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In Dude Bro Party Massacre III, the tables are turned on typical gender configurations in horror, with the film’s monster killing not screaming teenage girls but clueless frat bros.
Oh, and there’s no Dude Bro Party Massacre or Dude Bro Party Massacre II.
The title is one of the film’s many winks to the slasher genre. “We wanted it to be a love letter from a crazy ex to the horror genre,” says Michael Rousselet, who with Tomm Jacobsen and Jon Salmon directed the film, which premiered weeks ago at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Rousselet, Jacobsen and Salmon work together on 5 Second Films, a comedy website that specializes in exactly what the name suggests. Dude Bro Party Massacre III first was one of their five-second shorts. Then, with positive viewer reception, they produced a fake trailer. “We had no intention of making it a feature film,” says Rousselet, but with more viewer encouragement, they finally launched a Kickstarter for the project and raised $241,071, with donations then matched by horror producers Keith and Jessica Calder (You’re Next, The Guest).
They brought in the entire 5 Second Films team to write the script. “We wanted it to be like a B-movie, chaotic and bizarre. So we divided our scenes among the staff but told them they weren’t allowed to communicate with each other about what they were writing,” says Rousselet. They had Alec Owen compile the scenes, comparing his role to a showrunner’s, then went into the woods of Big Bear, California to film.
“We filmed it with the imagery of a lot of cheap VHS slashers, but with the rhythm and pacing of a Zucker brothers comedy,” says Salmon. “It’s not really trying to scare you. It’s trying to make you laugh.”
Following the premiere at LAFF, the filmmakers will release Dude Bro Party Massacre III on iTunes and on the film’s website July 7. In addition to the VOD release, they’re planning screening events in theaters around the country and via streaming on the website.
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively debuts a clip in which the bros enter a wooded cabin and are confronted by a shadowy figure … only for the specter to be introduced (via eye-popping graphics!) as Ripstick (played by musician, advice columnist and all-around party philosopher Andrew W.K.) He’s an “older bro who parties with the guys and then leaves, never to be heard from again,” says Jacobsen. “It just kind of made us giggle.”
Adds Jacobsen, “How can you make a movie with ‘party’ in the title and not include Andrew?”
While they continue to produce shorts, the 5 Second Films team plans on returning to features. Says Jacobsen, “As tiring and sweaty and covered in blood as we all got, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
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