Another mini-review: S&Man

I got around to watching the pseudo-documentary S&Man (Sandman, not S&M Man, by the way).  This is a really weird film, and I liked it a lot for blurring the lines between actual documentary and low budget horror.

About half of the film is an actual documentary where the filmmaker speaks to people in the underground horror film scene.  He interviews people like Bill Zebub and Debbie D, as well as doctors and a PhD.  The main point is that horror films are basically a form of voyeurism.  They discuss how horror has come to change over the years, and they spend a lot of time talking with the makers of these underground films, which are basically just cheaply shot shock flicks with plenty of nudity and gore and very little script.

The other half of the film, woven into the documentary, is the filmmaker’s encounters with Eric, one of the underground movie makers who produces films that at first seem similar to all the other cheap flicks, but it eventually becomes apparent that Eric isn’t filming actors.  He’s really a stalker who kills women on film and sells it as underground horror.  The film never makes that 100% explicit, nor do the filmmakers find any hard evidence or go to the police.  There isn’t even a stinger line after the film ends saying what happened to Eric.

The movie is pretty good from the documentary side; everything they talk about really hits home in how horror has gone from something you watch as an outsider to today’s films that try to bring you into the horror itself.  The S&Man stuff really makes you wonder if what you are watching is real, and where does the line exist anymore?

This isn’t a scary movie, really.  It’ll make you think, and that’s not a bad thing.


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