I can safely say that you’ve never seen anything like 2010’s THE TAINT, a satiric no-budget masterpiece of violence and depravity co-directed, co-written, scored and starring Richmond, Virginia’s Drew Bolduc. Drew is currently hard at work on his followup film SCIENCE TEAM, but was good enough to take a few brief moments to answer questions about THE TAINT, his various influences, and the key to getting your film seen (“You really have to limit the dick”).
Sweetback (SB): Let’s talk briefly about your own background. What sort of film community is there in Richmond, and when did you start to develop your interest in film-making? Was there a particular film or film-maker that made a career as a director seem achievable?
Drew Bolduc (DB): There is a lot of young people that went to school for film at VCU here. I dropped out, stupidly, and just started doing movies on my own. I was always into the Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson do-it-yourself thing.
SB: The soundtrack to THE TAINT is quite extraordinary, with sort of an 80s video game aesthetic combined with classic John Carpenter. What is your own musical background, and was there a conscious effort to give a retro feel to the score?
DB: It was always a hobby of mine that I do not have much training in. I wanted it to have a certain older feel, but I didn’t want it to be just a parody of 80s stuff.
SB: The plot of THE TAINT is revealed through a series of lengthy flashback sequences. Was the script always designed to jump around chronology like that, or was that something that developed in the editing room?
DB: It was written like that. I was just into things like that when I wrote it, like David Foster Wallace. I know a lot of people hate it for it.
SB: The tainted water turns men into women-hating, cum-spewing misogynists. How prevalent do you think misogyny is in horror and cult films, and was this a direct response? Or just meant to poke fun?
DB: It is a response, but I think it is more of about the hypocrisy of the thing. The movie is about misogyny, but also misogynistic. The beauty of horror is that it tends to actually wallow in the dark stuff of humanity, not just confront it or make light of it with jokes. I also love arguing points of view that I don’t actually believe in.
SB: How many fake penises were made for the film? And what was the fake cum made out of?
DB: At least 20 or so. Flour and water.
SB: One of the great/terrible things about microbudget filmmaking is the freedom to explore ideas and content well outside the mainstream. It looks like SCIENCE TEAM is continuing this commitment to bad-taste. Can you talk a little about how the idea for the project came about, and where you are with it currently?
DB: I am editing it now and about halfway. I think there is a bit more restraint with it content-wise. That being said, people’s heads explode and there is a giant alien monster. It has a different feel and was filmed with a very different visual style. We really wanted to push the limits of what you can do with a micro budget. I didn’t want to make the same movie again. I don’t understand filmmakers that don’t try to advance artistically with everything they do.
SB: It seems like we’re at a place where even ultra low-budget productions can – with the right marketing – find a significant audience. What is the landscape like for projects like THE TAINT and SCIENCE TEAM, and what do you see as the key to capturing a fan-base?
DB: SCIENCE TEAM will have a better chance of being seen by more people strictly for not featuring dicks in every scene. If you want to get out there, you really have to limit the dick.
You also have to make movies that you really care about and work with people that care about what they do. You can’t just make something that you think will sell. It may “sell” to a distributor, but that doesn’t mean anyone will care about it. The Taint was written and designed to be unforgettable. It was never really meant to be good. Spend the time in making them as good as they can possibly be.
I love bad movies, but the whole shitty movie/exploitation thing is not the best route to go in because we have the internet. You can see ANYTHING there. You have to make artistically relevant and good movies whatever that may mean.
SB: SCIENCE TEAM was at least partially funded through an Indie Go Go campaign. Despite not reaching your intended goal, do you still see it as a successful campaign? Are there ways that interested fans can still contribute to the cause?
DB:. Yeah, we needed all the money that we did get. There’s things we should have done differently, but we had to rush things to get the movie shot on schedule. You really have to do most of the work and fundraising before you even start a campaign if you really want to go big. We will have more T-shirts for sale on a website we are launching very soon. Updates can be found on our Facebook page.
SB: For readers interested in picking up a copy of THE TAINT, or wishing to keep up on your future work, what’s the best way to do so?
DB: For the Taint: http://www.taintmovie.com/
SB: Are there any other projects from Buncom Media International that we should be looking out for? Or is SCIENCE TEAM currently the main focus?
DB: SCIENCE TEAM is the big thing right now, but possibly starting another ASAP.
SB: Finally, do you have any advice for young or inexperienced directors looking to tackle their first feature?
DB: Just do it and get together a team of awesome people to help you. It is not easy.
SB: Cheers, Drew.
- [NO-BUDGET NIGHTMARES] PODCAST #80: PLAGA ZOMBIE (1997) - July 25, 2016