Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Recent Movies

When I watched the first Fangoria's Blood Drive last year, it was a great encouragement, if not the kind I usually prefer. It wasn't inspiring in its greatness. It merely made the idea of making a horror short seem like a good idea because I knew I could do better than the participants in that set.

Mind you, the documentary tour of Clive Barker's studio made it more than worth the price of a rental, and I still recommend everyone pick it up for that when they have the chance.

Some part of me wanted a bit more of that in getting Fangoria's Blood Drive II. Unfortunately, there was less to be found. The inspiration here is of a much higher kind. No, not the kind one gets watching a great movie by the likes of Jacques Tourneur or Mario Bava. But nevertheless the inspiration the inspiration of the bar being raised. Something like Fangoria's Blood Drive is no longer the guaranteed last resort of, "At least there's always that..."

Hell, it may not even be that. I can't help noticing that over the course of both sets of short films, there's not a bit of nudity. Has anyone seen the rules? Can a set of short films that revels in the dismemberment and torture of people actually forbid the showing of human sex organs? Or is it merely that the horror director's of tomorrow still lack the courage of their work to include everything that would make their films full honest portrayals of their story (and, yes, there were at least two in this set that ought to have had nudity, and, as I recall even more than that in the first set).

There were a handful of very derivative films in the set, most notably "We All Fall Down" by Jake Kennedy, although even those played as moderately competent and were compelling enough for their running time. A couple were quite intriguing, most notably "The Gibbering Horror of Howard Ghormley" by Steve Daniels. A couple were quite amusing, notably "Disposer" by B.C. Furtney and "Mean To An End" by by Paul Solet & Jake Kennedy. My favorite has to be the E.C. Comics meets Office Space joys of "Working Stiff" by Erik Candiani.

The extras are much less to speak of here, though. I thought Rob Zombie was pointlessly added to the first set, but I can't stand Mistress Juliya. She's like fingernails on the chalkboard. The documentary on KNB looked like it was edited and produced by someone working for Cable Access. The documentary on Bruce Campbell was less distractingly bad, but felt overly jumpy and aimless.

That inspired me to run out and rent The Man With The Screaming Brain by Bruce Campbell. This caught a lot of flack in circles I run in and it does get off to an awfully slow start, which may have been the wrong foot to get off on with the people who were most inspired to see it. Once you let it get going, and Ted Raimi starts working that crazy magic of his, it's quite a hoot.

And I agree with Bruce. I like b-movies. I've never liked laughing at movies. I just like things that try to do things a little different. I'm tired of movies that succeed at being average.

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