Tribeca: 'Zombeavers' Director, Stars Say of Viral Trailer, 'It Looks Ridiculous and It's Supposed to Be'
Castmembers Rachel Melvin and Rex Linn also tease their upcoming roles in "Dumb and Dumber To" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West" while the indie horror movie's helmer reveals what he's looking for in a distributor.
Indie horror film Zombeavers doesn't even have a U.S. distributor yet, but its trailer already has 2.3 million views on YouTube, 1.7 million amassed during its first two weeks on the site.
At the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of the movie, director Jordan Rubin took The Hollywood Reporter inside the experience of having the trailer go viral, saying that he saw the view count "skyrocket" in four or five days before seeing stars and comedian friends of his tweeting about the video to their many followers.
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"I started to see a lot of celebrities start to pick up on it," Rubin explained. "And then I had friends who were comedians, that would have a lot of followers, because I started out in stand-up, and they would tweet it out. Because it's horror-comedy … it activated two separate cells of fan bases."
One of the film's stars, Rachel Melvin, told THR she thought the funny, fresh-yet-throwback nature of the trailer was what appealed to people.
"I think that people really like unique or fresh ideas. And this is like a throwback to the '70s or '80s, and I think people are into that. And it's a creature feature, and it just looks funny," Melvin said. "And I think people think it looks ridiculous, and it's supposed to be ridiculous -- that's the joke. I think if people go in with that attitude, they're just going to love it as much as we loved it and loved making it."
Melvin added that the humorous nature of the script made her want to sign on to the project, after quickly dismissing the script without having read it when her reps told her it was a movie about zombie beavers.
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"I read it, and it was actually funny. I really thought it was written very well. And I write a lot, so I was attracted to it first as a writer," she explained. "And then I met Jordan eventually through the audition/casting process, and I liked him a lot. I thought he was really funny and talented. I thought he could be really interesting to work with and that the project would be a lot of fun, and it was."
Melvin also is part of the cast of another highly anticipated comedy: this fall's Dumb and Dumber To. Without giving too much of the plot away, Melvin told THR that in the sequel to the 1994 hit, Harry and Lloyd are looking for a kidney transplant, and Melvin plays one of their suspected daughters, whom the dim-witted duo is trying to find.
She also told THR that she thought the many fans of the first Dumb and Dumber would be pleased by the sequel.
"I think it's so much more clever than the first one," she said. "[The jokes are] executed and thought out even better than [they were in] the first [movie]. I don't think anyone will be disappointed. I think they really outdid themselves."
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Co-star Rex Linn, who was wearing a Zombeavers T-shirt, also talked about his role in Seth MacFarlane's upcoming A Million Ways to Die in the West, revealing that he plays the mean, dorky sheriff. He praised the film's star-studded cast and level of humor.
"What a great film it's going to be, I think," Linn told THR. "We haven't had a Western comedy like this since Blazing Saddles."
Linn also echoed Rubin's earlier comments to THR that Zombeavers was shot as a straight horror movie, not a Sharknado-like parody.
"[Jordan] told us we're making Silence of the Lambs, so just make sure the beavers are real; they're serious," Linn said. "We played it like that, and we had a blast."
Rubin said the film is getting interest from other festivals, and he's hoping the movie, which he thinks lends itself to being watched with a group of people, will get a theatrical release when it does land a distributor.
"I would love to go theatrically … I know on the first movie and a small budget that's not that common, but I tried to jam this film with enough scenes and character development but also effects and fun that it might be able to play theatrically," Rubin told THR. "I can tell that it's something that could play, and people would want to go out to see it. It's an experience that would be fun to see in a room with a bunch of people as opposed to just VOD."
Watch the Zombeavers trailer below.