With the premiere of Holliston on FEARnet just a couple days away (Tuesday 10:30pm EST!), Jen and I headed into the city yesterday to get our Hatchet Army on and do some guerrilla style pimpage of the show, by handing out stickers, posters and homemade fliers I whipped up to comic shops and random people on the streets. The whole day of promotion was spearheaded by Green's friend and mine, Adam Barnick, who is the guy who directed the awesome special features on the Frozen DVD/Blu-ray. I first met Barnick a couple years back through our mutual promoting of the Green produced Grace, and we've become good friends since then, always at the ready whenever Green or Lynch have a new project looming on the horizon.
So tonight I just wanted to give a quick recap of the experience promoting the show in the city as well as provide my thoughts on the show and even give away some free stickers to you fine folks. So let's get to it!
Almost as soon as we arrived in the city, I was absolutely delighted to see that various bus shelters and phone booths were decked out with Holliston banners & posters, so it was comforting to know right off the bat that we weren't alone in our efforts of spreading Holliston love in NYC. We met up with Barnick around 12:30 near Penn Station, where we filled our bags with oodles of stickers and posters that FEARnet sent him to hand out. After grabbing some tasty burgers at a joint called Brgr, we started working our way through a list of various comic and music shops that Barnick had compiled, where we hoped to give them stacks of the stickers and posters that their customers could take on their way in or out of the store. The basic idea was to hit any and all geeky/freaky stores in the nearby area, places where the customers going into them would likely be the kinda people who would be into a sitcom about two dudes who want to be horror filmmakers. And have a boss that's played by Dee Snider. And have Gwar's Oderus Urungus living in their closet.
Our journey took us everywhere from Forbidden Planet to Gothic Renaissance, Halloween Adventure to various music shops that I can't even remember the names of, along the way tagging as many phone booths and street poles as we could. It was a whole hell of a lot of walking but it was a lot of fun and felt really good to be out there spreading the word on something I fully support. All of the stores we hit up were more than happy to accept our goodies, so that was nice. Some let us put up posters and leave stickers in their entrance areas no questions asked, others required a little pitching to sell them on the idea. Billy Mays I am not, but I was pretty proud of the skills I pulled out of my ass on this particular day. I guess when you're really passionate about something you're pitching, it's kind of a breeze. I quickly realized that the key things to drop during these pitches were the names Dee Snider and Gwar, so I busted them out a lot. Everyone I pitched the idea of the show to seemed really excited by it and into it, so that was pretty cool to see. It's not an easy show to pitch to someone, being that it's such a new and unique idea, but those who get it totally get it. If that makes sense.
After hitting up a solid half dozen stores that get a lot of traffic from people who would be into what the show has to offer, we decided to unload the rest of the stickers we had by handing them out randomly on the streets, which is a lot easier said than done. Whenever I go into the city I get totally annoyed by the fuckers that hand out little fliers and useless shit I couldn't care less about, so it was kinda ironic that on this day I became one of those people. It was a little awkward at first but it actually ended up being kinda fun, with a certain sense of pride invading my being everytime someone showed interest and took a sticker out of my hand. Again though, easier said than done. Not only was it a cold, rainy and windy day, but we soon realized that handing stuff out to random people with the hopes that they'd be into the show was a bit of a long shot, with a lot of the stickers we handed out likely being thrown in the trash or onto the ground. Doing something like that at a horror convention is one thing, but it's not exactly like everyone passing you on a busy street corner is gonna be a horror fan. In fact, we found very few people who actually were. With something like this it's a lot more productive to use stores that horror fans frequent as a way of spreading the word, so that realization combined with the shitty weather brought our journey to an end, a solid four hours after it began.
Really happy with what we accomplished in those four hours. After splitting up with Barnick, Jen & I hit up one more store called Utopia that's closer to where we live, where they were awesome enough to let us unload most of the rest of our stickers right on their front counter, by the cash register. So that was cool and will definitely help with the cause. As for the stickers that still remain in my possession, stay tuned at the end of this post!
Though the weather wasn't anywhere near ideal and it was incredibly tiring, I had a blast pimping the show in the city and I really felt good about myself for doing it. It's rare that I get to really work hard doing something I care about doing, so I had a feeling inside me after the day was complete that I rarely have. That feeling that you've earned a good meal at the end of the day and that you've earned a nice warm bed to lay down in for as long as you damn well please. It felt damn good, especially knowing that everything I spent my day doing was totally done out of a love for what I was doing, rather than any monetary or other reasons.
On that note, I do just want to say one thing before I get into my review of the first four episodes of Holliston, which FEARnet sent me a screener of (THANK YOU!!). I feel like a lot of people think the reason I'm all over Green/Lynch and their movies is because of some ulterior motive, like I'm friends with them or something. That's actually not the case at all, even if I wish it was. The reason I get out there and promote/praise the things they do is because I genuinely love everything they do and everything they stand for. And that's really all there is to it. I'm just a hardcore fan of those guys and that is the only reason that I spend so much time promoting what they do. As for me positively reviewing all their output, you can rest assured that every opinion I share on here is 100% the truth. If the day should come where I don't like a movie Adam or Joe make, you can better believe that as much as it will pain me to do it, I will be truthful about my opinion of that movie. Just want to throw that out there, for anyone who maybe thinks I just suck off everything they do because of some hidden agenda or some such bullshit. So keep the checks, Adam!
