Saturday, October 22, 2016

Terrortory at #9 and Reviews

Terrortory's doing pretty amazing on Amazon--it's hanging at #9 in the top 10 Horror--not sure it'll be able to push past the big-budget fare above it, but here's hoping. It's actually up to #73 on the Popular list of over 9,000 movies.

Also of note, we've busted through not one million minutes but TWO million at this point. It's very encouraging.

The only downside to all of this is that many of the reviews are, let's say, less than kind. On the one hand it's impossible to ignore, though I try. Many of the reviews I ignore offhand. The ones that mention that it looks like we shot on an iphone or a "90's camcorder" are clearly from out-right idiots.

On the off chance they'd like to know, we shot on: Canon 5D Mark 2 with various L Glass(Smiling Jack) and 5D Mark 3 with rented Zeiss lenses(Wraparound), Panasonic GH4 with rented glass and my cheap Rokinon lenses that I love, Canon 70D(Prowler and Drone) and Canon HV30 and HV40(yes, actually using mini-dv tape).

So if they think the picture looks like an iphone or a 90's camcorder then they're just flat out stupid. (or--as I'm coming to think--they watched it on a phone or kindle with a really bad connection...the movie DOES look like crap if you're watching it that way, but pretty much any movie will)

Those who say the movie "makes no sense"...that's so vague I can't really comment. While there may be a few things that aren't spelled out(like who or what exactly Gotz is), most of it's pretty simple.

1) Siren is about a hunter who goes into the Terrortory and is drawn to the Siren's call. As soon as she speaks to him, everything he sees is only in his mind as she draws him closer and closer to her so that she can eat him.

2) Prowler isn't mine, and to be honest Mark and I had a conversation early where I had script reservations. My problem was that it was going to appear, from the way it was shot, that we were hiding the Prowler's identity. That would appear to the audience like it was one of the people in the group doing the killing. So by the end when it turns out to be a stranger the audience will feel ripped off.
But Mark liked it that way, and that's the filmmaker's prerogitive--to do it the way you want to see it. It would have some cool gore and more humor than the other segments.

3) Smiling Jack - The 1st segment I did. It involves a clueless couple that goes out into the woods camping, with the guy planning to propose to his girl. They're being stalked by a pumpkin-headed man, Smiling Jack.

But surprise #1 is that they're not clueless at all. They're there hunting HIM. To either get some great video or actually citizen's arrest this guy who scares kids out in the woods.

They get attacked, but they go after him and eventually discover surprise #2--Smiling Jack is not a man at all. He's a supernatural entity that opens up the skulls of his victims and adds the brains to his empty pumpkin head.

One reviewer mentioned they thought it might have been better if Jack had an actual pumpkin on his head. I guess he didn't understand that THAT would clearly have revealed that Jack wasn't a man at all. (the review also blows the fact that Jack's a creature rather than just a guy with a plastic pumpkin mask)

4) Drone Collector - This was Dan's and is pretty self explanatory. Our only worry, which I think is valid, is that people watching will think that little walking drone at the end is controlling all of the flying drones. That was not our intention--we just wanted to explain the typing sounds heard earlier(which we had to add to sell the fact that the drone collector wasn't dead).

5) The Midnight Clown - Again, pretty self explanatory. Other than an FX snafu involving a decapitation and another FX shot that we just couldn't make happen due to wind and logistics, it went okay. It was the cheapest of the segments to do because it had to be--I was basically completely out of money by this time.

The Wrap - Couple rents a house in the Terrortory. Lot of life-size dolls around the house. Power goes out, and someone outside the house makes his way INSIDE the house. Goes into their son's room, then attacks her husband while she's passed out downstairs. She wakes to find a black trash bag bulging in the corner--goes upstairs and finds the doll where her son should be. Goes downstairs to see what's in the trash bag, but her husband is outside the door, bleeding. He's stabbed, falls to the ground, and the figure outside gets in. She strikes the figure, knocking its mask off and we see it's a deformed thing with one eye who can only say "Gotz". She kills it, but still doesn't know where her son is. At that moment, something taps on the glass window--it's her husband, who's now in the midst of turning into a life-sized doll(which is what the creature Gotz does to people when it stabs them).

Then she wakes--this is sort of a "Final Destination" moment. Whether I ever address why she in particular has this vision, in a sequel or whatever, who knows?

All that said, I'm pretty happy with the final movie. We shot it for WAY cheaper than any film I've ever done. The reviews who swipe at it for being "low budget", well hey, guilty on all counts. Anyone who doesn't like low budget fare isn't going to like the movie. Lucky for them, the Ghostbusters remake is still available for them to check out.

Next post we'll play a little game that we had fun with on Facebook about reviews.

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