New Jersey certainly loves Chaz Bono. In 2021, Bono received an honorary degree from Brookdale Community College. The community college recognized the multifaceted artist for his active history in advocating for LGBTQ equality, according to Brookdale’s website.
When Chaz Bono spoke about his new film Bury the Bride, which premiered as a Tubi original film, he said: “I lived in New York for eight years, but I didn’t spend a lot of time in Jersey, so I couldn’t really say [where I’d visit] other than it’s beautiful. I was on a lake there at some point. And it was, yeah, it was gorgeous. New Jersey always gets a bad name. You look across that river, and it’s very green and lush.”
The actor is also no stranger to these honors. As he has catapulted to stadom in horror films and shows like American Horror Story, Bono has also found incredible means to tell stories through horror. He believes horror uses symbolism with a creative license not seen in other forms of storytelling.
“I think there are just ways to tell a story in horror that’s so much more direct and impactful, and different than other genres,” Bono said. “I think there’s a way, in order to kind of, you know, tell the story of what’s happening to trans people right now; all the attacks, the legislation, and all of this stuff without dealing with any of that.”
For Bono, his new movie, which he both stars in (as a vampire nicknamed “Puppy”) and produces, is no exception.
Bury the Bride, written by Krsy Fox (who also stars in the film as Sadie) and directed by Spider One, follows bride-to-be June (Scout Taylor-Compton) and her bachelorette getaway. The trip turns deadly when her bloodthirsty vampire fiancé and his backwoods friends show up to crash the party. What follows becomes a living nightmare of unholy proportions. June, her sister Sadie, and their closest friends fight for their lives and avenge the ones who don’t make it through the night.
Yet, for Bono, this wasn’t just an average film project. The actor tells me that he met Fox through their shared manager. The manager said that the two would “hit it off” through their “shared sensibilities.” In no time, Bono and Fox were pals. “It was an instantaneous friendship,” Bono said.
In addition, it was that instant connection that brought collaboration to the forefront for the two storytellers.
Let’s be clear, the Bury the Bride vampires are women haters. It’s something the leading man “David,” played by Dylan Rourke, says in the film.
“I can’t stand women,” says David, once reveling in his plans for bloodshed in the film. Nevertheless, the horror story is about the lead women reclaiming their power.
“I mean, you meet these guys that are kind of the embodiment of toxic masculinity, and then, you have this really strong female character who’s fighting the whole time, and getting stronger,” said Bono. “The camaraderie between the women in this movie, I think, is really, beautiful thing.”
One key detail about Bono’s character, Puppy, is that he is almost completely silent. That is, until Puppy faces a mortal reality that he once knew as human. Suddenly, the story becomes Sadie and June against the remaining bloodsuckers. The vampires think the odds of Sadie and June’s survival is nonexistent. But the vampires make a mistake: They doubt Sadie and June’s power.
“I’ve never played a character that essentially doesn’t speak much, and so I had to kind of create this character and tell his story nonverbally, and then really hope or trust that when I do finally speak, so much of the way that I was behaving, you really get the sense that Puppy’s different than his fellows.”
The scene where Puppy does speak was a windy day on the California set, Bono reminisces. “When we finally went to shoot it, Krsy (Sadie) gave me so much to work with. I mean, it just amped the stakes so much higher than I thought [they] would be headed.”
In the end, Bono hopes that what attracted him to this film is what attracts others to it.
“I looked at it as very much female positive or feminist movie, and it’s what ultimately really attracted me to it,” said Bono. “I love just great horror, whatever it is, but I very clearly remember reading the last page of the script and being like, ‘Yes!’”
“I just love this film,” Bono said.
Viewers can stream Bury the Bride on Tubi today!
So far, the film screened at Panic Fest in Kansas City, Mo., and at the Salem Horror Film Fest.