The Horror Honeys: Showdown of the Horror Documentaries! Who Will Survive??

Showdown of the Horror Documentaries! Who Will Survive??

A Revenge Honey Triple Review

Invasion of the Scream Queens (1992)
Adjust Your Tracking (2013)
Killer Legends (2014)

I think it's pretty clear by this point that I'm a giant flouncing nerd. Because I love learning, when given the choice between watching any other movie and a documentary, I'm always going to choose a documentary. However, when one of those options is a HORROR documentary? Well, you best get out of the way because some serious nerding is about to happen. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to screen three separate documentaries that all had a horror slant. Two, while very clearly about nostalgia and the history of the horror community as a whole, did absolutely nothing for me. The other, which went about exposing the truth behind horror's most enduring legends, was one of the best documentaries I've seen in a long time. So take my hand, fellow flouncers, as we walk down the road of the horror documentary!

I can't IMAGINE why they changed the cover.
Invasion of the Scream Queens, directed by Donald Farmer (and I use the term "directed" loosely) is one of the strangest documentaries I've ever seen in my life. Released in 1992, it's now celebrating its 20th anniversary re-release, which was actually two years ago? But whatever. This doc aims to celebrate women who make careers in B-films, but these must have been some seriously obscure B-movies, because fuck if I've heard of most of them. With the exception of Mary Woronov, Janus Blythe, and Linnea Quigley, most of these women starred in movies with titles like Attack of the Killer Bimbos and Sorority Babes in Slime Bowl-O-Rama. I'm not sorry to say I missed both of those cinematic masterpieces.

The production value on Invasion is so atrocious, I found myself laughing at transitional wipes that looked like they came standard on some sort of early 90s floppy disk photo editing program. I'm also not sorry to say, I've seen amateur pornography with better production value. Francss Ford Coppola made The Godfather in 1972. NO EXCUSES!

I'm also sad to report that I broke down in hysterical laughter when two actresses were handed the mic in order to interview each other... on a balcony... at night. It felt like the set up to an actual porno. I'm sure that in a time when no one was bothering to give women in horror their due, this was a case of, "well, it's better than nothing." But frankly, the whole exercise felt like a giant ego stroke for the director and I have NO idea why we are celebrating this film's re-release. If anything, the documentary just serves as proof that someone needs to get their ass out there and make a newer, better, more respectful documentary about the women who carried horror on their shoulders (and not their blood soaked, snapped bikini-clad breasts... SERIOUSLY! WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH THAT COVER?).

Now, we move on to Adjust Your Tracking. Directed by Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic, I had heard epic buzz about this documentary since its release last year, so I was fairly excited to finally see it. As it turns out, I don't think I'm quite the target audience for this doc about hardcore collectors of VHS. To start with, I am fairly confident that I counted a total of one woman in this whole film. I'm not sure if that speaks to the lack of women who are actually involved in VHS culture or the filmmakers lack of interest in finding any. What I do know is that the documentary closed with one dude's comment that there needed to be more "big-titted women" involved in VHS collecting. 

However, even if we discount the fact that movie closed by alienating me entirely, I found the whole affair fairly gimmicky. The old-school editing, the random tracking problems, the cutesy static wipes... I get it. This is a documentary about VHS collectors. Would I have appreciated the movie more if it was about collectors of vintage books or Hollywood memorabilia? Maybe. Maybe this particular film is just about "preaching to the choir." In the end, I'd say this one is for those who would share in the collective nerdgasm of spending over $100 on a copy of Tales from the Quadead Zone. I am not that person. And I am totally fine with that.

Our final documentary is the most recent release: Killer Legends, from Joshua Zeman, director of the soul-stirring Cropsey. Zeman and filmmaking partner Rachel Mills extensively researched some the urban legends that have become a huge part of the collective conscious: the hook-hand man, the murdered babysitter, the Candyman, and the killer clown. Equal parts true crime, horror history, and urban legend documentary, Killer Legends is the kind of doc that will satisfy the itch of any horror aficionado.

Personally, what struck me most about Killer Legends was watching Zeman and Mills delve into the real history of the inspiration behind the most classic urban legends that not only make up a bulk of horror films, but have also become a huge part of campfire culture. How many babysitters have actually been murdered while working, and was the call coming from inside the house? Has there ever been a real phantom lurking on lovers lane? Has a child ever died from Halloween candy spiked with cyanide and a side of razor blades? And besides John Wayne Gacy... just how many killer clowns have stalked streets around the world?

I must say, despite my actually diagnosed coulrophobia, it was the true story behind the legend of the Candy Man that frightened me the most. If you don't know the details, I won't give them away here. But you should definitely seek out Killer Legends. This is one horror documentary that I am happy to add to my collection. My only complaint? I wish the movie were longer. I wanted more!

Revenge Honey Horror Documentary Ratings:
Invasion of the Scream Queens - 1 Faux Empowerment Film out of 5
Adjust Your Tracking -  2 Sweaty Broke Virgins out of 5
Killer Legends - 4.5 Killer Pixie Sticks out of 5