Thursday, March 15, 2007

Horror Business (2007)

I finally got to check out Horror Business last night and let me tell ya, it was well worth the wait! It is a great peek into the tough business of indie horror filmmaking. Director Christopher Garetano has created a wonderful film that gives a filmmaker's prospective on how and why independent horror filmmakers do what they do with such gusto and passion.

"Horror Business is an outrageously entertaining documentary about guerrilla horror filmmakers and the bizarre culture that drives them to pursue their dreams. In 2003, filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano began what would become a two year journey to discover what possesses people to become horror filmmakers... Armed with nothing but a camera and a microphone, Chris traveled all over the United States to visit independent filmmakers on and off their sets. In Horror Business you will witness that two year journey unfold and meet some truly independent filmmakers including Mark Borchardt (American Movie) and Dave Gebroe (Zombie Honeymoon) along with monster movie personalities like Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast), Joe Bob Briggs (cult film critic and author), and Sid Haig (Spider Baby, The Devil's Rejects). Horror Business is a timeless essay of popcorn generation nostalgia and behind-the-scenes moments that just may prove making really is no way to spend a life..."

This is a great documentary, one that deserves to be seen by horror fans and film aficionados alike. Garetano captures the trials, tribulations and triumphs of his subjects objectively and with little intrusion. This results in an intimate atmosphere where the filmmakers can speak their minds truthfully and really show the audience what it is like to be in their shoes.

I loved getting an insider's look at the unglamorous, bloody, messy, chaotic and 18-hour (if not longer) long days of an independent horror filmmaker. As a reviewer, it was interesting to see how many good intentions, passions and how much hard work goes into creating a horror movie. Even if I don't like a particular movie, I can still appreciate all the hard work that went into getting it not only made, but distributed. Each filmmaker interviewed offered his unique perspective on horror and films and what inspired or drove him to become involved in making movies. The directors that Garetano focused on were all extremely interesting and I loved hearing each of their takes on different subjects.

Other people besides directors were also interviewed, including special fx and makeup people who work on independent horror flicks as well as vendors and Average Joe horror fans at a horror convention. Garetano included some interviews with more recognizable people in the horror biz, including Lloyd Kaufman of Troma, Tony Timpone of Fangoria, actor Sid Haig, critic Joe Bob Briggs, Herschell Gordon Lewis (the "Godfather of Gore") and a few others. All, from the fans to the famous, contributed thoughtful comments on the genre and where they think it is going (not to mention where it has been).

My only complaint was that Garetano didn't interview any women directors of horror films and didn't include too many "women in horror." If he had, this could have resulted in a wholly different perspective on the genre and would have been an interesting addition. Women love horror too, and I felt this fact was sadly ignored.

All in all, though, Horror Business is an entertaining and insightful documentary that is a must for any fan of independent cinema. Horror fans will delight at the "backstage" access they are given and will appreciate the hard knock life of an independent horror filmmaker. George Romero said it best about this film: "Anyone who wants to write or direct should see this film. Those who have never dreamed of being filmmakers should see it for its humor and its pure entertainment value."

Available on Amazon!

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