Thursday, May 6, 2004

Review – The American Nightmare

The interviews that form the meat of this documentary about seventies-era low-budget horror movies are downright fascinating (for the most part). But given that many of the subjects either haven’t worked at all or haven’t done anything substantial for many a year, perhaps they didn’t have much better to do than sit down and give good interviews. Romero, Carpenter, Hooper, Craven, and Cronenberg all had interesting things to say about the early days of indie horror. I found Tom Savini’s remarks about the connections between his work and the real-life horrors he experienced in Vietnam especially compelling. However, a fair amount of screen time also ends up squandered on commentary from academics (not the end of the world, but not as good as chat from the guys who were really responsible for the sub-genre) and montages of footage of nuclear explosions, Vietnamese casualties, race riots and so on. Result: anecdotal information is great, but attempts to prove some bigger point from it all come across as more than a little heavy-handed. Mildly amusing

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