I haven’t had opportunity to do any recent video work other than standard family chronicling and putting together a few slideshows for different events. While these are great, what I would actually like to do is make a feature length piece. As strange as it may sound, I would love to do something like Phantasm or Evil Dead. That’s right, I guess what I’m trying to say is I’d like to join the ranks of a cult: cult classic cinema.
It might seem foolish to say that given that these films are not always the big budget blockbusters that most people can’t wait to see. Although in all fairness these films are made with a level of ingenuity and love that transfers into the product. If you think about it, some of the camera work done for Evil Dead was high quality albeit on a small budget. The presence that floated about was done by rigging a camera to a 2×4 that was held between two crewmembers and allowed them to move the camera over obstacles. Phantasm did not have a big make-up effects budget so what did they do put the demonic dwarves in cloaked robes where their faces were blacked out. Granted given that these films are approximately 30 years old the production looks dated but still. But the fans of these films are die hard.
We want to see Ash take up chainsaw and battle Candarian possessed S-mart shoppers. Those of us who follow the path of the Tall Man want to know what happened to Reggie when he stepped into that portal to save Mike. I realize that most people do not appreciate the epic storytelling that these films portray because they see them as cheesy or old and irrelevant. These films represent a time when I realized that movie making did not have to be about following cookie cutter processes. When we look at horror movies they follow the tropes that are set by the current generation of horror, these films did not. Evil Dead came out when people were going camping and being hacked into pieces by madmen in masks. Evil Dead reversed that the hero was hacking people into pieces because the only good Candarian Demon is a dismembered one. Phantasm really is one of those rare finds where you won’t find anything else quite like it. I’ve followed all four films (and would love to see Angus Scrimm don the black suit once more for a fifth one) and still I’m asking questions about the origin of the Tall Man and what makes Mike so special.
I want to create a piece of cinema like these because at heart these films represent the creator’s true vision without having studios get in the way and warp the project to meet their own commercial ends (not saying every piece of the series is as pure but the originals were). So in a world where cream corn serves for melted monster and silver Christmas balls are flying spheres of death you suspend disbelief because there is something worthwhile in these films. At the end of the day what I want is to create something people love, and these films despite their age and the newer movies coming out are something that people love and cherish and that’s why they still exist and the call to finish the stories and continue with these characters exist. So there you have it, I want to join a cult.