Bo Keister, star of the hitweb series Hillbilly Horror Show, chatted with us about his latest film, The Cabining, as well as one he has in the works, Finding Waldo.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, can you describe what Hillbilly Horror Show is all about?
The show is “Hee Haw meets Tales From the Crypt.” We blend a series of terrific horror short films into a comedic wraparound storyline, focused on our lovable, beer-guzzling, hillbilly family. What you end up with is a great combination of indie horror and hilarious sketch comedy. It’s a lot of fun.
So, you’re a horror fan?
I am indeed. I grew up on all the classics, so horror films have always been a favorite. Never thought I’d be making them one day, but love that it’s worked out that way.
Have you intentionally chased roles in horror movies because of that fondness for the genre?
Actually, I haven’t had to. The roles just sort of show up, and I honestly have no explanation as to why. I just go with it, have fun, and hope more roles come my way. I’m more than happy to make horror movies for the bulk of my career.
You’re obviously doing very different horror movies, though – House of Good and Evil and The Cabining are quite different in not only story but also tone. Were they both good experiences?
Yeah, they are almost on polar ends of the spectrum, but both turned [out] to be great films in their respective subsets of the horror genre. The experiences were wonderful. With House of Good and Evil, I was only involved briefly, but it generated great friendships that last to this day. The Cabining was a much more extensive experience, and our cast and crew became like a family. We’re already talking about doing another Todd & Bruce adventure!
Which character was the closest to you?
That would definitely be Bruce in The Cabining. From the minute I read the script, I knew I was meant to play him. There were so many similarities between myself and the character’s sense of humor, it was uncanny. I think he was kind of the party animal part of me personified. It gave me, as an actor, the opportunity to show off my comedic ability, and I just ran with it.
Did Hillbilly Horror Show come off the back of working with
Blu and I kept in touch after filming, and began tossing ideas around for future projects. Late in 2013, he pitched me the premise for the show, and it just felt right. The horror host medium has always been popular, but it’s kind of vanished over the last few years. We saw it as an opportunity to revive the part of the horror genre, and people love it so far.
You’re doing a comedy next, right? A film with Richard Riehle of Office Space fame? What can you tell us?
That’s right. I am playing Chance Reed in the new feature entitled, Finding Waldo. Which I would say is very comedic, but it has a dramatic tone underneath with a powerful message of forgiveness and redemption. Chance is an ex pro football star whose life comes to a crashing halt due to his battles with alcoholism and a fateful night of drunk driving. We pick up his story while he’s out on parole, and working in the mail room of a Lloyd’s of London-like insurance firm. He’s miserable and just can’t seem to pick up the pieces, until one day when he’s called to the president’s office and charged with going to interview eccentric novelist, Waldo Greene. Waldo is claiming to be insane, and that certainly appears to be so, because he kidnaps me and takes me on the road trip from hell. In the end though, not everything is as it seems. I’m really excited about getting to work with Richard again. He is an amazing actor. We’re also bringing in Matthew Jacobs, who wrote for the series Doctor Who, to play Waldo Greene. Hillbilly Horror Show star, Rachel Faulkner, plays Lucy, Motley’s secretary. And we just announced the addition of Tom Proctor (Guardians of the Galaxy) who is coming on to play Bruno, the owner of Crazy 8’s Strip Club. We’re really excited to have him. This is going to be a great film, in every aspect.
How have you found the IndieGoGo process so far? Is it challenging? What are the tricks to getting people to notice your film on there?
It is a big challenge, if for no other reason than you’re competing with so many other projects, spanning every genre imaginable. But we believe we’ve got a story that will hit home with people and we hope people will support it. The campaign is full of great perks, from memorabilia to being part of the production itself, to entice donations. We’ve raised a large portion of our budget, thanks to our production partners at Planet Capricorn, and we are still pursuing standard investors, as well as product placement sponsors. Still, the crowd-funding portion is extremely important to our success, so any help we can get is monumentally important. If anyone out there is interested in donating, sharing, or dropping us a comment of support, just visit our campaign page.
Thanks for taking time to interview me. It’s been a pleasure.