Who loves horror comedies? If so, you should definitely check out Midwest director Tyler Amm’s new film Butcher the Bakers. We got the chance to talk with Tyler about his inspiriting for filmmaking, the idea behind Butcher, the people involved, and plenty more fun tidbits!
PopHorror – It’s great to have a chance to pick your brain, Tyler! What inspired you to get into the world of filmmaking?
Tyler Amm – I’ve always loved movies ever since I was a kid. Any film with weird/quirky characters, monsters, or performances is what really caught my eye. I like films that blur the lines of genres; especially ones with some mix of adventure, horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. I used to make videos when I was a kid, graduated to sketches when I got into high school/college, and then eventually realized I had the desire to make my first feature after I was out of college and had been in the working world for a few years.
PopHorror – Amazing! I’m glad you were able to take something you loved as a child and turn into your dream. What was your first film?
Tyler Amm – River City Panic was my first feature length film. It’s a hot mess but one that I’m proud of. It’s similar to my two films that followed it, in that it’s about a group of friends who end up in some kind of bizarre and life threatening situation.
In the case of RCP, a small town goes mad over a missing person and 6 friends are swept up in the chaos, even though they don’t give a shit.
PopHorror – Sounds fun! I definitely want to check it out. Is horror your favorite genre or do you love it all?
Tyler Amm – I enjoy most genres of film, but horror is definitely one I hold close to my heart. My favorite pastime growing up was watching bad horror movies with my friends. We would go to the video store, pick the film with the worst description/box art, and have a blast with it. I don’t enjoy the genre ironically. I appreciate it for the creative haven it has to be in order to make a good horror film work: script, acting, effects, production design, etc. I’m fascinated by all of those elements, and because of them, I always lean towards including aspects of the horror genre into my own films.
PopHorror – (Laughs) I used to do that, too, as a kid… such great memories! What inspired your new film Butcher the Bakers?
Tyler Amm – I had written a script that included the premise of death gone rogue, but the main plot behind it was far different than what Butcher became. It was more of a slasher, and upon sharing it with my production team, they helped me realize that, while it had potential, it wasn’t utilizing the death dynamic as strongly as it could. I went back with my writing partner and took the primary elements of the first draft and essentially rewrote the whole film. The result is something of a mix between Bill & Ted and Hellraiser.
PopHorror – Well, that’s two titles that I never saw clashing together. That description alone makes me want to see it. So, tell us about the story and the characters.
Tyler Amm – Butcher the Bakers is about a grim reaper, Dragomir, who was recently fired and has become mortal; he’s pissed, he hates being mortal, and he’s collecting souls in an attempt to leave this dimension. The film follows two goofball bakers who get hired by Drag’s former boss to hunt down and kill him. Along the way, they bump into two gun-toting girls with a grudge against the grim reaper, a deceased sentient arm, and a brood of Underlings created by Drag to stop them. It’s full of blood, guts, goofs, and a birth scene we couldn’t be more proud of.
PopHorror – The story sounds super fun with potential for awesome kills! Who is involved with the film?
Tyler Amm – Our team is a bunch of Midwestern nobodies. Some of us went to school for film or acting, but a majority are people who are just passionate about making weird films. The cast and crew all live within 50 miles of our hub in Ottawa, IL.
The biggest difference in our team for Butcher the Bakers, though, is the inclusion of P.J. Starks, who came on board as a producer. Most of the exposure beyond our cornfields is a result of his hustling.
PopHorror – Hey, I’m a Midwesterner as well – good ole’ Iowa. Speaking of P.J Starks, are you excited to have him on board after his success with Volumes of Blood?
Tyler Amm – We couldn’t be happier to have P.J. involved with our film. He saw the trailers and was immediately hooked. Thankfully, he still liked it after watching the film itself! He’s been a great asset and cheerleader on our behalf which helps us focus on the creative end while he gets the word out there about what we’ve been up to.
PopHorror – P.J. is a good dude. Where did the filming take place?
Tyler Amm – Most of Butcher the Bakers was shot in Ottawa and LaSalle-Peru, Illinois. The end of our film was shot in the woods of Marshall County. We’ve been incredibly blessed with the locations we’ve had access to: the bakery, bowling alley, skating rink, on the banks of the Illinois river, and a cabin the woods. Making films in your hometown does have its perks!
PopHorror – Indeed it does. When can we expect Butcher the Bakers to be released?
Tyler Amm – We just did a local release in Illinois starting April 28th. It has had a short run in two independent theaters that ends May 11th. After our local run, we will be taking it to any film festival that will have us, starting with the MayDay Film Festival in Evansville, Indiana on May 20th. It is currently available for purchase on our website and through VHX for streaming.
PopHorror – We can’t wait to check it out! Do you have any other projects in the works?
Tyler Amm – We’ve made three films in three years, a feat we are very proud of. We’re going to ride the Butcher the Bakers wave for a little while, but we should be ready to start filming movie four in early 2018. We’d like to see if there is any potential for a sequel to Butcher the Bakers!
Check out the trailer for the film below!