Now that that's out of the way, I wanted to share some quick thoughts on the show itself. Got to check out the first four episodes of Season 1 this past weekend, which begin airing on FEARnet this Tuesday, so here are some of my thoughts on what you're all in store for when you enter Holliston!
The show stars Adam Green & Joe Lynch as Adam and Joe, two aspiring horror filmmakers who just want to get their careers off the ground. In the meantime, they've got relationship and money troubles to deal with, Adam still pining for his ex-girlfriend and Joe pinching pennies with the best of them (...except for his pesky addiction to As Seen On TV products). The two work at a local radio station in town, directing corny commercials, hosting horror movies on their late night show The Movie Crypt and dealing with their cross dressing wannabe rockstar boss who may or may not be gay, played by Dee Snider. Oh, and Adam's got an imaginary friend in Oderus Urungus, lead singer of Gwar, who resides in his bedroom closet and gives him horrible advice when he needs good advice most. Think Wilson from Home Improvement ... only if Wilson was a thong wearing demon who told Tim to shove lemons up his ass when he was having relationship troubles with Jill. And that's about Holliston in a nutshell.
If all that madness sounds good to you, then I can with a whole lot of certainty say that you're absolutely going to fall in love with this show. Holliston is a true gift to us horror fans, perhaps the greatest thing to happen to us since Ben Scrivens said to himself, 'Hey, I'm gonna start a horror t-shirt company and call it Fright Rags!'. Full of references to the movies we all love, and featuring oodles of cameos from the stars we all go to conventions to meet, Holliston is first and foremost for us fans of the genre, finally a sitcom that we can all relate to, embrace and love with every fiber of our being. Think Big Bang Theory, only for those of us who prefer to see heads ripped in half than solve tough math equations.
Joe and Adam essentially play heightened/whackier versions of themselves, versions of themselves that never quite got around to making films like Hatchet or Wrong Turn 2 yet. I think that dream they have is something most of us can relate to and I personally relate to Holliston in a big way. Adam and Joe live in an apartment that's decked out with Freddy dolls and Fright Rags posters, they rock Evil Dead and Gorezone shirts, they sit around and list off their favorite John Carpenter flicks & they even try to explode each others heads Scanners style whenever they get mad at one another. They have tons of ideas for movies that they never seem to execute, instead spending their time talking about other people's movies. Again, I'm sure most people reading this right now can relate. I sure as hell can. In a big big way. They play characters that are just like us, and watching them do their thing on the show truly feels like hanging out with two geeky fellow horror fans. It's an absolute blast, a hilarious mix of blood gags, in-jokes and laugh out loud comedy that I cannot imagine any horror fan not getting a serious kick out of.
Now that's totally what I expected Green and Lynch to deliver, and I'm happy to see that they delivered just that. But what you may not expect from the show is that it's actually a real sitcom, complete with a laugh track, as opposed to just some blood filled feast for the horror fan and only the horror fan. I'm not gonna say it's the most accessible to a mass audience show in the world, but the interesting thing here is that I can totally see even non horror fans falling for its many charms and for its heart, whether they get all the references or not. There's a fine line there between being complete fan service and being accessible to the general public, and Holliston walks that line in a way that'd make Philippe Petit proud. Green has somehow managed to create a show that's totally for us genre fans and yet somehow still appealing to people who have never seen Pet Sematary and don't know the name of the guy who played Jason in the Friday remake. Much the same way a show like the aforementioned Home Improvement is on the surface about tools and manliness but yet appeals to everyone, Holliston is on the surface a show about horror and horror movies, but deep down is appealing to a much wider audience.
Bottom line being, I fully expect that a whole lot of people are gonna fall in love with the show and the cast throughout this first season, whether they expect themselves to or not. So that's really awesome. The fact that the show has done well in test screenings, with audiences comprised of regular non-horror folk, confirms this belief.
But we're all horror fans here and so for people like us, Holliston is an absolute joy and a real treat, admittedly moreso than it will be for anyone else. It's just so much damn fun, and I cannot possibly stress that enough. You will likely have a smile plastered on your face throughout each episode, as you geek out with two of the biggest horror geeks out there. Just wait until you see Tony Todd rapping in the shower & referring to himself as 'Candyman'. Just you wait.
Happy to say that I don't in the least regret spending so much time and energy spreading the word about this show before having even seen it, as I never do when it comes to Adam Green's various projects. He delivers the goods here big time, as he always does, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure you all see this show, however and whenever you can. Unless of course you take 'however' to mean illegally downloading, in which case I will attempt to scan your thieving head to smithereens.
Soooo ... who wants some free Holliston stickers?! Most of what I've got left I'm gonna drop off at a couple other stores in my area this week, but I have intentionally saved a little stack for you folks. So if you want some stickers, just leave me a comment below with your e-mail address and a brief sentence or two about why you're excited for Holliston. I'll pick five or so names and I'll send those people a small stack of stickers to keep/give out to their friends. How's that sound?
Don't forget, Holliston premieres at 10:30pm EST this Tuesday night on FEARnet. Check with your cable provider to see if they carry the show. If they don't, DEMAND THEY DO by calling 877-FEAR-247! But no worries, if you can't see it when it premieres, each episode will hit iTunes a couple days after they premiere, so nobody will be left in the dark on this one.
DO. NOT. MISS. IT.