When I mention the names Adam Green and Joe Lynch, a lot of my friends have no idea who I'm talking about. Makes me wonder why in the hell I hang out with some of them. One of my friends thinks Joe Lynch used to play guitar for 80's hair metal band Dokken. I kindly remind them that Joe, along with Adam, are two of my favorite director's in the movie business.
Then I get the question, "Have I seen any of their work?". I reply with "I doubt it," and the conversation moves on.
I don't want to get into a debate with most of my friends about these two. Not all of them share my love for all things horror, and definitely have not seen Hatchet or Wrong Turn 2.
But Adam and Joe are much more than just a pair of horror film writers and directors. They have a broad horizon of work, I'd compare them both to hollywood heavy John Landis as far as genre jumping goes. Landis, as most of you know, directed the amazing 80's lycanthrope movie "An American Werewolf in London". But he is also responsible for such great films as "Animal House", "Trading Places" and "The Kentucky Fried Movie".
Green, who is single handedly responsible for one of my favorite slasher icons, Victor Crowley from the Hatchet movies, has been making short films with his company, Ariescope Pictures for 15 + years. And all of them have a comedic feel to them. Look at the Green & Lynch Douche Brothers Road To Frightfest shorts for example. In the first series of shorts, Adam and Joe are driving to Frightfest... which happens to be in London England, so how they got there from California/Rhode island is beyond me. But it adds to the humor of the offerings. In these shorts, Adam and Joe are driving along, listening to CCR's Midnight Special, singing along with the lyrics, the tape player eats his cassette, it also eats a copy of Twisted Sister, N.W.A., and Tiffany's respective tapes as well. As there are five offerings in the first series, the viewer is treated to 3 top lists, including top 2 kills, favorite horror directors and even a version of name that tune horror movie themes. There's some cameo appearances, the most notable being the lovely Danielle Harris, whom Joe turns himself into after asking Adam "Do you want to see something Scary?". Of course, Danielle isn't the scary part, as she kisses Adam passionately. Adam says to her, "This isn't scary,". To which she replies, in Joe's voice, "Wait til you see my cock,". Adam screams and we cut to an add board for Frightfest. Whoever didn't laugh at that, has to be humorless. I laughed for at least 5 minutes, to the point where tears were coming out my eyes.
The Douche Brothers combined for 2 more Road to Frightfest featurettes. Taking the movies "An American Werewolf in London" and "The Blair Witch Project" as inspiration. Filled with cameos such as David Naughton and Joshua Leonard, from An American Werewolf and The Blair Witch respectively, both these offerings are just as, if not funnier, than the original series of shorts.
Joe Lynch is a creature all on his own, having directed my favorite installment of the Wrong Turn series, Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. A film that is snubbed by plenty, but that this writer happens to think was absolutely brilliant. From the opening kill you are drawn into the movie to see how they are going to top it. How do you top a woman being halfed? And we're not talking sliced in half at the waist. We're talking from the groin to the top of her head in half, hemisected, brilliantly. Guts spilling onto the pavement next to her pretty yellow sports car. How do you beat that, by tossing the main antagonist into a mulching, crushing, machine of death, sending his guts and bones down below in a pile of gore that made even me cringe a little. After watching this, I wanted to see more from this man.
Adam Green, who brought one of the genre's most loved and feared actors back into the spotlight. Kane Hodder, giving Kane the opportunity to once again slice and dice and rip and tear his way back to the top of the horror genre as the man who has killed the most people on film with the portrayal of the infamous ghost, Victor Crowley, in the Hatchet movies. Adam, to me, is an inspiration, due to the fact that his perseverance paid off. The Hatchet movies have spawned two sequels, both penned by Green, and the second offering directed by him as well. He has promised that, for him, the series is over. But who's to say someone else couldn't take the reigns and make a fourth. Personally, I hope everyone just leaves it alone. Myself, as a fan of the series, think the story has been told to it's end, and there is nothing more that needs to be done. Adam also went on to direct the 2010 suspenseful horror movie, Frozen. Which combines the fear of being left alone, and the fear of being trapped 30 feet in the air with no way down but to jump... as well as my own personal favorite fear. The fear of being eaten alive. The movie stars Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers as three friends trapped on a ski lift for a long weekend, because the operator of the life thought they were already down the hill. What follows is a great movie filled with suspense and terror as the three try to survive the weekend, the weather and the surprise that's awaiting them down below.
