Duke & The Movies

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Written by: Sam Fragoso on April 4, 2012

April 4, 2012 | 3 comments | Featured, Old Format

Interview with Joe Benarick

In the upcoming months Joe Benarick and his company A Set of Works will be sending their first “worthy” feature picture to film festivals around the country. However, since it hasn’t officially come out, I’ve yet to see the film (which, when available, I will watch and review).

For now, Benarick sat down and took some time to answer questions about his upcoming up comedy entitled The Ultimate Ultimate. I can attest he’s quite kind and funny (as I hope most readers will be able to synthesize from the interview).

Without further ado, enjoy!

Question 1: I’m interested, since you directed and wrote this film, I’d like you to tell readers what The Ultimate Ultimate is about?

A. I guess, essentially, it’s about how difficult men’s lives are because of women. And if that sentiment doesn’t cost us every possible female viewer, I don’t know what will. No, I’m joking—let me retract, because we need them. The movie opens with my character, Joe, with his inspired name, getting dumped by his girlfriend. He calls an old buddy and former co-worker, this dude Frank, and they hatch a drunken, half-assed plan to take a trip to the town of Deer Beach. They want to go and clear their heads, get away from the problems back home, but ideally they just want to bang some college chicks, ‘cause Frank has assured Joe they’re in abundance there. And of course they get there and everything goes to hell, because hey, this is a comedy.

Question 2: Is this your first directorial feature? If so, how’s the process of making a movie? If not, what else have you created?

A. No, this isn’t the first thing I’ve directed, but it might be the first thing worth mentioning. It’s definitely the first project I’m completely satisfied with—that I have no regrets about. It really lived up to everything we hoped it would be. Everything from the cast—having talent like Brandy Whitford, who plays Joe’s girlfriend at the beginning of the movie, and dudes like Rob DiPiazza, who killed, to the soundtrack, which is nuts. Big thanks to AluKard, Back To The Futrell, and D. Lector for the music.

And really, what I’m most excited about is the comedy. That should be the most important thing anyway. The movie is funny as hell, we think. It’s way more than the ostensible, which is that it’s just raunchy and explicit and simple. It’s layered. You can really watch it numerous times, and we implore you to, and catch new jokes and references and all that jazz. Few comedies provide that. They could be great the first view, and there’s this huge drop-off the second time you see it. We work hard to avoid that.

Question 3: You mentioned you were going to send The Ultimate Ultimate to film festivals around the world. Which festivals do you have in mind?

A. We sent it out to some good ones, but I don’t want to jump the gun and drop any names in case they pass, because that would be embarrassing. It’d be like I’m back in school, mouthing off about some girl I’m going to bang, and really she doesn’t want anything to do with me. That was four years of high school. That’s still going on now, actually.

Question 4: Since the film is – as you’ve told us – primarily a comedy, who were some of your comedic influences drafting, writing, and directing the film?

A. David Green and Jody Hill—all their work, has probably been the most influential on me. Going back to The Foot Fist Way—Hill directed that, to everything they do now. I’ll tell you what movies I love that I never hear anyone else mention: Grandma’s Boy and Strange Wilderness. I think the Happy Madison R rated comedies are great. I thought Bucky Larson was funny as hell. If I could pinpoint one movie that had the biggest influence on The Ultimate Ultimate, it might be Strange Wilderness. My buddy Frank and I—Frank executive produced The Ultimate Ultimate—we love those movies. You watch them and you really get a sense that it’s just some friends having fun together. They’re doing what they think is funny, and that’s infectious. We try to bring the same element to the table.

Question 5: Alright, last question for you: If you and your film The Ultimate Ultimate make it big in the coming years, will you remember this small little site that began to pave the road to your success?

A. Absolutely, brother. What an asshole I would be otherwise. Thank you for the time.

Thank you for taking time out for us Joe.

Hopefully you all enjoyed that. Clink the link to watch the trailer for the new upcoming comedy The Ultimate Ultimate.


There are 3 comments for this post.

  1. Betsy Russo on April 6, 2012 11:27 am

    Loved the interview, can’t wait to see the movie!

  2. Sam Fragoso on April 6, 2012 1:39 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it Betsy. And welcome to the site.

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