"Rhinos," staring Chad Nell, left, and Adam Warren, Returns to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Tonight.
Rhinos" returns to the
big screen at the Alamo Drafthouse After a successful run of sold-out screenings at festivals and theaters across the
country. The comedy portrays the lives of two twentysomethings interested in making lots of money without working for it.
March 4, 1999
Dick s Go or Blow
co-stars Dandi Hammann, left, Christi Allen and Chad Nell ham it up at a private party at the 416 Bar on Saturday after the
showing of "Blood Simple." "Rhinos," an all-Austin effort, was entered in the Austin Film
Access Austin Magazine
Not all screenwriters and directors yearn to produce the next "Citizen Kane" or "Wild Strawberries."
Silliness, though often frowned upon, should occasionally be encouraged. Some writers and directors simply crave an
opportunity to create something absurd. It is so with the makers of "Rhinos," the latest product of Austin s
independent film community and the first of One Horn Productions. The film stars Chad Nell and Adam Warren, both making
their feature film debut. It follows the lives of two almost inseparable compatriots, Brick Hawthrone (Warren) and Mace
Spinella (Nell). Brick and Mace long for the sort of success that does not require daily toil. Until they achieve that
prosperity, though, they must earn enough money to meet the financial obligations imposed by landlords and pizza delivery
men. To subsist, these dilettantes hawk perfume in a fashion best described as Willie Loman meets the Farrelly Brothers.
Their employer, Rhonda Ramsay (Kelly Coffield of TV s "In Living Color," "Jerry Maguire"), encourages
them with a simple mantra: "Live and die as a Rhino! Let rejection bounce off of you, never take no for an answer, and
no matter what, keep charging!" But, alas, these salesmen rhinoceri have not truly tasted the marrow of life. Most of
their leisure time is spent eating cold pizza, smoking marijuana, and watching rhino documentaries. After leaving the
employ of Ramsay, they embark upon a series of unsuccessful get-rich-quick schemes, including insurance fraud, personal
injury lawsuits, and the donation of sperm. Their magnus opus is the formation of a small business, Tight & Tidy,a
cleaning service company with an exotic twist. The film s publicists compare it to "Wayne s World" and the work
of Laurel and Hardy. Brick and Mace are characters who take life lessons from cold pizza. In fact, the rhino footage serves
as a metaphor for the lives of the protagonists, and a good deal of the film s humor comes from these comparisons. There is
even a subtle endorsement of the American dream: a good idea and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship can lead to success. That
s what Michael Dell had, and by the film s denouement, so do Brick and Mace, though to a much lesser extent. Though no
Richard Burton, Nell performs adequately and strikes the viewer as a relatively likable fellow. Warren, a former physical
trainer, is also amusing and fun. In the melange of interesting character actors (including a surly gas station attendant
and a rather confused roommate), a careful viewer will find Melrose Larry Green, the Howard Stern groupie. Bankrolled by
former McLennan County District Attorney Vic Feazell, "Rhinos" took three months to write and six to produce,
though principal photography took only 15 days. The script, by Nell and director Randy Olson, appears to base itself on
what obviously began as inside jokes, and some of the gags remain on the inside. However, the film must have been
extraordinary fun to make, and it shows. It is truly refreshing to see an independent feature without heists and
choreographed gunplay, especially when that film is the brainchild of 20-somethings. There is no whining about the
alienation of the real world, and the filmmakers have not presented us with any existential dilemma. Rather than attempting
to fob off their private suffering as art, as so many filmmakers do, they are chronicling their mishaps for laughs.
Claiming the film to be an "embellished version" of their lives, Warren and Nell admit that they are
"looking to create a cult classic." Perhaps that is what they have done in making a film somewhat reminiscent of
Steve Oedekerk s "High Strung" and 1987 s "Death Row Game Show." "Rhinos" has no pretension
of being something other than what it is, and that is a difficult-to-find quality among films, even in the indie community.
