Saturday, October 30, 2010

Demon Lover Diary

Along with some comedic moments, I think the best moment in Joel DeMott's documentary about a schlock horror movie shoot in the 1970s Midwest, Demon Lover Diary, is when DeMott's voiceover narration matches with footage of the schlock director's children playing in the backyard.  As she muses over the irrationality of the enterprise (the director has faked a sick leave from work to make the movie, putting all of his finances into it, banking on the chance that the film will make it big on the Midwest circuit - Detroit, Lansing, Toledo, etc.), the kids are having a grand time playing with a big box, knocking it over, jumping in and out of it.  The asychronicity between sound and image (long take, unpretty childhood wistfulness) makes for a really rich but subtle comment on the crazy play (but - as adults - tortured, worried play) of trying to make commercial movies as amateurs ...

4 comments:

Nathan said...

In response to your point about shadows a few posts back: I stumbled onto this today (again, in french, sorry):

http://www.yellownow.be/livre_detail.php?ItemID=52

Michael C said...

Zach,
Good call to bring up this brilliant and often-ignored film around Halloween time - I've only been writing and thinking about 'standard' horror films over the past few days, but the real 'demons' that people unleash in this film is perhaps more disturbing that any fictional moment. In a rare screening here years ago, I still remember that unnerving feeling of descending from humour to the film's final moments of despair and panic.
Thanks for reminding me about this great film! Must find a way to watch it agsin some time...

Reb Cavolar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach Campbell said...

Nathan, thanks for that link - looks fantastic!

Michael C, yeah it's an absorbing and slow transition - the seriousness underscoring this ridiculous enterprise hints at a lot deeper problems. (I wish we learned more about the fellow who lobbed off his finger for insurance money...)

Reb Cavolar, I have not yet seen Seventeen, alas. It's on my radar.