‘The Mean One’ director opens up about the legality of parody so you can make your own Grinch spoof

the grinch the mean one
Photo via XYZ Films

Many words can describe the one, the only, the meanest, and greenest — Mr. Grinch: he’s a heel, he’s as cuddly as a cactus, as charming as an eel, and he’s your newest scary movie villain. The Mean One, a grinch-centric slasher parody, is hitting theaters everywhere this holiday season, and we can’t get enough. 

That’s right, a parody film with a horror veil about The Grinch will be calling fans to theaters soon, and the movie had to jump through certain hoops to be made. The synopsis is simple: Cindy You-Know-Who is returning to her hometown decades after her mother’s murder at the hands of — you guessed it, a green monster in a Santa suit. 

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Steven LaMorte said that they were able to bring this twisted tale of the Grinch to life because of the route they chose for the storyline. It’s not going to be like anything you’ve seen of the Grinch so far, and that’s because there was only one very specific route to take with this project. 

“Well, parody is protected by the constitution. I don’t want to say that I’m a legal scholar, but I’ve done more than my fair share of research and consultation just to make sure that we’re not denigrating the source material. I love these stories; we want to honor it, of course, but it’s a parody; it’s supposed to be funny. Every word and script choice was chosen with the intention of really sticking to the letter of the law and making sure that we are a parody. We just wanted to put our own spin on it.”

LaMorte calls this project his baby for the last six years — at least, and says there’s always been something about it that he; whathe had it put into action. It started with a simple idea, and suddenly everyone was on board with the idea. 

“This has always been that sticky note that sits on your idea board: what if we did a monster movie version of this story? Then, last year, I had a commercial shoot that I was supposed to do, and it was canceled last minute. I said, ‘Well, I already had the crew booked, what if I just changed what we were shooting? So I took all of my notes and put together a fake trailer. We shot it, we cut it together, and I showed some friends in the industry, just as a lark, it was never supposed to go anywhere. They said, ‘Wow, this trailer’s super fun; when’s the movie coming?’ I said, ‘There’s no movie. We just made this trailer. It’s done, that’s it.’ One thing led to another, and some of my partners were like, what if it could be a movie? And now here we are.”

It’s strange to think that if he’d let the canceled commercial shoot throw him off, we might not have the masterpiece that is The Mean One to haunt our dreams this Christmas. You can be spooked and stalked by the Grinch when the film hits theaters on Dec. 9, and you won’t want to miss it.