Butt Boy is a very unique movie. A film about a man who enjoys sticking things up his anal cavity is sure to be an over the top comedy. Especially when that addiction grows to include animals and children. There is no way a story like that can be serious, right? Director and star Tyler Cornack discuss his debut feature and the difficulties behind it.
AIPT: How would you describe Butt Boy?
Tyler Cornack: Man, you would think I would be getting better at this, but just the way we look at it is it’s a story about addiction first and foremost, although the addiction is kind of the joke of the movie. And it’s a satirical movie on a lot of different crime clichés or movies with crime clichés, and different culty film things that you’ve seen before, but with a subject matter you’ve never seen. And just kind of an oddball comedy that kind of makes you slant your head a little bit when you watch it and you have to remind yourself what the movie’s about throughout. I don’t know if that helps in any way.
AIPT: One of the things that I saw when I saw people describe the genre, I saw, I don’t know, sci-fi, action, thriller. I never saw comedy, which I thought was funny. What genre would you put it in?
Cornack: I would put comedy first and foremost. The idea originally with the movie was to make what’s going to be the longest-winded staying straight fart joke. That’s what it is to us in a way. Again, playing homage to movies we all love and we’ve seen in kind of the 80s and campy stuff like that, but what would be the longest-winded joke with a very silly punchline at the end? Which is what the movie ended up being. So comedy first and foremost, then everything else kind of falls next to that.
AIPT: Butt Boy has a very silly premise, but it’s played straight the entire way through, why did you decide on this style?
Cornack: I think it’s because we’d never seen anything like that. I think that was the intrigue. I always like to say it’s the complete opposite of Airplane! They’re going down in the plane, it’s a very dire situation and the movie’s filled with jokes. In our movie, the joke is the premise, because there’s almost no jokes throughout it. So it was just to really see how far we could take the dry meter and write something that would be a little bit more challenging, and we did run into challenges along we way. We shot many things that were almost too funny.
I think almost out of insecurity throughout filming it like, “Should we just throw this in to make people laugh more along the way and make it a little bit more stupid?” But we ended up cutting those things out and not having it in there just to stay loyal to the bit and see how far we could take it straight. And it’s been a very daunting and uncomfortable kind of situation, different people reacting to it in different ways, but those are always the movies we kind of love seeing. And those are the movies that I always end up talking about with friends. Yeah, so that was kind of the idea.
AIPT: Were you every afraid that no one who watched Butt Boy would get the joke?
Cornack: Yeah, of course. I think you’ll find that in anything, even if you make something really silly and over the top, you will be scared of that. But for something like this, it’s still scary. We know that we love it and we know that it’s weird. We know that it’s weird and we knew it was going to be split. Even writing the script, we knew some people weren’t going to get it. It’s you either get it and you’re in the for the ride, or you absolutely despise it.
And that’s kind of what we’re finding,, even with the reviews and everything like that, which again, it was all set to kind of be like that. We only hoped it would be like that. We were just hoping that some people did get it. That was the most challenging part. But now that we know that they do, it’s kind of great. That’s kind of what we wanted all along. We wanted the title not to exactly match what you’re seeing, so it’s this element of surprise where you think it’s going to be a little bit more silly than it is and a fart joke movie, and it’s a little bit more than that. Well, we think it is, anyways.
AIPT: What’s the reaction usually the first time you tell someone about the premise behind the movie?
Cornack: That’s never an easy task. I’ve told so many people, even throughout filming it, just people here in LA, “What are you working on?” And having people read the script was hard. Seeing the title was hard. Yeah, it’s not easy. You have to just say, “It’s about a guy who puts things up his butt, but it’s handled with care and it has some taste in it. And it’s played straight the entire time. Or you just take the route of, “You’ll just have to see it and find out.” It is always an easier way to deal with it, I think.
AIPT: You mentioned that it hearkens back to a lot of crime movies from the 80s. It’s basically like a long police procedural. Are you a fan of those types of shows and movies?
Cornack: Yes, absolutely. Heat, that’s early 90s, but Heat was a big part of it. Yeah. I’m a big fan of all the genres you’ve seen in it. It was kind of a love letter to all of those in the weirdest way imaginable. We just wanted it to feel like you were in familiar territory kind of because you’ve been in a diner before with a cop and the cliche cat-and-mouse game, but that would just ensue the reminder of how you have to remind yourself that it’s about a guy putting stuff up his butt, which is funny to us. We thought having to remind yourself that throughout a movie, that’s the kind of humor we’re all into. So yeah, none of that was a good answer.
AIPT: Not only are you the director of it, but you are Butt Boy. Do you prefer working in front of the camera or behind it?
Cornack: Oh, behind it for sure. I only kind of acted in this because we did a short film online. We kind of have a comedy sketch group, which is kind of more on the nose humor. It would be way more obvious to people that, “Oh, this is a comedy.” And the original Butt Boy is just a minute long sketch, that’s kind of where this all came from. I was the guy in that, so it kind of just made sense and I was like, “I can do it.” It was kind of an easy role to play, he’s kind of just like a numb down and out guy, so I ended up doing it.
I do enjoy acting, but I don’t think I’ll ever act in my own films again. It was just a lot and a daunting process, and I’m not a big fan of watching myself at all. But it just kind of made sense all around and we knew we could do it and it would just save a lot of headache.
AIPT: What genre would you like to take on next?
Cornack: I’m going back and forth. We just shot something else, we’re doing a pilot with the Tiny Cinema crew. It’s called Tiny Cinema, in fact. And it’s kind of like our version of The Twilight Zone, it’s our anthology series. So it’s three horror-comedy episodes back to back, and it has this host that kind of guides you through the three different worlds. So they’re these little mini Butt Boys with different jokes obviously, but they’re plenty more horror.
But I’m all over the place, personally, man. I’m a comedy first and foremost. This is kind of a weird one to come out of the gate with because it leaned more almost towards a drama and all the other genres that are involved with it, but I love everything. I love campy sci-fi stuff, I’m working on scripts left and right trying to cover all of them, but all very much based in comedy. Comedy has to come first for me personally. Even more on the nose obvious humor stuff I’m a huge fan of and yeah, that’s kind of kind of the stance on it.
AIPT: What other future projects are you working on?
Cornack: We have a couple of movies in the pipeline. We have a movie called Green Palm, which is just the script right now, but it’s about a country club in the 90s with all these different characters that work at a country club and this murder goes down, kind of like a Coen Brothers kind of thing, it’s like a Fargo almost, but a guy hires a hit man to kill his wife, and all these employees at the country club end up being involved in this twisted, funny tale. That’s one of them.
We have a period piece, we have a couple of series we’re working on as well, but yeah, it’s all over the place. Writing never stops, especially during this quarantine. I think everybody is kind of huddled away on their computers trying to get scripts done.