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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hump-Day Harangue: Calling Out the After Dark HorrorFest, Part 1

This week I bring you a guest harangue, from long-time Vault Dweller and comrade in the world of the macabre, the mysterious and marvelous Marilyn Merlot. Marilyn is, I confess, much more versed in the notorious "8 Films to Die For" phenomenon than I, having subjected herself to almost all of them over the years. So I figured, with the fourth edition of HorrorFest headed our way, who better to rant on this yearly affront to our horror sensibilities than she? Enjoy...

The After Dark HorrorFest is a weekend of horror films that are supposedly considered too graphic or too disturbing for general audiences. At least that's the company line, and I must say, they have some great marketing skills. Too bad I can’t say the same for their movies. When you hear about movies that are "too graphic", any horror lover like me will run to the nearest theater. They are shown in roughly 500 theaters in 35 cities (unfortunately, these numbers are growing). Nevertheless, if HorrorFest is not coming to a city near you, consider yourself lucky.

8 films that would make you want to die, batch number one (2006):

  • Abandoned
  • Unrest
  • Penny Dreadful
  • The Gravedancers
  • The Hamiltons
  • Reincarnation
  • Dark Ride
  • Wicked Little Things

Some of these movies have all the right ingredients to make a good film, but fall completely flat, and fast. I like my B horror movies just like the next person, but these were far worse than that. Bad acting, no creep factor, very predictable, no nudity. If your film is going to be that bad, at least have someone get naked to keep my attention.

I think what kills me the most is how they market these movies as being too graphic and too disturbing, which is allegedly why they weren’t released to theaters. When in actuality, they were not released because they SUCK, in plain English. They went straight to DVD. Don’t worry folks, you don’t even need to go out and rent them if you want to try and prove me wrong. Because now, they're going straight to the Sci-Fi channel. Oh wait, I’m sorry, SyFy (don’t get me started on that one).

So out of all eight movies, which one do I think is the worst? My vote goes to Unrest. The "best" movie out of this list, if I had to pick, would be Penny Dreadful. To those who have watched these films, or those curious to do so, feel free to challenge me. I dare you.

Stay tuned for my take on the second installment of HorrorFest, as I bring you 8 more movies that would make you want to die!


Jordy Verrill + Eva Krupp said...

For some reason I love cheesy horror and these def. fall in that category...I have to admit that the first 2 times I saw Unrest I liked it..then quickly changed my view. I agree Penny Dreadful is the best but I think The Hamilton's and Dark Ride are the worst!

Woo Pig Brewey! said...

Personally I think Wicked Little Things and The Gravedancers are both good fun films. There are a few others I like a little and several I just don't like (Penny Dreadful being one of those). Every year has been like this for me... like some, dislike some. Big deal. I hope After Dark keeps giving us 8 films a year so we have a chance to form opinions. Thank you After Dark Films! Keep 'em coming.

Steve Ring said...

I've seen Gravedancers and Dark Ride. Dark Ride isn't too shabby. Gravedancers was idiotic.

Pax Romano said...

OFF TOPIC, Congratulations, you've been bit!!


Anonymous said...

MM here - I can't believe someone would actually sit thru Unrest twice. HUGE Kudos to you. I had a hard time getting thru it once. Seriously, Wicked Little Things was so predictible it was BLAH!

I like cheesy horror too, but, sometimes these films are hitting below the belt and are idiotic (nicely said Steve)

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