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Born and raised in the suburbs that surround Ottawa, our nation’s capital, Patrick hit his peak early when as a teenager he scored a job at a mom and pop video store. He now attempts to relive these glory days by scouring pawn shops and thrifts store for obscure video oddities and mining for gold among the independent and ignored in picture-show purgatory.
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Although Blood on a Budget is dedicated to indie features, a group of people who truly embody the DIY spirit are The Ghouligans. Beginning in the mid 2000s with a handful of no-budget web shorts, that put Universal-inspired Monsters is cheesy comedy sketches, these ghastly goofs have been dedicated to their hand-made horror-comedy for years, producing two DVDs and tirelessly touring conventions. Finally they landed a TV show which highlights what The Ghouligans are best at: classic horror-humour with a ton of heart. Though all 6 half-hour episodes of the first season, which can be best described as a cross between The Munsters and SCTV, you can truly see how much fun, love, and elbow grease this ghoulish gang have put into this project, and on such a criminally low budget.
This Thursday, March 20, we will return to Cinemacabre’s new (licensed!) venue, The Royal Cinema, with the sexy horror thriller Nurse 3-D. In honour of this deviant healthcare horror, we’ve put together five of our favourite medical perversions.
Psychoses are a tricky subject. When presented on film, people who suffer from this rarely get the politically correct treatment. Their portrayal tends to fall into one of two categories: the family of diverse, kindhearted kooks of a psychiatric facility (Girl, Interupted, The Princess and the Warrior, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) or the solo psycho on the verge of -or in the midst of- a killing spree (Maniac, Pieces, Psycho). Sometimes the two are even combined (Don’t Look in the Basement). Few films venture out of these stereotypes, and even fewer horror films.
Although the films of this entry tend to gravitate near the solo psycho and the sympathetic clan of crazies categories -not to mention playing fast-and-loose with political correctness- they still manage break out of the box in they portrayals of psychiatric disorders.
Regular readers of Blood on a Budget (all three of you) will have probably noticed that I like to focus each entry on a subject that unites both films covered. However, some movies don’t quite fit alongside others in neat categories, and thus are doomed to fester in the BoaB vaults until the day I find a match.
To start the year off on the right foot, I’ve thrown away the theme for this entry in order to exhume some of the more dustier submissions, and in doing so, accidentally picked two that oddly fit together.
It’s hard to think of Christmas nowadays without the commercialism rampant in the holiday. Not so much the carols that play in malls or the schmaltzy TV ads – those are easily avoided – but what gets me down is the stress of having to find everyone I’m related to some sort of gift, no matter how thoughtless. In turn, I’m going to be receiving a ton of stuff I don’t need or want, that some relation has stressed over getting for me. Instead we could all be spending that energy enjoying the holiday-themed horror this fantastic genre has to offer.
Luckily, I did get a chance to check out a sample of this year’s festive frugal frights. They don’t quite measure up to last year’s Cadaver Christmas, but these flicks still rank among my favourite gifts of the year.
Dustin Mills and James Bressack are two of the most prolific filmmakers in the indie horror scene today. In 2013 alone they’ve each written, directed and released four films, lent a hand in making several others, and are already working on a couple upcoming projects.
Over the past year these two have quickly become Blood on a Budget favourites. The films featured in this entry are the most recent releases by Mills and Bressack, each hinting at a hopeful future for these ambitious DIY horror hounds.
Unlike the baby boomer monster kids who grew up watching classic Universal Monster movies, my generation, the slasher spawn, grew up watching, well, slashers. Instead of having nightmares of Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula or the Wolfman, it was Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees who haunted my subconscious. I remember the night I first saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I wasn’t able to sleep, because every time I closed my eyes I would imagine Leatherface’s ugly mug staring at me.
It’s maybe a form of Stockholm syndrome, but despite these movies scaring the hell out of me as a kid, I can’t help but get a warm, fuzzy feeling – or a cold, sharp feeling – when I watch a slasher movie. It’s because of this mental deficiency that the slasher film is my favourite kind of horror movie.
With Hallowe’en approaching faster than a running zombie, and the beauty of the summer dying off into winter, I thought it appropriate to dedicate this BoaB to the undying homicidal villains and the fiendish films they inhabit.
Unlike heavy-hitting omnibuses such as Creepshow and V/H/S, there often aren’t any cohesive themes or strong through-lines that unite the tales in no-budget anthologies. Often they feel like a handful of unrelated shorts slapped together – and admittedly, they usually are. But unlike the high-profile concept pieces, the more frugal films exude a certain camaraderie.
The D.I.Y. horror community are a highly supportive lot. You often see the names of directors popping up in each other’s films, filling random roles, lending a hand, or just being thanked. The no-budget anthology is always a great thing to watch, as directors, writers and actors all work together to get their work seen and noticed. They may not have the polish of the big boys, but they have far more heart than any mainstream terror treasury.
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