Horror sites were beside themselves yesterday at the news that Italian horror director Dario Argento had started an Indiegogo campaign, and is asking the horror fans of the world for money to create his latest "masterpiece". Maybe I was being naive, expecting the mainstay horror sites to show just a teensy bit of skepticism, considering how truly god awful his last few films have been. I was, wrong... Bloody Disgusting?
Renowned Italian horror director Dario Argento has teamed up with punk rock icon Iggy Pop to create a new icon of horror in the form of The Sandman! The film tells the tale of serial killer The Sandman and is set in the 21st century with deep and twisted primal roots stemming from the dark forests of Germany.
WHOA, that's amazing! Definitely not copy/pasted from a press release. Next up, Shock Till You Drop, who tries to strike a more mature tone with their coverage usually. Anything?
Starring iconic punk singer Iggy Pop as a serial killer dubbed “The Sandman”, the sleek and contemporary thriller is set in the 21st century with deep and twisted primal roots stemming from the dark forests of Germany... The campaign is looking to secure $250k. Want to throw some cash Argento’s way? Here’s the Indiegogo page.
Hmm, those forests sure do sound dark, you guys. And they didn't even put that in quotes, so you now how truly sleek and contemporary the film really is.
Here's my point. For too long horror sites have regurgitated press releases, in the hopes of getting as many clicks as possible from horror fans. They usually feature zero critical thinking, direct quotes from PR people, and paste a link to someone's project that at best is usually years away from being made. The payoff? More press releases that merely perpetuate the cycle. Then when the film turns out to be crap, they bury their review and let it fade into the deluge of meaningless news posts.
This one in particular raised my hackles because well, COME ON, MAN. Argento hasn't made a decent movie in maybe 20 years. His last two movies ended in a lawsuit, and the complete besmirchment of Dracula's name respectively. Did you know there was a giant CGI praying mantis in Dracula 3D? Probably not, because you're a discerning horror fan who lets us watch shit (and review it on the podcast) so you're not subjected to it. But believe me, these horror sites know, and that's why I find it so unbelievable that everyone is going to help Argento pimp his film like nothing ever happened.
So let's level with each other. I love Argento... you love Argento. The motherfucker could throw a colored light on a wall like no one else in the 70's. Unfortunately, like all filmmakers eventually will, he's lost his touch. So let's not encourage him. And while we're at it, let's pledge to demand more from the horror community in general. The Games press is doing it, why can't we? Just because we're doing this for enjoyment, doesn't mean we can't cast a critical eye at projects like this. ESPECIALLY when they are asking for money from our readers. This is a theme I plan to explore more in the near future. In the meantime, stay tuned, and maybe give your money to something more deserving, like this potato salad kickstarter.