Saturday, March 19, 2011

NIGHTMARE ALLEY: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AWFULSAUCE

If you've been a longtime reader of Day of the Woman, you should know that BJ-C is quite the indie film lover.  I'm a firm believer that a budget does not determine a film and a body count isn't a measurement of horror.  With that being said, I LOVE low budget, awful horror movies.  I'm a total gorehound and am always the girl in the back of the theatre laughing at the dismemberment instead of huddling under my seat.  I'm one of the biggest supporters of indie films and I have a strict policy on Day of the Woman to never turn down an indie film regardless of backing or not.  HOWEVER-I will not spoon feed less than stellar films to my readers...because that's just rude.  Your mom didn't give you hot-wet garbage for dinner, and I won't either. Not that long ago, I wrote a piece over at The Blood Sprayer about the differences between a campy film and a crappy film.  I gave many examples of GOOD campy films, but didn't focus too much on BAD campy films.  I've been avoiding reviewing this film for a while after the debacle that occurred over at Planet of Terror between good pal Cortez the Killer and some "Anonymous" fanboy, as well as the tirade the director went on over at The Blood Sprayer...but after hearing it is going to be reviewed in Rue-Morgue magazine, I have to bite the bullet, accept the possibility of being e-harassed, and deliver everyone an old fashioned rant.

Nightmare Alley is quite possibly the WORST film I have ever seen.  I didn't request Nightmare Alley to be sent to me, but after hearing so much smack talk about it, I took the initiative to develop my own opinion of the film.  Now the people behind this toasted shit sandwich did quite the job at slapping on a pretty outfit and whoring this piece of trash all over the proverbial corners of the horror blogosphere.  If you're wondering why I'm taking such a harsh tone in describing this film, understand that my tact checked out the door after the producer stalkingly attacked two of my dearest horror chums in defense of this shitstorm.  On that side note, I would gently like to direct your attention to a little guide a wrote specifically for indie filmmakers   I digress,  Nightmare Alley was clearly an attempt at the "so bad it's good" style of filmmaking that only a true horror fan can appreciate.  I commend any filmmaker for attempting to create a film in this sort of style for it is next to impossible to successfully execute it.  There is a very fine line between so bad it's good and downright bad.  Nightmare Alley didn't just fall off the tight-rope, it took a flying swan dive through a ring of fire and splattered on the pavement before the audience vomited all over the result in protest.

The film is broken apart into 8 stories (much like a Creepshow film...but amateur at best with 5th grade Halloween party special fx) which I found to be the biggest problem with the entire film.  With this many stories, it's difficult for the viewer to develop a connection with any of the characters or appreciate any of the humor.  The stories are unoriginal to say the least and poorly written. I'm sorry, but I've seen better and scarier episodes of Goosebumps.  I agree with my comrades in saying if the film concentrated on three to four of the episodes (much like Trick 'R Treat) this would have vastly improved the film.  Unfortunately, we do not live in a world of "what ifs" and we are instead left with a piss-poor excuse for a horror anthology and 88 minutes of our lives that could have been better spent counting white rice from behind a sneeze guard at Panda Express.  
Not far behind the storyline, the special fx look like something out of a junior high haunted house.  Let me write this as boldly and as obviously as I possibly can for all of those out there who want to cry "low budget hater" at me.  A LOW BUDGET HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BAD FX.  I've been a huge promoter of Indymogul.com's Backyard FX as they have shown the world how to create quality horror FX while sticking it to the recession.  This film obviously doesn't know how to work their way around the googler, as everything looked AWFUL.  I'm not even talking Dead Alive big and brutally awful, I mean "I was four seconds away from leaving the price tag on my prop leg" awful.  The makers also have absolutely ZERO comprehension as to how to even use a damn camera.  Say it with me: FOCUS.  For the love of God, you'd think they used cotton balls as a lens filter for half the movie.  Shit, I've seen Senior Photos that look edgier and classier than this film.  That and they obviously borrowed the subway lights from Adventures in Babysitting to try and illuminate their fail-whale of a film.
Nightmare Alley definitely has it's heart in the right place, but it just didn't work.  Passion for the genre, doesn't automatically make a good movie.  Need a better example?  Look at M. Night Shyamalan.  You're welcome.  This film tries to get away with it's poor film making by claiming to be a low-budget thrill ride, but it's nothing more than a shit sandwich dipped in hobo sweat that is clawing at it's low budget as a way to excuse it's glaring flaws and instead be as cheesy and terrible as humanly possible.  I assume the people involved had a good time making this travesty, but no one else is in on the joke.  Their heart was in the right place, I really got what they were going for...but there was just no finish line at this 8 legged race.

I think The Liberal Dead said it best and for that, I have to steal their words. "Honestly it felt like a group of twelve year olds who had just discovered punk rock and indie horror went to their local Target with 30$, wrote up a brief script with crayons, then proceeded to steal mom and dad’s camcorder for an afternoon of goofing off with Halloween supplies for laughs."
I couldn't have said it better myself. 

 

19 comment(s):

XanxiuZ said...

Great post. This movie sounds so hideous, I feel, almost, compelled to see it.

The picture of the skull with the fork in its head was not scary, but, BUT... the dude, just out of frame... the MAN BOOBS! MOOBIES! Now, that is terrifying.

I'm still amazed at how prolific you are. Oh, if I could post, even, a fraction of the amount that you do, I'd be very happy.

Alas, I am lazy.

Planet of Terror said...

