Monday, October 15, 2012

F This Movie! - V/H/S

Patrick and JB try to determine if the new horror anthology V/H/S is horrifying as in "reprehensible" or horrifying as in "decent" and name some of their favorite horror anthologies of the past.

Don't forget to take part in the Scary Movie Challenge III!!

Download this episode here. (31.2 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Blood of Dracula, The Roost, A Horrible Way to Die


  1. Another great podcast - my response might be a bit of a Chris Farley Show because I found myself mostly in agreement with what was said.

    Amateur Night was the short that worked best for me as well - I watched this in the pitch black with headphones and with the whole camera-glasses POV it was close to a virtual reality experience - I was genuinely freaked out by it, though it set the bar high and nothing that followed lived up to it.

    Second Honeymoon - Like JB said the whole being taped while you're asleep thing is pretty creepy, but other than that it was okay, but nothing special.

    Tuesday the 17th - this did suck, but like Patrick said, the effect for the killer was kinda freaky.

    The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily When She was Younger - Yep, interesting idea, badly done.

    Haunted House (or whatever the hell) - I too enjoyed the haunting effects of the house at the end which looked extra creepy as "real" camcorder footage.

    So all-in-all it would appear that there is SOMETHING to appreciate about all of the segments (except maybe the crap that ties it all together) and yeah, I would second Patrick's recommendation of the movie as a whole. It's no Trick 'r Treat but a worthy enough entry in the Horror Anthology genre.

    I'm going to again promote the addition of a wireless headphone set up for your home theatre system (you can get something good enough for less than $100) - my spouse goes to bed a lot earlier than I do so it's great in general, but EXTRA great for horror movies as it makes you feel more isolated and like there could be something going on around you that you can't hear. Probably made my V/H/S experience a bit more entertaining.

  2. What a happy coincidence; I was just watching Dead of Night for the first time last night (it was on TCM last week). Always a pleasure to see a bunch of mid-century British actors on their game, and for some reason the segment with the mirror is the most unsettling to me (though you cant go wrong with an evil ventriloquist dummy).

  3. Discussion was great as usual. Haven't checked out VHS yet, but I've enjoyed Ti West's work, so I might check it out.

    JB's comments made me think about the New French Extremity movement. For better or worst, a lot of these movies like "Martyrs", "High Tension", "Inside" seem to be highly acclaimed by some horror fans. But like JB said about films without a moral center, I wonder if these films are even worth seeing when their descriptions read like torture porn. Would be great to hear your guys opinions on that.

    1. I have avoided seeing a lot of the new "extreme" horror movies you mention like Martyrs and Inside and A Serbian Film (I have seen High Tension) precisely because I don't want those images in my head. I won't necessarily dismiss them as torture porn, because I think that label is reductive (especially when I haven't seen them and can't make that judgment), but from what I know it just sounds like they're not my kind of movie. I guess I like my horror movies a little less genuinely horrifying.

    2. I would actually recommend Martyrs - it is kind of rough for the first 2/3 or so in terms of brutal violence (and some genuinely terrifying moments) but the last 1/3 actually attempts to give some real meaning to what happened/is happening - whether or not it's successful is certainly debatable but for me it redeemed what was seeming like a lot of senseless violence. Better than Haute Tension for whatever that's worth. I hope this isn't bad form, but I'll quote a review from RT which captures it for me: "Intense, disorienting, unsettling, upsetting, polarising - Martyrs is all these things but it is also intelligent, moving and strangely uplifting. If you want to be put through the wringer by a film, make it this one." (Anton Bitel, Film4) How can you resist?

  4. I liked the podcast. I felt uncomfortable during stretches of V/H/S but your interpretation makes the movie more interesting if not troubling.

    Also, I completely agree with your anthology picks. I love Tales From The Hood - it's super underrated and all the more unsettling because the real-life elements of the movie are scarier than the supernatural elements.

    Also, just a quick run about the Music Box of Horrors. I'd give it a 3 out of 5. It's almost the same thing as the Massacre (I saw Rusty there for some of it) but it was lacking in the overall enthusiasm (the GM and Programmer for the Music Box were game and acted as hosts but it seemed sort of odd, like they were too arty to do the job - one was wearing a suit). The lineup was the biggest issue as there was a stretch for nearly the middle 1/3 that was a bear to get through (mostly gory or gross out movies). I couldn't believe the 'celebs' were charging $20 an autograph. Yes, Jeff Lieberman was $20. The interviews were engaging and Lieberman and Sybil Danning seemed genuine and excited to be there. The food trucks - magnficent.

    See you guys at the Portage on Saturday.

    1. Thanks so much for the mini-review. I was wondering how it went. I have been going to the Music Box Massacre for so long that the whole day Saturday, I felt like I was SUPPOSED to be there. I am surprised that Rusty was there..