Indeed, the film succeeds because it knows what it wants to be. Simply put, "Rhinos" is not a film for
sophisticates. Rather, it is a fine choice for those not averse to a few chuckles and guffaws. Warren and Nell wouldn t
have it any other way.
March 4, 1999
Keep Charging!! The Making of Rhinos
This is one of those films like those you find at the
theater in the off-season, or in the back shelves of the video store. You never heard of it, but it looks interesting. The
poster might tease you with quotes from film critics you also never heard of: "Zany," says one.
"Wacky," says another. Yet put off by the so-called "quality entertainment" of major motion pictures
that too often turn out to be half-billion dollar vehicles for a dead-voiced Kevin Costner to tiredly stroll through
another would-be epic, you decide to give it a try. Damned if the thing isn t weird. And surprising (Can they really do
that in a movie?) And funny. You laugh. And laugh. And walk away thinking, "Wow, that was pretty good. I might like to
see that again." It s called "the comedy for everyone who s ever hated their job." Brick and Mace are two
hotshot salesmen doing their best to meet their quota selling cheap perfume, constantly breathless as they try to stay one
step ahead of the howling mob of former customers. Rhonda Ramsey (Kelly Coffield) is their "Rhino Queen," the
hard-driving motivational bitch at the top of the get-rich-quick pyramid scheme they re trapped in, forcing them to sell,
sell, sell with exhortations to "live and die as a Rhino... Let rejection bounce off of you, never take no for an
answer, and no matter what, KEEP CHARGING!!!" Case after case of perfume goes out the door with the gung-ho salesmen,
but sales never seem to follow. They fall deeper and deeper in debt to Ramsey, until they finally rebel and stage a rhino
stampede in the home office. Trying one scheme after another to survive, including a comical trip to the sperm bank as
potential donors, they finally light on the perfect plan: "Tight and Tidy," a housecleaning service for rich
women that features male bodybuilders in g-strings. Unfortunately, their customer list leaves much to be desired! Through
it all, anytime a television enters the frame, there always seems to be a wildlife documentary airing, with a dry-voiced
host unwittingly narrating the lives of our hapless scam artists by telling us much more than we want to know about rhinos
in the wild. Adam Warren and Chad Nell play the two young salesmen/entrepreneurs, and the story of Rhinos is also the story
of their lives. "A lot of the stuff that you see in Rhinos, in one way or another has happened to Chad and I,"
explains Warren. "We ve both done the worst jobs imaginable. So we took the most memorable stories from those jobs and
embellished them for the screen. We thought it was a great opportunity to laugh at ourselves, and give the world a chance
to laugh too." Yet the story of the making of the movie is a different one entirely. "This whole project has been
purely magical," says Warren. "Chad came out to Austin from LA with the mission of writing Rhinos. We d been
talking about doing it for quite a few years. Three months later we had the first draft." What followed was a
whirlwind of success. Nell sought the assistance of Director Randy Olson for help in refining the script, and almost before
that was done, Warren had sold former Waco District Attorney Vic Feazell on bankrolling the project. Enlisting friends,
family and USC film graduates to fill out the cast and crew, filming was completed by the middle of March. Commenting on
the success of the film itself, Warren says, "It s really been wonderful. We world-premiered at the Austin Film
Festival in October. We had two screenings and both of them sold out. I sat in the audience at both of them, and the
response was overwhelming. Everyone s getting the jokes, it s got stuff that people can relate to. "Our general
demographics is ages 15 to 30, but we re also finding people in their 50s in the audience. So the response has been great.
We had a sneak preview in Los Angeles, also to a sold-out house." Already writing the sequel, Rhinos II: Sharks, in
which Brick and Mace become ambulance-chasing attorneys, Warren and Nell are presently riding high, landing acting roles,
executive producing projects and traveling to promote the current film. As to the true story behind the movie, yes Warren
and Nell actually did have a housecleaning service called Tight and Tidy. But they can tell you about that themselves:
Rhinos will be personally introduced by Adam Warren and Chad Nell as it plays at the Greentree Theaters on Friday, Nov. 20
at 9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 22 at 5 p.m.
