“A true horror anthology containing perverse stories detailing serial killers stalking the local townspeople. A couple retreat home to have sex after meeting at a nightclub. Following their steamy lovemaking, they start to talk about the psychopathic local serial killers they have heard about. The first is about a killer who kidnaps a woman to torture her in as many sick and perverse ways possible. The second story follows a madman who has escaped a mental asylum. In the third installment a crazed filmmaker goes out of his way to create the sickest and most perverse film possible.”
I work in a wine bar. Itâs how I pay the bills but itâs not a brainless job. Thereâs a lot to know about wine, or perhaps a better phrasing might be, thereâs a lot one can learn about wine. Though Iâve learned quite a bit Iâm still no expert, but Iâve gained enough insight to understand that just because someone drinks a lot of wine doesnât necessarily mean they actually know anything about wine. Unfortunately that doesnât stop many people from thinking they do. The same can be said for film making, and this is where I step up on my soapbox for the first and last time. Just because you watch a lot of movies, doesnât necessarily mean you know anything about how theyâre made. Watching horror movies and having a camera and being able to make fake blood doesnât mean you should start filming anymore than knowing how to juggle and having three chainsaws means you should go join the circus.
Now donât get me wrong, watching movies is merely a first step, you shouldnât make movies if you donât watch everything you can get your grubby little hands on, but this just covers the love and desire to make them. Making movies, especially independent films, requires a wide knowledge base to draw from. You have to learn about story, composition, lighting, framing, sound, editing and thatâs just in general. If you want to make an independent horror movie then you better start brushing up on special effects, make-up, creating tension, and scares. If youâre thinking to yourself that Iâm preaching to the choir then youâre either already making movies (and not the independent kind) or youâre making bad independent horror. Why? You should never stop learning. Do you really think that John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, Dario Argento, George Romero or any great horror film maker stopped and said âOkay, Iâve learned everything so I can stop nowâ? Even Uwe Boll must still be learning something if he keeps getting paid to make his schlock. Heâs certainly not learning how to make movies.
Despite nearly thirty shorts and videos and two certifications in media studies, director Jason Impeyâs first short, âObsession,â has the same poor quality as this later effort. Itâs apparent that regardless of education and experience Impey isnât applying what is an obvious love for horror movies of all types. His work remains messy and stilted and âKiller Storiesâ is no exception, but with more effort thereâs nowhere to go but up.
Calling it a student film would be giving âKiller Storiesâ too much credit. âStudentâ implies access to education and equipment resources that have been patently ignored. No, at best this movie feels more like a high school project, at worst a âmy dad said we could borrow the cameraâ style. Made up of three separate stories about killers and loosely held together by two people having sex after a night out at the club. The content of each story, all of them are supposed to be real cases of murders in or near whatever British city, town or hamlet they happen to be in (thereâs a lot of wooded areas and fields where they are), has no relation to each other or the couple telling the stories. Each story tends to mimic situations seen from other horror movies but doesnât innovate or improve upon any aspect of those ideas.
Thanks for sticking with me through the ranting but itâs important to understand that hard work often shines through when thereâs little else in the way of resources. There may not be enough expertise, thereâs never enough money, the pool of acting talent may need some chlorine and time may even be your enemy but many of the largest faults in âKiller Storiesâ could have been avoided. The best movies are nothing short of a collection of intense effort from all aspects of the process, from script to lighting to acting.
Killer Stories (Crimes of Torture and Horror) (2010)