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Interview: A Deep Probe Into Comedy Thriller BUTT BOY With Director Tyler Cornack

Appearances can be deceiving and sometimes that applies to movie titles. It seems ridiculous to base your opinion of a movie on the title alone, but apparently that is exactly what is happening with the new movie Butt Boy. I’ve been told some people are so offended by the title of the movie, that they refuse to watch the trailer. As captivated as I was by the trailer for the serial killer thriller Butt Boy, I have to admit I was kind of expecting a movie filled with middle school bathroom humor. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this film is genuinely funny and dark and not at all what I expected.

Butt Boy was created by Tyler Cornack and Ryan Koch as part of their frightful, comedic series Tiny Cinema, which was founded by Cornack, Koch, and producer Bill Morean. Butt Boy tells the story of bored IT Engineer Chip Gutchel, played by Cornack, who undergoes a routine prostate exam and soon becomes obsessed with inserting random, and increasingly larger, objects into his butt. Chip is a recovering alcoholic and attends Alcoholics Anonymous where he meets detective Russell Fox (Tyler Rice), who is trying to get sober.

Cornack portrays Chip in a constant state of catatonia and as his addiction grows, his facial expressions hilariously convey his inner struggle and guilt over his actions. When a child goes missing from Chip’s office, detective Fox is brought in to investigate and as his suspicion about Chip’s addiction grows, he ultimately finds himself in an outlandish situation that you have to see to believe. Butt Boy also stars Shelby Dash, Austin Lewis and Kristina Clifford. You can learn more about Butt Boy on the film’s official website.

Dread Central recently had the opportunity to talk with writer/director Tyler Cornack about creating Butt Boy, his wild scenes with costar Tyler Rice, people being offended by the title of the movie, and a lot more. Read on to find out what we talked about!

Butt Boy will be released in the U.S. by Epic Pictures on VOD April 14th and on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28th.  

Dread Central: Butt Boy might be the most bizarre, original concept in a horror movie that I’ve ever seen. I know you wrote the screenplay with Ryan Koch. How did the two of you come up with this crazy story?

Tyler Cornack: Oh, wow, that’s a compliment. Thank you. That’s what we were going for. The concept was kind of a collaboration with another guy we had worked with, Bill Morean, who shot the movie, he’s the director of photography. We have an online comedy group called Tiny Cinema, it’s our production company as well. We did these one-minute short films and it was one of the sketches we did. I was in the middle of writing another screenplay and we had always talked about what if we expanded Butt Boy into this larger thing, with a detective who comes in, just kind of as another comedy sketch. Then one night, I was out with Ryan and he was kind of like, “What if we made this into a movie?” And it kind of just snowballed from there and that was it. We kind of had it brewing for a while, as wild as that seems [laughs].

DC: I thought you were absolutely fascinating as Chip. Why did you decide you wanted to take on the lead role while also directing?

TC: Thank you. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again [laughs]. Just because it was a lot and my forte isn’t directing. But I was in the original sketch and we have a certain amount of comedic actors that swap in and out of it and I just happened to be in the original Butt Boy sketch. It just kind of made sense. He’s kind of like a one note character in a way. He’s just this catatonic guy who is down and out. In my mind anyway, it was pretty easy to play. I honestly don’t even remember acting in it, I just remember directing it for the most part [laughs]. We rehearsed quite a bit before and that helped a lot, but when it came time to shoot, I honestly don’t even remember doing it. As weird as that sounds. It think the character was kind of written to be subtle. If you just look at where he works.

I guess the subtle numbness was a funnier route to us. I think we laughed at the little parts a little bit more than everyone else [laughs] does because of the subtlety of the facial expressions and then the idea was to make the police officer character a little more animated and over the top with his facial expressions. So, they are kind of like these two that don’t really know each other and they couldn’t be more opposite, if that makes sense.

