VISIONS OF HELL: THE FILMS OF JIM VANBEBBER
This Tuesday Dark Sky releases a 4-disc box set of the works of underground director Jim VanBebber. Although he’s been working since the mid-’80s this little box of sleaze represents pretty much his entire output: 2 feature films and some shorts. I think the only thing missing is a bunch of music videos, a trailer called “Chunkblower,” and some 8mm stop motion shorts he made as a kid. The guy is completely independent and uncompromising, this is not a gonna you expect to start directing commercials or be in the running to take over THE WOLF MAN. But I guess if it wasn’t such an uphill battle for him his movies wouldn’t be as interesting.
One of the two features is THE MANSON FAMILY, which he started in 1988 as a quickie exploitation movie that he expected to do in 2 weeks. Then he got obsessed with researching the actual crimes, ran out of money, started up again later and didn’t finish it until 2003. To be honest I’m not a big fan of this one even though some of the filmatism is amazing. It really looks and feels like it was made in the late ’60s or early ’70s. At its best it’s pretty terrifying, a really bad trip. The scene where they cover themselves in dog’s blood during a beachside orgy has to be seen to be believed. (read the rest of this shit…)