Philosophically, CACTUS JACK is intended as an extremely relevant, thematic zeitgeist treatise and meditation on media and manipulation and on the violence we are capable of once Hate hijacks the human mind. It’s an exploration of generational hate, the hubris of the spectator, and, ultimately, an explosive exposé on the institutional hate, racism, xenophobia, nationalism, and propaganda endemic in the United States of America.
On a technical and form level, this film is an extreme attempt at do-it-yourself filmmaking by two professional screenwriters caught in the development hamster wheel who wished to find their way to an audience through blood, sweat, and tears. From our “nano” budget of a mere $20,000 to shooting in piecemeal on phones with a cast of two and crew of zero over the course of four arduous years, CACTUS JACK may be a cautionary tale horror film about Hate but make no mistake—it is a labor of Love.
Furthermore, we wanted to underscore how technology has democratized the process of not only making but owning and distributing films. Consider this film a shot across the bow and a gauntlet cast at the feet of a generation of aspiring filmmakers: the power to make a film is in your pocket.
Screenwriters by trade, Chris and Jason Thornton have spent the last decade working inside the industry scripting films for movie stars, writing on assignment, optioning feature films and pilots and scoring development deals on original television shows—but, as to this day still unproduced storytellers, they longed to find their audience outside the Seven Circles of Development Hell.
CACTUS JACK is their directorial debut answer to that: a punk rock barbaric yawp across the ether in hopes of making a grassroots racket and bringing to the masses a film of unbridled madness and fury, the likes of which would never be initiated—let alone made and released—from within thec onfines of the “system. ”Members of the WGAw, the brothers are repped at Rosa Entertainment and UTA.BROTHERS