OCTOBER 15, 2007
Not sure why I didn’t just write a review for Behind The Mask when it was in theaters for a minute or so last spring. According to my records, I watched Bloody Birthday the same day, and only wrote about that. Then again, this was prior to doing “Non Canon” reviews, and since I first saw the film at Screamfest last year, I guess I just opted not to write it up.
I didn’t say it would be an interesting anecdote.
The film is great, though it doesn’t hold up to subsequent viewings as much as I would have liked. All the slasher references are great (and more importantly – not very distracting), and one bonus to re-watching the film is picking up on a few others. According to director Scott Glosserman, there’s a Halloween reference in the film that NO ONE has picked up on yet, and I am determined to find it (after the Screamfest screening, he told me I was one of only two people, the other being the film’s composer, to point out another obscure one. *Nerd beams*). But some of the humor doesn’t really resonate on a 2nd or 3rd viewing as much as it originally did, and the film’s 3rd act loses some of its initial punch.
The 3rd act was reviled by some when the film first came out, and I am not sure why. It seems a perfectly logical payoff to the film, and it’s far from badly done. But again, as it was sort of a surprise the first time, watching it again, you just kind of wish they kept with the documentary stuff.
But the film is still incredibly well made, and sort of makes you proud to be a slasher fan. All of the little clichés are torn apart (and utilized), but in a loving and honored way. The scene where Leslie Vernon explains how slashers have to do cardio and tai chi in order to do that whole “Walk after someone running but still keep up with them” thing is possibly the most genius idea in the history of mockumentaries, and Nathan Baesel’s performance is pretty award-worthy if you ask me (and no one has). Also, it’s a nice touch to have Robert Englund more or less playing Sam Loomis, right down to the trenchcoat. It’s the best tribute I’ve seen to the character/actor (why hasn’t anyone made a Loomis talking action figure???).
However, the commentary track is pretty much the most annoying track ever recorded in all of DVD history. It’s four of the actors, and throughout almost the entire track, they are carrying on two separate conversations or just making in-jokes and laughing at them. It’s probably the first time in history I have felt like a 3rd wheel when I was technically by myself. When a track comes out like this, you gotta wonder why the DVD company (in this case, Anchor Bay) bothers putting it on at all. I admire anyone who can get through the entire thing in one sitting (took me three). The other extras are interesting, if nothing as unique as the film itself.
Roughly 20 people went to see this in theaters. All of the 5.9999999 billion other people in the world are on my shitlist. I kind of like the irony that Anchor Bay released the year’s two best horror films in theaters (the other being Hatchet), but no one showed up, presumably because they were broke from re-buying all the Anchor Bay titles that get re-released every other week or so (Halloween, with a new cover!).
What say you?