By WILLIAM J. WRIGHT
Filmmakers Krsy Fox and Spider One may be the hardest-working couple in the horror genre. Their latest feature, BURY THE BRIDE (now available to view on streaming service Tubi) comes on the heels of their 2022 anthology Allegoria. This time around, director Spider One shares writing duties with his mult-hyphenate wife (who also co-stars).
Fox’s feminine touch is apparent in a story that sees a group of young women on a bachelorette getaway to celebrate the impending nuptials of their friend June (Scout Taylor-Compton). However, June’s sister, Sadie (Fox), has a bad feeling about her mysterious courtship and unseen fiancé, David (Dylan Rourke). Sadie’s fears are more than justified when David and his rowdy redneck friends crash the festivities. In a terrifying twist, these good ol’ boys are thirsty for something a little more powerful than beer.
Recently, Krsy Fox and Spider joined RUE MORGUE for a chat about their first collaboration.
It’s a pleasure to speak with you again, Spider. And it’s great to finally meet you Krsy. Let’s talk about BURY THE BRIDE. How did this film come about? What’s your collaborative process like?
Spider One: Well, she puts a gun to my head, and I’m gonna make a movie every six months, and I have no choice but to do it.
Krsy Fox: I mean, that’s a bit dramatic but accurate? Yeah. … I mean, with this particular film, I got the seed of an idea about this bachelorette party that was sort of one location and this controlled environment with the cast – just like that, you know? It’s like an ensemble cast. So I kind of pitched the idea to Spider.
We started talking about it over a few days and going back and forth. I was like, “You know, we should really write this together. We haven’t really done that.” Then, we ended up incorporating the twist, which I think a lot of people didn’t see coming. We were like, “This is either the stupidest idea or the best idea…”
SO: I remember that day, because we had … the structure of essentially what is the beginning of the movie, right? Like the setup with these girls and June, who is the younger sister who is in a relationship that no one approves of. And we’re like, “What if the guys are just terrible?” [We were] like, “This is cool, but then, we could do this without giving it away.” Like Krsy said, it might be the dumbest thing ever. It still might be the dumbest thing ever. But still, let’s go for it. Let’s take a big swing. So anyone who watches the movie, they’ll see that at about the halfway point, it turns into an entirely different movie.
KF: I’m not sure if we’re getting into spoiler territory in this interview, but once we established that particular genre space, which I love, I was really excited. It was one of those things where we didn’t intentionally think, “Oh, we’re gonna keep this a huge secret because, you know, maybe people will figure it out with the little hints we were dropping throughout. But generally, every person who has seen this film was like,” I did not see that coming!”
SO: Most people. Yeah, there are a couple of really smart people. They’ll let you know just how smart they are..
KF: But that was a great surprise for us. So we’re like, “This is awesome. Our twist worked.” But either way, we just thought it was a cool element to the story that maybe we hadn’t seen before and a different type of lore that maybe we hadn’t seen before.
SO: To answer your question about collaborating. It was a unique experience. And we hadn’t done it very much … We’re both kind of know-it-alls, in a way. Sometimes, we can butt heads. So it was definitely a lot of bending. Certain tasks, maybe, were handed a little heavier by one person, and then the other person would pick up on other places. I think the writing thing ended up being kind of like the dynamic of the characters. It was a lot of bickering and figuring out who’s right and who’s wrong and who should say what, and it was kind of fun. You know, it’s kind of fun to do it that way. For sure.
KF: I definitely agree. And I think the one thing that made it really simple for this film to get finished was the second we realized how everyone was going to die. And you know, the outcome of each character. I felt like then, the scripts flew out, and it was quick. It was just those initial character-building things that were probably the stickiest points because that’s important to both of us.
Does that collaborative process extend to the set? As both a writer and an actor, do you ever have to turn to Spider and say, “That’s wrong! This character wouldn’t do or say that”?
SO: Well, let’s be honest. I don’t do anything wrong. [Laughs]
KF: Yeah, he’s perfect.
