Actor Jake Busey has starred in a wide variety of films throughout his illustrious career, ranging from Contact to The Frighteners to Enemy of the State. His latest film, Dead Ant, which premieres this week at Screamfest, could be his most unique yet, which he describes as borrowing elements from both This is Spinal Tap and Starship Troopers.
The film follows the "one-hit-wonder" glam-metal band "Sonic Grave," who embark on a trip to Coachella in hopes of a comeback, but their peyote trip pit stop in Joshua Tree incites an "unworldly"
"We set out to make a silly, campy horror film that was funny and had musical elements," Busey told PopCulture.com. "It did really change in the editing room. There were obviously thoughts of [This is] Spinal Tap meets Starship Troopers, or Spinal Tap meets Them!, but we didn't set out to parallel anything or make any homages, and I certainly wouldn't want to insult anybody by comparing our film to theirs, but I really do love our movie."
The film's tone also reminded him of another horror-comedy that helped put filmmaker Edgar Wright on the map.
"I'll tell you what it reminds me of," Busey confessed. "It's got a lot of Shaun of the Dead for me. It's like if you made Shaun of the Dead, but instead of English people with zombies, it's an American glam-rock band with giant ants. That would be the closest parallel, so I'd say it's like Spinal Tap and Them! in the spirit and the tone of Shaun of the Dead."
Another similarity drawn from the story of Dead Ant is the rock band GWAR, who embrace horror and sci-fi elements in their songs and appearances, going so far as to feature puppets and fake blood at their shows.
"It's more along the lines of that, except for the music is nowhere near as cool as GWAR," Busey admitted. "I remember going to a GWAR show in 1989. Oh my god. Oh, lord. The blood on the stage, it had to be like 2,000 gallons of blood. It was like the whole stage was just like a river, and then I did this movie a few years later in, like, '92, and it was called 'SFW,' and it was this independent film with Stephen Dorff, and at the end of the film, the band members of GWAR were in our movie, so I stood and hung out with the girl that calls herself 'Slymenstra,' like we were in this hallway standing across right there, two feet apart, face to face in this hallway all day long talking."