|studio||FortuneTeller Films/Image Entertainment|
|director||Christopher P. Garetano|
|writer||Christopher P. Garetano|
|starring||Ron Atkins, John Bloom, Mark Borchardt, John Brodie, Sid Haig, Herschell Gordon Lewis|
|tagline||Movie Making Is No Way To Spend A Life|
|trailer 1||Trailer #1|
I think most of us hardcore horror fans would agree that the state of most of the horror film industry lately…well, blows. Whether it’s a studio film (and those are the worst offenders) or the indies, there is just not a whole lot out there that has made a huge impact on horror fans lately. The high expectations for recent films such as “The Devil’s Rejects”, “Land of the Dead”, “The Amityville Horror” and so many others makes one wonder what is going on with horror these days? Documentarian and creator of the horror magazine “Are You Going?”, Christopher P. Garetano has put together a fascinating, often irreverent, often deadly serious look at the world of the indie horror movie in his latest film, “Horror Business”. And horror films fans should really take a look at this one.
Garetano spent two years following the exploits and filmmaking of such indie filmmakers as Ron (“Necromaniac”) Atkins, Mark (“Scare Me“) Borchardt, David (“Catharsis“) Stagnari, John (“Dark Night of the Soul“) Brodie, animator John (“Chirpy“) Goras and SFX makeup artist Tate (“Zombie Honeymoon“) Steinsiek and the results are hilarious, encouraging and depressing. Garetano also interviewed such horror veterans as Herschell Gordon Lewis, whose advice to filmmakers is to make a movie FOR the audience, NOT for yourself and “The Devil’s Rejects” Sid Haig who gives his opinion on when a horror movie goes too far. Cult movie critic Joe Bob Briggs offers his three rules of filmmaking which are hilarious, Troma king Lloyd Kaufman stops by and “Fangoria” editor Tony Timpone gives his insight on the state of horror today versus when he first started at “Fangoria”.
The film is not your typical documentary, filled with “talking heads”. Garetano follows his subjects as they drive around their respective cities: Milwaukee in Borchardt’s case and Las Vegas with Atkins. He visits in their homes, goes on-set, behind-the-scenes, meets family members. But the bottom line with everyone he speaks with is the drive and the passion it takes to make it even a little bit in the cutthroat film industry. He interviews some very young film fans and asks them what they want to be when they grow up and, naturally, they all want to make movies. He even opens his film with every young filmmaker’s first experience – making a horror movie with their siblings or friends in their backyard with dad’s movie camera.
But then it’s back to the reality – he talks with Canadian Brian Singleton who has had to return from Florida to live with his parents and try to continue his dream with no money. Mark Borchardt’s mom is helping him finance his film. Some of the films being made are amateurish, others a bit more polished but at the heart of “Horror Business” is the degree of passion these artists feel about what they are doing. Some of the filmmakers are egotistical to a laugh-out-loud degree while others are quiet and more grounded and realistic about the business they have chosen to be in. One thing they all seem to have in common though, is a love for such classic horror films as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Last House on the Left”, both films being mentioned by all of the filmmakers as having a huge impact on them when they were young.
These filmmakers aren’t poseurs or auteurs – they are regular guys who loved being scared as kids and want to scare moviegoers today. There are some brief discussions about why we enjoy being scared, how horror movies are a catharsis from the horrors of everyday life, how they show us our own mortality but basically Garetano has made a thoroughly entertaining film that takes us inside the minds of five disparate horror filmmakers and shows us what they go through to make their and our dreams (or nightmares) come true.