So a big part of the process of every movie we’ve done is our pre-production. So we did a gazillion meetings with our DP, going through every scene, breaking it down, talking about it. So I felt like any thoughts I had were already heard by Spider. We think very much alike when it comes to the actual directorial process. And because I edit the film, that’s very helpful for me because I can totally trust him. That isn’t always the case. And it doesn’t mean somebody would be wrong. But if it helps with my editing process… So I felt very confident going in. That being said, on a set like this, there were so many things going on. The desert is not an easy place to shoot. Yes, it was a very collaborative process. Not necessarily me jumping in on the directing, but [working] on all the other production elements … It wasn’t just me going in acting, unfortunately, it was doing about 57 jobs as well. And it was the same for him.
BURY THE BRIDE is, obviously, a very intense horror film, but it also has a real element of fun that seems to be missing from a lot of recent genre movies. It’s almost a cliche to say something that has a “1980s tone” now, but I would have to say, that’s present. What is the secret to that?
SO: I don’t know if we even thought about it, quite honestly. But now that you say it, one thing that jumps to mind when I think of a lot of modern horror movies, which I really like – maybe referencing sort of those highbrow, slow-burn kind of movies are set around an isolated person and isolated situation. Because of this ensemble cast, it does sort of feel more like a slasher where there’s like a group of teenagers. Or even a ’90s horror movie like Scream or The Craft where there’s an ensemble of friends. I think just having that element makes it feel like a bit of a throwback. You set up these character archetypes like the protective sister; the naive, younger sister; the party girl; the nerdy girl. I love that. I always love when you have a group of characters and they occupy a particular purpose. I always talk about Star Trek because it’s one of my favorite shows ever. The original Star Trek was the ultimate – the hero, the smart guy, the wisecracking guy, you know. There’s something really fun about playing in that world, as opposed to having a bunch of people that kind of seem the same. So to me, that definitely rings of an ’80s, ’90s kind of vibe, for sure.
KF: And I think the casting [adds to the tone], too. A lot of these people we are friends with or we’ve worked with before. We were sort of casting the movie as we wrote it. So we’re thinking about who’s going to play each character and who would be perfect. We joke that every character is sort of an extension of the real person – like an extreme version of them and probably a more annoying version of them. I felt like when we wrote the film, and we did the first table read with everybody, it was hilarious. We’re all laughing hysterically. Then, we get on set, and it didn’t feel so hilarious. It was like, wow, now we’re attached to these people, and we just had to watch somebody die. We would drive home at the end of the shooting day, and we’d be just distraught by it. So we felt like there’s something special there that we’re actually feeling something for these characters. I think this film surprised us all the way through, from the conception to the initial prep to actually shooting it, and then what it ended up turning out to be. It kind of became its own monster, which was really neat. Once I edited those first couple of scenes, like the standoff scene, I was like, “Okay, this is something different. This is something special.” So yeah, we’re just happy we ended up jumping into this movie.
SO: We’re just happy we survived.
Let’s talk a little bit about that ensemble. You said that you’re friends with all these people, and that really comes across, especially with Krsy and Scout Taylor-Compton. What does this particular ensemble, both the men and the women because they’re very separate in the film, bring to the table creatively?
SO: We knew everybody – sort of everybody knew each other in some regard. If there were actors we hadn’t worked with before, one of the other actors had worked with them. So we went into this with a high level of trust in everybody and knowing everyone’s strengths. Obviously, Scout is a great dramatic actor. We know Lyndsi (LaRose) has comedy chops. We knew everybody’s strengths. And we tried to play upon that, but it definitely went beyond that. We had a real family vibe on set. I think there was real caring among everybody. Hopefully, that comes through. [Krsy] talks about having to be mean to Scout and how difficult that was, because they’re good friends, you know?
KF: Scout and I are very good friends, and we just love each other. I just want to hug her all the time. And I’ve never been in a fight with her. I couldn’t imagine being in a fight with her. She’s just not that type of person, and neither am I. So in the very first scene we shot, we were fighting with each other. I just started tearing up because Scout’s yelling at me. This hurts my heart, you know. So it made it very easy to connect with her and feel that sisterly thing where maybe you are fighting, but you still really love each other.
We also all stayed together. Everyone stayed at an Airbnb together. And like I said, we’re all friends. It was also really cool that the first three days of shooting were just [with] the girls. So it was like girl time; We had all this bonding around these characters and this environment. Then we brought the guys in, so that was natural – like that scene when they come in and it feels like, “Whoa, this is different.” … It was sort of natural because we had already fallen into our characters and being comfortable just having girl time. So that was sort of neat.
