Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recommendation: Masters of Horror

A teacher of mine had a saying: 'Never trust a Greek' 'Appreciate something for what it is'. It's easy to say that about something like a sculpture. You may not understand why the sculptor chose to chisel something a certain way, but you appreciate it because you know time and effort went into making it. The same is true for film. You might not understand or 'like' (whatever that means) something about a movie, but you should appreciate it for what it is. A movie is like a Christmas present: good or bad, say thank you.
People say, 'Hollywood isn't about art anymore, it's about making money.' Well, I'm not exactly talking about Hollywood. I'm talking about filmmakers striving to create something that they enjoyed creating, not something that was forged out of greed or necessity to meet the requirements of a studio that doesn't give two shits about how good the thing is, so long as it breaks even. I can watch a movie and tell right away whether or not the people making it hated making it.
Hollywood isn't all bad, though [friendly pat on the back]. I may be a meth addict an incredibly passionate person when it comes to film, but I'm also an everyday man-about-town. I love explosions, I love incredibly attractive women, I love a lot of what Hollywood does. I see movie like that with a grain of salt, however. I know that they make these movies like a candle attracts a fly (alright, fuckless, you know what I mean).
In response to the quoted text above- it's true- Hollywood only cares about figures. But saying that there was a time that Hollywood didn't care more about the money the movies made more than the movies themselves is malarchy [steps on hat]. Sure, a good movie is obviously more successful, but Hollywood would send dead puppie carcasses to 4,000 cinemas if it meant they'd make millions in profit. I have a point, really I do. There was a time where I would have said that even though the spirit of Hollywood is essentially the same, the movies that come out of it have degenerated throughout the years, but that's not what I should be saying. I should be saying that people have degenerated. 'Going to the movies' has very much lost its luster, because people have stopped caring about movies. It is truly a forgotten art. And because people have stopped caring, Hollywood is making a significantly smaller effort into making movies. If the people wanted something different, Hollywood would change right along with it.
*perfect example: vampire movies. After all this Twilight bullshit broke loose there have been masses upon masses of demand for vampires, and Hollywood is giving these assholes people what they want. If Twilight had been about, say, elephants in Kenya, well, I think the top grosser for this weekend would have been something slightly more African. Anythings better than Ben Affleck
**don't get me wrong, I love vampire movies. Some of my favorite movies (the '93 Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, Shadow of the Vampire) contain multitudes of vampires. I'm just saying that because Hollywood has started to cash in on them, they've lost their value.
I've got to get on topic.
I am a horror aficionado. I'm not going to lie to you and say that I love you that horror movies are just a guilty pleasure. It's one thing to make somebody laugh, but to make someone scream is wholly different. To truly scare someone through suspense, or shock, or whatever, is an achievement that people seriously take for granted, and I feel like like somebody must have executed order 66 on the horror geniuses at one point after in the past twenty years because to find a good horror movie nowadays is very hard to do. But fear not, for I know where good horror lies. Masters of Horror.
*credit is due to Mr. Charles Wein, my compatriot in the field of Horror and Suspense, who showed me the wonders of Masters of Horror. 
Masters of Horror is a collection one hour horror films that can be viewed instantly on Netflix.
*if you don't have a Netflix account, get one. The instant watch feature alone is enough to buy a subscription.
These one hour episodes are directed by some of the most revered and decorated pioneers in the horror genre. John Carpenter, John Landis, and my favorite so far: Dario Argento. Dario Argento directed one of the best horror movies I've ever seen- Suspiria (also an instant watch).
*I cannot recommend Suspiria strongly enough. If anything, watch it for the music.
The two episodes I've seen ('Jenifer' and 'Pelts') are some of the most gratifying horror films I've ever seen, both directed by Argento. Gore upon tits upon gore upon tits. Blood, blood, blood. He exploits sex and violence with a certain expertise and refinement that not only comes from years of experience, but from the freedom to do whatever the fuck he wants. Granted, the actors are a little blase [flips scarf] and they probably picked up the cinematographers from a dollar store, but the message and direction comes across perfectly.
The reason I'm recommending Masters of Horror, and the reason I went on a little rant about Hollywood, is because Masters of Horror brings in people who are good at what they do and love doing it to do whatever they want. Hollywood restricts something that should have no limits. The reason Masters of Horror is awesome is the same reason a movie like Antichrist, or any other movie made by someone that's passionate and committed to something they love, be it independent or otherwise, is awesome, because it comes from a place of love instead of a place of greed. That's why I tell people to see a good movie if you have nothing else to do. Go through the AFI best of... lists. Go through the Criterion Collection. See something you wouldn't normally see. You might fall in love with movies and not realize why you didn't do it sooner.
I got off topic. I'm not sorry. Anyway, Masters of Horror is great, but bear in mind that this is comng from a very sick guy. I love movies that exploit sex and violence, but I can't say the same for many other people. I can say that all I've seen are the Argento episodes, but I'm pretty confident that the others are just as good. Argento is a true mage of gore, so his movies are naturally going to follow suit, but for a guy like John Carpenter, who is all about suspense, the game is different. But like I said, give it a chance, especially if you're not a Greek a horror fan.

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