Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Horror Hotlist of Bad People (Fever Night)

Every now and then, I like to turn the spotlight over to the members of the indie horror community, and let them shine it on their influences and favorite flicks.  For this edition, I tapped Jordan Harris and Andrew Schrader of Bad People Motion Pictures to see what gets their spooky mojo working.  Once you've browsed the list, click here to read my review of their film Fever Night AKA Band of Satanic Outsiders, or here to view the official webpage.
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1) Am i Fucking Crazy or Is This Place Haunted?

  • The Shining
  • The Haunting
  • The Innocents
All these movies deal with people who are just completely insane, and the scary devices are so simple... Just faces on the other side of glass or something. We stole one of the coolest shots in Fever Night straight from The Innocents... with a face on the other side of glass that moves in and out...

It's a great dynamic when you have a character that may be crazy, because you never know if the movie is taking the perspective of a lunatic. Low budget filmmakers should watch all of these just for the sound, too, 'cause it's so simple and effective... like a lunatic.

2) Documentary/Dramas are Scary, Too!

  • JFK
  • The Thin Blue Line
  • 9/11: The Rise of Martial Law
  • Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
Most people don't think of JFK as a horror film, but that movie scares the shit out of me... So do the others, and several other docs like Silver Lake Life: The View From Here. Not many have heard of this one, but it's the saddest movie I've ever seen, and I'll never watch it again. Although I do own it... it's a documentary made by two gay men who take care of each other while both are dying from AIDS. They make a pact to film the dead body when they find it... enough said.

These movies touch on some kind of horror you can't get from horror genre flicks. They are all frightful, produce revolting feelings, etc. but they are about collective political fears as opposed to collective sexual or religious fears... or those fears like being physically tortured to death. The way we classify movies in general seems vague, but especially horror movies. The newer trend of conspiracy movies are really interesting in terms of how they interact with the audience, too. They put you in a very awkward place socially and politically. Whether or not you agree with their arguments is beside the point--what's cooler is how they divide people, make you take a side, and keep you on guard.

3) Carnival of Souls 

We watched this during pre-production and modeled Warren's ghost's make-up from Fever Night after it. It's very simple, just black and white on someone's face; that's all you need, and it's much scarier than the ghouls/zombies today. Actually, the whole movie is simple as hell... again, is the protagonist crazy? And it has an awesome score.
    
4) De Palma Flicks 

Movies like Carrie, Sisters, Blow Out, and Murder a la Mod make me realize the incredible potential of movies as both art and escapism. Murder is especially interesting since it was his first movie, and the opening is great. It's got all the De Palma goodies, but on such a small budget, and he's really trying hard.

5) Vampire's Kiss 

The only thing actually scary in this movie is Nicolas Cage's facial expressions--overall, it's just uncomfortably hilarious (fast forward through any scene without Nic Cage... or not, it's your life). For more great vampire monologues, watch another Bad People favorite, the Warhol-produced, Morrissey-directed soft-core horror porn, Blood for Dracula... "The blood of these whores... is killing me!"

6) The Brood 

My favorite Cronenberg because this is the one in which I feel he most successfully presents a relatable world in the beginning of the film that gradually depreciates into bizarro mutant insanity.

7) Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

This is one of those films you can only watch every once in a while because it definitely pushes the limits of entertainment--just below Cannibal Holocaust on the list of making you feel like shit while you watch it, but afterward you feel like you've watched something really amazing... then you realize every scene was one shot.

8) Suspiria

Is this movie perfect or did I just crane up into a light bulb? High art meets low art at its very best. This is the surreal, saturated aesthetic we strove for when making Fever Night.

9) Zucker's American Carol, Fox News etc. 

It's not the politics, it's the attitude of disinformation, manipulation, propaganda, and traditionalism that scares the heckballs out of Bad People everywhere, but we can't stop watching it... Chances are, Fox is on in the background at Bad People HQ right now.

10) Evil Dead 2 

Intentional/unintentional humor that will never be topped, no matter how hard many try (including Bad People). For actual unintentional humor, look to the little known sub-genre of crawlspace dwellers- start with Bad Ronald and Hider in the House (with Gary Busey in top gear).

--Bad People

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