Monday, 8 April 2013

There's No Business Like Horror Business

A quick mention of something I came across.
"I've spent too much energy on things that have nothing to do with making a movie. It's about two-percent movie making and ninety-eight percent hustling. It's no way to spend a life"
- Orson Welles.
And Orson would know.

So begins the narration of a documentary film I recently viewed that serves as a quick way to help  raise understanding (if not appreciation) for the horror B-movies of the twenty-first century.

(I wonder if there's more people who wonder how others can be "wasting" their time watching low-budget schlock films then there are people who watch low budget schlock films that wonder how others could be "wasting" their time (still?) watching Glee...hmm.)

Horror Business is a feature documentary, itself put together in true guerrilla film fashion by director Christopher P. Garetano. A bit like a multi-player version of American Movie (including the presence of Marc "my-mother-doesn't-want-to-admit-it-but-she's-the-executive-producer-of-my-film" Borcharot of AM fame), Garetano's doc certainly conveys the exuberance (if few new craft insights) of the low/no budget end of the cinematic scale. (To the best of my knowledge a promised sequel entitled Son Of Horror Business was worked on but apparently not released as of yet.)

From the thoughtful reflections of David Stagnari ("...we have to re-educate ourselves...there's a lot of dumbing down that's occured") to the in-your-face brashness of Ron Atkins ("a lot of people think I'm fucking trash"), one sees the passion and energy (if not always craft and skill) that goes with this genre.

Perhaps more than anything, Horror Business acts as a primer for those who wish to be introduced to a few of the more recent players in the micro-budget film biz. (I'll admit it's sometimes painful to refer to these works as "film" when they are not only shot on video but REALLY AWFUL looking video with amateur porn-flic lighting to boot.  However...)

Among the  films covered by Garetano...

David Gebroe's Zombie Honeymoon, described by John Landis as "the first truly romantic flesh-eating corpse movie!"

And also David Stagnari's quasi-experimental Catharsis...


I recommend the documentary as entertainment for those who would never bother watching one of these actual features...and may end up being a little more open minded after seeing it. The pacing is quick and the interviews handled very well. The end message - money can buy superior production values but when it comes to the freedom to cut to the chase in a manner Welles would have been envious of, well...

Godard said film is over and the auteur is dead.

Tell it to the folks you meet in this film.

I say this film tastes - FAST FOOD FRIENDLY.

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