Bo Keister Talks ‘The Cabining’, ‘Hillbilly Horror Show’, and Future Endeavors
If you haven’t seen The Cabining, you should get your tail in gear and hit your local shop, or any major VOD retailer. The flick sees wide home release today, and if you’re going to gamble with any indie film this year, The Cabining is certainly your safest bet. Humorous and dark, fast-paced and well-written, the flick absolutely rocks.
So does co-lead Bo Keister, who’s had his foot on the proverbial petal as of late. Bo’s been making the horror rounds with determination, recently surfacing in such works as The Taking of Deborah Logan (available now on Netflix Instant), House of Good and Evil (also on Netflix Instant) and Immortal Island. You’ll also spot the man hosting the insanely entertaining anthology series Hillbilly Horror Show (it’s a winner, for sure, and you can order the first two volumes on Amazon right here and here). He’s an active fellow, to say the least.
And that’s just one of the reasons we’re pleased that Bo took a few minutes to sit down and answer a few of our questions. If you’re looking to pick up a little bit of additional 411 on The Cabining before pursuing it, this is the place to be!
Addicted to Horror Movies: The Cabining has been wrapped for some time now. To your knowledge, was there any difficulty in securing distribution?
Bo Keister: Well, I think with any indie film there will always be difficulties, but THE CABINING was really well done, and had the right blend of attributes to make it marketable. As we’ve seen with films like SHAWN OF THE DEAD and TUCKER AND DALE vs EVIL, which we’ve drawn comparisons to, there’s a big audience out there. Fortunately, Indican Pictures saw the possibilities and took us on.
Now, we’re available on iTunes and Amazon, and On Demand through Dish Network, Comcast, and WOW, with more to come. And I believe we drop on DVD in December as well.
ATHM: Can we expect some nice bonus material on the disc?
BK: Tons! It has commentary with Mike & Steve Kopera, outtakes, cast auditions, interviews with the cast & crew, and other behind-the-scenes stuff too. It’s loaded!
ATHM: What really won me over about the film was the passion. It looked like a group of young performers who just had a blast making the movie. Is that a fair assessment?
BK: Oh, it’s more than fair. Every day on set just got better and better!
Steve and Mike were so dedicated, and had such a clear vision of what they wanted, that it was kind of infectious. Everyone immediately got on board with where this thing was going. I’m not sure I’ve ever worked on a film where the cast and crew gelled so quickly, and got into such a wonderful rhythm.
It’s great when you get to spend as much time laughing and cracking each other up, as you do actually working.
ATHM: Any real memorable moments while shooting?
BK: I was sitting at the cast house, where we were all staying, just waiting to head to set that evening, and Mike shows up with our DP, Jeffrey Schultz, and our Gaffer, Sam Sage, and says, “Hey, wanna go film some shit?” For the next 2 hours we drove around Boyne City, MI, improvising Todd & Bruce’s ride to the artist retreat.
Mike & I were really in sync by that point of the shoot, and both of us love improv, so we just turned it loose. We had Jeff & Sam in stitches. It was hilarious! Part of it made it into the film and a good bit will be lurking in the outtakes. I think we could make a featurette just using that whole session.
Steve was a little pissed, because we were late getting to set, but he forgave us once he saw the footage.
ATHM: Can you see slasher fans getting behind this, or is there that question mark as to whether genre followers will write it off as just another indie slasher?
BK: Eh, it’s hard to say, because this is not at all your typical “slasher” flick, but I think it will still appeal to those fans. It spends a lot of time poking fun at the typical genre tropes and, if they come into it with that perspective, I believe they’ll get a kick out of it.
If they come in expecting Freddy, Michael, or Jason? Not so much.
ATHM: I loved the locations. They gave the film a very organic vibe. Where did you guys film?
BK: The bulk of the film was shot just outside of Boyne City, MI on Lake Charlevoix. Steve, and his brother, Matt, found this huge house, right on the lake, for sale. Somehow, they convinced the owner to let us use it. Not sure, but mafia-style tactics may have been involved, although I didn’t bother to ask if any horses had gone missing.
The tricky part was that it was completely empty. Our production team, especially Mike Wilk and Elyse Shapiro, deserve all the credit for transforming it into the Shangri-la you see on screen. They really knocked it out of the park.
We also filmed for a few days in Los Angeles. Talk about a couple of cool moments; one was getting to film with Richard Riehle (Office Space), and the other was going totally indie-guerilla-filmmaker right on Hollywood Blvd. A few tourists started to stop and watch us, and we’re like, “NO! You’re drawing attention to us and we’re gonna get busted! Keep moving!”
ATHM: On to the Hillbilly Horror Show. That’s just a blast of a series. How did you get involved in that?
BK: Oh, hell, I don’t really know…we all make bad decisions when using mind altering substances…just kidding. Don’t do drugs; just drink copious amounts of Hillbilly Brew, like we do on the show.
Actually, Blu de Golyer and I had been batting around project ideas for a while and, about a year ago, he pitched me on doing a horror anthology series that would be, “HEE HAW meets TALES FROM THE CRYPT.” I jumped on it and we haven’t looked back!
There was really nothing out there like it, and it was a great opportunity to help other filmmakers in the process, so it just made sense to do it.
ATHM: Are there plans to continue with further volumes?
BK: Oh, yeah! We aren’t disappearing any time soon. We just released Volume 4, which is the funniest yet, and we’re already in pre-production for 5 and 6 at the beginning of the year.
It’s a hell of a pace we’ve set for ourselves, but we’ve managed to take the series from concept to distribution in under a year. All volumes are available worldwide on Roku, through FilmOn and Tubi TV, as well as their respective websites, Vimeo, TheHorrorShow.TV (UK), Box TV (India), and Volumes 1 and 2 are available on DVD through numerous retailers, including Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.
We’re really proud of how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time.
ATHM: Let me ask you, how agonizing is it working with Rachel Faulkner. That’s got to be a living Hell… right?
BK: It’s torture! Honestly it is. I’m forced to work day in, and day out, with this gorgeous model, who is the sweetest person you’d ever want to meet, while she prances around in next-to-nothing outfits. It’s just a nightmare.
I’m not sure how much longer I can work in such awful conditions, but I need the money, so I’ll just have to suck it up and deal with it.
ATHM: Before I let you go you’ve got to tell me, what else is in the works for you?
BK: I’ve got a few of projects that I’m really excited about.
The first, THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN, was just released on iTunes, DVD, Netflix, and a host of other platforms, and has gotten rave reviews. If films like THE EXCORCIST are your thing, you’ll love this film.
Next, I recently got cast in a post-apocalyptic thriller called THE ENDLESS WHISPERS, and I will be headed to NC in a couple weeks to shoot some character origin story featurettes for it. I think people are really gonna love the twist it brings to the genre, so please be sure to check out the website, theendlesswhispers.com, and our Kickstarter campaign as well.
Then, the brothers Kopera are cooking up something new for 2015, so we may be seeing more from Todd & Bruce. I can’t wait for that to happen!
Lastly, Blu & I are working on our next feature film, FINDING WALDO, and hope to start rolling on it in early 2015. We’ve already attached Matthew Jacobs and Richard Riehle to the film, and can’t wait to get started. I think people are really going to be shocked by this film, because it’s extremely removed from anything we’ve done to date.
It’s been a real pleasure chatting. Thanks so much for having me.
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