[Interview] TIFF ’11: Bobcat Goldthwait Goes Bonnie and Clyde on Your Ass With ‘God Bless America’

In God Bless America: “Loveless, jobless and possibly terminally ill, Frank has had enough of the downward spiral of America. With nothing left to lose, Frank takes his gun decides to off the stupidest, cruelest and most repellent members of society with an unusual accomplice: 16-year-old Roxy, who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement. From stand-up comedian and director Bobcat Goldthwait comes a scathing and hilarious attack on all that is sacred in the United States of America.

Premiering at the Midnight Madness portion of TIFF, director Bobcat Goldthwait briefly chatted with Bloody Disgusting about the flick explaining that it dabbles in cruelty of Americans and is not quite a horror film, although it is inspired by the 1967 Bonnie and Clyde, a somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.

In addition, Bobcat breaks the news that he is in fact writing a horror film as we speak!
BD: The film has been kept very secretive, where did the idea come from and how did production go?

I am very tired of how cruel and nasty Americans have become so I thought it would be fun to shoot and kill some of them in a movie. I wrote this movie as a present to my wife who shares a lot of my same sentiments. I think the key to a happy relationship is hating the same kinds of people.

BD: Based on the synopsis, it sounds like the inspirations range from Bonnie and Clyde to Natural Born Killer, maybe with a touch of Easy Rider. What would you say to that?

The movie was defiantly inspired by Bonnie and Clyde and Network. I love Quentin Tarantino and his movies but I’m not a very big NBK fan. I think Quentin is a genius with comedy, and Oliver Stone has the sense of humor of a Vulcan.

BD: Is there a statement you’re attempting to make with God Bless America? Is the title sarcastic?

The statement I’m trying to make with this movie is, ‘where are we going as a people and are you part of the solution or are you the problem?’ I’m atheist so I guess the title is a little bit sarcastic.

BD: With all of this debt talk, is there some social relevance to the movie?

GBA might have some social relevance but it has very little to do with politics. I don’t believe in politics or the US government, but please don’t confuse me with one of those tea party f*cking idiots.

BD: With that said, how bloody and violent is your film? Will horror fans find something in God Bless that they’ll enjoy?

There is some blood but I wouldn’t characterize GBA as a horror film. I guess if they are disenfranchised enough they might enjoy it.

BD: You come from a world of comedy, would you say this is a comedic film with a dark side?

I don’t really think in those terms. I think all movies should have some sort of comedic tone and elements even if when are dealing with very serious subjects.

BD: What’s your driving force as a director? What or whom inspires you?

I like to tell stories. My daughter and my wife inspire me to make movies.

BD: What’s next? Have you ever thought about dabbling IN horror?

I would love to make a horror picture! I’m currently writing one now. I am also working on a musical with Ray Davies of the Kinks and a gay Billy Jack-type movie. So I guess you could say my taste is all over the place.