It’s been far too long since we’ve talked about horror films, so this episode we’re looking at three horror mockumentaries. What do we mean when we say “mockumentary”, beyond indulging our almost fetishistic love of portmanteau words? Each of these films purports to be a documentary, or at least covers the process of shooting one, but only one of them actually contains any documentary footage. Hmm… After that explanation, I’m not sure what I mean any more.
The three films we’re looking at are Man Bites Dog (AKA C’est arrivé près de chez vous), a Belgian film from 1992, and Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and S&man, both American films from 2006. We also make mention of a few other films with either similar formats or subject matter: Long Pigs, Found and F for Fake. Scott has previously reviewed both Long Pigs and Found on this very site.
Some of these films contain extreme and upsetting material. Of the three, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is the lightest in tone and contains nothing more disturbing than you would see in a standard Hollywood slasher movie. The other two stray into areas of sadism and sexual violence at times, so be warned if you plan to watch them ahead of listening to the episode.
S&man in particular, with its real interviews with horror directors and academics, raises some interesting questions about what draws us to horror films, especially those of a more extreme nature. If you have opinions or anecdotes about this, we’d love to hear them.
This episode also sees us experimenting with the format, trying to find the best way to have an in-depth discussion of films you may not have seen without spoiling them completely. Our cunning solution is to split the episode into two, with largely spoiler-free discussion in the first half and then a free-for-all in the second. We have separated the two segments with some cheery music and a warning volley of gunfire. Also, Matt tells you when the spoilers are about to start. Then gunfire.
The three of us love horror films. We love watching them and we love talking about them, even if we rarely agree (as the discussion of S&man will prove!) If you’d like to hear more episodes like this, please let us know on Google+ or Facebook, or in the comments on this post.