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January 2, 2013

Movie Review: I Heart Monster Movies (2012)

Reviewed by: Rob Sibley

“I Heart Monster Movies” is a seventy five minute documentary which is a true love letter to the horror genre and culture. Let's start off, before I popped the DVD into my player I quickly read the synopsis and took a look at the images on the back cover. On the back cover is Sid Haig, Tom Savini and other horror greats. So I figured “Oh boy, seventy five minutes of stories I've heard before.” Well I was wrong... despite the short running time they pack a lot of great stuff into this documentary. Now if you're reading this, you are a horror fan. So you know that we horror fans have a bad rap with the “mainstream”. Not always, since horror these days is big business. Back in the day, films like Hostel and The Saw series would have played at the drive-ins and would have gotten slapped with NC-17's. Now  torture is mainstream and people pay a lot to watch it. Why? That's another discussion for another time.

Doug Bradley says it best. “I don't think anyone has ever ended up on a therapists couch and said I'm here because I watch horror films!” Amen brother. But that's just one small aspect of “I Heart Monster Movies”. It's amazing the amount of ground that this documentary is able to cover. It's edited very well, none of that MTV bullshit quick cutting, close up, shaky cam interviews trying to be “hip”. Luckily the filmmakers were wise to use something long forgotten by most... a tripod! Now we're able to actually process the words without being bothered by mind numbing camera work.

I was really impressed with the amount of ground this documentary was able to cover considering it was shot on the dime (2K). The best bit of this doc has to be the “Lovecraft Bar” located in Portland, Oregon. This bar celebrates Lovecraft and horror in general. They also touch upon horror pin up models, some whom don't really care much for the genre . But that's fine, this is a very honest doc and is very pure in it's motives.
You can expect interviews with Savini, Haig, Bradley, Linnea Quigley, Bill Moseley and many more. The interviews with David J of Bauhaus and Love Rockets fame is a blast.

That's the thing, this is a fun documentary. It's not entirely a fluff piece, but it's an easy watch. Don't expect a thorough examination or any psychoanalysis of horror fans, this is just people who make horror and fans of the genre expressing their love and that passion is always a pleasure to watch. The DVD looks very solid, obviously shot on various HD camera's, so you can expect the picture quality looks better in some segments then in others. But even when it's not pristine it's certainly not distracting. 
The audio is the same as well, now and then during interviews you'll get a bit of a hiss and background noise but it's hardly noticeable and doesn't detract from the viewing experience. 

The extras include a live performance from David J (Exclusive to this DVD release), production photos, a Toxic Zombie music video. A little featurette titled “How it all started” and some more interviews with horror fans.

All in all this is a great watch, worthy of a rent. It's not going to blow your mind, but it's 75 minutes well spent, and this reviewer got a helluva kick out of it! Kudos to director/editor Tyler Benjamin and producers Jennifer Loomis & Darcy McMullen for making this, it's a great effort and I hope to see more documentaries from them in the future. Highly Recommended.
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