November 19, 1998
Rhinos is worth the charge
Low budget, what? "Rhinos," the recent release of
the newly assembled One Horn Productions out of Austin, could easily be confused with the products of Hollywood. It
presents a script, cinematography and acting that does not usually fit the preconceived notions of what a low-budget film
should look like. To avoid any confusion, let s discard the term entirely. "Rhinos" brings us the feature film
debut of actor, writer, producer and One Horn Productions founder Adam Warren as Brick Hawthorne along side Chad Nell, who
is also a co-founder of One Horn Productions, as well as a writer, actor and producer. Nell stars as Maceo Spinella. These
guys team up in a comedy of two desperate bachelors who will do just about anything for the almighty dollar. Their
misadventures range from selling perfume in a profit pyramid company to nearly-nude housekeeping and believe me, there are
laughs at every turn. "Rhinos" is bold, original, and well oiled. It s editing, lightingand directing are nearly
flawless and should own a spot at box offices across the nation in place of even some of Hollywood s recent releases. I won
t say which ones. Let s be nice. What I will say is if you re looking for a good time, for laughs and to let your guard
down, please venture into "Rhinos." (One HornProductions) ****1/2
SWT University Daily Star
Rhinos Directed by Randy Olson
Dudes, pick up a six pack, fire up the bong, order a pizza,
and kick back to watch this like, awesome, movie about a couple of twenty-something perpetually stoned uh..losers trying to
make the rent check. First they like, work, for this totally bogus perfume company and always have to sit through these
like, fascist, motivational sales meetings that kinda like, remind you of the glee club meetings that you always used to
skip in high school. And then they like, go try the sperm bank thing where they meet this totally awesome chick and they
try to do the lost luggage insurance scam and some other stuff and they run into the sperm bank chick again. And in the end
they come up with this really good gig that sends us this like, reassuring, message that in the end it, you know, pays to
be a loser. But hey - there s a lot more to this movie. I mean, it like, examines philosophical questions like if pizza s
better when it s hot or cold and why! And all it s like, tied together by this uh...documentary about rhinos that s always
playing on the TV in their apartment and like, becomes more and more bogus as it goes on. Okay, okay. I laughed a lot
during this movie. It s intentionally overacted and stereotyped. It doesn t always go for cheap laughs and even becomes
touching when it seems about to rely on blatant homophobia for a laugh. On one hand, it glorifies stoner culture, but on
the other it pokes fun at the same culture. Director Randy Olson has shown us that he can make a film of this genre better
than Hollywood can. I only have one question: Like, why bother, dude?
The Arizona Daily Sun
November 12, 1998
They sell their sperm and scam insurance companies. They drink beer, nosh junk food and smoke pot, just as
their lives are going to pot. Finally, our proto-slacker heros open a house-cleaning business that cleans them out. Here s
the true story of Austin screenwrites Chad Nell and Adam Warren, who turned the tale of their wastrel lives into the madcap
comedy "Rhinos," which plays at 9:45 p.m. each Thursday in March at the Alamo Drafthouse. The micro-budget lark
mixes "Wayne s World" with Laurel and Hardy, say the filmmakers. Frat houses rejoice.
March 4, 1999
Outlandish laugh-fest "Rhinos," as Austin-made comedy that s done the festival circuit,
plays at 9:45 p.m. each Thursday in March.
February 26, 1999
Local film "Rhinos," produced by Vic Feazell and written by actors Adam Warren and Chad
Nell, Austin s answer to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, has been accepted to the New York International Film Festival, which
starts May 3.