    2. I was surprised to see Rusty too. He was not there long, maybe just checking in to see what the Music Box did with his brainchild.

      It was just as crowded as past years and probably the most full from mid-afternoon until midnight.

      Invisible Man and Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (a real mixed bag of an anthology) went over really well.

      Satan's Little Helper probably was the biggest surprise. It starts as a black comedy but takes a turn and almost says to the audience 'this is horrible, you should be ashamed you were enjoying this' and then it turns into a Halloween/Black Christmas type of movie. I can't decide if it's really good or an irresponsible piece of garbage. It was the most polarizing movie from the audience reaction.

    3. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed that it was so well-attended, but oh well. Thanks for reporting back. I was dreaming about food trucks all weekend...if only I knew where to find some...

      Now I want to track down Satan's Little Helpers, which means I may have totally missed the point of your review.

      Also: charging for autographs at a (fake) Massacre? Tacky. How many Lieberman's did you end up buying?

    4. It was well attended but everyone on Facebook I'm reading was bitching about it so there's your silver lining :-) ???? And one of the food trucks made me feel sick (Food Truck of Horrors! Special Guest: Indigestion)

      I would totally recommend Satan's Little Helper just to hear more opinions about it. It's on Netflix Instant.

      I was surprised about the $20 for Liebermann but hey someone's gotta be the Jackie Robinson of charging for autographs at these things. I didn't see one person buying anything from him - except me of course, because my wallet was too heavy of $20 bills. But for $20 he should at least give you a copy of StreetWise.

    5. Thanks for the heads up on Satan's Little Helper. Watching it now.

  5. JB. Im currently listening to the show so you may address this later in the show, but i wanted to bring this up before I forget. You mentioned that you weren't seeing many of the newer comments on the Scary Movie Challenge post. I thought I was having the same problem for a while until I realised that my browser will only show a certain amount of comments automatically. At the bottom of the page there is a piece of text that either says "Load more..." or "loading..." which, when pressed, will load another batch of comments. Not all of them just another handfull. At the moment im needing to press it about 4 or 5 times before I get to the end of the comments list because Scary Movie Month is Awesome!

    Probably just telling you things you already know, but.....taa daa!

  6. I haven't seen V/H/S so I can't add too much, but I have a really hard time with movies that make me morally uncomfortable. I know that that's usually the intention, but when it comes to douche bags being douchy or guys raping women, I get super uncomfortable. I get that that's probably what they're going for with this movie, but...eek. Also, I can't believe the month is half over. Please don't end, October! Great episode, gentlemen. P.S., I love you.

  7. Sounds like the kind of movie that I'll borrow from the library and only watch the "Mystery Date" section...if they have the chapter breaks done correctly.

    A thought about the idea that the filmmakers all came to the same theory that the most dangerous thing is men...

    They very well could have but - and I admit that I'm basing this on your characterization of the film - it sounds as though they made another version of Showgirls. Eszterhas has always claimed that Showgirls was "pro-women" because it's about how they're exploited and abused by the industry. And if you really stretch you CAN see a little of that in it. However, the film itself ended up exploiting this ugly side for titillation while weakly saying, "Isn't this awful?".

    V/H/S sounds like another version of this.

  8. Two nitpicks:

    The evil little kid from TRICK R' TREAT is named Sam, not Jack. (It's a play on words of "Samhain," according to the commentary.)

    In your discussion of other horror anthologies, CAT'S EYE was noticeably absent. What's your thoughts on that one?

    1. Thanks for the catch. I don't like to get stuff wrong, but also have to cut myself some slack. It's hard to remember everything.

      I like Cat's Eye. I didn't mention it only because it's not one of my favorites; there's a better Stephen King anthology that we did mention. But I'm surprised I forgot to bring it up, especially when JB was talking about Trilogy of Terror, since the Drew Barrymore segment owes a great deal to that movie.

    2. Does "Two Evil Eyes" (the 1990 collaboration between Romero and Argento using Poe tales as inspiration) count as an anthology? It's only two separate horror tales (a little under an hour each), do you need to have three to qualify as "anthology"?

  9. "I know life is meaningless and that's why I go to Movies" JB
    I also like Cat's Eye. I know its not his best work but the James Woods story "Quitters Inc" I really like a lot

  10. Just saw V/H/S for the first and presumably for the last time. I agree with most of the things you mentioned in the podcast, but I would not recommend this movie to anyone.
    It scared me not the least bit, it was not thrilling, it was mostly a bore with headache inducing found footage work and lots of annoying characters during the separate segments.
    I saw this just after The ABCs of death, which was ok. Like V/H/S it wasn´t scary but at least interesting in various degrees. Some segments were pretty good, some sickly funny and most of them were filmed very well, sometimes with gorgeous cinematography.