October 2, 2016 | by Dana Gustafson
Such Sights To Show You: Unsigned Hype

Day 1. Unsigned Hype: I’m going to begin by saluting the memorable zero-budget films I’ve watched over the past year. In the last 50 years, we’ve only had two home-made horror films rise to the status of genre tentpoles, Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Raimi’s Evil Dead. As cameras, film, and now digital production equipment and editing software have become affordable, the floodgates have gradually opened on cheap-o horror. That doesn’t mean every single dude who picks up a handheld camera is the next Hitchcock. Trust me, no, there’s some awful stuff out there disguised as “independent horror” that basically means 5 assholes played in the woods for a few days with their iPhone. Here’s 4 films that are amazingly effective horror films considering they were made for $11.92, and I strongly encourage everyone involved to continue their careers and develop the potential shown within:

CONDEMNED is a marvelous goo-splatter slasher depicting a viral outbreak amongst a group of NYC squatters stuck in a deteriorating tenement building.

SKINLESS aka The Ballad of Skinless Pete asks the immortal question, “What happens when you use yourself as a test subject for your own medical experiments and then you’re some kind of living amoeba naked guy who’s obsessed with girlie parts?” Yuck ensues.

I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DIE brings a group of teenagers out to the woods, and then somehow they become embroiled in death and danger. This scenario never happens in horror, ever.

THE TAKING isn’t exactly what I would call a good film. It’s a complete incoherent mess. The creators thought they were making Eraserhead meets The Blair Witch. Well, they didn’t. But my goodness do they try. I can’t imagine the amount of effort that went into shooting and editing this film, and I honestly believe that the filmmakers got so caught up in the chaos that they never reigned in the elephant to set it on the proper path, so they lost control of the narrative for sake of creating atmosphere. The Hooded One is awesome and should be flushed out in another film.

Dana Gustafson loves his wife and children, who tolerate him during moments leading up to writing articles like these. He has an unhealthy infatuation, despite proper medication, with horror movies, Marvel comics, and Westerns. He wishes you well.

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