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.
Snore Factor: ZZ (It’ll keep ya up)