The Horror Brat Pack

So, every once in awhile there is a movement… the 60′s saw Janice Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Joan Baez, The Who as part of the Woodstock festival and flower power era, we saw in the 50′s the rat pack of Sinatra, Martin, SDJ, Bishop and Lawford, and so on. There are unconscious collectives that just kind of start up and have interests that aren’t just limited to their genre, but are the instigators of something a little bigger. They are supportive of one another’s projects, they are usually creating something more than a scene but maybe a community, and will make people twenty years from now go, ‘Wow, what it must have been like with _____ back in the day,’ in the throes of nostalgia. They wind up leaving a lasting mark on pop culture by just doing what they do.

Having observed the fresh blood of the horror genre these days first hand, I feel like there is the onset of this feeling again. Are you feeling it too? You are? There is a generation of new horror filmmakers that is making not just fresh celluloid with their takes influenced by the old school horror genre, but now with the social media in the mix, creating a new horizon. By having much more of a wide berth to interact with their audiences, the dawn of the independent horror filmmaker is rearing it’s bloody head. Cutting traditional filmmaking costs without having to sacrifice their vision, there are many more options open to their filmmaking. And big studios are hopefully waking up and paying attention. The larger studios might crack an eyelid to see that throwing copious dollars down a spectacular failure is no replacement for a film that excites and engages an audience, that is creative and original, and more to the point, has the strength of the new horror tribe behind it.

Some of the names in this are, obviously for me, the Twisted Twins whom I found through Dead Hooker In A Trunk, but from them found James Cullen Bressack (wonder brain of the noveau found footage films), the boys of Astron 6 (Manborg, Father’s Day) Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun), Nightwalker Cinemas, all dedicated to bringing independent horror out there, and connecting with their fans and supporters. It’s a grand thing to see. Especially the interaction and support that the filmmakers give one another – shootouts, reviews, props, and of course those drunken moments of abandon and film fests. You know the ones, that come in the wee hours where everyone has arms draped over one another’s shoulders sloppily claiming, ‘I love you, man!’. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

The aspect that maybe makes it beautiful for me isn’t that this is an exclusive thing. You don’t have to be a filmmaker to feel part of the fold. Where once upon a time these were exclusive, slightly competitive clubs, the doors are open. You’ll often see horror film aficionados tearing it up alongside their favourite directors or performers. The genre hasn’t changed: it’s the players attitudes. After watching the massive amounts of love from the old school (Savini, Cassandra Petersen, etc) to the new school (Soska twins, myself, Punks VS Lizards crew) at Vancouver Fan Expo, I’m confident as long as the fans support, the filmmakers will keep finding ways to entertain them, the ‘big boys of the studio’ be damned. It’s a beautiful love affair between artists, muses, and patrons.

And the honeymoon is nowhere near over.

Horror crew, I love you,

Little Miss Risk

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2 Responses to The Horror Brat Pack

  1. Ron says:

    Having experienced it first-hand, I was amazed and overjoyed with the genre crowd, specifically the “horror brat pack”, in Vancouver. There’s a real sense of camaraderie and community among everyone there – be it artists, creators or fans – and it’s so refreshing to see in action. Whether it was the anime kids, the cosplayers or the “hardcore” horror fans, everyone’s cut from the same cloth. No rivalries, no territorial divides, just a love for overall genre fare. This is not the case elsewhere, sadly, but it certainly should be.
    There IS a feeling of change in the wind these days, as Canada claws its way to he top of the horror dog-pile, and Vancouver’s thriving indie-horror community is a huge part of this change. This is a very good thing, for fans and creators alike, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up.
    Looking forward to returning for next year’s show and seeing the changes that have happened in the time in-between.
    Vancouver, we love ya and miss ya. We will be back.

    Ron McKenzie
    Rue Morgue Magazine

  2. ‘Now before I hit the stage I got one more thing to say
    shared love can be as simple as a *screenplay.
    A lot of times our saving grace is play,
    and as far as playing goes we be doing okay.

    I never want to lose my sense of pretend.
    And that is how I will survive in the end.
    If you find yourself left just yourself and your friends,
    You’ve got everything you need and we be proving than next.’

    -Crystal Precious

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