Shenanigans in Holliston

While watching a sitcom, have you ever wondered why there isn’t outlandish violence, crude humor and endless horror film references? If so, your search is over, as filmmaker Adam Green (known for his Hatchet slasher films, the chilling thriller Frozen, and shorts on his production studio site, Arie Scope Pictures) has a new project from FEARnet described as “Big Bang Theory meets Evil Dead 2.” 

The Holliston series, written, directed, produced, and staring Green, is about two aspiring horror filmmakers (Green and fellow director Joe lynch) living their day-to-day shenanigans in Holliston, Mass. (Green’s hometown). To promote the show, Green and his main cast have been making their rounds around the country previewing a couple of episodes and answering questions for fans. After planning a show in Boston, Green ended up making a last-minute showcase Holliston at the town hall featuring a Q&A with Green, Lynch and the two female leads, Corri English and Laura Ortiz, who play the boys’ friends and respective love interests.

The free viewing ended up packing the entire area. Before the show started, Green came out and interacted with the audience. He talked about how this is a real labor of love project as he has been trying to bring the project to life for over a decade, starting with his first attempt at a feature called “Coffee and Donuts,” has a similar plot. After finishing that film, he sold it at a local video store in town. While the film itself is no longer available, Green has done a few special screenings of it.

Green then talked about how he moved on to develop the show for a couple of different networks but ultimately nothing came to fruition. He said they shot the entire season on the same stage where the first few Seinfeld episodes were shot. The town of Holliston was very responsive when Green mentioned how to look for many shots of known areas like Fiskes General Store in the town for B-roll and Casey’s Crossing, where Green and his friends hang out. Casey’s Crossing is a real pub in Holliston, but Green said it is just like Cheers and every other show that uses “real” places (the outside is real but the inside is completely different).

The show itself is fast-paced and has an instantly likable cast. Green and Lynch play off of each other well as Green is neurotic, yet has a child-like innocence, while Lynch is the laid back “man with a plan.” Something surprising, yet enjoyable, was the comedic timing between English and Ortiz with a joke about the correct way to pronounce Market Basket—something that Massachusetts fans will enjoy.

With excellent throwbacks to horror films, awkward humor and a constant play on every sitcom, Holliston was what one expects from Green. The only problems with the show were the laugh track, which seemed uncomfortable at some points, and a couple jokes that were executed strangely (such as Oderus from Gwar being Adam’s imaginary friend who lives in his closet). The solution to this would be to find a more subdued laugh track and more of an explanation of why Oderus is there. These minor shortcomings can be forgotten though as you start to really enjoy the characters’ exploits, especially with horror films. One can easily see the show receiving a guided focus as time goes on.

Another plus to the show is Dee Snider as the boys’ over-the-top boss at a local access station. After the show, an emotional Green and the cast came up and thanked everyone for being there and did a mini Q&A talking about how much fun it was to shoot the show. Green and company stuck around to sign posters and chat with fans and later invited everyone to the real Casey’s Crossing to hangout.

To say the night was a success was an understatement. The cast received a standing ovation which really stuck with Green as he stated that, while he has traveled over the world and been at Cannes and Sundance, this would always be his favorite premiere as it shows that as time goes by you can always come home.