Somewhere around 1999, I discovered a book called Monsters from the Id by E. Michael Jones. An amazing deconstruction of the horror genre, Jones asserted that all of horror can be summed up in the scripture James 1:15. Jones saw horror as an outgrowth of the Enlightenment and the sexual liberation it produced, and he traced the origins of modern horror back to the lives of enlightened writers like Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker.
After catching the movie Hollow Man in a hotel room (and seeing it followed Jones’ theories to the letter!), I wrote a play that I turned into a screenplay simply called Monster, a story that played off Jones’ ideas and brought some of the Christian themes of horror more to the fore. A Christian filmmaker caught sight of it, loved it, and asked to develop it into a movie. I said yes.
A few months later, I received the revised screenplay. Sadly, all of the cool ideas I had for the film’s theme were cut in favor of the more “traditional” Christian movie tropes about spiritual warfare. I was very disappointed. So not long after this, I decided to try again. This time, I would keep it simple. The movie would be shorter – something I could film on no budget. And the themes I wanted to explore would not be cut because it would be my movie!
Fluffy, starring Jamie Bratcher and Randy D. Pease, was my first successful attempt at making a short film after several false starts. The movie was a hit at film festivals with its campiness, and it worked on all levels. You could enjoy it for the “deeper” themes, or you could just laugh and enjoy a really goofy send up of alien and horror flicks.
Fluffy was not intended to be a trilogy, but then, one day, I met Erica Goldsmith. After seeing the star of independent horror films Dead Moon Rising and Overtime sparring with fellow actor Denny Grinar on set for another short, I realized I had found the perfect person to bring Fluffy’s heroine Trish Angel back to the screen. Erica was a hardcore tough girl, and Fluffy Strikes Back (which owes a lot in production to Erica’s co-star, filmmaker Herschel Zahnd III) is still the best of the three.
Like many third films, The Last Temptation of Fluffy is overly long and in parts, a mess. With Herschel unavailable to reprise his role as Stone Brockman, we invented the convoluted “Drone” subplot, and the plot as a whole goes to some truly silly places. On the other hand, the film starred Len Cella, creator of the Moron Movies and one of my personal filmmaking heroes. Len was incredibly kind and gracious, filming his own scenes and not asking a penny. It was a treat working with him.
The last film in the series is the super short Liaison Avec Flufie. This film is best experienced rather than explained, so I won’t elaborate on what was (at the time) my farewell to the Fluffy series. The lovely Laura Ellis gives a remarkable performance, one of the best dramatic moments ever in my film (one of two… see George Robert Bailey in A Conscientious Objector of Mars), and the beauty of her tormented lover sets up the film’s big payoff.