The Douche Brothers have combined on a few projects in the past, the one that sticks out the most for me is probably Chillerama. A four part anthology film that revolves around some silly subjects. Combining with fellow directors Adam Rifkin and Tim Sullivan, they came up with four hilariously funny shorts to make up this fine example of Horror/Comedy cinema.
Green's offering, "The Diary of Anne Frankenstein", was brilliantly shot in Black and White. And has a mish/mash cast of characters including Joel David Moore(Hatchet, Grandma's Boy and Spiral which Adam Co-directed with Moore)who leads the cast with his goofy animated portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Joel is joined by Kristina Klebe as Ava Braun and Kane Hodder as the Hassidic Frankenstein monster known as Meshugannah. Moore gives a brilliantly funny preformance, making Hitler look like a joke. Not knowing how to speak german whatsoever, Green had Moore speak pretty much gibberish, the words not at all maatching the subtitles below, and if you pay close attention you can hear words like "Boba Fett" and "OshKosh B'Gosh" being spoken by Moore, adding to the hilarity. Klebe gives a dynamite performance as Braun, slutting it up and sleeping with everyone she comes across, including the Jewish Monster. And Hodder is excellent as The Beast from the East Block, eventually turning on his creator and tearing him and his guards to pieces.
Joe actually appears in the movie as his alter ego, Fernando Phagbeefy. A director of unknown ethnic ancestry, but to me he sounds kind of Italian. Phagbeefy introduces his short film Deathication, which is definitely an ode to poop. The screen is splattered with fake crap as are a few actors and actresses. It just adds to the funniness of the film if you're into that.
Lynch's offering to the film is called "Zom-b-Movie" and it has been playing the entire time the movie has been showing. In between shorts we're treated to a drive in setting, which is owned and operated by character actor Richard Riehle as Uncle Cecil, the owner and operator of the drive-in, which is shutting down after tonights features. The Zombies in this particular film are kind of special, as they bite you,vomit up this blue gack blood type stuff and apparently want to fuck you and suck you to death til you turn. It's pure perversion at it's best, and is accompanied by some pretty funny dialogue as the protagonists attempt to get out of the drive-in alive, and without getting fucked or sucked to death.
Out of nowhere in 2012 came Holliston. A sit-com for Horror fans and Comedy fans alike. It turns out that this is loosely based on Green's own life. He grew up in the small town of Holliston, Mass. thus the reason for the series name. Adam writes and produces the show. Joe is one of the Executive Producers on the show. And the show also stars Laura Ortiz (Ruby from The Hills Have Eyes re-make) and Corri English (Unrest, singer for country band Brokedown Cadillac) as well as Dee Snider of Twisted Sister and cult horror classic "StrangeLand" and the ever popular Oderus Urungas from heavy metal band GWAR. Some decent cameos show up here and there, Kane Hodder has been on a few times, Danielle Harris, Brian Posehn, Derek Mears, Colton Dunn and even Candyman himself Tony Todd. And quite honestly this show is just plain fun. If you haven't seen it, please, please, and another emphatic PLEASE find it on TV somewhere. Or order them from Ariescope.com. Or iTunes.
The plot of the show is relatively simple. Adam and Joe are trying to make the move from directing local cable access commercials to a full length feature horror film. They live together in a two bedroom apartment in the small town of Holliston, Massachusetts. They work for a local television station managed by the flamboyant lead singer of a Van Halen cover band called Diver Down, his name is Lance Rockett(Dee Snider). Lance is hilarious, and Dee Snider knocks the performance out of the park. He's perfectly try-sexual, as in were not sure which way his door swings, but I'm pretty sure he'd try anything once. Adam and Joe also host a late night show called The Movie Crypt. On it they show old horror films, they discuss them, and even give tutorials about making fake blood, and other horror secrets. The show is on at 2 am I believe, and they maybe have 10 viewers, but they appear to enjoy it none the less. Joe's Girlfriend, Laura played by Laura Ortiz is always at their place, and she's always paying for Joe in some way or another. She's an artist, and I'm not talking Michael Angelo either, she paints dead babies, killer clowns, dead kitties... she is deeply disturbed, but cute as hell. There's a scene where Laura and the other female lead are in a conversation about the store Market Basket, it goes on for almost a full minute. And it's some of the funniest stuff I've seen on a television show. Laura keeps putting the emphasis on the wrong part of the words peaking her voice during Basket instead of Market, and Corri played by the pretty and talented Corri English, is trying to teach her to say it correctly, by emphasizing Market instead. The banter about this is perfectly played out by these two ladies. It could make you laugh til you cry.
