S&MAN begins with footage from Michael Powell's exploration of voyeurism, "Peeping Tom." Director JT Petty uses this footage as a starting point to examine the classic comparison between filmmaking and voyeurism, particularly within the horror genre. He goes on to investigate this connection further, but rather than looking to classic horror films, Petty explores the seedy underground genre of fetish films. These movies are basically simulated snuff films where victims are raped and murdered in a variety of fantasy scenarios. The most notorious of these is a series called "S&Man," where voyeurism takes center stage as people are unknowingly followed with a camera. Petty plunges headfirst into this world of bizarre fetish films, and comes up with mesmerizing interviews with the producers and actors of these movies. Much of the footage from these videos will shock and disturb even the most seasoned horror veteran. However, the connection that Petty draws between these films and mainstream horror classics like "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" proves even more unsettling. Using interviews with Carol Clover (author off the definitive horror book, "Men, Women, and Chainsaws), and his personal experience as a horror director, Petty suggests that viewers' interest in horror films is rooted in the same voyeuristic urge to which these fetish videos appeal. Ulitmately, Petty directly confronts the audience, forcing them to examine their fascination with horror, torture, and violence. And for genre fans, these implications may make S&MAN the most unsettling horror film experience in years.- Written by Brian Clark
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