I Dig Real FX in Horror Movies
I'm a dyed in the wool old-school horror movie fan. As I get older I find myself less enthusiastic about new movies of any kind. I can't really say why, other than the fact that I hardly relate to movies anymore. Funny thing about it is that after watching the movie VHS a year or two ago I thought, "That was okay, but could have been much better." A lot of it made no fucking sense and the execution was mediocre, which really bummed me out because there was so much potential. A few months ago I watched an old movie called Garden of the Dead and thought, "Man, this movie is a total piece of shit," but I said it in an enthusiastic sort of way. I enjoy that kind of stuff a lot more than a modern effort with an equally flimsy budget, poor acting,and Swiss cheese plot (all of which Garden of the Dead is chock-full of).
One of the reasons I'm not into modern horror film is the effects. I pretty much hate CGI with few exceptions. I agree, over the years CGI has improved (I recall a piss poor effect in the movie The Relic where a guy gets decapitated and a huge bubble-like glob of computer generated blood plopped out of his severed neck and I laughed out loud it was such a pathetic effort). My issue is that the CGI-heavy movies of today look like goddamned video games or ultra streamlined animated features. I'm just not into it, and I'm beginning to realize that I never will be. If I can tell that, in a Wintry scene, the snowflakes and the breath exhalations from the characters are fake, I get irritated. Yeah, I understand that the producers save money by inserting fake steamy breath instead of filming in a cold location or doing something crazy like creating an entire refrigerated set a la The Exorcist. But that's no excuse. You lost me with the first CGI snowflake and then I laughed when breath floated out of mouths like tiny ghosts dissolving into the air.
I figure if I cannot tell it's CGI, then the effects team did a good job. Once I can tell, I begin to lose interest. You can understand why I'm not a fan of action movies and all those super hero films that are so popular. I did enjoy Tim Burton's Batman, though. 'Course, it's almost thirty years old now.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, how is it Robert despises CGI so much and yet he likes old horror films with some of the most ridiculous and cringe-worthy ventures into latex and fake blood ever filmed? Oh, the fake blood--sometimes runny, sometimes syrupy and even orange (I'm looking at you, Dawn of the Dead). My simple response is that I grew up on that stuff. I devoured films like Dead Alive and Evil Dead and loved ever nasty effect, every drop of blood, every clay animated monster. I even dig the oatmeal faced zombies in I Eat Your Skin. My assumption is that young kids getting into film today feel the same way about CGI that I do about real-life latex and makeup effects. More power to 'em! Life won't last forever, so I'll just sit here with my DVDs and VHS tapes and watch all the old shit I love.