Whackbag Films was founded in 2003 by Rich Barnes. I started my career in film at the young age of 7 when me and friends would record sound only movies on cassette in the early 1980’s into the 1990’s. I would make over 25 of these type of films. I purchased my first camcorder in 1993, an 8mm …Sony camera. I shot over 10 movies into the late 1990’s with friends although nothing except two live action figure movies remains from this timeframe. I then took a few years off from filming and in the early 2000’s a friend of mine shot footage of girls in bikini’s on the beaches up in New Hampshire. I thought “Maybe I could wrap a movie around the beach babes, that would be fun!” In late 2002 I bought a Sony Mini-DV camera and in 2003 Whackbag Films was born. The name was inspired by a skit by Andrew Dice Clay where he yells “Wackbag” while singing a very vulgar song.
The first Whackbag Film would be “They Live Again”, a sort of sequel to one of my favorite 80’s movies “They Live”, starring Roddy Piper. The movie would co-star my close friend Ken Cooper, Ken would also star in many other Whackbag movies. “They Live Again” was not shot very well and borrowed scenes from “They Live” and “Dawn of the Dead”. The movie also was very hard R. There were posters of Playboy playmates in the background in two scenes which showed full frontal female nudity. Due to this the movie will never see the light of day in an uncut version on Youtube. This movie also had a montage of bikini clad females in the middle.
The second film would be 2004’s “The Punisher Strikes Back”. This was written out of my disappointment with the Thomas Jane Punisher film from 2003. The plot is simple: A sniper is killing supermodels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal was the next target. The Punisher must stop The Sniper! “The Punisher Strikes Back” was the first film to have an actor dubbed; James Lautier was dubbed over by Arnold Schwarzenegger. It also borrowed footage from Karen McDougal’s Playboy dvd. The movie would also have a beach montage in the middle like “They Live Again”.
2005 introduced Joey Green, played by Ken Cooper in “The Adventures of Joey Green”. Joey is mentally challenged and goes to NH with friends but ends up getting picked on until he cannot take it anymore. 2005 was supposed to see “Freddy vs Jason: Part Deux” but the script was never finished (and still not to this date). James Lautier is again dubbed, this time by Samuel L. Jackson. There is also another beach montage which arguably contains the hottest girls ever in a Whackbag film. The ending scenes were a bit rushed due to time constraints.
The fourth film, 2006’s “Jasin City” was a mix of “Friday the 13th”, “Sin City” and “The Matrix”. This would be the fourth film in a row shot in NH. The reason we shot the movies up in NH is my friend John Quinlan had a beach house up there that we could use one weekend a year. This would be the first movie without a beach montage as I felt it was not needed anymore, the movies were fun enough on their own. I used to think we needed the beach footage to get people to watch them. This movie is my personal favorite out of all the movies we have made. We shot a second film in 2006, “Cereal Killer”. This would be the first movie not shot in NH as it was filmed primarily in James Lautier’s house. This film launched the character of the “Cereal Killer” and the idea was partially inspired by friend Jim Malloy and heavily inspired by an episode of TV show “Perfect Strangers”. James Lautier would be dubbed by Jack Black, R. Lee Ermy and Andrew Dice Clay! There was also borrowed footage from Karen Mcdougal’s Playboy again featuring her and Playmate Nikki Zeiring.
2007 would be an interesting year for Whackbag Films. Ken Cooper was working on a script but did not finish it in time so we had no movie to shoot. So I wrote something real quick on the fly about a writer who can’t finish a script and then goes postal! The film would be “Wha Happened” and returned us back to NH. We also brought back a brief beach montage and this would be the sixth R rated Whackbag movie in a row. The movie is mostly us just hanging out and is one of the weaker films we have done. I also wrote “Cereal Killer 2” in 2007 but it was never shot. I would end up moving from MA to VA in August 2007 and Whackbag Films future was a question mark.
I went back up to NH in 2008 to film the Ken Cooper written & directed “Magic Men”, a film about hero’s with powers that are not so super. We only shot maybe 50% of what Ken had wrote and this film would be put on the shelf. This would also be the last time I would go to NH for quite some time…
In 2009 my then girlfriend Katie wanted to visit her sister Rebekah up in Frostburg, MD. I thought that would be a great location to shoot a movie, a college plus the hotel we were staying at. So I re-wrote the script for “Cereal Killer 2” and Whackbag Films was officially back! This would be the first film NOT rated R. I just didn’t have the heart to have a bunch of swaring and vulgarity in a movie with my girlfriend and her sister starring in it. In September 2010 we started shooting “X-Ray: Origins” which would also feature myself and my ex-girlfriend. I played X-Ray, a man with X-Ray vision. I first played X-Ray in 2008’s unfinished “Magic Men”. My good friend AJ Bruzzi was moving to CA in late 2010 so I added him into the film as he was stopping by on the way. In early 2011 my friend Brian Young and his then girlfriend Suzanna visited from MA so I added them to the movie too. The entire shoot would run from Sept. 2010 to I think June 2011, almost like a real movie! “X-Ray” is also the longest film at 27 minutes and the first PG rated movie. It should be noted this movie was saved by Katie – my laptop died and she let me use her Macbook to edit and produce the film. I also went to MA in the summer of 2011 and planned on shooting a film called “Keep AJ Alive” but that film was never shot and is on the shelf.
2012 would be the biggest Whackbag year to date. I introduced a bi-weekly series called “Tales from the Whackbag”, a spin-off of “Tales from the Crypt”. It was hosted by the Cereal Killer and was one of our more popular projects. It ran a total of 8 episodes and introduced “Yub”, an Ewok who loves sandwiches. Ken would also visit me to shoot a Tales episode and do the unthinkable: we shot a few scenes and finished “Magic Men”. The movie was also rated PG and released in the summer of 2012. Fall 2012 brought “Public Dougie Announcements”, PSA’s starring popular Tales character The Doug. We shot four PSA’s with The Doug. We wrapped up 2012 with “Cereal Killer 3” which spoofed “Back to a Future”. It was our first PG-13 rating and was Will Whiteside’s first starring role in a Whackbag film.
2013 was a little quieter with season 2 of “Tales from the Whackbag” and a new project called “Whackbag Shorts”. The shorts were supposed to be quick one minute movies but we only ended up shooting two. We did shoot six episodes of Tales that year. 2014 brought season 3 of Tales but only 3 episodes were made. I made my first visit to NH in 6 years and we were supposed to shoot “G.I. Joey: A Real American Zero”. Time issues and issues with when to film (there were people in NH I didn’t know) led to us scrapping the project and throwing together “Joey Green 2”. While there is little to no plot I was happy to shoot another movie in NH and also have Ken play Joey again. Joey has been one of my favorite Whackbag characters. This film also brought back a brief beach montage, albeit with less girls. Joey 2 would be rated PG, a complete 180 from the R rated original. In 2015 we shot our best film to date, Magic Men 2. 2016 will see the end of Cereal Killer with Cereal Killer 4: The Final Chapter!