Haunted Honeymoon

Film Review: Into the Pit: The Shocking Story of Deadpit.com (2009)

SYNOPSIS:

Into The Pit: The Shocking Story of Deadpit.Com is a rich story of friendship, diverging dreams, blatant escapism, and childhood nostalgia set against a high contrast rural backdrop.

Into The Pit tells the story of Wes Vance and Aaron Frye, two seemingly unremarkable Kentuckians who have lived in the small town of Prestonsburg their entire lives. They live in a world where family, coal, bluegrass, hunting and church are the pillars of life itself. For a couple of guys whose main interests in life are horror films, professional wrestling, and heavy metal; staving off boredom meant taking some serious and inventive measures. They needed an outlet, and in 2005 they found one, creating an Internet-based “Horror Talk Radio” show called Deadpit.com. Forming a pair of wacky alter egos by the names of “Uncle Bill” (Aaron) and “The Creepy Kentuckian” (Wes), the duo hosts a weekly MP3 show that features the latest horror news, film reviews, and in-depth interviews with a roster of horror royalty: John Carpenter, Joe Dante and George A. Romero, among many others.

In the film, Wes focuses on Deadpit full-time, juggling duties on the site while freelancing as a web master. Simply put, he is the “Creepy Kentuckian,” a fun-loving guy whose passion for horror and humor is apparent in everything he does. The show’s other host, Aaron, is part “Uncle Bill,” and part graduate student pursuing a certification in mental health counseling. To help relieve the stress of this pursuit, Aaron becomes “Uncle Bill.” Under this pseudonym, Aaron lets loose, becoming as lewd and crude as he wants, obsessing over the gory details of horror movies and commenting with charisma and humor matched only by his co-host.

As the show grows in popularity, Aaron gets closer to gaining his degree. He begins to feel the tension between his two personas as an outrageous horror show host by night and a professional counselor by day. Adding to the stress is an ambivalent Wes, who sees the show as top priority and offers little empathy. Aaron finds himself in an ethical, professional, and internal quandary. The question becomes unavoidable: when or if will Aaron put away his scarier passions in the pursuit of more altruistic endeavors? The future of Deadpit.com is uncertain.

REVIEW: 

I cant tell you how much I love to see films like this being made. What I’m talking about of course is that documentary style overview of seeing a horror site or organization go thru the motions of nothingness into something. Why? – because I can share the same struggles, achievements and journey that not only reminds me of myself but signifies that several others out there travel down similar roads. Deadpit …..a web site and talk show pod cast/talk radio show decided a while back to put their energies into providing a free access portal into quality discussions on horror and horror genre topics. At some point in our own growth we decided to do something similar, but only because it was becoming trendy to do so and provide live voices to celebrities and entertainment.

Deadpit, the product of 2 Kentuckians came at us boldly with heavy accents, a pool of knowledge and most of all an opinion. Remember the Slater movie where he played the DJ with his own pirate radio station? Well its that kind of heart that this film takes to the streets with nothing more than a purpose. As of this review-writing they are going on there 200th episode …which means …literally these boys have been at this for some time. They wear the banner of “innovators of Horror talk radio”, and I for have no reason to doubt them. What is and has been the hardship is of course doing a serious and comedic radio show with heavy red neck accents.

There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but we as a culture have come to associate the tone as film-like backwood-ness. Its not true in this case as these are bright fellas, however as the film details the perception has been a long battle to gain respect and credibility. What the reality of this is, is that deadpit has created there own persona and approach with a vocal tone that stands out. Hillbilly horror …anyone? Not necessarily….but the assumption has been from some listeners that its a ongoing gag used as seasoning rather than the real deal. Yep…its real… the film is proof of that.

INTO THE PIT: THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF DEADPIT.COM
documents their days, their views, their sessions and there journey. It’s done well and done with heart…in fact my first intuition is to get these boys as a guest stars on our radio show.

With the dawn of internet and social media the trend has escalated 10 fold. This also means that sights have started popping up to accommodate radio shows across the board. Deadpit still does it somewhat old style with Mikes and audio editing equipment. Because of that though it comes off sounding better than generic internet service casts….. I for one dig and appreciate seeing the effort. The documentary itself does more than tell the story of a couple of ambitious horror fans. It entertains thoughts about life lessons, chasing dreams, growing up and a look at a friendship that has lasted to this day.

It also shows the thru true dedication that horror fans have to there craft. Whether it’s perceived as geek fandom or artistic growth there is enough of it to spawn alot of dedication among the community to create something inspired from another. “Into the pit” is one such tale that shows how an idea blossoms into not only integrating with the community as an entity itself….. but also a full circle look at how fans and creators begin to become one of the same mold. Radio sessions which feature top talents that the 2 hosts had previously as youths led them in to this direction in the first place….. is a good indication of how the energy comes full circle.

Highlights include seeing the boys construct there gloomy intro piece much to the humor of the camera. It also highlights moments from past shows that bring visuals to the lunacy they share when in session.

In closing, Director Kelly Marcott has created a film that flows beautifully with a well put together progression. We get history, humor, friendship and concern all rolled into one. The idea of horror fans is well translated on screen as well as a personal focus on the individuals and their product. Interestingly enough, a few questions are answered in the translation such as what next, when does it become a decision between life choices and hobbies and where can it go from here. For now it looks like the focus is on producing shows but tomorrow may lead down other roads. Though in the meantime we still have one more reason to tune in, share views and get an entertaining perspective of releases thru the eyes of 2 home boys from Kentucky. Honest, powerful and brilliantly told!

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