Horror Business (2005)

Video  |   |  Documentary  |  2005 (USA)
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Take a walk on the scary side with guerrilla horror filmmakers and the bizarre culture that drives them to pursue their dreams. In 2003, filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano began what would ... See full summary »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Adell ...
Ron Atkins ...
Ken Keen ...
Anthony Timpone ...
Himself (as Tony Timpone)
John Goras ...
Dave Parker ...
David Stagnari ...
Himself (as Tate Steinziek)
John Brodie ...
Himself (as Rod Gudino)
Brian Singleton ...
John Bloom ...
Himself (as Joe Bob Briggs)
Himself (as Dave Gebroe)
Christina Reilly ...


Take a walk on the scary side with guerrilla horror filmmakers and the bizarre culture that drives them to pursue their dreams. In 2003, filmmaker Christopher P. Garetano began what would become a two-year journey to discover what possesses people to become horror filmmakers. Armed with nothing but a camera and a microphone, Chris traveled all over the United States to visit independent filmmakers on and off their sets. In Horror Business, you will witness that quest unfold and meet some truly independent filmmakers including Mark Borchardt (American Movie) and Dave Gebroe (Zombie Honeymoon), along with monster movie personalities like Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast), Joe Bob Briggs (cult film critic and author), and Sid Haig (Foxy Brown, The Devils Rejects). This timeless essay of popcorn-generation nostalgia and behind-the-scenes moments just may prove "movie making really is no way to spend a life!" Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Moviemaking is no way to spend a life.





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A movie about those who will never make it in the horror film business
28 September 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"If you give a monkey a camera, it will go out there and shoot something" – Ron Atkins

A fitting statement from one of the featured subjects in Horror Business, a documentary on the horror film industry that has a lot of monkeys with cameras, but very few filmmakers. One doesn't have to be part of mainstream Hollywood to be considered a director, but most of the no-talent hacks showcased within this movie are shooting stuff at the level and with the same amount of care as a high school student shooting their English Media project. There are a few small appearances from accomplished filmmakers involved in the horror business, such as H.G Lewis, Sid Haig and Lloyd Kaufman, but for the most part the featured "directors" don't stand the slightest chance of ever making it in the horror business this film professes to be about.

The one exception is David Stagnari, an avid horror fanatic that is attempting to jump start a career as a director with his short film "Catharsis". Stagnari is a person a lot of horror fans could easily relate to; a fan since he was a small child, Stagnari intelligently discusses the state of the genre today, what he wants to accomplish as a director and reminisces of his past experiences watching double-features at a drive-in, which has now been paved over and replaced by a "Babies R' Us". The last is something that may strike a chord in many horror fans, as in today's day and age, repertory theaters and drive-ins, the last solace for audiences seeking independent cinema, are being driven out of business by major conglomerates like AMC and Regal. Although only a few clips of "Catharsis" are shown throughout Horror Business, you can tell that even though Stagnari will probably never break it big, due to the nature of the film industry, he is at least trying to create something of substance.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Ron Atkins, a pretentious d-bag (excuse my unprofessional terminology, but it's the most accurate description of the man) who doesn't even try to make anything remotely worth watching. Armed with a consumer camera, Atkins shoots his films without the aid of lighting, a crew, a tri-pod, a script or most importantly, a brain. Throughout the shooting of his cruddy exploitation flicks, he throws in random story lines, such as Dick Cheney taking a dog in the rear, and then begins to laugh profusely at his own terrible attempts at humor. His views that what moviegoers think of his films doesn't matter as long as he enjoys them are despicable and represent everything wrong with the film industry today, but his wife's reasoning that anyone who dislikes Atkins movies actually enjoys them, doesn't even make the least bit of sense. Atkinson even has the gall to begin trashing Hollywood films. Even the average J-horror remake has more talent, work and heart behind it. As well as absent film-making skills, Atkins also has anger issues (he cusses out a teenage Burger King employee) and a tendency to lie, one example being his claim that he's sold over 30,000 copies of his movies. Considering that none of his films have over 80 votes on IMDb, I find this hard to believe, although there is the small chance that his parents have purchased 29,900 copies of his films.

The rest of the filmmakers fall somewhere in between the two: not entirely as terrible as Atkins, but none as likable as Stagnari. There's an alcoholic who chooses his cameraman a few minutes before his shoot, two full grown men still living at home and producing schlock on par with Atkins and an animator who specializes in cheap flash animation. It's about as far from the horror business as you can get. This doesn't mean that Horror Business had to be a complete failure: if the documentary had focused on the pitfalls of the various directors and what holds them back, it could've worked. As it stands, Horror Business seems unfocused. There's no message, no story arc, no apparent point behind the film; it consists of interviews and behind the scenes set footage, stuff that would make a great special feature on a DVD, but isn't sufficient or substantial enough for a film of its own. It's interesting, but it never feels like a movie. That's the real problem with Horror Business: not that it focuses on people so far outside of the horror business, but that it doesn't know what to do with them or how to create a compelling story revolving around them.

  • dyl_gon (allhorrorfilms.com)

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