Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jug Face and Why it's the First Artsy Campy Indie-Drama-Horror

5 of 7 viewers "Liked" "Jug Face" (2013, USA)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Book Wyrm -  *Spoiler* "Even though many citizens didn't enjoy the film, I liked its stark depiction of reality. I really liked how the main girl really ended up dead and didn't defy death or reality. This was a pretty decent movie." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "Divine intervention, moonshine, and ceramics. This film is part indie drama focusing on the perception of life as a human and part campy supernatural horror. "Jug Face" is anything but normal." - 4 Stars

The Impostor - "The film had me intrigued by this mythical pit of doom but ultimately let me down. It's not a horrible movie, the first half of the film was pretty good and actors did a great job. I wish the ending was more exciting. But what can u do "The pit wants what it wants"." - 3 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "There's much to like in Jug Face, yet there is also much wasted potential. This supernatural hillbilly horror drama will tantalize your fascination with the morbid by using its demon-pit politics and incestuous liaisons, but like most of its characters, the film goes nowhere." - 2 1/2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "This film was really interesting the first 30 minutes or so... but then it steadily became more and more dull and boring. This movie reminded me of the village and just like the village it didn't deliver." - 2 1/2 Stars

Huntress - "This movie went in a direction I wasn't expecting, but the story was unlike anything I've seen. I had a love/hate relationship with a couple of the characters but they still grew on me." - 3 1/2 Stars

Ice Giant - Fell Asleep - Default 2 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
I once again find myself torn about using a trailer to break up the tagline reviews and the final star rating. On one hand, I think it's aesthetically pleasing and really makes for a more complete review; on the other hand, I rarely enjoy any films trailer. I find them especially revealing to someone leaving this site having read a review and planning on viewing said film. If you wanna make me happy, just skip the damn trailers I guess.

Chad Crawford Kinkle has managed to do something I have always day dreamed about, and that's combining my love of artsy indie-dramas and campy horror into one film. "Jug Face" is also totally misleading in this sense. The film gives you bursts of the best of both worlds but also contains campy cringes and indie tropes. I think the inevitable problem with these two types of cinema colliding into one film is essentially what makes each of the respective genres enjoyable. 

All campy horror films require a few things, like an over-the-top situation which may or may not even be possible, a regular Joe transforming into a kick-ass hero or a kick-ass hero appearing to rise to said challenge and save the day, and of course, cheesy humor accented by gallons of blood (which makes the violence feel more cartoonish and less offensive), all cut together in an inspired low budget fashion. Now in order for the campy horror film to be truly excellent these points need to feel truly authentic.
Indie-dramas on the other hand require the complete opposite, like an often mundane situation that could have or has happened to most people, a regular Joe, and drama. It may sound underwhelming but a good indie is anything but.

My summary is very generalized and obviously doesn't apply to all films of these genres but when describing "Jug Face" it's appropriate, since big chucks of the film felt like the campy horror I described above and then switch to an artsy indie-drama. The effect this has on the audience is jarring and disappointing. Just when you are getting into the supernatural aspect of the film it gets very "slice of life" on you.
- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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