The FrightFest ICA all-nighter

Relive the horror of Frightfest 2009
Wolfshade
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Post by Wolfshade » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:23 pm

streetrw wrote:
[1] ZWOS was not an unpolished gem, it was an unpolished turd. (On the basis of the first twenty minutes before I bailed, at least - there was no evidence that it was going to get any better and even if it was about to break through to some kind of quality after the first reel, that it was going to be worth it. And, as I said at the time, I've never walked out in 25 years at the cinema - be it the dullest of Merchant Ivorys, the stupidest of slasher remakes, the impenetrablest of Peter Greenaways.)
I did get close to walking out of ZWOS after 20 minutes as well, cos the first 20 minutes were indeed shit, however it did actually get bizarrely entertaining after that, so it looks like you walked out just as it was about to vastly improve - overally it was quite a fun film....I'd recommend you watch the whole thing and then see if you still feel the same way about it.

I wouldn't say it had no business being at the Empire, maybe it should have been on the Discovery Screen and had something like Pontypool or Salvage in it's place on the main screen, but ZWOS was still better than quite a few of the August films I saw - namely Smash Cut, Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein Girl, Heirro, Giallo, Fragment and I Sell The Dead.

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Post by krispyg » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:21 pm

Very well reasoned I must say.
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Post by DavieT » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:46 pm

streetrw wrote:
Mr Bill wrote:Philestine! (insert appropriate smiley to convey playfull banter instead of personal criticism)

Zombie Women of Satan was an unpolished gem of truly independent, wing and a prayer film makeing. It's rare to find a film brought to fruition without studios, focus groups, censors and plain old good taste and quality control impacting the final product. With the enthusiasm to budget ratio so high, and the shameless exploitation agenda, it felt like the glory days of Troma were back, and they'd brought burlesque dancers! The sheer bravura behind the main players more than makes up for any uneven acting, and any failings in cinematography, editing and all round filmcraft, are explained by the low cost and excused by the sheer gusto that replaced them. And the entourage of busty zombie ladies near made my week.
Well, this is where we differ very slightly.

[1] ZWOS was not an unpolished gem, it was an unpolished turd. (On the basis of the first twenty minutes before I bailed, at least - there was no evidence that it was going to get any better and even if it was about to break through to some kind of quality after the first reel, that it was going to be worth it. And, as I said at the time, I've never walked out in 25 years at the cinema - be it the dullest of Merchant Ivorys, the stupidest of slasher remakes, the impenetrablest of Peter Greenaways.)

[2] The glory days of Troma never happened: everything they've put their name to has been tiresome, obnoxious garbage aimed at the lowest common denominator: indiscriminating teenagers with low standards who'll watch absolutely anything if it's got plastic tits and exploding heads in it. If Troma have any plus points on the ticksheet, it's for picking up Buddy Giovinazzo's incredible American Nightmare (Combat Shock) for distribution.

[3] What's so bad about quality control? What's wrong with having someone telling the "film-makers" - this doesn't work, that's not funny, this bit goes on too long, she can't act? What's so terrible about wanting to make something better? Conversely, what's so great about making a terrible movie? If you've got a shot at geting a film made, don't you really want it to be the best it can possibly be? (Was there anything in ZWOS that would trouble the censors unduly?)

[4] I'm not bothered about uneven acting, it's the absence of acting that annoys me. Uneven suggests there's some good and some bad - I didn't see any acting at all. And the lack of decent acting IS a problem that every low-budget horror movie faces and some fail to solve. You CAN skate round it with fairly bland characterisation and you CAN disguise it by upping the ratio of splattery screaming to heartfelt dialogue. Many actually bite the bullet and hire people who can give a decent enough line reading. But assuming that nobody cares, therefore we don't need to bother, is just showing contempt for the paying audience.

[5] Enthusiasm doesn't make up for incompetence, whether in brain surgery or film-making. Busty women in their underwear doesn't make up for it either.
Sure i like quality, well crafted, intelligent films on the whole, but now and then (maybe once per fest is enough), bring on the truly silly shit.
Nope - that's what Gorezone Weekend Of Terror is for! (If they'll screen Gutterballs they'll screen anything.) FF is supposed to showcase the best and ZWOS has no business being on the Empire screen - indeed it's got no business being on any screen outside the director's living room. At least it was on first thing so at least there was something better to do - even if it was just skulking round the West End - but if it's three in the morning and the film's walkout bad you can't even do that.