I thought about not posting a comment, but after constant harassment from the producer, which continues to this day on my blog's Facebook page (10 months after I reviewed it), fuck it. People need to know what a bag of awful this film is. Especially considering the fact that horror fans get burned probably more than any other fans of film.

Simply put, no one, under any circumstances, should purchase or rent this film. This is by far the worst film I have ever seen. And this comes from someone who is a staunch, go out of their way, supporter of independent horror. It angers me to see a film like this get distribution when so many other deserving films fall by the wayside.

Pax Romano said...

Duly noted.

Chris Hewson said...

*Sigh* It really is a chore sometimes to sit through bad horror movies. I was going to get up a review for Return of the Living Dead 5 Rave to the Grave tonight, but I just wasn't feeling up to seeing Dan O'Bannon's great film get raped by one of the Sci Fi channel's worst films. They just get under your skin sometimes. As for Nightmare Alley, thanks for steering me away from it, I'll stick to Black Sabbath when it comes to anthology.

GOREHOUNDS said...

This is really childish

GOREHOUNDS said...

"There is people that make movies & there is people that watch them" who cares what one thinks... art is art.

BJ-C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BJ-C said...

@Gorehouds-I kindly would like you to explain to me what is childish about this? I'm stating my opinion and it just so happens that I'm not a fan of this film. If no one should care what anyone thinks because "art is art" then why do we have museums? Why are some people famous for singing when others never catch a break? Why are their movies that don't break the box office records when others do? It's because whether you like it or not, there IS a difference between quality and crap. I found this film to be crap, and I wasn't going to be dishonest to my readers and tell them otherwise.

GOREHOUNDS said...

Based on your first paragraph and opening statement, You wrote this review because you found out it was going to be in rue morgue, and you felt the need to tell the world it sucks, that is a bias review also the fact that your friends with people who had a problem with the films producers, the fact you posted this at all is childish, its not a professional review whether you think the movie is crap or not isnt the point, who sent you a screener answer me that?

BJ-C said...

That's actually not why I wrote it. I wrote it with the intention of helping the creators out. See, unlike a lot of my colleagues, I LIVE for campy, low-budget, B-Movies. I wanted to develop an opinion myself, DESPITE everything that happened between the creators and my friends. I can separate my personal life from my work, thankyouverymuch. When I found out it was going to be in rue-morgue, I decided I HAD to see it, because it obviously made an impact one way or another if rue-morgue decided that it was something they'd like to review. I never once claimed to be a professional, this is a blog...not a magazine. As far as the screener is concerned, it is absolutely none of your business. You do realize that it's available on Blockbuster rentals and Amazon, right? I didn't need a screener. Speaking of, I like that the reviews of the film on purchase/rental sites were made by people involved with it. If the director had half a brain, he'd have reviewed the film under a different name than "Walter R." with his name as director right next to it...that and using the same people to write all the reviews with the same names on the different sites. Smooth.

So now, answer me again.
What about this review was childish?

Wanna know what's childish? YOU ARE. Continually commenting on me because I didn't like your movie is incredibly immature. If you'd like, kindly direct your attention to this post. Thank-you.

http://dayofwoman.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-win-friends-and-influence-people_15.html

Mr. Johnny Sandman said...

@Gorehounds - I think everybody is entitled to an opinion. Even if BJ-C was bias and crooked (of which she is NOT) than it's still her opinion. I think you need to learn that if you are satisfied with a movie, it shouldn't matter what other say... so long as your happy.

The Mike said...

I find it incredibly hilarious that anyone involved with this film would dare comment on how "professional" a review is. It's sad that the online behavior of some people can actually be worse than this pathetic movie.

Brad said...

I would just like to know why people still make these types of films. I understand it's for the "love" of the genre, but come on.

GOREHOUNDS said...

LMAO... Like I said there are people who make movies & there are people who watch them. Good luck with your blog.

Cannibalgirl said...

You know what is awesome?

BJ-C's blog.

You know what is not awesome?

The anal rape that is sitting through your movie.

There are few human qualities lower on the attractive or respect-worthy scale than condescension and jealousy, of which you have exhibited both, and I think BJ, and her fans would be better off if you and your zombie's gooch scented "movie" were never heard from again.

Anonymous said...

Yea but i suppose a movie like Easter bunny kill kill by Chad Ferrin is ok Raping the mentally challenged , thats genius right, or the human centipede , nothing like digesting feces, but you cant handle a stupid B movie like Nightmare Alley and you have the nerve to make some serious point out of nothing, i think your the one who's got issues here obviously. Anal Rape ? what the heck are you talking about?

GOREHOUNDS said...

The producers of this film are proudly GAY!! shows how much you know

BJ-C said...

Seriously? Knock it off. Take your fighting to the playground. Keep it off my blog.

Lady Ash said...

It's bad enough when someone makes a terrible movie intentionally and probably knowing full well that making a "so bad its good," movie is a hard feat to accomplish but when that person starts attacking other people for pointing out the flaws in their movie... that just takes them far beyond the level of douchebag. I mean how far down the pole of humanity can you go? It's a terrible idea to try to make a so bad it's good movie when you can't handle criticism.

A person with any amount of dignity would take these critical reviews as a learning experience and ask themselves what they can do to improve the quality on their next project.

Very impressive review BJ-C as usual. I will admit I do have a curiosity of seeing this film just to see what kind of train wreck it is... but then as you put it, you'd waste 88 minutes of your life. 88 minutes that I'd never get back because my inquisitive mind got the best of me.

Related Posts with Thumbnails