Sunday, 27 September 2009

Micro Budget Horror- A Very Guilty Pleasure

Of late I have been devouring micro budget horror movies faster than a cheap zombie picks at fake guts. I can't get enough of them. They are terrible films, yes, but they are films nonetheless. You have to respect the makers of these films, you really do. While many people the world over have ideas for a film, few actually manage to get their arses off the forums and actually do something. Okay, so many of these films are utter trash, made for peanuts and shot with a hand-held camcorder, but hey, these people did it and have a movie out. Have you?

Micro budget horror is an acquired taste, and possibly much better when drunk, but I can't help but love the crap I've been watching. While a great many of these films follow the standard slasher route a la Halloween (Such as 'Butchered' and 'The Attendant', for example), there are some that come with a good dose of originality and some actual skill involved. Plus, it is interesting to see just how many filmmaking tasks each individual can pull off.

A couple come to mind from the stack I've viewed recently. First up would be Live Feed from 2006, which I watched with an old friend over several bottles of wine last week. Yeah, the acting is generally poor, but the effects were pretty good, the pacing was quite decent and the plot was better than a good few big budget horror outings of late. It may have helped that we were getting a tad incoherent while watching it, but it certainly had enough in the way of gore, outrageous set pieces and daft cast members to keep us entertained.

The other one that has really stuck out from my adventures in bargain-bin schlock is Blood Gnome, a fun little potboiler from 2004. For starters, the DVD itself is impressive as it carries extras to match your average big budget release. The film itself is stupid, but stupid in a fun way. A crime scene photographer starts seeing tiny carnivorous critters at murder scenes, which are invisible to everyone else. The film follows his attempts to get everyone to believe the things he's seeing, while the body count mounts up in quite impressive style (despite the bin liners used as set dressing in some scenes...hehehe). The cast has a couple of strong members, and the creature effects are great fun. There's even an appearance by B-movie queen Julie Strain, during the climactic gorefest at a shoddily realized BDSM event. Yeah. Mad, but a giggle.

Of the two, Live Feed is a better film, but it's still a bit of a chore to sit through if you're used to people that can act... That said, I loved it, just as I've also loved crap like Jigsaw, Skinned Deep, Maniacal, Hunting Humans and all of the other filmic atrocities my TV has been subjected to lately.

Give these things a chance. I know they're hard to sit through, but there are some gems in the scene to be had. Yeah, there are a ton of them that are a waste of time and money, but as long as these people try to put something together and get it released, I'm willing to give it a chance. I should really, lest an army of cheap rubber gnomes comes for me in the night.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Starting Over

So. Myself and my lady have moved to Nottingham, and my comfort zone, aka Sheffield, my home town for all of my 31 years on this planet thus far, is no longer around me. This is weird, but it's cool. There are kinks to work out, like not having our broadband connected yet (yay for cafes with free WiFi!), but things are going pretty well.

It's weird. Moving, even though it's not really all that far away from the city that spawned me, has given me enough distance from the past to start thinking about where I am with life right now. It's a pretty good place, actually. We have a nice place, are starting to meet a few people, and finding our feet in a new city.

That's not to say that this is being taken lightly. Man, I'm kind of terrified, to tell you the truth. This is a whole different world to me, and I'm feeling a little out of my depth. I'm slap bang in the middle of a section of town awash with fashionable people who seem to have been chiseled from a far more attractive subtance than myself. I feel a bit like an alien amongst all of these good looking, well dressed denizens of a highly trendy society.

In short, I am craving some grime. Nottingham has its grime, but it's not the grime of home.

We visited Sheffield last weekend, and saw a huge number of friends we'd missed since moving. I guess that being away from the place is making me appreciate things more. Things I had, things I have, and things yet to come along. Starting over is scaring the hell out of me, but it's kind of nice.

Normal service will be resumed shortly. Lots to post for you.