27 Minutes in Heaven with Filmmaker Ross Patterson

You all know the story, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the USA, was out on a hunting trip with his buddies when a chance encounter with a werewolf left a couple of his friends dead and a chunk bitten out of his leg. What he didn’t know at the time was that werewolf bites give you polio. He was also not aware of the deeper conspiracy involving the Third Reich. Now, the history books may tell it differently, but that’s how Ross Patterson’s film FDR: American Badass begins, and it only gets better from there. In the most hilarious way possible. 

FDR stars Barry Bostwick (best known by freaks n’ geeks as “Brad Majors” in Rocky Horror Picture Show) as the titular badass, Lin Shaye (who you may remember as “Magda” in There’s Something About Mary or as the cunnilingus mimicking landlady from Kingpin among notable roles,) Ray Wise (“Leland Palmer” in Twin Peaks) as General MacArthur, and the inimitable Jesse Merlin (Jackass 3) as Werewolf Hitler. Kevin Sorbo of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Andromeda fame is in the movie as well, but I’m not going to spoil that surprise.  Here’s the trailer:

Jesse Merlin. Actor and Werewolf

A few months ago, Jesse Merlin came to the NYC area while on tour playing “Dr. Hill” in Re-Animator: The Musical. Being a part of the RHPS community, our little group has known him for a while from conventions and performances. So as a little treat for his friends, he brought a distribution copy of FDR with him, to have a little private screening for his East Coast pals. Had I never seen or spoken to him prior to seeing this movie, just the simple fact that he not only introduced me to it, but had a starring role as well, would make me love him forever. The thing is, though, he wasn’t my favorite actor in the film. (Sorry dude.)

Ross Patterson as “Cleavon Buford” in a very emotionally charged scene from FDR: American Badass

My favorite part was the character “Cleavon Buford”. This smooth, smarmy Southern gentleman was absolutely ludicrous, crass, and wonderful. After the film, Jesse and I were chatting and I asked him about “the guy who played Cleavon”, and he told me, “Oh, that’s Ross. He wrote and directed the movie.”

What? I must know everything about this guy’s films now. Immediately.

Ross Patterson has had roles in mainstream comedies like The New Guy and Accepted. He started doing stand-up at 16 using a fake ID. Since the early 2000′s, he’s written, produced, and directed a bunch of comedies including, Poolboy: Drowning Out The Fury starring everyone’s favorite badass, Danny Trejo. If you watch his films, you’ll quickly get the sense that this guy is simply, naturally, funny, and he must be pretty down to earth to have such a sense of humor in a business where telling a fart joke to the wrong person can get you blacklisted for life. So when I heard he was coming to the NYC area to do some press and have a few meetings, I quickly jumped at the chance to get together with him and have a chat for Nerd-Base. Thankfully, he said “Yes”.

The quick idea for this was “Laverne & Shirley” I botched it.

Allow me a moment to clear something up. My love of FDR wasn’t my only reason for wanting to meet up with Ross. The guy just seemed awesome.
I’ve been “friends” with him on facebook, through Jesse, for a while. Funny guy. Always posting weird stuff about his cat fluffers. However, one night, he made a post about an idea he had for his next movie. At first I thought he was joking, his idea was something about Helen Keller fighting monsters.  I jumped into the conversation, amping up the ridiculous notion of a film where Helen Keller is a Xena: Warrior Princess-like badass, by throwing out crazy ideas like a constipated Ghandi astral projecting to teach her yoga or something. A stupid idea, I think I was drunk, but then again with an idea like Helen Keller, blind and deaf, fighting packs of supernatural forest beasts, I thought he must be on the sauce too.

Only Ross wasn’t drunk and he wasn’t kidding. This movie needs to be made. Helen Keller Vs Nightwolves.

Alas, there’s the small problem of funding.

It’s hard enough to get an emotionally gripping, socially poignant, Oscar-worthy drama funded in Tinseltown these days, but an over-the-top comedy where the most famous Deaf/Blind figure in history fights the evil denizens of the forest? No way. So Ross did what most people with great ideas do in this day and age, he built a Kickstarter page for it!

As of this post, it’s only been up for about 5 days and he’s raised a bit over $15,000 of his $150,000 goal. In a day and age where people like Tim Schafer and his Double Fine Productions video game studio asked for $400,000 on his Kickstarter campaign and ended up raising $2.5 million, what seems like a loft goal isn’t really that high. For what Ross is promising in this film, it’s a goal that every self-proclaimed lover of b-movies, comedies, cult films and the like should help him achieve.

I know you’re asking yourself, “What about the rewards for pledging?”. Well, among the usual faire, like digital downloads of his films, past and present, Ross is putting up speaking roles in the film. 30 people will get 2 lines in the movie, guaranteed to not be cut and credit on IMDB along with a character name of your choosing. How awesome is that!? There’s also an option to have a picture of your choosing, even if it’s a “dick pic”, in the film. That’ll give you an idea of his sense of humor.

But enough of all this. Visit the Kickstarter link and pledge your support. If you can’t afford that, spread the word. Make flyers to hand out or post around your town!! Post links to the Kickstarter page on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, reddit, etc. accounts. We can do this. We have another month, it ends December 2nd, 2012. We can make this happen, and who knows, maybe you’ll become a star!!
And if you’re still not convinced that this batshit-crazy, awesome, hilarious idea is worth your money, check out the video below of us doing less “interviewing” and more “bullshitting” and let Ross charm his way into your heart!

Helen Keller Vs Nightwolves Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/785834588/helen-keller-vs-nightwolves

One comment on “27 Minutes in Heaven with Filmmaker Ross Patterson

  1. I dunno who edited this but they deserve the Nobel prize. ;) Really fun interview, but I was disappointed that there was no sexy times.

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