An interview back in August with legendary professional wrestler Dustin Rhodes, gave VultureHound readers an insight into his new film, Cutter Bill, directed by Brett Bentman. Dustin explained his belief in himself as an actor when accepting the role of Mitchell and how the “drama” of Cutter Bill attracted him to the project. Now, with the trailer out, audiences have had a much greater taste of what they can expect when Dustin and Thom Hallum search for Texas drug money.
After hearing from Dustin, and with the trailer hitting the internet and getting over 30, 000 views this past weekend, director Brett Bentman gives us his take on the film, the inspiration behind the story, and what type of story he wanted to tell after his incredibly dramatic 90 Feet From Home (starring WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels).
Film Synopsis: Two thieves attempt to steal 80 million dollars of hidden Texas drug money from the famed ranch belonging to a dead member of the infamous Cowboy Mafia. Jessup Cross (Thom Hallum) is a down on his luck gambler indebted to a notorious bookie known only as “The Indian.” He teams up with veteran wise guy Mitchell White (WWE Legend Dustin Rhodes) to locate the hidden fortune. Unbeknownst to them, the mute granddaughter, and heir to the ranch, is also hot on the money trail. Knowing where the money is hidden, and unable to speak, Lilly (Katy Harris) is quickly taken captive by Mitchell and Jessup and subjected to a series of interrogations which provide clues to the money’s whereabouts – ultimately buried with the remains of famed cutting horse, Cutter Bill. With 24 hours until The Indian’s arrival (Arthur Redcloud) Jessup must convince Lilly to help him dig up the money and avoid being killed by a mob of ruthless gangsters and double-crossing thieves, all set on finding the cash themselves.
How or what prompted the idea for this film, and how did it evolve?
The story of the Cowboy Mafia is well documented and is somewhat of folklore here in North Texas. Everyone knows something about it. Living here, we drive up past the ranch so many times. We started to take the whole thing for granted. My wife, also our executive producer on the film, always had this vision of having the ranch come back to life, like the reincarnation sequence in Titanic. I always thought it would be interesting to skirt around the history and make a film that told a new take on it. That’s what we accomplished with Cutter Bill.
A unique quality this film possesses:
The take on the legend here is the difference-maker. We aren’t just telling you, although Dustin does touch on the true events in the film while he wields a few power tools, what happened in the ‘70’s… we are telling you how that is affecting the characters right now. We take these very flawed individuals and put them in a high octane scenario where it’s do or die, literally. My vision for the film has always been a rock ‘em sock ‘em caper. I wanted to keep the viewer guessing until the last twist finally unfolds. We kept to that.
Biggest challenge while making Cutter Bill:
As a director, you have the luxury of not being involved in all the hassles of production. I prep for four months, I show up early, work my butt off, and then go home. My job is to get the actors from A to B and make sure, with my camera and lighting team, that it looks amazing. The hardest part, for me, was the heat in August. There were lots of interior locations where it was 100 degrees outside and even hotter inside. It was brutal. We just tried to keep everyone cool and hydrated and grind through the August schedule.
What he hopes the audience takes away from Cutter Bill:
It’s a fun film. We just came off a very dense project in 90 Feet From Home, and I wanted to do something lighter. We wanted to keep the intensity high and create this very Reservoir Dogs like culture where, at any time, anyone could screw you in the name of greed.
Brett also shared some information on an upcoming project which will excite wrestling fans:
I am currently in a rewrite of Duke City, a story of Albuquerque gang life starring George Lopez, Wes Studi, Dean Norris and Steven Michael Quezada. We also have a script, Thunderclap, which could shoot early next year with Dustin Rhodes and WWE Legend Kevin Nash.
Below you can find the trailer to Cutter Bill, starring Dustin Rhodes and Thom Hallum. Also, Brett’s previous film with Shawn Michaels, 90 Feet From Home, is now available to pre-order here.