Friday, July 23, 2010

You can't really spoof a horror film, can you?

After much finagling (there was no finagling, those library beauties are easy-going, they'll give you anything), the Seattle Public Library was kind enough to lend me Baghead. The movie's plastic box reads, "The Funniest Spoof Horror Film of The Year!" Quick, name a horror film from the last decade that doesn't deliver at least a few winks and nudges to their knowing audience: Yes, yes, Ha-ha, you've seen this before, and we know you've seen this before, but we're doing it anyway, we just wanted to let you know, that we know, that we're not at all original in this respect. Noted.

Now, to spoof a horror film (this all seems terribly obvious now that I'm writing it), you've got to skip all that wink-wink shit and play it direly and oppressively straight from start to finish — and then we'll all laugh at that. Ultimately, it ain't about what you do, the audience will find something to laugh about, and for good reason: horror movies can get a little scary when you're too drunk to tell yourself, "this isn't really happening right in front of me." Tee vee can trick your drunk self, remember this.

So, the movie was quite fine and all.  I suppose I don't have anything much to say about it. I did like the closeups — it felt just a little like Cassavettes' Faces at a few points.

I did learn something, a word of warning to the uninitiated: don't — Do. Not. — turn the movie off because you're scared and would prefer the fear subside into sleep (I did just this. What? I'm not embarrassed, momma taught me to flee), as you probably know, this could work against you. Like reading Kafka (if you make the mistake of not laughing along the way), when the tension is surely unbearable, rest assured, the release valve will eventually be pulled. But, you've got to get there. Me, being the boob that I am, end up spending the twenty minutes petrified that somebody with a bag on their head is going to plop down in my front yard — all because I was too much of a wuss to finish the damn thing — my mother would be proud, probably?

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