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Shelby Dash and Tyler Cornack in Butt Boy

DC: Some of the humor is so dark, I almost felt bad about laughing a few times. What was it like filming and how hard was it to stay in character and keep a straight face, especially for you and Tyler Rice who plays Detective Fox? The two of you have some insane scenes.

TC: It’s an acquired taste. Imagine shooting that stuff. We had to explain, as vaguely as possible, but also let parents of the children who are in it know, “Hey, that’s what this is.” We had a different name we were slating it as on set, just for various reasons. We called the movie “Fox Tail” on the slate just because we were so uncomfortable with the title. We were never going to call the movie that, it was just for the slate. There were kids there and we didn’t want to say Butt Boy every two seconds. We were cautious of all that. Dark is kind of our whole thing. If you look at our comedy content, even on Instagram, that’s kind of our whole vibe. The movie was interesting, because a lot of the online stuff is more obvious humor and in-your-face, but in the movie we were playing it straight and we were like, “Jesus, this can get pretty dark.” The loyalty to the bit and playing it straight was kind of the key to it.

We laughed a lot, but we rehearsed a lot, so we had a lot of the laughs out already. We knew exactly what we were going to do. Just for my sake, to be in it and direct it, I just wanted to be as prepared as I could. But of course there were moments with crew and stuff. We laughed the whole time making it, for numerous reasons. Halfway through it, we were like, “What the hell are we doing? This is crazy.” Especially when we shot at the cave in the end, it was like, “This is nuts. Hopefully this works [laughs.]” Even very early on when we were writing the script, we knew you were going to have to suspend your belief a little bit. You either go on the ride or you don’t. That’s kind of the whole movie really.

DC: I was intrigued by how effectively you use a mixture of horror and humor to portray Chip’s struggle with his guilt and his addiction. Why did you think it was important to address addiction with this movie?

TC: I hate saying this, but I think everybody does have some sort of addiction, even if it’s to coffee. I don’t want to sound pretentious or anything. There is somebody in everybody’s life who deals with it and there is kind of this repetitive nature to addiction, just from personal experience with friends. I wanted in the editing to feel that. You go through this repetitive thing until it breaks and snaps, with slow tensions building through it, so that was definitely conscious in doing it. I personally don’t have anything too toxic that I’ve dealt with, but it’s been a part of my life in different ways. I also just have a love for film. With the genre crossing as you were saying, we just wanted to make something new and kind of play with different genres. Just kind of remix it like you’ve never seen it before.

We always say it’s the opposite of the movie Airplane! where the circumstances the characters are in in Airplane! are very serious. The plane is going down and they are going to die, but it’s compacted with jokes every two minutes. This movie, the plot, the circumstances, is the joke, but there’s almost no jokes in between. We tried to flip it on its head a little bit and make something people have never seen anything like it and so far, that seems to be the general opinion on it. And also, have classic film tropes in it as well. You’re in familiar territory, you have the detective, you have the cat and mouse game, so you’re kind of comfortable in some areas, but the plot just puts this weight on your shoulders. You have to keep reminding yourself, “Oh yeah, this is about a guy putting stuff up his butt.”

DC: I didn’t know anything about this movie, but seeing the trailer sold me and I knew I had to see it. I’ve been told there are some people who are offended just by the title of the film. What would you say to those people?

TC: Yeah, it’s crazy. But again, that’s kind of the idea. That was another thing in mind that people are going to be surprised when they watch it. We wanted it to feel that way. We’ve heard very mixed things about the title, but overall, it’s been good for us because it starts a conversation, like it’s not what you expect. We wanted the title to kind of be the joke of the film, where it’s like this silly thing, but it’s serious. It kind of plays into everything I was saying earlier, where you’re not sure. People do click on it. Love it or hate it, people have to check it out when they see it. We know you’re either going to enjoy the movie or you’re going to despise it, we knew all that going into it. The title is doing good things. You have to at least read the synopsis after seeing that title. I think a lot of people thought it was going to be a silly fart joke movie, but when you get into it, it’s a whole different thing.

Written by Michelle Swope

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