Friday, October 5, 2007

cereal killer (ok, that's really lame but it's all i could think of, the movie wasn't that interesting)...


Last night for my 31 films of Halloween I wanted to check out something a little more recent than the last few entries. Most current horror movies (and by current I mean like the past 15 or so years) don't really do it for me. You get a few diamonds in the rough here and there, but for every "May," "Love Object," "Ginger Snaps," "The Attic Expeditions" or "Bug" you get four "Saws", two "Hostels," a "Captivity" and maybe a couple of "I Know What You Did Last Summers." So last night I dared dip into the deep, deep barrel of super low budget horror movies that have emerged since the DV revolution took hold, and came up with 2003's "Serial Slayer." Honestly, I don't have much to say about this flick. It was neither especially good, nor especially bad. On a technical level, I didn't much care for it. I have no problem with people shooting movies on DV, sometimes I even prefer the look it to. But the filmmakers (or is that videomakers?) here made the mistake of shooting on DV as though they were shooting on film, with the result looking kind of amateurish. DV is its' own beast and requires different visual techniques to really work. So that, I gotta say, was probably "Serial Slayer's" biggest detriment. On the plus side, this movie had an excellent cast, including some surprisingly well-known actresses in the leads- Mary Lynn Rajskub from "Mr. Show," Melanie Lynskey from "Heavenly Creatures" and tv actress Sheeri Rappaport (who I recognized, somewhat embarassingly, from the super chintzy low budget horror film "Little Witches" from like 10 years ago). There's also a cameo by Judith o'Dea, who played Barbara, the female lead in the original "Night of the Living Dead." The good acting helped this movie alot, and I especially enjoyed Rajskub, who had some of the flick's funnier moments, like trying to make a run for her car while holding a skillet over her head for protection, or putting a knife with the titular slayer's blood on it in a plastic baggie and very carefully marking it as important evidence (maybe you had to be there for that one). I think this movie, in which the three women find themselves under siege by a crossbow wielding killer, was inspired in part by people's reactions to the DC/Maryland sniper case from several years ago, which could be viewed as kind of tasteless, or as an attempt to work through social anxiety and cultural concerns on film, depending on how you look at it. In some ways, this film was way too slight to make me think about it much one way or the other, but that said I didn't necessarily dislike it either, but puts it in that kind of blah grey zone that means most of you will want to skip it, unless you're really interested in seeing what people are doing on mega low budgets that can still get picked up by a fairly large distributor (in this case, Lion's Gate). I'll leave it up to you, fright fans.

Meanwhile, I don't think I'll be able to watch anything tonight on account of I'm off in a little while to take in a midnight screening of Abel Ferrara's new film, "Go-Go Tales," at the New York Film Festival. Maybe if I don't wind up staying out too late I'll get a chance to check out another horror film before I go to bed, since the Ferrara film is, I think, a comedy (which should be really interesting as he's never really delved into that genre before, he's maybe one of the last filmmakers you might associate with comedy) but if not then tomorrow's post will be comics-related (I always come prepared!) and the next day's will be, if possible, on two movies. Exciting, right? blah blah blah blah blah...

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