Do you like horror movies? How about documentaries of horror conventions and of the horror community, itself? From Cheezy Flicks comes yet another in a long line of films focusing on the eccentricities of horror fandom, taking a look at the allure of horror movies, creepy culture, and the dark passion incarnate for so many.
The first thing you will notice about this film is that there are several candid (convention card table) interviews with some of the horror greats such as Tom Savini (FROM DUSK UNTIL DAWN), Sid Haig (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS) Bill Moseley (THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD), Doug Bradley (HELLRAISER) and Dee Wallace (E.T.) Most of the actors talk about how much they enjoy working conventions for the chance to get in touch with their fans, all so they can admittedly sell them autographed pictures of themselves. I don’t have a problem with anyone earning an honest living on their talents or body of work, but sometimes the smugness evident in some of the actors who appear in this video seems based on profit more than passion. All of them seem to concur however, that horror fandom is actually positive safety valve for our society and that watching people get torn apart onscreen brings us closer together as a unified sub-culture of film fans, if not ultimately as consumers (more on this in a bit).
Of course, this film is not just an examination of horrorheads but of normal, everyday people who have a dark fancy for this or that. Included is a brief mention of an organization of devoted car club people who refurbish hearses for everyday use, a proprietor of The Lovecraft Bar, and Voltaire; a modern day renaissance musician of dark themes, who resembles a Goth version of Jesus wearing a Slash hat. Also included are a young couple who talk about how they believe that watching horror movies with their toddler in the room causes no great damage (and, in a rare bit of balance, an interview with a child psychologist who says this may not be a very good idea (duh)). The use of casual people to sell horror themes as a “cult” phenomenon (no pun intended) were perhaps my favorite part of this as it did just give the interview subjects an everyman quality which is sorely needed (in my opinion) to combat the common cultural myth that all horror heads are bad people; a stereotype Bill O Reilly himself helped to foster on the Jan 8th 2013 episode of The O’Reilly Factor, where he implied that most horror movie fans are into sadism and people everywhere should ostracize them for you’re the sake of their own personal safety.
In the wake of such continued, conservative backlash against a genre of movies, as well as the ticket buying public who enjoys them, I can see that the basic message of this DVD is something that is needed, and if they would have spent more time focused on everyday fans I would have rated this higher merely as a public service for the horror community in the hopes that more people would view its positive message. Most of us aren’t really bad people! We just have a taste for badass films.
However, I do have one major complaint about it and that is the fact that much like the horror calendar featured in the Cheezy Flicks documentary WALKING DEAD GIRLS this film seems to be a hidden advertisement for Cheezy Flicks themselves. That’s right, amidst of all of these normal, everyday people who are using horror themed hobbies for fun and profit; they have a backstage interview with none other than the guy who is creating a collection of horror themed pinup girls for sale on their very site. Again, I have no problem with people turning a buck with whatever legal weirdness they are into, but this secretive, shameless promotion kind of disintegrates this into an infomercial for other Cheezy Flick product and makes all the other interviews just seem like filler. If you must sell me something, do what Full Moon does; pad the beginning of every DVD with advertisements for replicas, T shirts and other form of paraphernalia before the disc menu even loads. It’s annoying admittedly, but at least it’s honest. For deceptive business practices, and not only exposing all horror lovers as mere consumers of a product, but then trying to exploit them as such, I am giving this one out of five. As a stand-alone product, this DVD fails to delight, yet, had it been offered as a clearly labeled “promotional gift” that was included free with any order, this DVD would have been rated much higher and might have actually been desirable.
Special features include a trailer for this product, a discussion between the director and the producer, a music video by Toxic Zombie and a collection of random passerby naming their favorite horror movie.
Buy this here if you are so inclined.