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"On the Lot" Recap: Six Horror Films

"On the Lot" Recap: Six Horror Films

Another week, another edition of "On the Lot." Honestly, I complain a lot about the quality of the singing on "American Idol," but even a Sanjaya performance would be more welcome right now than sitting through another batch of mediocre films. This week, six filmmakers took on horror with guest judge Eli Roth, whose Hostel II recently prompted a debate over whether the horror genre was on the decline.

But first, last week's crop of directors gathered back at the house to wait for Adrianna and Garry to drop by with the news of who would be eliminated. Will said, "Adrianna's a very nice person, but I don't want to see her today," which totally sums up how I feel every time I turn on "On the Lot." Turns out, David's awkward film about sexual escapades got him kicked off the show. He was very zen about it, saying that every director has a bad movie, but it's a shame that his was in front of "millions and millions of people." I think that's a little over-optimistic. Also, we learned that Will's film got the most votes last week. As for this week's entries:

  • Kenny made The Malibu Myth, and we learned that the biggest problem on the shoot was Kenny's aggravating personality. Surprise! Anyway, the film was about a couple who seek out a road where young folks are rumored to be brutally murdered, see a dead body, stop the car, touch the dead girl, and end up attacked by flesh-eating villains. It was probably the best of Kenny's films so far, but remember, that's a list that includes Wack Alley Cab. I thought the buildup was creepy enough, but the actual attack was laughable. Eli agreed with me, Carrie said it was Kenny's most accessible film, and Garry said he was scared.
  • Sam came next with Anklebiters, a movie that hinged on an ankle-biting puppet. He said he was conscious of the fine line between scary and cheesy, but I really think he came down on the wrong side of this one. The puppet looked like some kind of remote-controlled toy, and the action was exactly the kind of screaming, running around, bloody silliness you'd expect. Carrie said she believed the puppet, Eli said the attack worked well but the prologue gave too much away, and Garry dropped another one of his literary quotes before saying he was scared, again.
  • Four more, so

  • Andrew made Midnight Snack, which he described as horror first, comedy second. The basic plot: A woman — who we later learn is a demon — makes a sandwich. I had a hard time being scared because the main character didn't seem to think there was anything weird about the ghosts and monsters all through her house. Carrie said it was more Rocky Horror than horror, Garry said he's a sucker for comedy, and Eli said the lightning and music were so overdone that it seemed like a "Got Milk" commercial.
  • Jason's film was Eternal Waters, about a kid who died by drowning in the family pool and somehow comes back to save his mother from an intruder. I've been far from Jason's biggest fan, but I thought this was his best film — as well as the best film of the night so far. Its happy ending was a little too saccharine for a horror film, but the cool stylistic touches made up for that. Carrie liked it, Garry loved it, and Eli was too distracted by the mom's tight T-shirt to say much at all.
  • Shira-Lee, who said numerous times it was her first time doing horror, made Open House, about a house-hunting couple who encounter a ghost in what could be their soon-to-be-born child's room. I appreciated that she attempted a psychological thriller, even though it didn't quite succeed. Carrie said the actors were good but she didn't believe the ghost; Eli said the music was too forced by the ending was nice; Garry said Shira-Lee was better at comedy.
  • Mateen closed out the night with Profile, about a black man who imagines(?) himself getting beaten by white cops. OK, I get that racial profiling is horrifying, but does that make this a horror film? Carrie said no, but the performances from the actors were strong; Eli said he disliked all the shifting points of view and wished it would have held together better; Garry said it was brave, though it might not be accessible enough. It also had the Marty Martin hallmark of not exactly adhering to the rules of the competition, but who knows how much that matters at this point.
  • If I had to pick a favorite, I suppose it would be Jason's. Honestly, I could see how any of the other directors would be sent home, though if it were up to me I'd ditch either Kenny or Andrew.

    Next week: The show's on Monday because of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and the directors will make films based on the phrase "when two worlds collide." Um, yippee?

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ren23 ren23 9 years
I was also looking forward to the show - and disappointed. I'm pretty sure I could have done better than some of these "pros" I was definitely looking forward to horror week! I'm a huge fan and always on the look out for a great scare. As such, I've turned to the oldies and goodies (and foreign flicks) because nothing's scared me lately. and hey, anything's scarier with subtitles. My biggest complaint is about Sam's "Malibu Myth" - or as I call it "28 Days After The Blair Witch Project" Eli Roth didn't say it was unoriginal but said something like MM "wasn't too much like other films" - and meant it as a compliment! Is that what it's come to? Filmmaking is about taking other people's original ideas and interpretations and twisting it just enough that you can avoid lawsuits and still sell tickets?
tralalala tralalala 9 years
haha oh totally! I thought he was good looking the first time I saw him....then he started talking. It makes me kind of sad, because I'm a fan of the Tarantino-esque hair. Unfortunately, that's where the Tarantino similarities end.
ddene5713 ddene5713 9 years
haha. then i guess it's good that i don't watch the show. hah. obviously his personality would make him ugly from what you two are saying. :)
wickedk8 wickedk8 9 years
Kenny Luby is so NOT gorgeous, but I second the annoying comment. He has got to go!
tralalala tralalala 9 years
ddene5713, he's also one of the most annoying people to ever be on television
ddene5713 ddene5713 9 years
i've never watched this show but i may be making an obvious statement here... the guy in the front middle is gorgeous.
crispet1 crispet1 9 years
I agree with your comments, Buzz. Most of these were just awful.
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I recently graduated from film school....so I really really really wanted to like this show. And I wanted it to have great ratings so I could apply next year! but this show makes me sad....very very sad. Its bad enough that Mark Burnette picked the contestants based on who was the most tv friendly, but the shorts are bad! And the host makes me want to punch her every time she starts talking. The only thing that could possibly save this show would be Kenny getting kicked off, and being so distraught he killed himself on the air. But now that they've changed the format (AGAIN!) the eliminations aren't even live. I think I'm going to stop watching, everyone else has. /end rant
Hope5 Hope5 9 years
Interesting!
wickedk8 wickedk8 9 years
I have to watch this show because Will is my brother's friend, and honestly, the reason he got the most votes is probably b/c my family voted at least 200 times last week. I wish more people would watch this show because most people have no idea the hard work that goes into making short films. And I think everyone needs to rally to get that terrible host off the show! Enough of the hands-on-hips, limp wristed hugs!!
JoeyPistone JoeyPistone 9 years
I thought some of you people would like to see what was allegedly going on behind the scenes in On The Lot. This is from Harry Knowles of AintItCool: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/33198
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