Category Archives: Darren Lynn Bousman

‘Mother’s Day’ Not Policemen’s Day

A scene from Bousman's 'Mother's Day.' No wonder the Winnipeg constabulary came a runnin'.
A scene from Bousman's 'Mother's Day.' No wonder the Winnipeg constabulary came a runnin'.

Marketing is a very tricky business, especially when it comes to movies. While Paranormal Activity has pretty much won the Most Effective Meme-Passing Award for this year, it’s not the only movie making headlines.

As mentioned a few weeks back, director Darren Bousman (Saw II-IV, Repo) has been pimping the hell out of his remake of Mother’s Day, and doing a pretty impressive job of keeping that flick from slipping head first into the I-Could-Give-a-Rat’s-Ass pit reserved for most remakes. Despite a hectic schedule and countless details to pore over with the production, the dude’s been keeping the Twitter faithful apprised of everything that happens on set, working Facebook like a pro, and now…

Now we’re all a little red faced after the “balloon boy” fiasco of last week. It turns out that, after a long diet of reality TV, we’ll pretty much believe anything at this point. So it’s perfectly natural to question whether Bousman has the ability to pull off a fake police raid on his own movie production in Winnipeg. Personally, I would think even more of him if he did actually manage to make this happen.

What’s that? How did I find out about the police raid, you ask? Why from his Facebook page of course.

To better understand Darren Bousman and how he got his start in this business, check out the chapter on Bousman in The New Horror Handbook.

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Making of ‘Mothers Day’: Day by Day

Darren Bousman is one of the first directors to aggressively use social media to build excitement in his projects.
Darren Bousman is one of the first directors to aggressively use social media to build excitement in his projects.

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.

‘Paranormal Activity’ Finally to Screen?

paranormalThere’s really no kind way to put this. You usually don’t get a lot of buzz about haunted house movies today. (Apologies to Tony at the HorrorEtc podcastThe Changeling is still a good film!)

Which is why it was so odd when horror audiences — hell, horror directors — were telling me about this intense little ghost flick that was was making the festival rounds back in 2007: Paranormal Activity.

But as quickly as it appeared, it promptly disappeared down that cinematic chasm of which we do not speak. Paramount had bought it, reportedly to remake the relatively low-budget flick, and that was that.

Now ShockTillYouDrop.com (via Examiner.com) is reporting that the original is probably going to be enjoying a limited theatrical release next month, albeit with a different ending.

I’ve never been one for ghost movies, but when you have the likes of Darren Lynn Bousman telling you that it made an impression on him, you really have to give it a chance.

Speaking of DLB, he’s set to begin shooting his Mother’s Day remake next week. Bug him on Facebook here. And if you do get through to him, would you please ask him where I should send his copy of The New Horror Handbook?

Addendum: After an amazing, viral PR push, Paranormal Activity is now opening across the country on 10/16/09. Click here to find a theater near you.

‘Repo’ Debuts Today

repo2

Repo! The Genetic Opera finally hits (a few) theaters today. For those who constantly lament the mind-numbing predictability of horror flicks — hell, of most films today — here’s your chance to see what it looks like to subvert the norms of cinema. Starting today, you can catch showings in:

  • Los Angeles
  • Pasadena
  • San Francisco
  • Berkeley
  • Las Vegas
  • Austin
  • New York City
  • Minneapolis

It will also go on the road to a few more cities starting Nov. 10. Check here for details.

Directed by Saw II-IV director Darren Bousman, this rock opera serves up a bizarre near-future world where expensive replacement organs are savagely repossessed by repo men when their owners miss a payment. It boasts stunning visuals, some catchy tunes, and an intriguing behind-the-scenes back story, which you can find soon in The New Horror Handbook.

Here at the Handbook we like to go to bat for films and directors who we think are not only making significant contributions to the genre, but also edging horror cinema itself forward. Bousman and company have done just that with Repo. If you get the opportunity, check it out. Whether you love it or hate it, chances are good you’ll have to say you’ve never seen anything quite like it. And in the end, isn’t that why we come to horror in the first place?

New Horror Handbook: Update

Happy All Hallow’s Eve eve, gang. Berman here to give you a brief head’s up on where The New Horror Handbook is in the production process.

As of today, I’m about halfway through the Darren Bousman chapter (Saw II-IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera), with frequent passes at expanding the introduction for good measure. After that, there are another couple of chapters to write — depending on whether a final interview I’ve been after for some time actually pans out — and then we go into crunch time. Art director extraordinaire Pamela Norman will turn all of those words into something you will be proud to display on your coffee table, provided you take pride in the more infernal pleasures of life.

During this process, postings here will probably be pretty rare for obvious reasons. However, once the book is safely off to the printer, we can have ourselves a grand ol’ time online.

All the best,

Aaron