What you are about to read is a historical blog post, so gather the kiddies around the computer screen and bless this occasion with the solemnity it deserves. We are going to mention a horror movie remake without digressing into a bitter harumph about the sad nature of remakes.
This week, Darren Bousman, director of Repo! The Genetic Opera and Saw II-IV, began shooting a remake of the 1980 flick Mothers Day. How do I know this? Because Bousman has been tweeting about it and posting updates on his Facebook page.
For all I know, there may be many directors out there promoting their movie projects online in various ways. However, I’m not sure anybody (with the possible exception of Eli Roth) would be doing so with the same level of enthusiasm as Bousman.
For months, he has been giving fans a blow-by-blow, day-by-day account of his Mothers Day project, covering everything from casting to location scouting, and now, finally, actual shooting. The result is a fascinating bit of marketing that can do the seemingly impossible — make you give a rat’s buttock about a movie you might otherwise have had no interest in.
In short, Bousman is building interest in a movie that, on the face of it, would garner only token attention in the horror press otherwise.
In this, the director has some considerable practice. He spent much of 2008 and 2009 building momentum for Repo, a movie born of fringe theater and payed for by a studio that thought it was getting another easily-marketable horror flick, rather than a high-concept rock opera that has divided audiences like no other. The fact that Repo has a passionate following of people who’ve been holding Repo events and dressing up as the characters is as much down to Bousman’s infectious enthusiasm for the project as it is to the quality of the finished product.
So, what will this mean for Mothers Day? One thing’s for sure: Bousman has set a new benchmark for directors in the horror realm and beyond. If your next flick bombs utterly at the box office or on DVD, and you haven‘t been working the social media networks every spare moment, don’t expect any sympathy from horror fans, or your investors.
“Well, what if I just can’t work up the enthusiasm for my project like Bousman does for his,” a director might ask. If that’s the case, maybe it’s a project you should walk away from.
You will find an in-depth chapter about Bousman’s film work based on exclusive interviews in The New Horror Handbook.