All the guys are just incredible. Dylan [Rourke] yelling at me in that one scene, I was like, “Whoa!” He has such a commanding presence. I felt scared within that actual scene. Everyone was just really good. I felt like I spent the whole time just watching the other actors perform and being blown away by them, which was really neat.
Let’s get into spoiler territory a little bit. Why vampires? Why is this archetype still relevant in the 21st century? How do you make them interesting?
SO: We didn’t really have a particular reason why … The thing about vampires, I think, no matter how you dress them up, whether they’re romantic and handsome or down and dirty, like ours, there is this sort of element of romance to them, which is at the heart of this movie. A lot of people go like, “Why would you fall for this guy? He seems so terrible.” You also remember that he has the power of a vampire. I think part of that power traditionally has been seduction. I think having that as our monster element is a great way to justify a lot of these terrible decisions June makes because we don’t know what power these guys have over women, in particular, in this story.
KF: I also think we had never seen vampires that really look like this or behave like this. We’ve seen a lot of different versions of vampires. So that was interesting to me because I didn’t think people would see that coming. They weren’t stereotypical. Also, because we based it around the land having power as well, we were able to play with the lore, which made it really fun … [When you’re] doing a vampire film, you can follow the traditional lore, but it doesn’t feel as much like it’s yours. And so that was really fun, getting to just sort of ask, “What does this land allow? And what can we do that’s different or maybe a play on traditional lore, but maybe it’s not exactly what people think.
SO: It’s tricky when you start playing in that world because everybody has their own interpretation of what it should be … Inevitably, you’re going to run into traps and holes, or you’re like, God, man, I don’t know. Should we do this? But what I liked about it, maybe the most, was that we didn’t make them incredibly powerful. They’re pretty vulnerable. Just because they drink blood and they kill people doesn’t necessarily mean they would be invincible, like in a traditional sense of vampires being superhuman, because if we went [in] that direction, then these girls would have no chance, right? … They can be killed, their strength seems to sort of increase and decrease depending on the scenario. There are times when they’re more vulnerable than others.
You only have an hour and a half, so you can’t explain everything, but I think you can make some assumptions, like, “Oh, I see. Maybe when they’re feeding, they become more powerful.” It’s always fun to play with something that’s been around forever. but it’s dangerous territory, too.
KF: I think that within them, there’s still the power because, ultimately, we laid the groundwork that, yes, you could die. But if you get buried, you’re gonna come back. So maybe their vulnerability doesn’t matter. We don’t know. And maybe that’s part two.
Let’s talk about part two. The film’s ending leaves us wondering what happens next. Would you like to revisit the characters in a new context as villains rather than victims?
KF: Yeah. We’ve thrown out a lot of ideas, but I think, without giving too much away, I think picking it up where it left off is really interesting. The girls, a lot of them, are now baby vampires. So what does that mean? And what does that mean for their lives? So maybe it’s not just the same movie again but in reverse — or maybe it is. Maybe they leave the land and we see something else. I just think there’s a lot of potential, and we’ve been talking about it a lot lately.
SO: The only scene I want to shoot is the car ride home. [BURY THE BRIDE] starts with them in the car, you know, all looking nice. Just like that, the car ride home would have them covered in blood. And June’s just covered in dirt from crawling on the ground. That is the scene I want to see. What’s that conversation like?
Krsy, do you have plans of taking the director’s chair on the next project?
KF: I’ve directed two features. Both for OneFox [Productions], actually – a film called Frank and a film called I Live Alone that stars Bonnie Aarons [from The Nun]. Bonnie Aarons is in both of my films. I have a few projects I’m looking at. And I have a short film right now that’s doing the festival circuit that I wrote and directed that actually stars our three-year-old daughter, which is really fun. It was, that was a whole other undertaking … I definitely want to get back into it. It’s been really fun. acting in a lot of these and getting myself dirty and bloody. It’s a blast.
So what’s next? Are you going to continue to collaborate? Or do you want to go do things separately?
