There’s a nostalgic feeling that lingers around the plot of the 80s-esque, curiously odd horror film Party Bus To Hell. As a “caravan” packed with picture-perfect people heads for the notoriously isolated Burning Man festival, all hell breaks loose. Literally. While the film plans to re-release into cinemas mid-April, there’s an unsettling aspect to unsuspecting travelers stumbling across Satanists in a desert.
Actor Richard Hochman takes on the role of Alan, the stereotypical leading man, in this independently produced horror movie, and he claims that he dons the persona of “an asshole” in this indie-ish production.
“[Alan] is excited about the [situation,] he’s an adrenaline junkie, but he doesn’t want to enjoy it too much,” Hochman said, “He doesn’t want to be in [the situation he’s in,] but he enjoys [the thrill..]”. Hochman stated that his character is apprehensive at first, and has no real urge to jump in, though he craves the excitement.
Party Bus To Hell utilized its location as it was shot in the uncharted deserts of Nevada, as the ‘barren lands’ that blaze the way to Burning Man were located on the outskirts of a national park, blatantly placed in “the middle of nowhere.”
Hochman said that during the filming process, it took an hour and a half to reach the location. Temperatures would fluctuate between blistering heat during the day and then plunge into lower numbers while in the evenings. It was a challenge for him, as he was not only bothered by the heat, but also the amount of dust that was inhaled.
“It’s part of independent filmmaking, the location is the location. It was beautiful, yet quiet,” Hochman said, despite admittedly suffering from sinus and neck complications, and dealing with other physical challenges.
This wasn’t Hochman’s last encounter with the stifling elements of the Southwest. His most current film, Brother, in which he stars in and produces, follows the mission of two gunmen to retrieve a drug lord’s wife from the desert after her disappearance.
Brother, a short film, took less time to shoot and took place in the Mojave Desert. There wasn’t a chance that they could avoid the heat, which called for the cast and crew to “power through” the process, which was total of two days.
It was funny, to Hochman, that both of his films had taken place out in the desert. “It would be nice if I could shoot, you know, something in a mansion — a nice house with air conditioning or whatever the storyline is, just make it comfortable,” he joked.
Though he would rather be acting, he worked on the creative side of Brother as a producer, which granted him more insight and creative collaboration with director Timothy James Kay. Brother is currently in the post-production phase and plans to release at the upcoming circuit of film festivals.
“When it comes to the project, finishing it and editing, it was very much a collaborative effort,” Hochman said. “In this day and age, you have to be a producer, director, or writer, or else you’re depending on other people to hire you.” He had been given the possibility to cultivate every aspect of a project, which was a lesson he told himself when he was younger and said that it helped establish his brand as an artist.
Currently, Hochman is continuing to audition for other roles and projects but says that he wants to “finish strong” on promoting the re-opening of Party Bus To Hell and Brother. Party Bus To Hell will be back in theaters on April 13, 2018, and Brother will make its debut this upcoming summer.