About a year ago, I was introduced to filmmaker Paul Andresen by fellow filmmaker Pascal Leister. I had done a little PR help for a short film that Pascal had directed called LA TORCEDURA (2004). The film starred Wilmer Valderrama and was Executive Produced by Wim Wenders. Nothing unusual at about that combo, huh? And, I came in to see what attention I could get Pascal and the film as it made its way out into the world.
So, apparently Pascal figured if I could NOT ONLY wrap my head around that very concept AND be able to digest it reasonably, BUT ALSO could successfully get some press attention for that short film, then I might be the guy for Paul’s film (which Pascal was editing).
The film was, and is, BIG MONEY RUSTLAS. A spectacularly trashy comedy western starring the Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, the film puts the kitsch in a kitchen sink approach to making juggalos and midnight movie audiences laugh and have a great time watching the ridiculous.
The film features an (appropriately enough) insane list of cameos, including: Todd Bridges, Dustin Diamond, Vanilla Ice, Ron Jeremy, Jason Mewes, Bridget “The Midget” Powers, Tom Sizemore and Ron Jeremy in a multiple character flourish likely never required of him before (unless you viewed his penis as a separate character in his porn films) – and all at the service of your basic western showdown between a sheriff of few words, but plenty of ideas (Shaggy 2 Dope) and a corrupt saloon gambler (Violent J). That is of course, if that sheriff and his gambler counterpart also happened to be in ICP makeup.
So, it was weird and great and just the kind of thing that midnight movies were invented for, I thought. Plus there would be the personal joy of working simultaneously for the American Film Institute (where I was the Head of PR) AND the Insane Clown Posse. That thought still makes me smile.
Well, as things happen, (and when I say “things”, I mean post production, a record company trying to figure out what exactly they wanted to do with a movie – and not a documentary or a “normal” movie at that and me leaving AFI) and now here we are a year or so later and the film is set to make it’s debut at this year’s “The Gathering” on August 14 to anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 die-hard Insane Clown Posse fans, known as “juggalos.” A few days later on August 17, it will hit the DVD shelves primed for public consumption.
As he was gearing up for the film’s debut, I got Paul to weigh in on how he arrived at the film’s look, working creatively with the Insane Clown Posse, the versatile acting stylings of Ron Jeremy and being a de facto member of juggalo nation, among other things.
How did your relationship with Insane Clown Posse begin? And why do you think it has worked so well?
PAUL: 14 years ago I shot a five-minute documentary about ICP for Disney’s record company, Hollywood Records, called SHOCKUMENTARY (1997). It was shown to Michael Eisner at a product meeting. It was roughly in the middle of the Baptist boycott. Insane Clown Posse was thrown off the record label that day. It also happened to be the day of their record release. The CD was pulled off the shelves causing head lines around the world.
How was the story and script for BIG MONEY RUSTLAS developed?
Joe Bruce, better known as Violent J, wrote a 40 page script. Studebaker Duchamp and I worked with Joe on the shooting script. Joe wrote the original story ten years ago just after the release of his first film, BIG MONEY HUSTLAS (2000).
What were you trying to achieve specifically as far as the look of the film was concerned?
Since the script was totally outrageous, and insane, I wanted it to look like a Warner Bros. cartoon from the classic Looney Tunes era. Colors are primary to the extreme, acting exaggerated, and the art direction is bold.
How “method” were Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J? And how involved were they in the production side on this particular film?
Shaggy mined Clint Eastwood. Violent J couldn’t make up his mind how he was going to portray his character until the camera rolled, and then he was a laser beam. When he is on screen he was undeniable as ‘Big Baby Chips.’
Joe was very involved in everything. It was his money, and ten-year dream to make this film and I was honored to help him bring his vision to the screen.
What was the biggest challenge with this particular shoot?
The project was big and we had limited resources. It was a period piece on budget. We had to make all the costumes and wardrobe, fire bombs, rent the western “towns,” prosthetics. Nothing stopped us.
Anything, in particular, you learned while making BIG MONEY RUSTLAS that you’ll take with you on the next film?
It’s all about the warmth of the comedy.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of this one for you?
Watching people laugh out loud while watching the movie during our initial screenings.
How were the numerous cameo appearances secured? And who was the biggest joy to work with? Biggest surprise?
It was very organic. We would reach out to anyone who knew someone and then some were friends of the band.
Jimmie Walker and Brigitte Nielsen were so much fun. Their reaction to ‘Shaggy Pimp’ slapping ‘Dirty Sanchez’ was priceless.
Is Ron Jeremy the ex-porn Peter Sellers?
Ron turned out to be an excellent actor. Little do people know but Ron is literally classically trained. Too bad he had a big dick and got pulled into porn because he might already be a well-known actor.
Seriously, does it have to be “Rustlas”? Would it have killed you guys to just go with “rustlers”?
“Rustlers” is not rap enough And once Joe gets an idea in his head there is no changing it.
Have you achieved honorary Juggalo status yet? Where’s the tattoo located?
I am the most non-Juggalo Juggalo. No tats, no swag, but for whatever reason I admire ICP for the accomplishment of making it in the record business for so long. They own their own record label and understand their audience. It’s possible that maybe I’m the only one in Hollywood that understood that.
From your perspective, how does Psychopathic Records view the group’s filmmaking ambitions?
Once folks get a chance to see this film, I think ICP has a franchise in the BIG MONEY… films. I am trying to get them interested in BIG MONEY ROMAN COLISEUM and BIG MONEY SPACE BALLS.
Are there immediate plans for another Insane Clown Posse narrative film?
Not yet, but soon.
Beyond that, what’s the dream project for you? And then, what’s the next likely project?
I love the western, LITTLE BIG MAN. It’s funny and smart and I am working on satiric script about the last buffalo hunt of 1886. Tragedy can be humorous.