The Horror Club speaks to Brennan Gilpatrick and Erin Walsh, the creators of the award-winning short horror comedy, Bubbles. The short has been picked up by Crypt TV, and if you’d like to watch it, you can find it below.
Tell me about yourselves?
We’re two filmmakers based in Los Angeles. We met in a Sitcom Writing class at Loyola Marymount University, of all places. We found that we had similar senses of humor and a mutual love for all things creepy and bleak. The partnership just made sense. Previous to Bubbles, neither of us had actually made a horror project before but had always wanted to. You could say we brought the creative evil out in each other!
What is Bubbles? Why the childlike name?
The title refers to the comedic twist in the film. Growing up, we both had older siblings who would squeeze our cheeks and make us say “bubbles” because they thought it was funny. It was not funny to us. We were talking about how weird that was one day, and we came up with an idea for a horror villain whose endgame wasn’t murder or torture, but simply to pull the same prank. He’s the jerk older brother from our nightmares.
Did ye look at any films for inspiration?
When we were coming up with the visual style, we took a lot of cues from the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That film embodies the aesthetic that most slasher films seem to lean on nowadays. We wanted to capture that so we could quickly set up our narrative tropes. We ultimately wanted Bubbles to be a fun subversion of the slasher genre as a whole.
The film is written, directed and starring the two of ye. Was this to ensure that your original vision was told?
Honestly, this whole project started out as an inside joke. We had the idea, and coincidentally had access to the gear and location we needed to shoot the movie in a day. The joke was so specific to our senses of humor, and we had so little time to execute the project, that we figured it would translate better if cast ourselves in the roles. We took on a lot, but we feel it paid off.
Was there ever the idea of changing around the roles by having the man be the victim?
We never actually considered that. For the sake of the joke, we needed the audience to connect with our genre tropes as quickly as possible. Historically, the slasher genre pits female victims against male antagonists. However, we did have fun subverting that trope by making the victim more “into” the prospect of violence than the masked man.
Do ye think that the most frightening part of this is actually thinking you’re going to die rather than actually doing so?
We do think that we succeeded in creating a sense of dread at the very beginning leading up to the twist. Ultimately, establishing the terror was really a set-up for the joke. While the concept of death may be terrifying for most people, we come to find out that the victim clearly has a perverse attitude toward the situation. If anyone should be scared, it’s the masked man. He’s clearly pissed off the wrong victim.
How assured were ye when putting in the twist ending?
It was a leap of faith. We definitely thought it was a risk. We believed it was funny, but we had no idea how anyone else would react.
Will there be any more Bubbles floating in the future? (Cheesy, but I had to do it)
Hah! At the time we made Bubbles, we thought that it would be a one-off project. Much to our suprise, people seem to like the idea of exploring the relationship between the Victim and the Masked Man further. We have some fun ideas for where we’d like to take that relationship, but nothing has been set in motion yet. Stay tuned.