April 6, 1999
One Horn Productions
With its debut film "Rhinos," One Horn Productions is the latest addition to the ever-growing Austin film
community. Run by locals Vic Feazell, Adam Warren, and Chad Nell, One Horn Productions hopes that its comedy, billed as a
movie for anyone who has ever hated their job, will take their company to the next level. Warren and Nell met in 1991 while
working at a perfume company similar to the one in "Rhinos," in which Warren and Nell are the stars. Years later,
Warren, a personal trainer, pitched their idea to his client, former McClennan County District Attorney Feazell. Warren
gave him a draft of the "Rhinos" screenplay, which Feazell agreed to fully fund. And thus came One Horn
Productions into the world. "Rhinos" was financed on a deferred pay structure, which means that no one has been
paid as of yet. The cast and crew, however, are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping that this indie feature, which cost
just under a million to produce, will take Hollywood by storm. They describe "Rhinos" as an opportunity to
"take our miseries and turn them into triumphs." This description might also serve as a successful motto for
their production company. Its immediate plan is to exhibit "Rhinos" at the Alamo Drafthouse and "create
attention" in order to garner distribution and perhaps a two-picture deal. One Horn Productions already has several
projects on the horizon. It has served as executive producer for a locally made feature called "Natural
Selections." A draft of a sequel, "Rhinos 2: Sharks," has already been written and will be produced soon. In
the sequel, which is being described as a crazy morality play of sorts, the protagonists from the first film embark upon
legal careers. And after "Rhinos 2" comes to fruition, One Horn hopes to produce a "Sharks" cable
television series. In so doing, they hope to capitalize on Feazells "many crazy law stories from Waco." A
graduate of Southwest Texas State University, Warren considers "Rhinos" his graduate school. He has also begun to
feel a camaraderie among filmmakers in Austin. He chats with web guru Harry Knowles and has talked strategy with Rick
Linklater and Robert Rodriguez. He calls the Austin film community a "small fraternity," and he considers
"Rhinos" his "attempt to pledge." An interesting metaphor, considering One Horns novel approach to
publicizing their new film. In addition to the usual radio promotions and the like, they have visited University of Texas
fraternity houses on West Campus. (Imagine Linklater doing that.) Nell feels that UT Greeks are a constituency that will
greatly enjoy the film, and that is why he has spoken to their Monday chapter meetings. If an indie filmmaker visiting frat
guys is not unheard of, then it certainly is rare. Warren says they are "elated" that their project has made it
to the screen.They "feel extraordinarily lucky and look forward to the challenges of the future.
March 30, 1999
Access Austin Magazine MARCH 1999 Meet the RHINOS
"Austinwood", as the local movie
buffs call it, has seen its share of filmmakers rise from virtual obscurity to the ranks of "Hollywood player".
In the late eighties, Richard Linklater hit the scene first with his very independent SLACKERS. The nineties came with
robert Rodriguez and his seven thousand dollar movie EL MARIACHI that turned Hollywood up side down, and Mike Judge, who s
sick and twisted cartoon BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD well, you know what happened from there. Now, with the millennium breathing
down our necks, I am proud to say that we have one more group to add to our list of young will-be giants. The movie, or
should I say movie event, is entitled Rhinos. It is being hailed as "the comedy for anyone who has ever hated their
job." Is there anyone who hasn t? Rhinos contains all the ingredients of a cult classic. It stars locals Adam Warren
and Chad Nell, who also wrote and co-produced the film. It brags a supporting cast of Kelly Coffield (In Living Color),
Tangi Miller (Felicity), and Austin s own Dandi Hamann. Another Austin local who helped bring this dream to reality is
former Waco district attorney turned actor and executive producer Vic Feazell. Rhinos was directed and co-written by Randy
Olsen, a graduate of U.S.C. film school and the recipient of numerous awards for his short film You Ruined My Career.
