A message from the editor
The Indie Digital Buzz is a new feature from Monsters at Play and Horrorview that allows our readers to get the inside scoop straight from the source in the world of indie horror. I felt that indie horror was an untapped medium and not given the proper respect it surely deserves. Yes, there are those indie horror flicks out there that are slapped together in a heartbeat and passed off as quality cinema, while they remain complete and utter garbage. Then there are those who really enjoy the craft of filmmaking and pour their heart, sweat and tears into each production. Most of these people work normal 9-5 jobs and make movies on the weekend as a hobby. They spend little money on these flicks and they make little money from them, but the films speak for themselves. I felt our readers could benefit from some inside knowledge including anecdotes from the indie movie set and info on upcoming titles that may be of interest. I hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as I have. Expect to see 3 or 4 of these a month, enjoy!
...and don't forget, Beware the Monsters!!!
Lawrence P. Raffel, Editor-in-Chief, Monsters at Play
The idea of this column is to bring to light some of the great independent movies that are coming to DVD. Now when I say independent, I am not talking about movies that were financed by Tom Hanks or Drew Barrymore or any other high profile celebrity. No, none of these. I am talking about the people who slave over a script for months or years, finance the project them selves or through family and friends, shoot it themselves, and sometimes act in the project. These titles have budgets that would not even cover catering on one day of a Hollywood movie. A typical budget on a true independent project could range from $100 to $500,000 and they've been shot on anything from VHS to 35mm film. The thing that sets these movies apart is the amount of love, blood, sweat, tears and dedication that goes into an independent production. The hard work is evident when the finished project is viewed.
A lot of these great movies are coming or are already out on DVD. I have an inside track to quite a few of these titles and I really hope to open some eyes and draw in new fans to these fantastically entertaining movies.
There have been great strides made in recent years in the distribution of these titles. Sub Rosa Studios has been able to get titles like these all over the world and in many major retail stores. The Internet and sites like Monsters at Play are another major reason why indie movies are gaining popularity at a terrific rate. These factors coupled with the fact that the current slew of indie moviemakers grew up in the age of the camcorder make the recipe of success definite.
I have 15 years experience in the independent movie scene. I have performed the duties of everything from grip to director. Each week I would like to share a story with you about my time in the scene. This story may be about something that happened on the set or during any stage of the production process. I feel as if I have a lot to share with budding filmmakers and fans in general. In addition to my story I will also bring to light a few of the great indie titles that are on DVD.
A Story from the Set: Murder Investigation
I personally was not there for any of what I am about to tell you. But it happened to a close friend and business partner of mine, Eric Stanze. The story you are about the read is real and VERY insane.
Our crew was shooting special effects for a movie called I SPIT ON YOUR CORPSE, I PISS ON YOUR GRAVE. It was a gory mess including an ax chopping into a body repeatedly and a gunshot to the crotch. The basement was covered in blood and chunks. Everyone cleaned the mess up, filled three trash bags full of body parts and blood and meat. Eric took the trash bags out to the dumpster that was located behind his St. Louis apartment. And then they continued hosing down the basement.
The next morning, Eric was awakened by a police officer banging on his front door. The officer told Eric that neighbors had torn open the trash bags in the dumpster, found the fake body parts, and thought they had discovered a murder. Eric explained to the officer that he makes movies, and that the body parts were just special effects props. The officer had a good laugh, took Eric's business card and left...
But it was not over...
Another cop came to the door about 20 minutes later. He said that Eric had to come out to the "crime scene" behind the apartment where the dumpster is located. The officer's sergeant wanted to ask Eric about the bloody find in the dumpster.
Eric talked to the sergeant and explained his situation. But soon, there were five or six more guys there with big biohazard rubber gloves poking around in the dumpster at Eric's special effects and Karo-blood murder victims.
This all escalated to the point where, at about 9:30 that morning, cops and homicide detectives were searching Eric's apartment!
After the searching, Eric had to return to the "crime scene" and explain everything to the MEDICAL EXAMINER who had just arrived (she was poking through the dumpster in her own biohazard rubber gloves). Everyone was cool about the situation once they knew what was going onů except for the medical examiner, who just glared at Eric. At the end, everyone was smiling, cracking jokes about the situation, shaking Eric's hand, and then rolling off to solve real crimes.
In the 24 hours that followed this, it became a story reported on in the local papers. Eric received calls for interviews on all the local networks and radio stations, plus another radio station on Baltimore! And then the nation wide Associated Press picked up the story and phone-interviewed Eric. They sent soundbites out to over 300 news radio stations across the country. They also sent the story over the wire to every newspaper in the country. The story was also reported on CNN!
Like I told ya... it is true but insane!
This weeks featured title(s):
Synopsis from the back of the box:
A deranged woman with amnesia is hypnotized so that she may explore her own mind. While trying to recover lost memories, she finds that her mind is a nightmare landscape of violence and horror. Recollections of reality mesh with the terrifying otherworldly images, deepening the mystery of this woman's blood-soaked past.
Directed by: John Specht
Run time: 82 minutes
Layer format: DVD-5
Audio: Dolby Digital
Picture Quality: The movie was shot on professional DV-Cam, so the picture quality is clean and crisp. No sign of any encoding flaws.
Facts: The original title for INSANIAC was SCREAM FOR AIR.
Extras: Director and crew commentary. Music details. Bonus short movie "Satan Eats Lunch". Trailers.
Easter Eggs: None.
What the critics are saying:
"...a dazzling psychological nightmare and a moving love story that packs quite a punch."
-FLIPSIDE MOVIE EMPORIUM
"INSANIAC is a cleverly written and executed vision."
"...seductively charming, disarmingly vulnerable, and ultimately dangerous."
Read The Monsters review of INSANIAC here!