Home BLOG Strange Art Entertainment Comic Opera Specials Who am I? The Store Contact
"The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made"
...an interview with director Bill Zebub
Disclaimer: This article is most likely going to mention something that offends you at some point. By reading onward, you promise not to set me on fire or mail me pipe bombs. Disclaimers like these are almost always necessary when you have to honestly interview someone and ask them about both Jesus and rape in the same breath. Like I said, you were warned. If you don't fall under the 15 Rating, then this article probably isn't for you.
It's so difficult to figure out which article to end my Halloween season with. With lots of options and only a few days left in the month of October, I thought I had everything wrapped up with "Worms on the Brain," a review triple-feature about alien worms that want to eat your, you guessed it, grey matter. And then....something came in the mail. An evil person from New York sent me something called "The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made." That's not a description, but the actual film's title. Well, it's also sort of a description, but let's not get into semantics here. The fact of the matter is, I had my Halloween fatality already lined up. It was time to finish you, turn into a dragon, and rip out your spine with horror movie goodness. And then I had to go and watch "The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made." (Hereby abbreviated to "The Worst" for the sake of getting tired of typing the whole thing.) The Worst MAY be the worst horror movie ever made but it's more of a comedy about the horror genre. Well, sort of. This was my introduction to the work of Bill Zebub, someone that apparently a fair number of you guys/girls were already familiar with. While some would call him a "ferociously independent film-maker with a unique personal vision," the same amount of people call him the "kind of freak you don't bring home to mother." He does go by the name Bill Zebub, after all. (By the way, now that I've spoken to a director who goes by "The Devil" as his name, someone please tell me when the Mexican director "Jesus Christ" starts making slasher flicks. Because that would be more than splendid.)
Enough blathering. There's a lot going on in The Worst, and I need to point out why this movie is awesome and awful at the same time. Enter Exhibit A & Exhibit B:
Exhibit A: Totally Ridiculous Crap That's Honestly Funny
If you've ever wanted to see someone killed by playing "52 pick-up", this is the film for you. For the superstitious, try to find the secret occult message the murderous playing cards spell out. Stuff like this is found throughout the film, and, unlike most of the films I review, there's no way for me to list everything. There is, however, a different kind of funny found here.
Exhibit B: The Stuff So Offensive It's Awesome (but still super-offensive).
Say hi to the "big eyebrow killer." Besides having an ax made out of cardboard (which is funny if you let it be obvious, it's theorized), he's got an evil smile and a wicked plan in his mind.
Now see, this could still be considered traditionally funny, in some way. We've got a fake-as-hell death with a cardboard weapon THAT'S BEING HELD UP BY THE MURDERED VICTIM. It's so overt, you'll have to laugh. What happens next made me laugh, for different reasons completely.
Apparently the killer can only achieve an orgasm by watching a murdered girl go into her death spasms. As such, here he is masturbating and talking dirty to the twitching dead woman. Now, what was funny suddenly went into a completely new and nightmarish direction that HAS to offend someone out there. And that's why it's funny. You're sitting there going SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I know so many people who's heads would explode if I made them watch this. Of course, they'd never talk to me again, but still. The taboo meets schlock quality of Bill Zebub is really part of the charm, if you can construe any of this as charming.
Oh, and don't try to unravel the plot too much. The film is literally a smorgasbord of bizarre random events from a character mutating to giant size to Jesus Christ being attacked by Middle Eastern terrorists to a conflict with zombie Jesus to a mummy wrapped in toilet paper showing up to redneck yokels having a "pie" eating contest to someone being raped by a werewolf to a friendly cop with an afro saving the day. Think of The Worst as a "Hotel New Hampshire"...on crack and produced by Troma. The special effects (be they green screens or computer animation) also help the film, well, help keep it near its self-descriptive claim to be the worst horror film ever made. Here the hero is inside his girlfriend's uterus after she's grown to giant size:
Our hero also makes his feelings on abortion known while he's in there, but the less said of that the better. This won't be the film's only instance of baby hating either.
Baby. In a blender. Thank you, movie, thank you so much. To lighten the mood, let me tell you a joke:
What do you get when you tie two babies together by their umbilicals?
