I love a good horror anthology film. Love love love 'em.
Some past faves have been...
BLACK SABBATH - The Drop Of Water still haunts my subconscious. So grand. Fantastic Bava.
TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972) - Cushing. Peter Cushing. :)
THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD - Waxwork love. Oh...and more Cushing, Lee and Pitt!
CREEPSHOW - "Where's my cake, Bedelia?! It's Father's Day...and I want my CAKE!"
I'm sure I could go on if I wasn't being sleepy and lazy, but you know the drill. You have a central tale and several small tales wrapped within it. When done properly, you get a "campfire tales" feel going. Scary stories told to get the goosebumps going. I love them.
Well, this recent crop of campfire tales that we have rolling in now fills me with a similar feeling. Sure, the general feel has been updated and usually involves some sort of tech - smartphone or hand held cameras all the rage, of course. But, when the story is solid and the overall tale is well told, it can be a lot of fun.
There is a bit of backlash going against them now. I, of course, blame the internet in general. People are safe behind their computers and tick-tack their hate behind a mask of anonymity. I admit it - I've done it myself, but I've cured myself. How? I simply say, "Well, at least THEY have something completed and out in the world to VIEW. You can talk crap about their work when your work doesn't consist of corporate logos and business magazine adverts, Johnson!" That seemed to do it for me and I have far more compassion for creative works now. :)
The VHS movies make me happy. I mean, come on. You have the creepy house thing going for the wrap stories, then you have a series of nightmares that unfold one after one telling tale after tale of horrific goodness. Hell, nothing wrong with that. Now, I get that some people can't take the camera work and that's fine. But...just don't watch it. To me, it's like someone saying, "I fucking HATE movies about dogs!" Then, they watch Benji and just rail against it. LOL! They point out that there is a Skype conversation in the film and wag their fingers at it and say tisk tisk. Um...do you mean the same segment that has a woman thinking her house is haunted and seeing some HELLA CREEPY CRAP in her apartment?!?!?! WHY are you bringing the format into play here? It's creepy ghost coolness! Gimmie more and stop bringing formats into it. What if one of the segments was really BETA and not VHS? Who gives a shit? :)
Sign me up for more of these, man.
And THE ABCs OF DEATH was a lot of fun as well. I'll be right there when the second one comes out. 26 letters. 26 Directors. Numerous, nasty ways to die with very creative story lines and styles. Awesome. Yet, there were people that said, "There were 26 little stories in this film - some were like five minutes long!" Uh...yeah....2 hour film....26 films based on the alphabet....get it? Did they expect a 13 hour film packed with 30 minute movies? Again, I loved this format and thought it was energetic and interesting. My only regret was that I didn't make it out to a theater to see it with a crowd...though watching it on VOD at home around 11pm with my home made popcorn and a glass (...or two...) of good whiskey was a fun way to watch as well.
The Theater Bizarre was a fun ride as well. A slightly odd wrap segment with fun and entertaining short tales unfolding for us to view. Sure thing - give 'em to me.
While I do love a 90 minute story format, these small anthology films allow for some fun horror exploration on a smaller level. This allows for a story to get in, tell it's tale and get out. Tight ideas that are in and out like nightmare ninjas. I totally dig the format. It also allows for a different flow. A faster delivery of the message or punchline.
Long and the short - you have some super talented folks making films. They love making these films and love that we love to watch them. They long to entertain us. They make a real effort to create things that we like while holding on to the spark that makes them who they are.
You have the right to dislike the work, sure. You could hate it as well. However, keep in mind that these are just works of fiction meant to entertain. Save the venom for people who beat people and animals, perhaps.
Let's celebrate the fact that people can give us genre goodness and that we can see it in the theater or the comfort of our homes. I, for one, love that...so very much.
I'll hop down off my soapbox now. I think I'll go stream some of the VHS segments again.