Prepare to get weird with All Jacked Up and Full of Worms, Writer/Director Alex Phillips’ feature that has just landed on the Bloody Disgusting-powered streaming service SCREAMBOX and VOD platforms.
The psychedelic freak-out movie makes for a wild ride that might test your gag reflex. In the film:
“Working at a seedy motel, maintenance man Roscoe (Phillip Andre Botello) is always searching for his latest fix. When he stumbles upon a powerfully hallucinogenic worm, his days of dime-store drugs are over. Along with his new love interest (Trevor Dawkins), the pair embark on a delirious odyssey of sex, violence, and becoming one with the dirt.”
Ahead of the film’s release, Bloody Disgusting spoke with Phillips about his transgressive debut, the haunting imagery,
Phillips shares how this bizarre journey started: “The whole thrust of the movie was I wanted to tell a story about my experience with psychosis. I mean, yeah. That was the true feeling behind the whole thing. And I think that’s how all good projects and art are spawned. If there’s a true feeling behind it, that is pushing it and making it feel vital all the way through, and it made me completely committed to the project to see all the way through. I think that also resonated with all my cast and crew as well who were down to champion the film.”
Those with pediophobia, or fear of dolls, will find plenty of nightmare fuel in store. One unsettling doll becomes heavily intertwined in Benny Boom’s (Dawkins) story.
When asked about the doll, Phillips answered, “That was a collaborative effort with Ben, Ben Gojer, who did the effects for the film. They’re beautiful. I came to him saying, ‘This is in the script. This is how I’ve described it.’ Then he and I were like, ‘Okay, let’s figure out how to implement that,’ and then grapple with it and explain it to people. We went to a big box store, looked at dolls, and found, well, I forget her name. I don’t remember the doll’s name that we got a couple of copies of. But Ben went to work making the head and then put the head on this pre-fabbed body. Then we could have a dummy doll, too, for stunts. A stunt doll.”
“The baby doll is definitely the most morally and psychologically haunting thing, and that was our biggest conversation,” Phillips continues on the doll’s importance to the horror and narrative. “It was one of many. But one still ongoing is, ‘Well, what the hell, man?’ I think that moral, complicated question is really important to handle and talk about because I believe that the point of a horror movie or a psychologically thrilling movie is to make you uncomfortable and ask these questions. Then also raise our empathy.
“I think the cool thing about a movie is it’s like a playground. No one’s really getting hurt. It’s made up. I wanted to make a character who we can see ourselves in despite how bad his desires and opinions are. We see this guy Benny Boom, and we’re like, ‘He’s gross. He’s childlike.’ But I would say he’s also one of the more endearing characters in the movie. You’re rooting for this love story in this weird, unexpected way.
“As I said, the movie is about psychosis at its heart, and I wanted to make a fun movie that is also a bad trip. And the psychological aspect of it is, yeah, that’s the scariest stuff to me.“
Phillips knows his feature will be divisive and welcomes it; horror should challenge you.
“To me, the movie is super successful because of seeing audiences; the reactions are exactly as you would expect. Either people are like, ‘What the hell? Fuck this.’ Or there are people like, ‘Hell yeah, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.’ This crazy thing that is a labor of love that speaks to the darkest parts of our souls shines a light on this stuff in a totally unflinching way. I think that excites people. People don’t want to go to see an art house or whatever underground horror-ish movie and eat their vegetables. That’s how I always looked at making the movie, where it’s like we have no budget and no famous people. What the hell do you think an audience would want in this kind of work? They want to see the adrenaline, the adventure of also making the film.“
All Jacked Up and Full of Worms defies easy categorization, but Phillips had a great response when asked what he’d like audiences to take away from his debut in three words.
“I’d say maybe, ‘Fuck your gods.’”
You can watch All Jacked Up and Full of Worms right NOW on the SCREAMBOX streaming platform alongside Terrifier 2, Deep Fear, Pennywise, Satan’s Little Helper, and hundreds more curated horror titles.
Screambox is available on iOS, Android, Prime Video, YouTube TV, Comcast, and the newly redesigned Screambox.com.