:)
Have to say that theres nothing in streetrw's post I dont agree with - very well argued :)

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Post by Mr Bill » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Wolfshade wrote:
streetrw wrote:
[1] ZWOS was not an unpolished gem, it was an unpolished turd. (On the basis of the first twenty minutes before I bailed, at least - there was no evidence that it was going to get any better and even if it was about to break through to some kind of quality after the first reel, that it was going to be worth it. And, as I said at the time, I've never walked out in 25 years at the cinema - be it the dullest of Merchant Ivorys, the stupidest of slasher remakes, the impenetrablest of Peter Greenaways.)
I did get close to walking out of ZWOS after 20 minutes as well, cos the first 20 minutes were indeed shit, however it did actually get bizarrely entertaining after that, so it looks like you walked out just as it was about to vastly improve - overally it was quite a fun film....I'd recommend you watch the whole thing and then see if you still feel the same way about it.

I wouldn't say it had no business being at the Empire, maybe it should have been on the Discovery Screen and had something like Pontypool or Salvage in it's place on the main screen, but ZWOS was still better than quite a few of the August films I saw - namely Smash Cut, Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein Girl, Heirro, Giallo, Fragment and I Sell The Dead.
Street makes an articulate and compelling argument that was a joy to read, but Wolfshade has a good point here.

I really enjoyed Street's thorough analysis of where we "differ very slightly" and it sounds like we do.
I will always have a soft spot for Troma and all they represent, that may well be a pretty low denominator, but given their unpopularity i don't think it is a common one. I rather like an "inpenetrable Greenaway", but i don't understand why a "dull merchant ivory" or "stupid slasher remake" is more worthy of watching through to the end than something as esoteric and rare as ZWOS.
If ZWOS is the first film someone walks out of in 25 years of cinemagoing then even that itself makes the film remarkable, and their harsh verdict on the first third of "an unpolished turd" somewhat underinformed.

Wolfshade points out that there were a few disappointing features over the weekend and ZWOS wasn't the worst, also the most passionate negative responses to ZWOS seem to be from those who walked out and missed most of it.
I could also be persuaded that the Discovery Screen may have been a better place to put it, but i do still think there is room at the fest for films of its nature.

I still like Zombie Women of Satan, and the way it has divided oppinions at FFX.
I love reading the articulate and intelligent arguments against it and the near-manifesto for all round quality and standards in film makeing.
But for me to take them without a pinch of salt they will have to come from someone who has seen the whole film.

Does anyone know when it's comeing out on dvd? I think street and me both want copies. (insert friendly smiley of your choice)
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Post by Mr Bill » Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:48 am

PeterPan wrote:You and your masturbating clown fetish...... It's just wierd you know!
It's true, i do like funny looking wankers, so i'm looking forward to seeing you again on the 31st. (insert smiley with clown nose)
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Post by PeterPan » Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:59 am

Mr Bill wrote:
PeterPan wrote:You and your masturbating clown fetish...... It's just wierd you know!
It's true, i do like funny looking wankers, so i'm looking forward to seeing you again on the 31st. (insert smiley with clown nose)
God damn you Mr Bill............... :lol:

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Post by capthowdy66 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:35 pm

Nope - that's what Gorezone Weekend Of Terror is for! (If they'll screen Gutterballs they'll screen anything.) FF is supposed to showcase the best and ZWOS has no business being on the Empire screen - indeed it's got no business being on any screen outside the director's living room. At least it was on first thing so at least there was something better to do - even if it was just skulking round the West End - but if it's three in the morning and the film's walkout bad you can't even do that.

