My first encounter with Low Budget Pictures and their unique brand of horror/comedy/spoof shorts was courtesy of Tempe Video and some of their recent "packed to the gills" DVD releases. Now that Tempe has entered into a distribution deal with Ventura, they've decided to offer up both Filthy and Mulva on their own disc as a fun-filled double bill. If you've read any of my recent Tempe reviews then you'd already be aware of the fact that I am indeed a fan of Chris Seaver and the Low Budget Pictures gang. I'm not gonna lie to you, it's most certainly a love it or hate it affair we're talking about here, and of course I don't want to misdirect you. I'm definitely on the love it side, but then again I like Vaseline on toast, so what the hell do I know.
I like Chris Seaver and his films because he doesn't care what YOU think about them. Yes, that's right, I'm talking to you dear reader, whoever you are out there in internet land. Chris Seaver doesn't care what YOU think about his films. That's why I like him. I've said this many times on this site so forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but it is quite important. Too often filmmakers get caught up in making movies that they THINK people want to see. That's wrong, oh so very wrong. I'd much rather watch a film made by someone who has absolutely no regard for me as an audience member. Show me something that I haven't seen before. Try to shock and/or disgust me. Disrespect me, offend me, slap me in the face and call me a bitch. I'd like to thank Chris Seaver for slapping me in the face and calling me a bitch. Ever see a guy masturbate while using his own excrement as lube? You will. But it's not just Chris Seaver, it's the entire Low Budget Pictures gang. What we have here are a bunch of pals making movies the way that they want to make them, not once during the process thinking about what I might think about it. Now that's respect.
Obviously modeled after the films of famed indie studio TROMA (look for appearances by the likes of Debbie Rochon and Lloyd Kaufman among others) Low Budget Pictures prides themselves on the fact that their films look cheap and mostly unattractive. The flubbed lines that are left in place evidence this and moments in which you can hear the director say, "go ahead" before someone says their line. The name of the company cannot even begin to prepare you for how low budget these films truly are. Shot on video (natch) these films have an appearance that's only slightly above failed film school project. These aren't mildly attractive digital video projects, these look like they were shot with an old school VHS camcorder. BUT, what's so amazing, is that despite all of this the audience is still transported into another world, the world of Low Budget Pictures and cheap or not, it's really easy to get swept away by the onscreen shenanigans. This is a world that I like and it's great escapism, and at the end of the day isn't this what it's all about? These films (each at about 45-minutes) offer more entertainment value than 10 of yer standard Hollywood blockbusters combined, and you know what? The characters here are 10 times more interesting as well.
There's really no description that can do these films justice, without the whole thing sounding a whole lotta stupid. I can't imagine that these shorts look good on paper. Let's just say that there are characters like Teen Ape, Naked Cowboy, Demon Phil and the toast of the town Mr. Bonejack. Let me tell you a little about Mr. Bonejack. Mr. Bonejack is a black man played by a white guy with brown face paint. He's also got a Don King wig and is quite often seen in a Bill Cosby sweater (his voice is a Cosby hybrid as well) while praising the wonders of the Jello® pudding pop. The title character of Mulva is an excitable young lady who's preparing for the joyous night of Halloween. Addicted to sugar and chocolate, Mulva must face an army of zombies on this fateful evening with the help of her friends (and some foes) including Mr. Bonejack himself. Filthy McNasty finds two young and unattractive girls (a dumped up Debbie Rochon and Miss Kitty) receiving a glamorous makeover from Demon Phil. Of course there's a price to pay for their beauty and with Demon Phil, it don't come cheap.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking but all I can say is, I told you so. If you've never seen The Toxic Avenger or Class of Nuke'em High and I sat down and tried to explain them to you, you probably wouldn't get it either. All of the fun is found within the oddball characters (and performances), sight gags, puns, unexpected and outrageous gore and a constant supremely wicked sense of humor. If you're a fan of TROMA, imagine if they shot their films on super cheapo video with even less resources than they have already. This is what Chris Seaver and The Low Budget Pictures gang manage to accomplish. The real beauty here though is that they manage all of this without the whole affair feeling like a rip-off. They've managed to execute their own outrageous style, it's just fun plain and simple. It's a feeling you get when watching a Chris Seaver film that can't be explained, kinda like the feeling you get while watching a TROMA film. These films ooze the love, care and affection that went into them and they give me a warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach; among other places.
Extras include introductions for both films and 3 audio commentaries total (1 for Mulva and 2 for Filthy). The commentaries are just as much fun as the features themselves. Both features are presented "uncut" with the promise of them being slightly longer than previously available editions. The whole package is rounded off with liner notes courtesy of the ever so lovely Debbie Rochon. Also, don't be fooled by the DVD cover model, she's not in either of the films - such is life. I really can't recommend these flicks enough and this double feature disc most definitely comes highly recommended. Unfortunately I've only seen Mulva and Filthy thus far, I can't wait to see more. With an MSRP of 15 bucks and many online retailers selling this disc for less than $10, you really can't go wrong. As long as you understand just what you're getting yourself into, you should be A-OK or as Mr. Bonejack would say "sho 'nuff."