Illustration: Adeline Pericart
There are nights when you look through your DVD collection and none of your favourite films float your boat – what you need is some serious Trash – the black sheep of your collection; something so bad that makes you feel good. Warning: to appreciate these films booze is recommended. And so over the next couple of weeks the Film Ireland collection of filmaholics shed their dignity, hide their shame and open their bins to reveal their trashiest films in the latest installment of…
‘… what I love to hate about this movie is the simple fact that they are being haunted by what I like to call ‘the smelly ghost fog’ … ’
Ciara Lianne O’Brien
I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I am quite a lover of trashy TV, if it involves people falling over, having outlandish weddings, or being ill-equipped to raise their impending child; I’m guaranteed to love it and tune in week after week. When we move to film, something has changed in the general consensus and somehow the worst of the worst trashy movies we can imagine are the ones we will happily queue up for special screenings of. Whilst we would rarely admit to what we actually watched on television last night, there is a certain pride that comes with our trashy movie loves. The beautiful thing about it is that our fondness for trashy film transcends genre and almost everyone has a new one to add to your ‘must-watch’ list. One of my own personal favourites is the 2005 horror miss Reeker.
Reeker follows a group of strangers inexplicably trapped in an apparently spooky desert oasis. If it wasn’t enough that they are plagued by visions of death, they also must escape a decaying creature that preys on them, hoping to kill them in the most violent of ways. What makes this movie a guilty pleasure trashy film love for me is not the awkward cinematography, the stunted dialogue, or the convenience of having a blind man with a strong nose around while being haunted by something that you can’t see but you can certainly smell, what I love to hate about this movie is the simple fact that they are being haunted by what I like to call ‘the smelly ghost fog’. We see only glimpses of the wispy creature which plagues our plucky protagonists, but we gather that it smells god-awful. I can only hope that the idea was pitched as ‘smelly ghost fog’.
At times Reeker fancies itself as the new Saw, with an onslaught of unlikely and horrifying murders, but it seems unsure of whether or not to throw itself entirely into the newly emerging ‘torture-porn’ genre and, as a result throws a twist in at the end in order to hyphenate its generic status to ‘horror-mystery’. When Saw first emerged, it was the violence which shocked audiences, but there was a certain intelligence to the layout of the film which, like Silence of the Lambs made it even more frightening. Whilst Reeker pulled off the torture-porn violence, it is lacking in that intelligence and elicits more giggles than screams. The twist towards the end is guaranteed to surprise some viewers, but as a lover of the genre, it became glaringly obvious that the entire movie is built around the premise of this twist, which points out major conveniences in the story which I would have been happier without. Whereas I love the strong-nosed blind man chasing the smelly ghost, the twist adds purpose and removes some charm for me.
There is a massive upside to all this mockery, when doing some research for this article I happened upon; No Man’s Land: The Rise of Reeker. That’s right, there’s a prequel and I couldn’t be more excited. Needless to say I’ll be curling up on the couch tonight; I have a hot date with a Smelly Ghost Fog.