I don't know why the fact that the hero makes "Young-Chuks" to defend himself strikes me as awesome beyond words, but it does.
An important thing to point out is that there really isn't any female nudity in this film. There are, however, a significant number of penises...though none of them are real. When they do show up, they're flesh-colored rubber toys (I don't know if that's comforting or not) or at the very least computer-generated, as seen here:
If an alien is stung by a bee on his weenis and then gets a shot of adrenaline, he becomes "adrenalized"...which means he's going to chase you until he jumps off a cliff or has his way with you. Note to Self: Buy more cliffs.
Before I get to the interview with the director, perhaps I should walk you through what anyone would call the most offensive scene in the film. Earlier in the picture, Jesus has returned to Earth. In the woods he finds our heroine...I'll let you guess which is the most offensive:
A) The scene where Jesus says he'll cover his eyes to give her a chance to hide before he rapes her? (Honestly the whole joke about Jesus peeking through the holes in his hands is really funny...but still.)
B) The moment that Jesus (with his fly open) gets hit by a passing car (and later returns as a zombie)?
...or is it C) Where Jesus masturbates using his...er...hand holes. (I'm only reporting this folks. I couldn't make this up if I tried.)
Holy Sweet Mother of God, it really doesn't get more offensive and shocking than that. I'm really not used to getting shocked when I watch a movie...I've seen too many in my life already for most of them to affect me. But this? This stunned me. After seeing this scene, I knew I had to try to find out more about the director of The Worst and find out what the heck is going on. That quest led me to the interview below, but let me show the conclusion to The Worst before we get into the Halloween finale.
The Worst can almost be considered a romance, as it really follows the adventures of a young couple as they try to make their way through the world. In the end, they return home and our hero asks for some "butt loving" from his lady. She grabs a banana and goes to town, but that's not why I'm sharing this. Here are our two main characters, in reversed sexual roles, grunting and moaning on a bed. The camera pans back to reveal:
...a very confused cat. This may be the funniest thing in the entire film, as it's obvious that the cat just stumbled onto the film set and is mesmerized/confused by our hero's moaning. So the film almost ends with someone's pet watching two actors pretend to have deviant sex.
In reality, the film ends with the man killed by a banana (which crawls through him, via the botched butt-love) and he gets reincarnated as a snow man. Nothing brings a movie full circle quite like death by banana.
While watching the credits I noted that not only was the director's website listed, but also his email address. Thanks to the power of technology and Bill being a super nice guy, I got to ask him a few questions. Here's the interview:
Jared: Oh man. I’m not sure how to even begin. Since I’m assuming my readers don’t know who you are (they're sheltered), would you mind introducing yourself?
Bill: Sure. My name is Bill Zebub, and I make very odd movies and publish a very strange magazine.
Jared: When you meet people at parties, what do you tell them you do for a living? I’m sort of getting ahead of myself, but do things like “Assmonster” and “Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist” come up early or late in that conversation?
Bill: When I meet people at parties, I tell them that my name is Bill. I don't reveal what I do. If people ask me what I do, I vaguely answer with, "Oh, a little of this and a little of that." If they can't accept that answer, I tell them that I am a computer geek. When I go to parties, the intention is to be social. My personality takes care of that. But I know other people who throw around their titles. "Did you know that I am a movie director?" I never want to be that guy.
Jared: Back on track: What is “The Worst Horror Movie Ever
Jared: I’ve read that “The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made” was created on a dare. I know it’s sort of a broad question, but what’s the story here?
Bill: To be brief, I was shooting a different movie, and I was remembering some advice from the head of a NY movie company. He had given me a sort of lesson about the importance of packaging, and that good packaging can get a crappy movie into a huge chain of stores. That made me ponder what compels a person to pick up a DVD that is on a store shelf. I asked one of my actors, Rocco, if he would pick up a DVD if it were called, "The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made." He told me that he would actually buy a movie if it were called that. So I decided to embark on that mission. The "dare" was made by people who should have known better. I don't just talk about making movies. I actually make them, and very fast.
Jared: So, why are bananas evil creatures?
