New Film Follows Three College Students Who Can’t Handle Intense Pot Brownie High; Premieres Thursday Night In L.A.
Bad Batch, indie producer-writer-director Abe Schwartz’s feature debut, features three college students who meet on Facebook, then can’t handle an intense pot brownie high one night.
The film’s hipster style has critics comparing Bad Batch to the work of directors Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater and even Ingmar Bergman.
The students, two African-American cousins and one Jewish hipster chick, discover sexual, psychological, and social tensions as they soar higher and higher in close to real-time, ultimately landing in a dramatic, sobering place.
But there are plenty of laughs, and the film doesn’t pound viewers over the head with a tiresome moral message, Schwartz told Toke of the Town in an exclusive interview.
Toke of the Town: Was the film inspired by real-life events?
Schwartz: Bad Batch was inspired by a couple of real-life pot brownie highs gone awry, though the story itself is mostly fiction. After all, I’m not a sexually ambiguous Jewish female hipster… Well, only in spirit…
Toke of the Town: Some of have questioned the timing of the release, given the subject matter and its treatment in the film. I even saw one comment online that it could hurt the chances of Prop 19 passing in California. What is your reaction to that?
Schwartz: I don’t think the person who wrote that comment saw the movie. The movie isn’t anti-marijuana, though there is an underlying anti-overconsumption theme.
If you’re going to eat a full tray of pot brownies and end up having a bad night, what’s the point?
Also, know the source of your herb! Hannah, Lavar, and Jenkins eat some sketchy, contaminated pot. If they had purchased a half-ounce from a reputable dispensary instead of Isaac the shady dealer, they probably would have had a far more fun evening.
If Prop 19 fails to pass and anyone wants to point the finger at me and my little movie, I’d welcome the attention. I do, however, think that attention would be misdirected.
Paranoia comes with the territory of getting too high, especially from edibles. Being able to honestly observe people going through it and still chuckle is what Bad Batch is about.
I love the saying “Comedy is tragedy plus time.” (I think it was Carol Burnett who said that.)
|Photo: Abe Schwartz|
|Director Abe Schwartz: “Being able to honestly observe people going through it and still chuckle is what Bad Batch is about”|
Toke of the Town: What is your personal opinion about the legalization of marijuana?
Schwartz: I’m still on the fence re: Yes or No on Prop 19. I’m in favor of marijuana laws becoming relaxed, though the big business ties to the Yes agenda leave me feeling a little uneasy.
Toke of the Town: What was the most fun about making Bad Batch? What was the most challenging thing about making the film?
Schwartz: The most fun I had making Bad Batch was being on set and witnessing the characters come to life. The actors brought so much energy to their parts, and really made them jump off the page!
The most challenging aspects were scheduling and working around people’s busy lives. That was definitely tough, especially without an assistant director.
Editing was humbling as anything, too. I started to live by the maxim, “When in doubt, throw it out.” Thus, the 70-minute run time.
Free Premiere Screening In L.A., Thursday Night, October 21
Bad Batch will make its public premiere on Thursday, October 21, at Downtown Independent Theater in Los Angeles, at 7:30 p.m. The movie will begin promptly at 8 p.m.
Creating an interactive experience for the probably-stoned attendees, the premiere will feature music from Wyatt Keusch (whose unique brand of electronica is also featured in the movie), a screening of the 70-minute film, and a Q & A with the cast and crew.
Toke of the Town readers who’d like to attend the free premiere screening of Bad Batch can register through the Eventbrite invitation, here.
If you can’t make it to the premiere in L.A., the event will also be streamed live on Ustream.
You can also download your own copy of Bad Batch for just $4.20 by clicking here — which you can then “consume” even on your mobile device.