We recently got the chance to speak with filmmaker Jason Trost about his new comedy FP 4EVZ. In this interview, we talk about the films that inspired him growing up as well as the FP franchise. Also what current filmmakers he’s a fan of. Hope you all enjoy the interview.
AJ Friar: All right, so how did FP-4EVZ come about?
Jason: FP-4EVZ came about… I guess it’s been like, god, 15 or 20 years of my life at this point. Back when I made shorts of the original FP back when I was in high school, and then made a feature film called The FP, back when I was 21, so a long time ago, and then that became kind of popular and infamous all at the same time, and got a cult following, and I’ve just been making FP movies ever since.
AJ Friar: Right, and when you set out to make a movie like The FP when you did, were you ever kind of taken aback by the feedback that you got of it? Like you said, it was almost infamous and a cult hit all at the same time.
Jason: Yeah. No, I mean, I never thought anything like that was happening. I didn’t know if people would like it or not. You never know if that’s going to happen, but I was taken aback at how much people didn’t get the joke of the first movie.
AJ Friar: Right.
Jason: Because you’ll hear a lot about the first movie being like, “This movie’s so offensive. It’s this, it’s that, it’s the other thing,” and I’m like the only person it’s supposed to be offensive towards are like stupid white people, because it’s making fun of these stupid white people that said stupid things that I grew up with when I was a kid, and I was just shining the mirror on them, and I was like, “Isn’t this funny, how stupid these people are?” And everyone’s like, “You’re an asshole.” I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. I’m on your side. I also don’t like these people.” And so you know, with two, three, and four, I kind of dialed some of that back and made it a little bit more obvious that it’s a joke, I guess, because I think it might have been a little bit too subtle in the first one. I’m not sure. That’s why now I have the three-drink minimum warning at the beginning of the movie, so it’s kind of like the, “It’s okay, have fun. This is a joke” warning.
AJ Friar: Yeah, and you know what? I did take you up on that pre-warning. I had a Whistlepig Piggyback 10 Year Rye right before I watched it and a Bud Light Platinum.
Jason: Oh, perfect.
AJ Friar: So I was enjoying myself during it.
Jason: Oh, fantastic. Good. You adhered to the warning.
AJ Friar: So whenever FP-4EVZ… Like you said, you’ve been making these movies for a very long time. Do you ever want to set… And of course, you always want to set the bar high, but how high do you want to set it for each sequel that you come out with?
Jason: Well, I think for me, it’s like I set it as high as I can. It’s always what’s the biggest, craziest thing I can do with no money, and each time, that evolves, because I obviously get more skills under my belt each time I make one of these movies, because each one demands something different of me. But the big rule for me each time is how much crazier and more ridiculous can we make this concept? And can we still play that completely straight? Because for me, the humor is taking this ridiculous concept and just making it as big and ludicrous as possible, but everyone still plays it straight, so that it’s a joke for me. Because I always thought with B movies that I always loved and why I loved watching them when I was younger, and laughing at and with them, is that they’re these ridiculous concepts that are played really straight, and people tried really hard to make these actually good movies, but the concept’s just so silly it doesn’t quite work, and you just… You’re kind of on for the ride. That’s kind of what this franchise has become for me.
AJ Friar: Right, and you brought up the concept of B movies certainly having these ridiculous plots, and really playing it straight. You know, a lot of that goes back to like the Dolph Lundgren era, you know, the Carl Weathers Action Jackson eras of these kind of films.
AJ Friar: So what kind of drew inspiration from that, if any, from like even the ’60s and ’70s, and of course the ’80s B movies that you grew up watching and loving?
Jason: Oh yeah. I mean, every movie kind of has different inspirations in the FP universe, because each time, I kind of take on a different couple movies, or a genre, or something that I grew up on, that I really liked in like the B movie kind of world. So like the first one’s kind of like Rocky, Karate Kid, but then meets like, you know, 8 Mile, and like hip-hoppy, Bad Boys type stuff like that. And then the second one, we kind of went into like Conan the Barbarian, Highlander World, and Mortal Kombat. And the third one, we were going into like Escape from New York territory, and The Running Man, and all that. And with this one, it was a lot of like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, but then like Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, and all those old kind of, “Got to go after the artifacts” adventure films.
AJ Friar: Got it, and you know, a lot of the same original cast members that obviously survived the previous three made it back in FP-4EVZ, so how was it like bringing all those people back on this film?
Jason: Oh, it’s so much fun, because we’ve all known each other for 15, 20 years now, a lot of us, and every time you come back, it’s almost like having a family reunion. You just get to hang out on set and see your friends again, like catch up, like, “Oh, so-and-so had a kid. So-and-so lives here now.” It’s just these movies are always such a fun experience, because it’s just honestly always like maybe four people at a time just hanging out on set, shooting the shit, having a beer or two, and just making a movie.
AJ Friar: Right, and you know, this movie is so underground, and like you said, has a cult following. Have you seen any underground cult films over the past 20 years that kind of caught your eye? You know, like, “These guys really have a knack for filmmaking,” or, “These group of people can really make it if they tweak a little something, or you know, push themselves a little more.” Have you ever ran across that in any of the films you’ve watched over the past few years?
Jason: Oh yeah. The directors who make the Turbo Kid movie, or they made Turbo Kid movie.
AJ Friar: Yeah, RKSS. Yeah.
Jason: … coming out. Yeah, RKSS. I love those guys, and girl. We blew into each other at a film festival once, and we had like the most incredible week together, and I’ve watched their things and always love their stuff, because they have a very similar sensibility. We’re kind of like I feel like shouldering from different wombs sort of thing. It’s like every once in a while, you do, at these film festivals, you’ll run into people you’re like, “Ah, we’re exactly the same. This is amazing.” You know, the love for B movies. It’s not dead. And not like the ironic love, but we actually legitimately love them for what they are.
AJ Friar: Right. Well, man, thank you so much for joining me tonight. It’s been really fun, and congratulations on FP-4EVZ.
Jason: Oh, thank you so much for having me.
Written By: AJ Friar