SO: We are deep neck-deep in pre-production for a film that starts shooting in June. It’s not the sequel to BURY THE BRIDE. I wrote and I’m directing this next one. Krsy’s starring in it along with a pretty stellar cast. It’s called Little Bites. It’s definitely a departure from BURY THE BRIDE. It’s a story about a young widow, a single mom, who is desperately trying to protect her daughter from this creature that lives in a dark bedroom in her home. She’s allowing this creature to slowly eat her alive to keep him away from her daughter. There’s a lot more to it, but that’s essentially the Cliff Notes version. We start shooting on June 19 … I feel like we’re taking it to a whole other level. I’m excited for people to see that one.
KF: I’m really excited to get shooting, and it’s a totally different environment, too, because we did all-night shoots outside with the last film, and this one’s in a house. And it’s one or two characters at a time, so it’s going to be a vacation for us. [Laughs]
SO: This one is a little bit more heavy, heavy emotionally, you know. I think that even though the environment might be easier, the performances could be more taxing because it’s a heavy subject. Just like we took a spin on vampires, the monster in this film is really unique. Not only in the way he looks but the way he behaves. It’s not just a jump-out-of-the-corner-growl-at-you monster; It’s an intelligent, cunning, sarcastic, funny, weird character. That’s going to be really fun to create. It’s psychological torture. That’s what he specializes in more than anything – making this poor girl question the meaning of parenthood and whether her trying to protect her daughter is all in vain. There are a lot of layers to this one. And it’s inspired by us being parents and the toll it takes on you, trying to protect your own children from the threats of the world. Like any good horror or sci-fi, we replace real-life threats with monsters.
KF: It’s gonna be really gross, which is also fun – the effects and everything. I’m looking forward to [that]. We’d love practical effects. And there are some really good ones.
SO: And this is why this collaboration works. I’m like, “The nuances… subtleties…” And she’s, “Yeah! And it’s gonna be really gross!” [laughs] You see how this works, right? “Can we have more blood?”
KF: Sure. I’ll cry all day. That’s fine, but more blood.
Can you reveal who’s in the cast of Little Bites?
SO: Are the contracts signed?
KF: Well, at least we can announce some of the people.
SO: This will be a RUE MORGUE exclusive, by the way.
KF: Yeah, nobody knows. So I’m playing the widow. And then we have John Sklar playing the monster. We have Barbara Crampton in it. We have Bonnie [Aarons]. We have Heather Langenkamp. Who else have we got? We got Chaz Bono.
SO: We have found this incredible young actress to play the daughter, she’s 11 years old.
KF: Her name is Elizabeth Caro, and she’s amazing.
SO: This girl is going to be a big star. We’re really excited because we have this generational female horror icon thing going on. You know, we’ve got ’80s ’90s 2000s, with Barbara and Heather and Bonnie and Krsy. And hopefully, Elizabeth will be the next generation. I think there’s something really special about that.
We’ve got everybody in roles that they wouldn’t naturally be thought of in. It’s not in any way sort of like, “Oh, man. This is a stunt casting.” No. People are being utilized in ways they’ve never been seen before.
KF: Bonnie’s sort of been my makeshift mother in Los Angeles, and she loves our daughter. So we’ve always joked that she gets to play my mother, and she has to play my mother in this, which is cool. I don’t think people have ever really seen Bonnie in a maternal role. You know, she’s the Nun, and that’s terrifying, but you know, sometimes a mother to a daughter is terrifying as well.
Last question. And this one is for you Spider. Any new Powerman 5000 music coming up?
Yeah, I actually just finished writing and recording the new album. It’s to be determined what it’s called. It’s like my brain is… I have nothing left in here. [laughs] We’ve been making movies and writing scripts and making an album. But yeah, the new record is basically done, which I’m really excited about. We’ve got a big summer tour. Literally, like we wrap the movie, and I go on tour the next week.
We’ll be touring the U.S. in the summer. There’s no downtime for this guy. It’s just always something. I’m excited – excited about the new music, I think people are gonna dig it, but it’s nice to balance because, you know, [movies and music] are very different creative outlets. Certainly, touring is much more immediate. You get out there. You go make a bunch of noise for an hour. People get excited. And you get it instantly. With making a movie, it’s a process. It’s step-by-step, and eventually, a year later, somebody gets to see it and you get a response. I think both are important to my sanity.
BURY THE BRIDE is now playing on Tubi.