over it. I am also not a geek that pre-judges a movie before seeing it or that gives a flying fuck what critics say about shit. I like what I like, and that’s the bottom line. I am a big kid and I have NOT lost that wonder that I had when I was younger. I can go see Transformers and geek the fuck out over it cuz’ it is purely and simply, KICK ASS! If you are going to see Transformers for any other reason that to see Prime and Megatron turn into vehicles and kick the shit out of each other, then you’re a friggin’ moron. I’m sorry. There are movies out there for you to “use your brain” to and there are movies out there where you just have a fucking blast with. Done and done. I can do both and am not a snob about it. I think it comes down to being able to still be a kid. I like what I like. I can dig on both big budget blockbusters and the lowest turd on the fecal chain. If it appeals to my “Fuck yeah” response than full steam ahead. Here is something…I think the Dark Knight is a giant turd. There is no way you can sit there and tell me that THAT was a fucking Batman movie! It was not. If it was called HEAT 2 or Crime Drama: The Movie, then you may have something. It was boring as fuck. Batman was a joke in it, and The Joker was cool, but he wasn’t a fucking revelation. People gave into the hype and bought it hook, line and sinker. Heath’s death was one of the big reasons that movie was so big. There was hardly any action in it and if you say there is amazing action in it then once again, you are a fucking moron. I would take 7 G.I. Joes over a Batman movie like that one again. There is only one Batman movie and that is Batman Returns. THAT is a Batman movie. Word.
BS: Low Budget Pictures is a part of a really cool sector of fiercely, independent film companies, that do ALL of it themselves. Do you think that it’s a of the indie film makers who we aren’t all hip to, that we should be seeking out?highly competitive market, or are the indies banded together in a Us vs. Them sort of way? Who are some of the film makers people should be aware of?
CS: Well, for the most part, the market blows. The problem is that too many people are popping up ripping off other people and not being original. And NOBODY likes ANYBODY. Or maybe people just hate us cuz’ we have had success from what we do. Make no mistake, we make garbage, but it’s high garbage. Its something that has truly hit a cord with people. There are company’s that tried to suckle off us as well, but in the long run, We will still be standing and they will fall off into the toilet. And sure there are some REALLY nice people out there, honest and genuine, doing some good work. But the market is so cluttered with shit that its tough for people to want to give the indies a chance due to getting burned so many times. I’m on that list as well, but when you make something and put it out there you HAVE to except all forms of shit flung at you, good or bad. I do really dig Chris Lamartina and Andrew Shearer though. I think they have something pretty sweet to say in indie shlock. Again, there are some really great people out there making good stuff, you just have to weed through the poop weasels.
BS: I’m gonna fire off some names and I want to know what you to give me your opinion:
Only thing good he created was Freaks and Geeks…OH, and Undeclared. Done.
I love this man. Makes high octane, blow em’ up flicks and I say, Hell yes! Nobody blows shit up like he does and it is a pleasure watching the destruction.
3.Nightmare on Elm St.
Magical. Love this series as much as I love the Friday the 13th series. When I was 7, saw the first flick in theaters with me mum and got me into wanting to make flicks. VERY special to me. And Part 4 kicks all kinds of taint!
Only one of the best friggin’ super teams around. Can not WAIT for this movie. It is going to blow my fucking balls out of their sack and I will be giddy as a school girl. Assemble, they will.
BS: I know you’ve been busy. What’s just over the horizon from LBP? What’s 2010 gonna give us? Who’s still around and who should we not expect to see much of?
CS: Well on deck we have Filthy Mcnasty 4 coming from Tempe, Geek War we are shopping around, Mulva 3 for Tempe,Comedy Horror Road Comedy, Doom Blade and Night Species. You will see just about everyone here and there in these flicks with some new peeps plopped in for good measure.
BS: You and I had kids around the same time. My son knows that daddy is in a band and knows that I have go away to do some “rockin'” every now and then, but it kind of ends there. He knows our music when he hears it, but it doesn’t blow his tiny mind. I’m still daddy at the end of the day. Does River “get” what daddy does, or is he still wrapping his head around those concepts? How much has having a child affected what you do, as well? You aren’t exactly making ABC Family shit!
