For two years, James “Bubba” Cromer has been promoting his second film, The Hills Have Thighs, a cheeky, white trash comedy. But then on a recent night, it seemed as if his lucky break had finally come. The hillbilly farce that Cromer, a Statehouse reading clerk by day, had created — and which debuted at the Olde Village Talking Picture in April 2009 — was going to be on cable television.
Or at least that’s what Cromer says he saw on a TV program guide. There it was, The Hills Have Thighs, and it was showing on The Movie Channel. According to the director, the film was described in the listing as an Appalachian comedy, co-starring and directed by James “Bubba” Cromer.
He later turned to The Movie Channel, where he told the AP he heard a voice-over saying, “Bubba Cromer later tonight does it again with his second feature film The Hills Have Thighs. Deliverance in reverse.” Cromer says he assumed that his agent had been trying to sell his film to networks like these.
“That’s why the first call I made was to him to thank him, but I didn’t get him,” he says. According to the AP, Cromer then called friends and family and posted a message to his Facebook page.
Unfortunately for Cromer, The Hills Have Thighs is also the name of a 2010 soft-core porno showing on The Movie Channel in March. Cinemax is also airing the cable-ready skin flick. Neither are showing Cromer’s film of the same name.
Cromer told the City Paper he had no idea there was another movie with the same name as his. “People think, ‘You saw the name and you assumed it was yours, you arrogant son-of-a,'” he says. “I’m like, wait a minute, no. I wouldn’t have assumed anything. My name, that’s why I looked.”
In a statement to the City Paper, Jeff Cusson, senior vice president of corporate affairs at HBO, said, “Cinemax is currently airing the film The Hills Have Thighs directed by Salvadore Ross, licensed from All Channel Films. On the channel, any reference to a film by that name was to this film.”
At press time, Showtime/CBS Corporation had not returned a request for a statement or interview.