Recently I met with Chad,
Adam, and Vic at their office in Vic s hilltop hideaway on North Cat Mountain. The following is an excerpt from our
conversation at ONE HORN PRODUCTIONS. Chad is sitting on then couch, looking relaxed and devilish. Adam walks back and
forth, sometimes leaning on the desk, as though he were posing for a commercial. These guys have a cool and confident air
about them, like they ve been hanging out with a bud (take that however you want). These men are easygoing and somehow
comfortable to talk with, as though they were old friends. Occasionally, Vic pops in, without saying much. As he looks on
calmly, one is reminded of Howard Hughes.
A2M: How did you guys come up with the idea
of writing Rhinos? (AW): Well, Chad and I have been friends for a long time now and we ve always dealt with our misery
through laughter. Affair San Diego (where Adam and Chad met in 91 by responding to an ad in the classifieds for a big job-
perfume sales), I moved to Austin and enrolled in the theater program at South West Texas. Chad did the same at UCLA. Two
months after graduation, I was in a massive state of depression over the breakup with an ex-girlfriend. Chad agreed to come
out from L.A. for a couple weeks and visit to snap me out of it. Three months later, we had a screenplay. A2M: Had you guys
ever written anything before? (CN): Never. We had no idea what we were doing in terms of structure or technique, we just
knew it was funny. Our director, Randy, helped us with the rest.
A2M: Rhinos has shown in a couple of venues now, including World Premiering
at the Austin Film Festival in October. What sort of response are you getting? (AW): It has been insane. People are eating
it up. All of our screenings so far have sold out. We get the party audience, from thirteen to thirty. They just want to
laugh and be entertained for 88 minutes and forget about the real world (including their jobs). That is exactly what we
give them. (CN): Some of the most surprising praise we have received have been from the forty+ crowd. That certainly wasn t
our target audience, but it s all good, right? People should come ready to party when they come to our movie. We tell
everyone to see it with a bud and tell their friends. We chose Thursday nights at 9:45 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
because there is no better atmosphere in town to check out our flick and pre-party for the weekend all at the same time.
A2M: How did you ever convince someone like Vic to finance the whole movie himself? (AW): I was working as a personal
trainer when Chad and I were writing Rhinos. I approached Vic with the idea of wanting to make a movie. He had mentioned
that he was interested in breaking into the business, but hadn t found a screenplay yet that he liked. He said he wouldn t
make a movie unless it made him "laugh or cry out loud". No easy task, considering as DA of Waco, he sent six
people to death row.
Suddenly, appearing from no where as if he were listening to our conversation, in comes Vic. (VF): Waco is a crazy place.
Rhinos made me laugh, it made me cry, it became a part of me. It will be a cult classic, mark my word. That s why I did it.
(Vic then exits as quickly as he entered.) A2M: Does he always do that? (CN): He only appears when he needs to, and he
seems to know when that is. A2M: Did you think, as you wrote it, that Rhinos would get this far? (CN): That s kind of what
being a Rhino is all about. You don t do anything without the assumption that it will work. If we listened to early
criticism, I would still be an assistant in Hollywood and Adam would be personal training. Not that there s anything wrong
with that. It s just not our dreams. A2M: So what s next? (AW): We recently completed our follow-up screenplay Rhinos II:
Sharks. (CN): It s about two moral pygmies who, through the practice of law, become spiritual giants. Kind of a "My
Cousin Vinny" meets "The Rainmaker".
A2M: First, you create Rhinos. Now, with Sharks you have Brick and Maceo becoming lawyers.
I ve got to see this. Are you guys going to take a break? (CN): That s what rehab is for. We don t mind working hard for
our dreams. I want to have fun no matter what I do, as long as nobody gets hurt. Unless they want to, but that s another
interview. (AW): Bad Chad. Bad Chad. Bottom Line: Rhinos is a must see. For more information about the movie, visit
www.rhinosthemovie.com. I ll see you at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on Thursdays at 9:45. Be sure to get there early before the
show is sold out.