The DEAD SHIT era is what I consider the true beginning of the Hack Movies style and universe. It also saw the creation of Strangeville’s two most important characters, Nixon and Hogan. But before that happened, I got an excited email from one of the weirdest dudes I would ever meet. We would form an art-loving bond so strong that our friendship would last well beyond the final time I picked up a video camera.
The Birth of Strangeville
I’m talking, of course, about Hack Movies cinematographer Nick Head. Turns out he was from the same stupid small town I was from and he was also in the middle of making a movie. A Star Wars parody movie at that! We met one day in a Steak N Shake parking lot and talked for hours about our love of film and our ambitions as filmmakers. It was a no-brainer that we’d work together on a project or two. But I don’t think either of us had any idea how often we would work together in the future, or how important of a role he would play in bringing my cinematic universe to life. That all started with one movie.
Niacin Deficiency promo short
That movie, of course, was IT CAME FROM MY PANTS. Wait, what? Yes. The elusive Hack Movie that (still to this day) never was. The first time we aborted this fabled tale was mere months after the release of DREAM REAPER. I honestly can’t for the life of me remember why we stopped production on it the first time. I guess it was just too big. Now I KNEW how hard filmmaking was. I knew what a pain in the ass shoot days were and how quickly a night of filming could go off the rails if I didn’t keep it together like a dictator on crack.
So we decided to try something a little easier. A small short film that we could throw up on Youtube to promote Hack Movies before we REALLY got serious about making Pants. With Nick behind the camera, that little film turned into DEAD SHIT (and I loved it so much I gave it its own DVD release complete with bloopers and commentaries), the story about two horror movie dorks who wake up in the zombie apocalypse. Did I say horror movie dorks? Yes. Literally seconds before the camera rolled, I looked over at Josh and said, “you know what? Fuck this. Let’s make them ghetto.” So we cocked our hats to the side and, well. You saw the results. Nixon and Hogan do not have their finest hour in Dead Shit. We had no idea who they were yet. But with each consecutive performance, Josh and I breathed life into the characters who have become convention favorites across the country. I can’t show my face at any horror con without having Nixon and Hogan quotes shouted at me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The DEAD SHIT era was also the first time Strangeville was mentioned as it would be in every single film thereafter as we filled up my imaginary white trash town with some of the most psychotic, perverted characters ever dedicated to film. It was also the beginning of the Nixon and Hogan short promo films. We would go on to shoot a mini movie that promoted the main movie for every film thereafter. Starting with the groan inducing NIACIN DEFICIENCY.
Join us tomorrow when I’ll talk about one of the most fun films in the Hack catalog, COLONEL KILL MOTHERFUCKERS, and also about hooking up with longtime Hack Movies actor, composer and all around one of the best human beings I’ve ever met in my life, the famous TimO!