Exclusive Set Visit: Chillerama - Tim Sullivan's I Was a Teenage Werebear Segment
Produced by Andrew Mysko, Cory Neal and Jason Miller and starring Sean Paul Lockhart as ‘Ricky’, Anton Troy as ‘Talon’, Lin Shaye as ‘Nurse Maleva’ and Gabby West (the latter the winner of "Scream Queens 2" and Saw 3D actress) as ‘Peggy Lou,’ "I Was A Teenage Werebear", regardless of its tongue-in-cheek approach to the narrative, has seemed to garner an occasional raised eyebrow, given its partially gay theme. Case in point: I was surprised to find, particularly in the generally accepting clime of So-Cal, that one of the park rangers responsible for looking after the permitted production attempted to have it shut down due to the film’s subject matter.
Stated actor Parrish Randall, who plays the character of ‘Superintendent Ackerman’, “That ranger elected himself the moral majority crusader and was going through Tim’s script and dissecting it and pointing out segments that he approved of and disapproved of and stated that if we didn’t make concessions in certain arenas, that ‘by god’ he was going to shut us down. Luckily enough, though, for the last two days there was a shift change, and we got a new park ranger by the name of Martin, who’s been really film-friendly and who’s worked with us on every level. So hat’s off to Martin! But it was frightening. It’s 2010, and everyone is aware of gay-bullying, which is featured (in "I Was A Teenage Werebear"); yet, we experienced it first-hand during this production.”
While it may be a horror-comedy, "I Was A Teenage Werebear" does intend to communicate a certain topical sub-text (a historical staple of horror filmmaking, from Frankenstein’s examination of Victorian society’s unease with the then-burgeoning advent of medical science to Godzilla’s none too subtle metaphor as lizard-as-atomic bomb), and actor Randall similarly commented, “It is a film with a message. I think it’s great that the horror genre is one that can actually both entertain and convey, which in this case it is to convey acceptance and to embrace who you are, and to not to be ashamed.”
This is a Sullivan film, however, and upon re-joining us the director was quick to point out - as we accompanied him to set – that his splat-stick leanings are still in full effect.