4.18.2009

Horror Business (2005): Not What You’d Hope For



Uninteresting documentary with some unsavory filmmakers.

This documentary kept popping up on my recommendations for Netflix, which is why I added it to my queue probably a year ago. Well, it finally snaked its way up the ranks and ended up in my mailbox a couple days ago.

Promising interviews with H.G. Lewis, Sid Haig, and Lloyd Kauffman, I thought this could be pretty interesting. I was wrong. The aforementioned names are only in the film a couple of minutes total. It appears as though the filmmakers happened to come across them at a convention and asked them to talk on camera for a bit; they don’t look like planned interviews. Instead, the main source of material comes from some very independent filmmakers you’ve probably never heard of, making crude movies on Mini-DV camcorders. They reflect on doing drugs, violence as a means of expression, and how they don’t fit inside the mainstream…how society is so repressed…how Americans live in a culture of fear…blah blah blah blah.


I did enjoy some of the musings of Mark Borchardt (the loveable subject of American Movie). His passion and unfettered hope for a future in the horror industry is bittersweet. He doesn’t care whether he is making studio films or independent films; he just wants to make movies. His desperation makes him so easy to follow and indeed, the documentary could have spent more time with him. However, doing so could lead to a carbon copy of American Movie (which I highly recommend for anyone that hasn’t seen it).

There are some interesting moments from behind-the-scenes of Zombie Honeymoon, which I still need to see regretfully. Yet, whenever something begins to get me intrigued, it is not developed and we never get to the meat of anything.

Although I know that this documentary is made with love for the horror film, it just doesn’t have any real substance to it. A documentary need not have big names in it to be successful. What it does need is a purpose and a clear story to follow; this had no such thing.

5 comments:

  1. I agree totally - it felt cheap, and I felt ripped off.

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  2. Hmm, I don't think this has been released over my neck of the world. Do you know which filmmakers were interviewed at greater length? American Movie is pretty damned awesome. One of the funniest and most honest looks at zero budget filmmaking.

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  3. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460823/

    Here is a link to the imdb for the film, which has a list of everyone interviewed.

    The one they spent the most time with was Ron Atkins, who is sort of well known in the DTV sleaze area I guess.

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  4. May I suggest you watch 'Monsterland'? It says on the description of the doc. that it follows monster films but it's more about slashers and there were only two guys who creeped me out. (HR Giger and a 'serial killer enthusiast'. Also, there were great interviews with John Carpenter and (genius) Kim Newman which were brilliant to watch.

    - Zac

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  5. Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't see it on Netflix, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Giger is always creepy, but still a genius.

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