A dimwitted chubster with pure intentions, follows some god-awful advice and tries to impress the woman of his dreams by scaring the crap out of her.
Romantic comedies are always fun, but a little horror twist to it, and you get a completely absurd new type of genre. Andy Fortenbacher bends the boundaries and brings us back to a time where laughing and screaming at the same time was acceptable. The film is about Gordon, a dimwitted chubster with pure intentions, who follows some god-awful advice and tries to impress the woman of his dreams by scaring the crap out of her.
MELON HEAD was inspired by actual events that occurred many years ago, deep within a heavily-wooded forest in Southwest Michigan…well, maybe that’s only partially true. Almost every kid that grew up in the Mid-West was familiar with an urban legend about a group of unfortunate people called “The Melon Heads.” Older kids would describe an area of the woods where a group of cannibalistic children with swollen heads and razor sharp teeth were rumored to devour anyone who dared step foot on their land. Perhaps it was a place where neighborhood teens would go on Friday nights to scare the daylights out of their younger friends, or maybe Melon Heads really do exist! Either way, a few years ago when I looked deeper into the urban legend, I began to see it as an exciting opportunity.
Andy and his collaborator Zac Page wanted to experiment in blending horror and comedy and felt that an urban legend as ridiculous as “The Melon Heads” would be a great foundation for a story with wacky characters and an absurd comedic scenario.
We had so much fun exploring the crazy characters and making the film that we immediately started outlining a feature-length screenplay. In the meantime, the reaction to the short was incredible. It played at scores of festivals, and was a big hit at genre fests and online around Halloween. The humor is so dark and absurd, that each screening is different, and while the big laughs are always at the same moments, it’s a treat to see which things each audience responds to like shot composition, nuances in performances, production design and music cues.
The craziness of the story and characters leaves lots to desire for a feature length film. But before adapting to the feature, the wackiness had to work on the short screen, and the script, directing and acting brought all that together for a convincing delight of absurdity.
With the MELON HEAD feature, we disregarded the story elements in the short and focused on take the essence of Gordon and the tone of his absurd story-world and running with it. We wanted to crank up the threat of the Melon Heads and make it feel like a classic 80s/90s film like GHOSTBUSTERS, GREMLINS, BEETLEJUICE or even GOONIES. The feature isn’t a romantic comedy with the unlikely threat of an isolated Melon Head attack. It’s a supernatural / end of the world comedy where our gold-hearted idiot hero Gordon and his band of outcasts become the doomed town’s only hope against a massive invasion of bloodthirsty Melon Heads.