Starring Craig Anderson, Gerard Odwyer, Dee Wallace, Bryan Moses
Directed by Gary Doust
Filmmaking can be a bitch. Any filmmaker worth their salt will tell you that. So the documentary Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare from director Gary Doust will no doubt resonate with anyone who has personally experienced the hardships of completing an indie film with a limited crew and an even more limited budget.
Craig Anderson says that he does not want to die without having fulfilled his purpose, which he believes is to make a film. A film called Red Christmas, about an aborted fetus which survives being removed from the womb and, upon reaching adulthood, embarks on a journey of vengeance against the family who didn’t want him (I should clarify that I personally believe in a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body).
From day one, it seems like completing Red Christmas will be such a monumental undertaking that climbing Mount Everest or swimming across the Pacific Ocean look like going to the store to buy milk in comparison. Anderson in debt and keeps needing to take out loans which he doesn’t know he can pay back, leading him down the terrible road to bankruptcy. In addition to his monetary woes, he also has nowhere near the amount of time or resources needed to complete the film to his satisfaction. And to make matters worse, he forgot to file the correct paperwork to the Screen Actors Guild, meaning that American actress Dee Wallace, who was planned to be the key selling point of Red Christmas, may be barred from appearing.
We all go through periods in life when we feel like giving up, but Anderson braves the waters, and against all odds, reaches the end of his journey with a film which he is proud of. And I’ve never met the guy, but I felt proud of him for seeing it through to the end instead of packing his bags and going home. Especially since his stress and frustration reached points where it was almost palpable, making Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare a harrowing film to get through at times. If you’ve already seen Red Christmas, this works as a perfect companion piece to illustrate the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the production.
By the way, apparently Dee Wallace hates being asked questions about E.T.. I wish someone had told me that before I met her at the MCM London Comic Con. At least she didn’t seem to mind.