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Artist Spotlight: Adam Bucci's Small Town Weirdo, Elevating the Final Girl

By Sarah Musnicky

Weird attracts weird, and we here at Creepy Kingdom love to spotlight weirdoes far and wide. But there’s one particular Small Town Weirdo that’s taken the horror arts community by storm. Created by actor/artist/producer Adam Bucci, Small Town Weirdo was born out of a need to create during the pandemic. Since grade school, visual arts have been a staple in Bucci’s life, with it coming in and out of focus once shifting to acting. However, once things shut down during the pandemic, the siren song of visual arts kicked into high gear.

“When the pandemic hit, I realized I had no other options. I had to stay creative,” Bucci revealed. He invested in supplies, paint, and jackets and began painting. The pandemic was a time of rediscovering hobbies, but for Small Town Weirdo, there was no pause. “When the pandemic eventually lifted, I had enough momentum and enough promise there that I was like, I think I'm onto something.” This unwavering dedication is what sets Small Town Weirdo apart.

The draw of pursuing something creative that sustained him rather than doing something to pay the bills was a focal point. While still actively auditioning, Bucci sought to find the sweet spot between the practical need to pay bills and being fulfilled creatively. This is where Small Town Weirdo loomed into view, becoming not just a creative outlet but a significant part of his personal journey. “The pandemic really ignited that spark, and then having 2-3 years in the pandemic doing it, I was like, I can't give up now. I was just determined to keep going.”

If you’ve been paying attention to the horror film front, Small Town Weirdo has not just made its presence known, but it's left a profound and lasting impression in the community. Bucci's painting turned heads from Jamie Lee Curtis donning the now-legendary Final Girls shirt during the Halloween Ends campaign to the David Harbour-led Violent Night Daddy Claus shirt. That’s why it’s no surprise he was tapped to do some designs for Lionsgate’s The Strangers: Chapter 1. However, another film ended up being the connecting force that linked Bucci with Lionsgate.

“There's another film called Boy Kills World,” Bucci shared. “That trailer dropped [about] a week before The Strangers teaser dropped, and I remember seeing that trailer and being like, my Final Boys shirts would be such a cool idea to promote. There’s a boy as a lead. He's seeking revenge, and it has a bloody font.” Lionsgate had other plans for Adam Bucci when he linked up with them to discuss potential options. When given the opportunity, they asked him if he wanted to work with them on The Strangers: Chapter 1.

For fans of Small Town Weirdo and The Strangers, there are two designs to look out for.  Bucci changed his original Final Girls design to give it more punch: “There are actually two T-shirts. One says I don't talk to strangers, and then one has the [word] ‘don't’ crossed out with a bloody smiley face and the splatter. It just implies that if you're the final girl, you’re safe if you don't talk to strangers, or you might get bloody if you do talk to strangers.” The shirt feels brighter and more colorful, and it has a mixture of bright reds and yellows.

Bucci has since revealed the shirt designs on social media, and they’ve made quite a splash. But that’s not all for this Small Town Weirdo/Strangers mash-up. At a special screening of The Strangers: Chapter 1, Bucci presented actress Madelaine Petsch and Producer Courtney Solomon with their very own Small Town Weirdo jackets featuring The Strangers. Each custom-painted jacket is unique, with slight variations in the design, and highlights how Bucci has been able to tailor his craft toward each new project.


But what does it mean to be a Small Town Weirdo? While many of us in the horror scene have experienced Bucci’s work through a horror lens, the brand itself is much more than that. Instead, it expands beyond horror, embodying everything that the word ‘weirdo’ entails. This has allowed Adam Bucci to play around with his designs, which has resulted in some colorful, vibrant creations like his more recent tie-dye Final Girl designs. The versatility and creativity of Small Town Weirdo extend far beyond the confines of horror art, inviting us to explore its broader creative vision.

“When I created Small Town Weirdo, I wasn't thinking horror. I was thinking, what's the flip side of a small-time hero, or a popular person, or the Queen Bee, and I never was those things.  I flipped it and made Small Town Weirdo to be just a little off-center,” Bucci shared. “Even though I knew horror was going to be a part of it, I also knew I wanted to have the flexibility to tap into funny things, things that were light, things that were quirky, not just dark and bloody.”

After the release of The Strangers: Chapter 1, Small Town Weirdo will be present at Terror Market in Burbank, CA, on May 19. But the most exciting pop-up is on the horizon. Adam Bucci will bring his work to a community near and dear to his heart this year at LA Pride. “I'm really looking forward to that because the queer community and the horror community are really tightly knit,” Bucci said before diving into what’s coming to his booth on Sunday, June 9. “I have some new designs that I've just created for Pride. A special weirdo pride edition, a special shirt from I Know What You Did Last Summer, and we'll be stocking all of the Pride variants of the Final Girl/Boy shirt.”

For all the Final Girls and Boys out there and all the weirdos in between, keep this small business and creator in your sights. Big things are in store. To learn more about Small Town Weirdo, go here. Until then, prepare yourself for the arrival of The Strangers: Chapter 1 on May 17, 2024.

All images courtesy Small Town Weirdo


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