Bill: Actually, only bananas from America are evil. They are grown in secret evil-banana laboratories. I do not know why they are evil. Perhaps it is because of their unnatural origin.
Jared: According to the credits and IMDB, you actually play a role in the film as a mental patient. Now I’ve never seen your other films so I’ve got to ask: Which one are you?
Bill: I played a few roles, actually. And you probably know that other actors played multiple roles as well. When I wrote the movie, I decided that I was not going to be easily recognized. You probably know that I have long hair. In the "mental hospital" scene, I made it look like I was bald. Maybe you can recognize me by my elf shoes. I also stuffed some pillows down my shirt to look fat, and I wore three pairs of pants at the same time. I'm also the guy who introduced the hero and heroin to his redneck daughter in the barn. My zipper was down, if you may recall.
Jared: I’m sort of ashamed that 100% of the directors I’ve interviewed have made films with poo monsters in them. Was the turd demon a nod to Monsturd or something else?
Bill: The demon was its own thing. Did you like the fact that
his teeth were corn kernels? What many people don't know is that the
script is much more detailed than the movie, and a lot of the script
could not be shot because of time constraints. The demon, being made
of feces, was lord of the underworld - or at least lord of the
underground sewers. There was supposed to be a scene in which the
hero escapes the rednecks through the sewer, and the demon attacks.
When all is about to be lost, a negro appears. He is the ghost of a
slave who died in the underground railroad. He uses voo doo-doo to
control the fecal demon. The heroine then asks the slave to command
the demon to attack another character in the movie - which turns out
to be Detective Fred.
Jared: Am I doing a bad thing by bringing attention to something
that you, errr, don’t want attention brought to?
Bill: Most people hate it. Some people hate it because it is
bad, and some people hate it because they were deeply offended. The
funny thing is, I am very proud of the Jesus masturbation scene.
There are some moments in that movie that are rather golden, in my
opinion. Imagine if I had a budget. Speaking of which, this movie
was shot with no budget at all. Every prop was donated, either by the
actors involved, or by supporters. With that in mind, it really is
something to be proud of. I wouldn't make a serious movie like that.
But with a title like, "The Worst Horror Movie Ever Made" the pressure
is off. The more cheesy a prop looks, the better.
Bill: Isn't that the best title you ever heard in your life? The movie is actually very surreal, and it's about a schizophrenic who thinks that he's Jesus. You probably know all about religious hypocrisy. It's so silly when a guy with a hand full of porn comes up to my booth at a horror convention and makes a judgmental remark about "Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist." But let's not get into that. What I would like to say is that, when I am representing my movies at horror conventions, for the most part, people laugh the first time they read that movie title. They run to show it to their friends. It has occurred to me, quite recently, that these people probably expect a campy horror movie. I know that some web sites that review horror have expected either some cornball movie, or something very bloody. One reviewer wrote something like, "This could have been the most offensive horror movie of all time, but they didn't take the opportunity." Lots of disappointment. Well, for the people who wanted a comically blasphemous horror movie, that one will come next year. It will be called "Zombiechrist." As for the people who expected horror, not something dreamy and weird, I have no apologies. I'm not a slasher fan. To me, that kind of movie is for kids.
Jared:“Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist”, “Rape is a Circle”, and “Frankenstein: Serial Rapist.” I’m noticing a subtle trend in your subject matter. Why the focus?
Bill: It's actually not so subtle. Rape is a rather taboo area. It's a thing that not many people want to depict, and when they do there are certain rules. By making movies like this, they stand out more. Or should I make a slasher movie, so it can compete with 10,000 other slasher movies?
Jared: I’m sure you get angry letters from offended people now and then. Hell, I might get a few just for talking to you. Is there any topic that you wouldn’t touch with a ten (or eleven) foot pole? Where do you draw the line? Is there a line?
