Games will be played at the ongoing SXSW Film Festival and this time, Jigsaw won’t be behind them. Bill Posley sets up the board games with Bitch Ass, a brand new slasher being introduced to audiences at tonight’s World Premiere.
Bitch Ass takes place in the late 90s where the title character, played by Tunde Laleye, gets revenge on those who bullied him when he was a child.
“It all kind of started with the question: who’s the Black Jason? The Black Michael Myers? The Black Freddy Krueger?” recalls co-writer Jonathan Colomb.
“As two fans of genre horror films, especially the 90s hood horror classics, we were kind of shocked to realize that there really wasn’t a Black Masked Serial Killer anywhere in cinema history. We started throwing ideas around and then Bill said– whatever we do, we ought to name the character ‘Bitch Ass’?”
“‘Hurt people, hurt people’ was our North Star when trying to find Bitch Ass,” adds Posley when speaking about bringing the character to life. “We knew we wanted him to be cerebral and scary. In building him, one thing we wanted to play with was the audience watching a serial killer be created at the same time you are watching him kill. It allows you to shift loyalties between the victims and the killer throughout the film and by the end, you don’t know who you are rooting for.”
Bitch Ass takes us to 1999 where the title character has become somewhat of an urban legend and a gang tasked with robbing a house ends up coming face-to-face with the killer who forces them to play classic board games with him.
“Coming up with the game ideas was the easiest part of the film writing,” Colomb reveals. “We would just start riffing on what board games we loved as kids and the sinister ways they could kill you. Hungry, Hungry, Hippos? Terrifying. When we finally decided to make the movie, we were suddenly thrust into the tough situation of having to make these things ‘real’. We had a spectacular art department headed up by Jeremy Jonathan White, and he became our resident ‘Myth Buster’. We’d say: ‘What about a giant Connect-4 game that has guillotine blades on top?’ and Jeremey, to his eternal credit, would always say, ‘Here’s how I think we could do that…’”
Spoiler warning here as Colomb reveals his favorite game: “For me, it’s got to be Surgeon. Blood? Check. Exposed organs? Check. Electrocution? Check. It’s got everything!”
And much like Jigsaw’s games, these end in extreme bloodshed.
“We wanted to achieve a good balance between slasher and suspense thriller,” says Posley. “With that said, blood and gore is a real staple of the genre and we wanted to lean into that because let’s be honest, at the end of the day, it’s fun! What’s the point of a slasher film if you can’t make people squirm a little bit while watching? The razor blades and the finger webbing? Still makes my stomach tie up in a knot when I see it.”
The concept really opens the door for more films, especially a sequel. “We were thinking about sequel ideas before principal photography even started,” reveals Colomb. “All the best killers come back, right?”
Bitch Ass premieres tonight, March 14, 2022, at the SXSW Film Festival.