Oderus Urungus portrays Adam's imaginary friend who lives in Adam's closet, he comes out whenever Adam is alone and gives him either some decent advice, or and this is the case most of the time, some really horrid advice. Oderus (who's real name is Dave Brockie) is the perfect cap to a cast of dysfunctional characters who mesh so well together and bounce well off one another. The first time I saw Holliston, I knew it was the show for me. And I'll be honest, a friend of mine showed it to me on his laptop, and I immediately took to the streets to find a copy of Season 1. It's just plain good fun, and it keeps the watcher interested, because honestly I watch it just to see what they're going to say next. I love the dialogue and how it flows from the actors, like they really are friends... Oh wait, they are.
And finally, there's Adam and Joe's podcast, cleverly named The Movie Crypt. A show of about or just over 2 hours in length. It features the guys sitting around and discussing what's been going on with them, they have some pretty cool guests who show up and talk about the business, the ups and downs, things they've done and how they started. Adam and Joe also answer viewer mail off of twitter and sometimes, if you're lucky, they do a feature film commentary from some of their favorite movies. So far they've done Friday the 13th Part 2, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, and....and I'll never understand their adoration for this one, no matter how many times they explain it, "Love Actually". You cue the commentary up to the movie, mute your television set, and listen to these guys enlighten you with their knowledge of the film you are watching. As well as go on about some silly stuff too, such as Bruce FEURRRY, Jack Marks, and Tom Adkins mustache.
The podcast can be found on Geek Nation or downloaded directly from iTunes for a great big whopping 0 dollars and 0 cents. I started listening to them in late December of last year, and am almost caught up with the rest of the library. I try to listen to one a day as I'm doddling about. It is informative and funny as hell. They touch on some serious subjects as well, Adam and Joe can not stand pirating what so ever, and i tend to agree with them. It is robbing the artist of monies due to them. If you like the product, pay the maker. If you built a house, and someone didn't want to pay you for it, you'd be pretty pissed. It's the same thing. These guys bust their humps to make a product that they hope we as fans will enjoy. Some of them almost go broke for the cause. i can re-call hearing Kevin Smith say that during the filming of "Clerks" he maxed out his credit cards, and practically lived in the store during the filming of that movie. It's a touchy subject for a lot of people. And it's something I would like to address, but this is not the time or the article for it.
Adam has since moved on to write, direct and star in the upcoming film "Digging up the Marrow", a full length feature that is due for release some time this year, this according to IMDb. And it is something that I have been looking forward to for quite a while. The description of the film sounds like something I'm going to enjoy, and I don't want to give away anything about it what so ever. The tagline on the poster that I have seen say's "Seeing is Believing". Well I guess we'll see if it lives up to it's expectations for this Green fan. And from what I hear on the podcast Season 3 of Holliston is awaiting a filming date. All I have to say about that is come on Fearnet, get on it. And the Second season is due out on Blu-Ray on April 8th 2014. It's available on iTunes right now, as well as Season 1.
Joe Lynch has been a busy guy, the release of his movie "The Nights of Badassdom" starring Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau and Peter Dinklage came out on VOD on February 11th of this year, that's how I seen it, and quite frankly thought it was magnificent. A cool blend of fantasy, goofiness, and some funny performances that made the film, for me, a joy to watch. Lynch has stated that the studio made a different cut of the finished product and that he wished everyone could see his cut of the film. But for a dumb down studio version of it, I thought it was very cool. He is currently in post production on his next film, Everly, which stars Selma Hayek in the lead. Another film I do not know much about but wait with baited breath to see what it's going to be like. Joe penned this movie with Yale Hannon, who's previous experience include script coordinator on several episodes of HBO's polygamist series Big Love and some work on the NBC show Parenthood. Hannon wrote the screenplay and Joe will direct. The small description sounds interesting, and though it doesn't seem like it's in the horror genre, I'm sure Mr. Lynch will add his own twists to it.
In closing I'd like to say that Adam Green and Joe Lynch are two of my favorite directors out there right now. Everything they have been attached to, no matter how big or small, has been something that I personally have enjoyed. From Hatchet to Holliston, and Wrong Turn to Knights of Badassdom. I say keep them coming guys. You give faith to independent filmmakers the world over. Long live The Douche Brothers