What do you get when you put (what some consider) outcasts from across the country, everyday moms and dads, grandparents and children with some of horror film’s biggest names? A great time and a horror convention. This is the formula Fantasm takes on and presents it’s results in stunning detail.
As a horror nut myself (have been for over 20 years), I’ve learned a lot about horror films and their followers. One of the main things I’ve learned is that you can’t judge horror fans by their tattooed, pierced, zombie shirted covers. Sure, it can be misleading, but it’s not so different from golfers enjoying polo shirts. Sure, it’s a darker style, but that shouldn’t automatically alert you to thinking these are dangerous folk. As a matter of fact, they’re almost always quite the contrary from my experience. I’ve ran forums and sites and have met thousands upon thousands of people over the past few years alone and have come to find that they’re often the most helpful, sincere, caring people you’ll ever meet. It isn’t that we’re (the horror community) obsessed with death or murder, it’s that we seek thrills that are safe, fun, off-the-wall and even artistic. There are a plethora of reasons that some people feel drawn to the horror genre but I’d bet that
nearly none of them are obsession with hurting others. It’s cathartic, it’s a release, an escape from every day life. That’s what Fantasm will teach you, so you don’t need to listen to me ramble on about it.
The documentary is a rather short one at only 55 minutes but it packs plenty of information, fun and interviews to give you exactly what it’s aiming for. Unlike a lot of docu-films, it doesn’t skip around and throw different things at you constantly, it’s very focused. It feels like a well-written book that properly transitions from chapter to chapter without overloading you on little details that drag it out and ultimately bore you. It’s never boring actually, especially if you’re a horror fan going in. If you aren’t, I’m still very confident that you will learn a lot and maybe even be tempted to get on board if you feel like you’ve yet to find that thing in your life that connects you with others. The horror community is clearly, thanks to this film for expressing it nicely, a very tight-nit family that sticks by each other and is welcoming to new fans at all times.
There are a lot of interviews with people that are synonymous with the horror community such as Heather Langenkamp (Nancy/A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Tom Atkins, yet none of them come across as if they’re more important than you are. It’s a very humble documentary that is clearly made with love for the genre, the fans and convention going. As great as it is to hear from these actors and actresses, I personally felt that the fans were what really made this film pop.
The footage is beautifully captured, the sound is top notch and the story is exactly what you’d want from this sort of venture. The only reason I gave the story a 9 instead of a 10 is due to it being such a niche title. I think that’s one of the best things it has going for it and I have no doubt that anyone would come out on the other side far more intrigued but nevertheless, it isn’t a typical family night thriller.
The film is a horror fan’s best friend. If you’re a convention regular, you will undoubtedly feel each word down to the bone and understand exactly what’s being said in each interview. If you aren’t, like myself (due to location), you’ll certainly wish you were! I have always had the itch to go and be a part of any one or twenty of these conventions and now, thanks to Kyle, his direction and his footage, have had that amplified much higher than even before. It’s truly a great experience to sit down and watch, it’s very warm and humbling, and beautiful to see and know that there are folks out there just like myself that love these disgusting, gory, freaky and sometimes hilariously bad films as much as I do.
We did an interview with Fantasm creator Kyle Kuchta a few months ago and are happy to see that it’s finally making DVD this month! If you’d like to get a copy and see this for yourself, and we strongly recommend that you do, head on over to the Fantasm store and get an amazing deal on a signed copy! http://fantasm.storenvy.com