Former Dukes Of Hazzard star John Schneider has teamed up with the actors behind the horror genre's creepiest characters to make a movie under his new film company banner. The actor realised his dream of running a movie company after starting up John Schneider's Fairlight Films in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last year (Sep13), and now he's ready to roll out the venture's first project, horror comedy Smothered.
He tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "It stars Kane Hodder, who was Jason Vorhees (in the Friday The 13th movies), Don Shanks, who was Michael Myers (in Halloween 5), R.A. Mihailoff, who was Leatherface (in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), William Moseley, who was Otis from House of A Thousand Corpses and The Devil's Rejects and Brea Grant, who is from Rob Zombie's Halloween and Dexter.
"It's (about) a group of college students and invariably one is the large-breasted blonde. (In my film) all the guys in the mask have a bad trade show and take an offer to go haunt an R.V. park for $1,000 each for the weekend and they wind up getting systematically killed off by the large breasted blonde! It's revenge for blondes everywhere.
"I kind of feel like the champion of the disenfranchised because these are all the guys in the mask... None of these guys have ever starred in a movie without a mask or some weird disguise, so this is all those serial killers unveiled in this movie. I have a cameo.
"We're hoping for a release date of December 13, 2014, which happens to be a Friday."
Schneider admits his dream of running a movie production company has been a long time coming, adding, "I decided to start a film company when I was eight; it's just taken me this long to get it going! I was one of those kids who sat in my living room and cut together Super 8 films... that I'd shot with my friends.
"This has been my goal forever and once all my kids got out and to college I told (my wife) Elly (Castle), 'Tax breaks are great in Louisiana and it's possible to make a film here'. So I moved here a year ago and I've been here ever since."
Randolph Smiley (Robin Williams) is on top of his game--he's the eponymous star of the highest rated kid's TV show Rainbow Randolph has his own Times Square billboard and makes lots of money. Until that is he gets caught taking bribes from stage parents. Suddenly he becomes the social pariah of the millennium and of course gets canned. Losing Rainbow Randolph however leaves the network in a bind. Now they have to find a squeaky-clean replacement pronto. Enter Sheldon Mopes (Edward Norton) and his alter-ego Smoochy an abnormally large fuschia rhino who sings children's songs about kicking drug habits and stepdads who aren't mean but simply adjusting. With his naivete unwavering ethics and unflagging ambition to make the world a better place he becomes the new number one show. Sheldon soon learns however how cutthroat children's entertainment can be as the powers that be try to corrupt his ideals. Meanwhile a homeless Randolph makes it his number-one priority to destroy the bastard who stole his life. Who's going to get Smoochy first the corrupt businessmen or crazy Rainbow Randy? Stay tuned...
When you hear the Smoochy cast list--Williams Danny DeVito Jon Stewart Catherine Keener--you automatically think mondo laughs. Added to the list is Norton who may not be known for his comedic talents but certainly adds credibility to the movie especially given that he rarely picks bad scripts. Luckily no one disappoints. Norton plays the straight guy with aplomb and shines brilliantly when singing his sappy yet lesson-filled songs. Keener whom we haven't seen since her Oscar-nominated turn in Being John Malkovich is also a standout as the jaded development VP who falls for Sheldon's sweet manner. She has an uncanny way of delivering lines that bite to the bone. And then there's Williams--as always he has extraordinary moments of sheer hilarity in the film. This isn't one of those films where the comedian has to attempt to act or simply be reined in by the director (as some have done) to give a good performance. Director DeVito (who also plays the greedy agent) is wise enough to simply turn the camera on the comedian and let him go. Just wish we could have seen more of him.
Ever wonder what it would be like to kill Barney? We're betting DeVito thought about it quite often--and things never turn out good for that purple dinosaur. The premise of Smoochy is one of the funnier ones in recent memory and seems to follow the dark comedic path DeVito has chosen in his other directorial efforts including War of the Roses and Throw Momma From the Train. Unfortunately Smoochy doesn't quite hold up to its hype (or its trailers) because basically it focuses on the wrong character. It's got some great moments granted especially when Smoochy is on his show. But instead of being about Randy's obsession to do away with his replacement the film chooses to follow Mopes and deal with the dirty business of making a kid's show which appears to involve the Mob (whatever). Smoochy would have been a lot funnier if Randolph could have finally succeeded in his quest instead of getting all sappy.