:)[/quote]

Hmm so you think Wrong Turn 3 is showcasing the best in horror? :lol: :shock: :lol: I would rather watch gutterballs.
Last edited by capthowdy66 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Satans Puppy » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:48 pm

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Post by streetrw » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:04 pm

capthowdy66 wrote:Hmm so you think Wrong Turn 3 is showcasing the best in horror? :lol: :shock: :lol: I would rather watch gutterballs.
Well, possibly, possibly not. Haven't seen it so I don't really know. But it's made by professionals rather than enthusiastic but talentless amateurs, so it should be functionally competent if nothing else.

That said, I just caught a mini-trailer for Jennifer's Body (in one of Dave's ad breaks) and it looks terrible.... May well be worth a kip at that point. :(
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Post by sherbetbizarre » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:40 pm

Personally, I'd place "functionally competent" lower than anything made by amatuers :)

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Post by krispyg » Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:04 pm

Yeah but you may just enjoy it, I learned a long time ago how important it was to form my own opinions, films I love I show to other people and they see nothing in it that endears it to them. Such is life.

So with FF I trust that the guys see something in a film which they feel people may like, granted maybe not everyone but there is something about that film that may be good, it may be funny, enjoyable or just good fun with a FF audience.

I have seen some amazing films since finding FF 2 years ago and yet I have also seen some bobbins rubbish along the way too.

That's why I love it, not just the films but the atmosphere of it all
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Post by PeterPan » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:38 pm

Yep true. I've re-watched a number of films shown at FrightFest since and well, it it's just not the same. Honestly I can't imagine sitting through Frankenstein girl vs vampire girl, if I hadn't seen it at FrightFest!

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Post by Mr Bill » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:03 am

sherbetbizarre wrote:Personally, I'd place "functionally competent" lower than anything made by amatuers :)
I agree wholeheartedly. "functional competence" adds very little to poor films, in fact it merely creates a further veneer of mediocrity.
Amateur films, no matter how poor or patchy, have the potential for flashes of maverick brilliance or singular vision, and can give you far more to take home than slick professional disappointments.
"Professional" should be a term reserved for the talented and dedicated, and not an overused by-word for "been trained and getting paid", I haven't got an NVQ level 1 in food preparation, but i might make you a (subjectively) better sandwich than Subway.
I'll allways prefer the esoteric and exotic to the safe and average, passion beats competence, especially at the lower end of the quality scale.
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Post by streetrw » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:09 am

I I did say "enthusiastic but talentless amateurs" - people who might have a passion for making horror movies but whose passion is not reflected in any kind of ability. This is where the likes of Zombie Women Of Satan resides. If, has been commented earlier, it did manage to stretch itself into something interesting after the first 20 minutes, it was indeed a magical transformation. You don't have to eat the whole egg to know that it's rotten even if you are an internationally renowned food critic (and certainly not if you're just a boiled egg fan who posts to the the EggFest forums).

Of course the amateur genius beats the professional hack and the best example of that is The Evil Dead. That The Evil Dead was shot on a budget of sixpence and string is actually part of its power: Sam Raimi had to stretch his dollar till it snapped and come up with ways of getting the shots he wanted. Because Sam Raimi knew what he's doing. Whoever did ZWOS hadn't a clue (about pacing, about acting, about writing) because they weren't geniuses, amateur or professional.

I suspect - and we still haven't seen it - that Wrong Turn 3 won't do anything particularly original or inventive, but that it'll deliver to some extent on the gore and screaming at fairly regular intervals. Which is pretty much all you want at 2.15 in the morning!
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Post by capthowdy66 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:00 pm

streetrw wrote:
capthowdy66 wrote:Hmm so you think Wrong Turn 3 is showcasing the best in horror? :lol: :shock: :lol: I would rather watch gutterballs.
Well, possibly, possibly not. Haven't seen it so I don't really know. But it's made by professionals rather than enthusiastic but talentless amateurs, so it should be functionally competent if nothing else.

That said, I just caught a mini-trailer for Jennifer's Body (in one of Dave's ad breaks) and it looks terrible.... May well be worth a kip at that point. :(
Wrong Turn 3 is just a hack job made by a TV director with a load of British TV actors, how on earth is that made by professionals? Ryan Nicholson is a very talented FX artist so why in your eyes 'Talentless' ?

I have seen it, on blu ray last week. Its awful with crappy cgi effects to boot. Give me Live Feed and Gutterballs anyday.

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