Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Deborah Bernstein, Katy Bolger, Basil J. Bova, Ted Braun (II), Ed Callahan
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Aspiring screenwriter Edgar Allen moves to Hollywood with no more than a suitcase, a typewriter, and his wild imagination. He imagines scenes so vividly for the murder mystery he is writing that they seem to come to life..... more »
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Who Would? Hollywood!
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 10/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1985's SCREAMPLAY is one of those rarities among independently produced films that embraces its low budget and inexperienced actors and uses them to great advantage, and the result is an entertaining flick that is better than 90% of the tripe that comes from mainstream Hollywood. Not that these filmmakers dislike Hollywood far from it! SCREAMPLAY is, in fact, both a loving parody of Hollywood's second-string detective and horror films of the '30s & '40s and a celebration of the camera tricks and special FX of the early days of filmmaking.
Though a troupe of mostly unknown actors--as such, that is--the players in SCREAMPLAY are obviously knowledgeable about the cliched characters they are portraying and are well aware of the deliberate histrionics required to re-create such characters in a way that is both accurate yet still entertaining for a modern audience. The filmmakers are also quite knowledgeable about film history, and their love of the medium and admiration for the pioneers of the art form clearly shows. Yes, they employ all the kitschy old-school film FX--split-screen superimposition, chocolate syrup for blood (the film is shot in black-and-white), double-exposure, and details hand-scratched into the film emulsion, to name but a few--but they do so in a way that, while obvious, doesn't distract from the narrative. There are also several nods to distinct visual styles of films past, not the least of which are German Expressionism and true Film Noir. One scene in particular, in which a pair of shadow-hands reaches towards an unsuspecting victim, is an obvious homage to Murnau's NOSFERATU (1922).
Although the DVD edition of SCREAMPLAY is a product of Troma Entertainment, this film is far above the standard Troma tripe. Unlike that company's usual offerings, SCREAMPLAY only has brief nudity, minimal gore, and a story that is actually logical and capable of being understood, and on top of that, the "bad" acting is deliberate and actually contributes to the enjoyment of the film. In addition to a fun and entertaining film, this Troma DVD also offers a few actually worthwhile bonus features, not the least of which is a feature commentary by Rufus B. Seder, SCREAMPLAY's director and principal actor. In short, this Troma offering is actually worth the price of admission."