With the glut of found footage, mocumentaries and ghost hunter TV shows one could forgive the average movie-goer for being numb to the whole concept of ‘journalistic’ chronicles of actual events as a way to tweak their horror bone. I myself seem to be turning a cold shoulder to many of the latest offerings from the documentary or near documentary-style area of the genre. “Paranormal Activity 3”, “Apollo 18”, TV’s “The River” are all ideas that would have had me lining up 10 years ago; in today’s climate the best I can muster is a ‘Meh, maybe I’ll catch it streaming on Netflix’.
Every so often I see a film that claws open my primal dread and makes me question the location of the moral Mendoza line with regards to graphic subject matter and content. When this happens I find it helpful to pull back and remind myself that the most demented minds of the cinematic world have nothing on the ones who have committed their nightmares to canvas, wood and plaster. Painters the world over have been reflecting their most annihilating spiritual and existential fears on walls and durable cloth for centuries unnumbered.
I don’t know about you but the pages of “Men’s Magazines” have always seemed a paltry tease to me. Too often they feature interchangeable nymphettes with immaculate, post-orthodonture smiles, jelly cutlets in their brassieres and misted bronze flesh that bounces light like a forgotten hotdog rolling into oblivion on a carnival cooker. To be frank, I want my objectification to be more objective.
Here is part 2 of my joint venture with our music guru Drew, enjoy!
* Note the version of "Subway Song" in the video is from a different session than the one that appears on the "Three Imaginary Boys/ Boys Don't Cry" album. As such it is missing a pay-off component,though the tone is much the same*
The screen goes up, the headphones on, ITunes open, hit shuffle, then unwrap Firefox, Chrome, or Safari and you’re off. The soundtrack for your daily bill paying, gaming, or noodling session online is whatever Apple’s ‘random’ algorithm decides that it will be. The preceding scenario describes the general way in which most people I know, who aren’t exercising, connect with music these days. And truthfully, I too love to have a score to alleviate the monotony of tasks most dull, but I remember a time when the music was the event.
Photos are far scarier than video or motion pictures. There I said it. My opinion on this arises from the fact that through my years I have seen a number of things in film and video that have disturbed me but few of them plagued my thoughts for more than an hour or so afterwards. By contrast there are still photographs that trouble me when they pop to mind years later.
So, I’ll start this list by saying most of these films may not actually be true knock-offs. There are no character names lifted from other films, no direct copying of plots across from bigger blockbusters and only one of the titles featured here references the film that inspired it. That said, none of these sleazy pleasers can boast that they got there first with their ideas, though some of the variations on theme and presentation make these films more memorable than their source material.
Some see the internet as a vast wellspring of promise, hope and resources. I prefer to look at it as a boundary-less ward that houses my grimmest preoccupations in great number. I have laid these dark fascinations over top of all the more legitimate applications for the medium. For instance, some people view live webcams as a unique chance to viddy a different part of our world and pick up on the organic pulses and rhythms of another place. Still others see webcams as a chance to discuss the themes of Pablo Neruda’s work with furtive Peruvian teens in their underwear.
If you are like me you love short films for their ability to take chances and maximize small budgets for impact. Below are 5 shorts that I found very memorable and better still they are all available to watch online... legally. They range from unapologetically profane to creepy fun; you can watch the whole lot in under 30 minutes and feel like you have had your decency undermined and, in at least one case, your lunch ruined.