There’s no doubt that writer/director/producer Charles Band is one of the true pioneers of independent horror. He’s written and directed over 30 independent genre films and produced some 244 titles as well, not to mention founding both Empire Pictures in the 80s as well as Full Moon Entertainment.
Full Moon has been producing and distributing horror films since 1989, including such classics as Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, Castle Freak, Killjoy and The Gingerdead Man.
Now Band is back with his latest feature, Evil Bong 3D: Wrath of Bong, which has the writer/director gearing up for a road tour in support of the film’s release that kicks off with a premiere at the historic Portage Theater in Chicago on April 9th. Dread Central recently had the opportunity to chat with Band to find out what inspired him to take Evil Bong 3D on the road, the gimmickry of 3D and what’s next for the stoner horror franchise.
Band, who is no stranger to hitting the road to entertain audiences, discussed why he decided to tour in support of his latest directorial effort, Evil Bong 3D: The Wrath of Bong. “I’ve been doing the Charles Band Full Moon Horror Road Show for five years now so I thought it would be fun to marry the road show experience with the screenings of Evil Bong 3D. If you’re asking people to buy tickets to your event, no matter who you are, you have to give them a reason to spend their money. That means as an entertainer, I’ve got to make it worth their while and give fans that come out to support my movie an experience unlike anything they’ve seen before.”
Not only is Band presenting his latest Evil Bong film in glorious eye-popping 3D, but he is also hearkening back to the filmgoing experiences in the 50s by incorporating the use of a “Smell-O-Vision” type of technique during for each screening during his five-week road tour of the film in his attempt to revive the theatrical gimmickry of the iconic William Castle.
Band explained, “You can try and say what you want about 3D technology, but at its core it’s very much still a gimmick. It’s just like what William Castle was doing to audiences in the 50s with ‘emergo’ but just uses a lot more technology for the same result. Of course there are movies like Avatar that try and show you depth of the 3D world, but the 3D I’m used to is the ‘poke you in the face’ kind of 3D, which is more in the spirit of what we used in Evil Bong 3D. It’s just a silly weed movie so it makes sense that Evil Bong is more like the old-school 3D style than what Avatar did in theaters.”
“I am a huge fan of William Castle and his ‘emergo’ theatrics so I wanted to do create an experience like he used to,” Band explained. “That’s one of the reasons we decided to present Evil Bong 3D in ‘Sniff-O-Rama’ since this is all about the old-school approach to reaching out to fans. At eight different times during the screening audiences will have to scratch eight different cards while watching the movie so imagine the smells that will permeate the air over the course of the night. And for those who are curious, we have two different types of marijuana cards that audience members will need to scratch- one is a regular kind and the other is something called ‘alien marijuana.’ Those were the toughest to fabricate just because we of course couldn’t just create cards out of illegal substances, but we got amazingly close with the smells that we had formulated.”
To kick off his Evil Bong 3D Road Tour, Band is heading to Chicago for the world premiere of the flick and has lined up a day-long event spectacle for fans in attendance. Band even called in some friends to come out for the premiere, including prolific genre writer/director Stuart Gordon and actress Barbara Crampton, who stars in all three Gordon films being featuring during the ten-hour event being held at the Portage Theater.
Band said, “I had the opportunity to work with Stuart while Empire was still around on several of his movies, and since we are having our premiere in Chicago and Stuart being a native of the Windy City, we decided to turn our premiere into a bigger event which will also screen several of Stuart’s classic films. We’ve got some celebrities coming out, too, including F/X artist Tom Devlin and actress Barbara Crampton, who stars in all three of Stuart’s movies and rarely ever does appearances at horror events, so that’s definitely something special for fans to have her there that night. I will also be entertaining audiences with the road show during the premiere night so we make sure the fans will be getting in on all the fun, too.”
Now with Band gearing up for a five-week, seven-stop tour of Evil Bong 3D, you’d think the writer/director would be solely focused on the impending road trip. That’s not the case at all as Band is currently busy working on a script for the fourth Bong flick and isn’t planning on ending the franchise anytime soon. “Evil Bong will go on forever. It’s such a unique brand of movie and we always have so much fun making them so there’s no reason to stop yet. We’re writing the fourth installment right now, which is called Evil Bong vs. Killa Crack Pipe, and I think you can see where we are going this next time with some blaxploitation themes. It will still be in the same vein as the first three but something very, very different, too.”
For more on Evil Bong 3D and to secure your tickets for the Evil Bong 3D Road Tour, check out the film’s official site. For more information on the Evil Bong 3D premiere in Chicago on April 9th, you find all the details at the Flashback Weekend website.
Also, here’s a look at the Full Moon Horror Film Festival schedule for the Chicago event next weekend:
2:00PM – Doors open
3:00 PM – “FROM BEYOND” (1986) 35mm Intro/Q&A by star Barbara Crampton
5:30PM – “CASTLE FREAK” (1995) 35mm Intro/Q&A by star Barbara Crampton
8:00 PM – Charles Band Full Moon Road Show
8:30 PM – “EVIL BONG 3-D: THE WRATH OF BONG” 35mm WORLD PREMIERE!!! Intro/Q&A by director Charles Band and star Robin Sidney
10:30PM – ”RE-ANIMATOR” (1985) 35mm Intro/Q&A by star Barbara Crampton
In “EVIL BONG 3-D: THE WRATH OF BONG” an evil alien bong crashes on earth. Its intent; world domination. Our stoner heroes are transported to the alien bong home world and held captive by exotic alien beauties. Their only hope to escape and save planet earth; EBee, the original Evil Bong. The original whacked out cast of stoners from EVIL BONG 1 + 2 returns.
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