S&Man (Sandman)

November 18, 2010 7:16 pm 8 comments , ,

Alright, I am putting together a list of the best direct-to-disc films released during 2010. Meaning I will be powering through about 10 films that I still need to see to round out my book of knowledge. If you have a suggestion of something I should watch that came out this year (on DVD only), please let me know. I will post a list of films I am considering for my best of in the comments below.

After watching S&Man I felt two things: 1. Dirty and 2. Compelled to check up on some of my female friends. I went into the film not knowing much about it. Heck, I didn’t even know it was a faux documentary. This is almost universally the best way to watch a film, by the way. And it certainly was in the case of this disturbing film from J.T. Petty (The Burrowers).

Rotating through a series of interviews with underground horror filmmakers, scream queens, doctors, and psychologists, the film explores topics that are often overlooked in horror. For example, why do we watch horror films? Why we love to watch humans die (vs animals)? And what it means to not side with the victim – aka, why we root for killers. A lot of heady stuff for a film that runs a shade under 90 minutes.

At its heart the S&Man is a documentary about snuff films and the people who make and star in them. Between the interviews with real underground filmmakers (August Underground and Toe Tag) and actors, it becomes apparent that one of the filmmakers isn’t what he seems. I won’t give away anymore, other than if you follow horror this will be easy to pick up on. If you don’t, HOLY SH*T. You will leave this film paranoid and effed up like no other. It’s almost too real for its own good. Lines are blurred astonishingly well. Boundaries are pushed, limits are tested.

The filmmaker interviews and the “story” are interesting, but the most effective parts of the film come from discussions on horror. You will be hard pressed not to have some internal debate with yourself. It made me think, “Am I really that screwed up for liking horror films?” I came to the conclusion that, no, I am not. I enjoy horror for the entertainment factor. Personally, I love genres of film that force emotion on you. Horror and fear is just one emotion, that I happen to like. Comedies, romance, action all have similar effects. It’s a big part of why we watch any movies – to have feelings thrust upon us.

Final Verdict: This one will undoubtedly make an appearance in my top 10 films released on DVD this year. And not because of the realism of the film, but because of the way it made me think about the horror genre.

Rating: 8/10

Snore Factor: ZZ (It’ll keep ya up)

IMDB 2010

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  • http://www.365HorrorMovie.com Micah

    My potential bests (I haven’t seen them all, yet). If you have any suggestions please let me know. Remember: DVD release this year (little to no theatrical release ever)

    In no particular order:
    Bad Biology
    The Descent: Part 2
    Parasomnia
    Sea of Dust
    Burning Bright
    30 Days of Night: Dark Days
    S&Man (Sandman)
    Lost Boys: The Thirst
    Night of the Demons
    Nightmares in Red, White and Blue
    Mutants
    Doghouse
    Necromentia
    Tormented
    Growth
    Peacock
    Brazen Bull

  • Allison

    Frozen is my favorite straight to dvd of 2010, it had theatrical releases in other countries though. There’s Pig, which I dont reccomend unless you like being scarred for life. Lots of beastiallity.
    I think Black Plauge and Birdemic were straight to dvders, neither were anything speical.
    Giallo is a half descent italian flick featuring the likes of Adrienne Brody.
    I also had the great pleasure of seeing Never sleep again (interesting if not snoozefest documentary aobut the nightmare oes), terror inside (corey feldman, what?), Salvage (Campy but really enjoyable; i recomend this zombie brit-flick).
    If your in a mood for some j-horror dvds try slaughter island or Roomate, by the same director- both pretty good.
    Not sure if infestation was 2010, but another gem nonetheless.
    Colin is a descent scrap bottom budget zombie flick; Blood Creek was somewhere between crappy and ok- lots of bullshit about the third reich and nazis and vikings.
    Harpoon: the whale watching massacre was a 2009 flick from iceland, but released in the US in ’10- pretty funny, delivers on gore- nothing oscar worthy.
    Skip The Brotherhood V or Mirrors 2, both are crapfests. I think you hit some good ones with 30 days, doghouse, and S&man.

  • Thomas

    I assume your reffering to Hisaaki Nagaoka’s The Roomate and not the one thats coming in january with the less hot gossip girl in it, right? impressive list nonetheless however I personally didn’t like Colin- so fucking what if it only cost them 70 bucks to make, it looks like it. Salvage is a good one- and S&man, wow, really well done.

  • http://www.365HorrorMovie.com Micah

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I have been furiously watching films to round out my best of lists.

    And yes, Frozen was awesome – how could I forget that one!?

  • Allison

    I geuss Im partial to Collin because i mean, come on, the guy spent less on it than I do on most bar tabs. plus my friend tat was in it so i met marc price. nice guy. haha yeah i saw a preview for the gossip girl horror movie. i smell a hollywood made disaster- like ‘prom night’ all over again. its a shame that only big names get any budgets to work with anymore, wes craven can put out a peice of crap like ‘my soul to take’ and theaters are flooded with god awful remakes but neil marshall cant break a budget of, what, 500 g? its unfortunate.

  • http://www.365HorrorMovie.com Micah

    Allison, you live in L.A., right? Bar tabs here can buy you nice house in the most parts of the country, so I am not sure your argument holds up. :)

    Neil Marshall not getting a decent budget is a travesty on the highest order. Someone get that man out of the UK, stat!

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/105913128164626579442#about Allison

    haha i’ve lived in the Los Feliz area for about 6 months and im paying 4 times the rent of a small apartment with three roommates then my parents did for their house. cost of living here probably rivals Marshalls budgets yeah? haha
    Not a big fan of LA, but im moving in feburary anyway to montreal. got a job at a little production company Atopia- so well see how it goes. i think ill miss waking up and seeing hoards of hipsters outside our building.

  • http://www.365HorrorMovie.com Micah

    Haha, totally. Congrats on the job, that should be cool. I like the Los Feliz area, at least better than my area (Studio City), I have a group of homeless crack heads that like to take dumps in places that even my dog would be embarrassed to pop a squat.