The Mean One Director Addresses Legality of Grinch Horror Parody

The upcoming horror movie The Mean One is a not-so-subtle parody of Dr. Suess' iconic Grinch character, with even the title embracing a popular phrase from the source material, but with this being an unlicensed homage to the holiday figure, director Steven LaMorte recently recalled how he managed to navigate the legal trickery. Rather than merely hoping he took enough liberties with the original story to get by legal issues unscathed, the filmmaker pointed out how he specifically crafted every element he could to make sure the project could be considered a parody and would be able to avoid any backlash. The Mean One will debut in select theaters on December 9th.

"Well, parody is protected by the constitution," LaMorte shared with Entertainment Weekly. "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."

The Mean One is described, "In the audacious new parody, The Mean One (David Howard Thornton) is a hairy, green-skinned grump in a Santa suit, living on a mountain high above the town of Newville, despising the holiday season. Young Cindy You-Know-Who (Krystle Martin), whose parents were butchered by The Mean One twenty Christmases earlier, is returning to town to seek closure ... but when the Mean One launches a new reign of terror that threatens to destroy Christmas, Cindy finds a bold new purpose -- trapping and killing the monster."

Star Thornton has been earning attention in recent years thanks to his performance as Art the Clown in the Terrifier films, with LaMorte praising the talents of the performer.

"David is unbelievable," the filmmaker detailed. "Most people know him as Art the Clown from Terrifier and Terrifier 2. Because he's classically trained as a mime and as an actor, what he brings to a non-verbal character is just astonishing to watch. When he got on set, he was The Mean One. There are so many takes where we were like, 'Do you want to do another take for fun?' and he's like, 'Every take is fun! What if I killed them like this? What if I snarl? What if I laugh?' He bounces back between funny and scary so effortlessly, and it's a thrill to watch. The first time David came out and did a little dance, the whole crew applauded for him, completely unsolicited. I knew we had something special."

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The Mean One will debut in select theaters on December 9th.

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