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EXCL: Darren Lynn Bousman Celebrates a Vicious Mother’s Day

Having brought us a sizable portion of the Saw franchise and Repo! The Genetic Opera, Darren Lynn Bousman directed a remake of the 1980 Troma film, Mother’s Day.  After a brief delay between the project’s completion, the redo – which finds Brett Ratner as one of the producers – is hitting a limited theatrical release this Friday followed by a DVD/Blu-ray release on May 8th courtesy of Anchor Bay Films.

This version of the film stars the ensemble cast of Jaime King, Patrick Flueger, Rebecca De Mornay, Warren Kole, Deborah Ann Woll, Matt O’Leary, Briana Evigan, Frank Grillo, Lisa Marcos, Lyriq Bent, Tony Nappo, Kandyse McClure, Jessie Rusu, Shawn Ashmore, Vicki Rice and Alexa Vega.

Bousman took the time to talk all things Mother’s Day and the future with us.


Shock Till You Drop:  When I saw the original Mother’s Day I really dug it, but like so many films of that time I didn’t think it held up and could have used a reboot. I thought you did a good job of taking that idea and bringing it into the context of modern horror. So, what was it like updating the movie to fit into the parameters for modern audiences?

Darren Lynn Bousman:  Yeah, some horror films, specifically that one, are very dated. When you go back and look at it now it’s just a bunch of hillbillies in the woods, a bunch of rednecks. They’re bigger than life, they’re comic bookey and cartoonish. And that was cool back then because it was before people exploited the whole Texas Chainsaw Massacre family, the whole backwoods people live in, doing disgusting things for disgusting people. And I don’t think that would have worked today because Mother’s Day was 30 years ago. For the time, it was cool but now we’ve seen that movie rehashed a million times. So, I had to find something that was more timely, I think, and was not reliant on the gimmicky nature of hicks kidnapping girls and raping them.

Shock:  When I was watching this movie I started to notice these weird parallels to the Saw franchise so much that I kind of see them as sister movies, was this an intentional move for the direction of the movie to ground the violence in that sort of fashion?

Bousman:  It wasn’t a conscious thing, but since it’s the same filmmaker doing both the films so I’m not surprised you saw that. One thing we tried to do was limit the amount of gore you actually saw on the screen. While the movie is vicious, and is vicious, it’s not necessarily gory. There are some scenes of gore. For example the scene of the head being blown off . That would be a scene that on the Saw days I would do close ups on the brain matter, go in on the wall. But on this we didn’t do anything like that it’s out of focus in the background of a shot. that’s the only way we showed it. And to me that’s cooler than what I would have done five years ago which is focus on brain matter and guts.

Shock:  On the commentary, you said your initial cut was four hours long, what kinds of things did we miss out on not getting that?

Bousman:  Not so much. You heard about a lot of little things. We had such on incredible cast that they gave me so many little moments, so many little moments. The problem was you know a million little moments makes another four hours of the movie. So we had to cut out those little moments, those beats. They all had to go away. However there was one sequence in particular that had to go it was a character death. A character that was entirely cut out of the movie named Charlie. It was a really fun scene but it just didn’t work. It was at the very end of the movie, it was too long, it was too monotonous and we ended up having to cut it out.

Shock:  You also said you’ve been pitching a movie about the brothers, is that actually going to happen or is it wishful thinking?

Bousman:  Probably not now, I mean at the time I thought it would be a great idea. At the time, we made the movie I had this great idea about the prequel story of the Kaufman brothers, which I think are bad ass. We had a great idea for how to tie it into the entire Kaufman family including Mother, but due to the fact that it was shelved of for three years I’d guess the odds of it happening are slim to none.

Shock:  What were the things about the movie that you knew going in you wanted and what things came up that surprised you that you had to put in?

Bousman:  I think more so than anything I wanted to make a movie that was more character based and less violence based for starters. That was number one. Number two I wanted to make a movie about shades of gray, where the people themselves were not all good or bad but they were different variations. Just for example I don’t think you can look at the brothers or the victims as, ‘Oh these are the victims they’re wholly good, these are the brothers they’re wholly bad’. They’re kind of in the middle, they have these shades of gray. You understand a little bit why the brothers are the way they are, they were raised that way, they were raised in this very perverted household. You go to the victims downstairs and they kind of deserve to some extent the things that are happening to them based on the lies and mis-truths they were telling. To me I got really excited for doing the whole shades of gray thing.

Shock:  This was also your most mainstream looking movie visually what made you choose to shoot it where it looked conventional instead of the grungy style that Saw and the original Mother’s Day had?

Bousman:  Just trying to style my horizons, do something a little more different. I wanted to try and make something a little more commercial but it sucks because the one time I went off to do a little commercial movie it’s only in three theaters. But hopefully some people will get to see it on DVD and people can find it that way.

Shock:  I believe you said on the commentary that you had The Barrens in the can, is there anything that you can tell us about that coming up?

Bousman:  Yeah, it’s my version of a monster movie. The movie’s set in the pine barrens of New Jersey. It’s about a guy losing his mind that may or may not be being followed by a monster. It stars Stephen Moyer from True Blood, its pretty cool.

Shock:  Hows The Devil’s Carnival tour going?

Bousman:  Fantastic, I’m actually talking to you from a van right now. It’s cool, exhausting. I’m in a different city every night, I don’t even know where I am right now. Living out of a tour van. Rock n Roll, punk rock filmmaking . We’re distributing the thing our selves, we’re in a ton of theaters and we’re going to every one of them. 

Shock:  Any idea when that will hit home video?

Bousman:  Probably in three months, we haven’t even thought that far ahead yet. We’re doing everything with the studio thing behind us. I’m guessing three months.

Shock:  Is there anything else you’ve got in the pipeline that you can tease for us?

Bousman:  I want to keep on Devil’s Carnival, we’re already talking about Devil’s Carnival 2.


For photos and videos from Mother’s Day follow this link!