Five Things to Avoid in the Horror Genre
These days we’ve all got to watch our funds. The economy isn’t what it once was, and it sure isn’t thriving. A whole lot of us are stuck in cutting binds these days, and that means we’re monitoring the money we spend. If it’s possible to avoid a bad transaction, we do so. Hopefully this specific piece will aid you in the future, and prevent you from dumping your hard earned cash in places it shouldn’t be dumped.
Welcome to the wasteland of horror cinema. These are the territories to be ignored.
There was a time in which Troma released fun, low-budget flicks that showcased obvious passion. Audiences are required to travel back quite a few years to find that time. In fact, you’ve really got to head all the way back to the 1980’s to catch the company’s serious gems. The Toxic Avenger likely stands as the brand’s finest moment, but Igor and the Lunatics was a fun ride of insane violence, Class of Nuke ‘Em High was an absolute riotous blast and Combat Shock had an extremely dark charm going for it. But the 1980’s are long gone.
Troma has gone the route of cutting low-budget efforts down to ultra-micro-budget films. We’re talking pictures that appear to have cost little more than $1000 to put together. And even when you spot a contemporary Troma flick with a few more bucks behind it, it’s not exactly entertaining. Ever seen Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell? It’s miserable. The same could be said for the majority of Troma titles to land in our laps.
There was a time to pull for Lloyd Kaufman and Troma. That time has passed. The passion has faded from the brand, the product now clearly reflects this. There’s some irony here, as Kaufman has made a career of saving bucks in the production process, and today, genre fans are savvy enough to know to steer clear of anything Troma related, in order to save a few bucks!
While many would leap to point out the fact there are some entertaining qualities in Bloodrayne, it’s doubtful anyone would argue the fact that Uwe Boll is one of those directors to avoid like the plague. His work appears rushed, lazy and uninspired. Virtually everything the man touches feels obscenely cheap.
If you have your doubts about Boll and his work, look into the infamous House of the Dead. It’s a film that summons nausea and perplexes due to sheer neglect. Not only is this most likely the worst zombie film you’ve ever seen, it just might be the worst film in general. That’s not the kind of reputation you want to carry around Hollywood. Just the same, Boll has rightfully earned it, shooting himself in the foot time and again.
If creativity means absolutely nothing to you, and you’re comfortable with subpar production values, The Asylum may be your bag. If you’re extremely anti-Tinsel Town, and insist on boycotting every major release and summer blockbuster to hit the market, this is without question a brand for you. These guys make a living creating cheap carbon copies of nearly every major cinematic release to crawl out of Hollywood.
Interested in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters? Asylum’s got Hansel & Gretel for you. How about Snow White and the Huntsman? Asylum has you covered with Grimm’s Snow White. You missed Paranormal Activity? Asylum’s got your back: they’re offering forth, Paranormal Entity. That’s the way this vampiric company functions. They yank every quality idea they spot, change a few names, shoot a micro flick and try to fool careless consumers into grabbing the wrong DVD cover at Blockbuster. It’s a damn shame.
Ulli Lommel fits the same mold that houses the Uwe Bolls of the world. This guy empties a clip, and every shot is a misfire. Splitting time in front of the cameras and behind, Ulli Lommel just doesn’t turn out quality efforts. His films are not enjoyable, on any level, by any stretch of the imagination.
There’s no point in wasting too much of your time: if you read the Uwe Boll portion of this piece, and mash that right up with the above breakdown of The Asylum and their wretched penchant for unoriginal works, you’ve got Lommel’s career in a capsule. Passionless, devoid of imagination and generally lazy, you simply don’t want to bother with Ulli.
CGI Heavy Remakes
It’s probably safe to assume everyone saw this coming. The horror community is exhausted, spent from entertaining miserable remakes that pop up as frequently as the common cold. It feels as though cinematic big wigs are cowering in fear of original works. They’re after the safe bucks, and the safe bucks are often offered up by familiar brands. Shoot a new Halloween film for $20 million, and a $35-plus million theatrical return is almost guaranteed. Look beyond the rainbow at home video figures and there’s safe money there. Why step out on a limb for a John Dies at the End when you’ve got a new Nightmare on Elm Street in the barrel?
Here’s the deal, we’re learning to accept remakes for what they are: persistent bastard (typically) films that aren’t going anywhere any time soon. But here’s a word to studios who’re determined to force-feed crowds something they have no desire to absorb: cut the crap with the excessive CGI. You’re really killing potential here.
Craig Gillespie’s retelling of the now iconic Fright Night had a dark humor to it that was rather enjoyable. Colin Farrell turned in one of his strongest performances to date, and brought a new level of sinister sexuality to the character of Jerry Dandridge. Hell, even Anton Yelchin did a decent job as Charlie Brewster. But, then came… the “special” effects! Horrible cartoon-like, completely unrealistic and funny in that way no genre fan finds real humor in, digital work sunk a ship that could have sailed with flags raised in pride. How about the ill-advised remake of The Fog? That was one of the most embarrassing debacles in recent memory. The Thing prequel? Could have actually been reasonably entertaining… if not for those laughable visual effects.
This is a nasty trend that Hollywood seems determined to cling to. It’s not paying off. Fright Night made $18 million domestically at the box office. Somehow The Fog yanked down $29 million, and The Thing did a severely underwhelming $16 million. It’s broken. Fix it.
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