There’s a general misconception among casual horror fans that any flick produced by a fellow fan, or amateur, isn’t worth the time it takes to type in w-w-w-.-y-o-u-t-u-b-e-.-c-o-m.
Bona fide horror hounds have been tuned in to these inspired projects for years, understanding and respecting the effort devoted to a genuine passion piece. The detractors tend (this isn’t a rule carved in stone, mind you) to be the guys and gals who catch a macabre flick once every week or so, wiling to confess their affinity for the genre, but perhaps not devoted enough to qualify as a certified freak for terror, who haven’t taken the time to study these ambitious pictures.
The truth is, anyone who can openly acknowledge their love for horror can potentially find some brilliant fan productions, regardless of how dedicated one may or may not be. Sometimes fans just need a nudge in the right direction, and that’s what we’ve set out to make happen on this fine Friday the 13th. We’re giving you the proverbial nudge.
10 – Halloween: Resurgence – This is a strong offshoot of the Halloween franchise that plays out as though it’s just another sequel, featuring zero characters directly related to the long-running series. You won’t spot Tommy Doyle, or Laurie Strode, or Sam Loomis in this pic. You won’t watch as the terror unravels in the serene suburbs of Haddonfield, Illinois, either. You will however take a trip to Smith’s Grove Santarium, where Michael goes buck-wild on a group of 30-somethings sniffing around where they don’t belong. Director Darren Jones siphons some spirited performances from this group of amateurs, and he’s got a sound understanding of basic film mechanics. The picture isn’t all too stylized, but it is quite clean. Michael’s mask looks awesome, and Jones himself does a great job of physical acting, as he dons the famed Myers getup. Throw in a few well-timed jump scares, an eerie shot or two, and some fun tributes to the series (I got a major kick out of the Akkad Gas station) and you’ve got one of the finest Halloween fan films ever shot.
9 – Evil Dead in 60 Seconds – The truth is, Evil Dead in 60 Seconds is more trailer than short film. However, the guidelines for Vancouver’s Virgin Radio Film competition specified that the full picture be recreated in 60 seconds, thus the fan “film” classification. Directors Gigi Saul Guerrero and Luke Bramley not only capture the essence and storyline of the cult classic pic, they also make it look awfully damn good! This is a highly refined little project with genius cuts, solid special effects and a mighty fine stand-in for Bruce Campbell. You’ll spot a number of these Evil Dead in 60 Seconds entries online, but this one tickles the fancy in a special way.