CS: Well, having a kid is amazing. He knows what I do and really wants to see what its all about. He watches us film and even says ACTION sometimes. He loves all of the people in the films as well. He has bonded with so many of them. You can’t NOT I think with them being around so much. He likes watching some of them as well…some of them. Of course, we don’t show him the really out there stuff. He does not see any of the “filthy” stuff. We keep him from all of that. But I mean, you just use your head. He’s 3 years old, ya’ know. I plan on making some River movies soon actually. He will star and I will cut together little super hero River flicks at some point. It will be a blast. He is a Seaver..He has goofy HAM in his blood.
CS: Hmmm, well I don’t know if any are truly close to me. I mean I really love the Heather and Puggly films. I don’t think I have made the ONE flick that I just truly flip over yet. I’m sure I will get there. I mean a bit of me is in every flick I make so I guess, in a way, I like them all to different degrees. I def HATE Quest. I would like to do Bonejack High over. I think I could do so much more with it now. I am not fond of Scrotal Vengeance either. I would like to do Destruction Kings over and make it as epic as it was planned to be.
BS: Despite the fact that you’ve never SAID you were a perfect film maker, there are soooo many “critics” out there, who apparently don’t have a sense of humor. So many assholes out there with no lives, start a website (ahem) and shit all over film makers, but never get off their asses and try to create something that will improve the film world they claim to be so fond of. That being said, who do you want to tell to fuck off? Give me the lowdown on what you think of these Netflix chickenshits who hide behind screen names.
CS: It is all so silly to me. It really means nothing to me. It is a person’s opinion. Most of these people just do it to make themselves feel better. I don’t like movies but I wont go out of my way to go online and write about how much it sucks or how the filmmaker is a fucking asshole…it is such a waste. I do what I do and I have a fanbase that likes my shit. For the most part, I never look at the stuff anyway, good or bad reviews or this and that. So it is no skin off my sack, really. I live my life and do what I love doing. I’m good. I guess if it makes them feel awesome then by all means they can do it till the cows come home.
BS: Music is an intricate part of LBP films. Generally, you have a lot of ska, power metal, 80’s silliness and occasionally some high-octane, kick ass, rock and roll (cough). How do you decide what music goes where? Do you hear it in your head as you’re writing?
CS: A lot of it I do hear in my head, actually. When I’m writing a song will just come to me and I think it will work. Sometimes, it is after the fact. Like with The Highgears or Desiree Dark/Saetia, whatever she wants to be called now. And for my stuff, these styles really fit in well.
BS: Here’s a few dumb things that I want to know for myself: What natural, big tit lady would be your dream choice for a cameo, what is the big budget dream job flick, and if you could do a remake, what film would be that one you wanna get your hands on?
CS: As for ladies-hands down, Christy Canyon. What a cameo that would be. I don’t know about the big budget dream job flick. I think I would like to make a movie with all of my characters in it and have it make sense to a wider audience that’s for sure. But I’m pretty much living my dream right now. Making shitty b-movie trash. As for remake? I would love to do a Zuckers- style spoof movie, like Airplane, Hotshots, Naked Gun and what not. Maybe get my hands on something like Porky’s or Revenge of the Nerds.
BS: Tell me about your relationship with The Highgears. Are they as powerful and sexy as the world has feared? Is the combination of their music and your sexual potency via film, too much for mere mortals to grasp?
CS: Odin had to give me a powerful syrum that would keep me from blowing up around The Highgears due to their immense rockage! No, I love those guys. Good people and great friggin’ musicians. It’s like if AC/DC farted out a rollicking, rowdy bar band to carry on the torch when they decided to head off into Rock and Roll heaven with Dio, The Highgears would be that fart. HARD ROCK NUCKAS!
BS: Alright here’s the closer that everyone gets: We’re a horror film site, so I have to ask, what it your desert island flick? What is the be all end all, of horror flicks that you will take to your grave as the one that stands above all others?
CS: Well it would HAVE to be 3 for me. I love Horror so much but these 3 flicks have been with me through thick and thin: Fright Night, Monster Squad and Night Of The Creeps. So magical they are, that in every place I have lived for the past 15 years, I have had these framed theatrical one sheet posters side by side on a wall without fail. Pure 80’s horror love right there, I tell you.
BS: Okay, so this is actually what I want to end this interview with: You’ve made movies longer than you haven’t. What is the most vital thing you’ve learned that you’ve applied to life, as a rule?
CS: Never let the wind in your sails exceed the strength of your genitalia.