Bill: Let's see. I've made movies with racial humor, rape, and blasphemy. I'm actually making a movie called "I Told You Not To Call The Police" and there will be a rape of a pregnant woman. While that is happening, her belly will be cut open and her unborn child will then be raped. This will be the first gore movie that I will have ever made. When I cross a line, it is usually an experiment. It's not out of blind maliciousness. I'm actually a nice person, and I like people. But I dare to think things through. I don't just accept a shortcut to thinking. What I mean is, let's pretend that eating bananas is evil. Let's pretend that our society teaches us early on that eating bananas is something that only a sinful person would do. I do not think that people who avoid bananas are good people. Why? Because they are conforming to something without knowing why. But, if a person dares to think about eating bananas and discovers a real reason why they are evil, only then is the person deemed honorable for not eating bananas. The difference is that this person knows exactly why bananas are evil. He or she dared to think about bananas and to allow the imagination to explore and to understand, whereas most people in society only avoid bananas because of civic duty. Civic duty can make you kill your neighbor, like in a war not long ago. Freud, I believe, was the first to show the world that humans are not the exalted creatures we pretend to be. Human ideals are just that - ideals. An "ideal" is something that can never be real. We are animals that are motivated by very irrational processes. Of course, it would be bad to act on these impulses. It's also bad to pretend that they are not there.
Jared: “Dolla Morte”…the more I learn about your work the more you come across as some dark anti-hero of independent filmmaking. But…dolls. From the trailer I see Jesus (again) but before I assume anything, what is Dolla Morte about? This isn’t a very good question, but I’d love to hear what inspired you to play with dolls.
Bill: I made a short skit a long time ago with little plastic
army men. Since then I have been asked to make a movie that was
entirely like that. This request even came from small movie
companies. It was always in the back of my mind, and last winter I
decided to have some fun. Can you imagine how much fun it is to go
into a toy store and spend hundreds of dollars? Part of me is still a
kid. When I shot one of the scenes outdoors, my friend remarked that
this is the way we wished we could have played with toys when we were
kids. We launched action figures on rafts in a forest stream! Well,
some of the scenes were a bit too raunchy to be referred to as
kid-play. But that raft scene stands out. And whenever I shot
outside, I left the toys there with a note - these toys are left by
the kind forest spirit for the first child to find them. Ha! Of
course, the bloody dolls were not among these.
Bill: Right now I am filming "Spooked." It's about four friends who are really racist. One of them dies and gets instantly reincarnated as an adult negro. The other three have to tolerate him until they figure out what to do. That is all that I can say at this time.
Jared: In many ways, it looks like you’re living an artist’s dream. You’re actually doing creative work at an impressive pace, plus you get to work with half-naked women on a regular basis. Do you have any advice for young folks with an irreverence to social norms and video cameras of their own?
Bill: Yes, but it will fall on deaf ears. It's rather simple
advice. It is - "JUST DO IT." Work with what you have. I made a
movie with NO BUDGET. Over the years, I had given almost a
paint-by-number, easy-to-follow guideline for people who wanted to
publish magazines or people who wanted to make movies, and I won't do
that anymore. Why? Because people who make movies, magazines, or any
other creative thing are people who need to do it. It's part of what
they are. Look at me. I make movies that, if you really think about
it, are doomed to fail. They are as far from mainstream as possible,
as is my magazine. I am sort of doing things the opposite way of what
I should be. But I am not motivated by money. There aren't many
people who enjoy low-budget movies, and even in that small population
most people do not like my ideas. But the people who love my movies,
REALLY LOVE my movies. And maybe part of them likes the idea that
everybody else gets revolted or may not understand the humor or the
intention. In a couple of months I will be releasing a DVD called
"Stupid Stuff" and it's various footage from my early years when I had
a cheap video camera and absolutely no clue about making movies, but I
had the desire. If you would have told me back then that I would one
day be making movies I would have laughed, totally not realizing that
those days were the beginning of a lifelong passion.
Bill: Actually, yes! I just discovered this really cool website. Please check it out. It's www.headinjurytheater.com
Finally, what IS the worst horror movie ever made?
Check out the voodoo that Bill does at either of his two sites: www.thegrimoire.com and www.billzebub.com. Thank you Bill for answer some tough and fun questions, and for taking the time to talk about a film that you probably don't want to talk about. To the rest of you: I hope you enjoyed this Halloween season and always remember:
Happy Halloween, everybody.
Home BLOG Strange Art Entertainment Comic Opera Specials Who am I? The Store Contact