Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Hollows (2001)

One of the things that I love about going to conventions or film festivals is the chance to pick-up some true underground indie horror. These flicks are the true grass-roots, no budget gems that are being done, not for the money or fame, but for the love of the genre. Everyone knows what these are, they are the movies that sit on the table at 5 bucks, and are made with little-to-no budget, with local footage and citizens as extras, and maybe one or two trained actors (this one does feature Suzi Lorraine). This weekend at the New Jersey Zombie Walk and Undead Festival I was psyched to find a few such films from Amplo Films. The first one I have watched and will review is The Hollows.

Plot/ When all is lost and death is near, darkness walks on Halloween. Soon, one discovers blood is like a drug, and the killings just cannot stop.  

Like many of these low-budget / no-budget entries, there are flaws. This one is no exception in the sound quality, lighting and acting. But, to the credit of this film, those are easy to overlook (if you watch with an open mind). To be honest, with a film that features a few trained actors, the performances are not that bad and relatively believable (as is the dialogue). The special effects (blood, lots of blood), the settings (loved the local haunted house), the dream sequences and the storyline really work.  For me, it was easy to see the potential of this flick, and imagine what could have taken place with a bigger budget and such. Sure, there were flaws, but sometimes those flaws should be overlooked due to the simple down-to-earth entertainment value of a flick.

When I am viewing these and now sitting down to write a review, it is more about the vision that I write about than all of the normal items that I would usually blog. Being such a grass-roots indie flick, I should hope that everyone (especially potential viewers) would be open-minded enough to look past the inherent flaws that come with these movies. Unfortunately, I have found in the circle of horror movie reviewers out there that is not usually the case, and that the quality of the flick often takes a greater meaning and that these flaws are pointed out and become the basis of the review. To that, I say Bullshit! This movie had some very interesting dream sequences that featured some surreal scripting and some decent editing and camera work. That was one of the things that made this so entertaining; there were scenes that truly showed a coherent vision in my eyes even if the above mentioned flaws exist.

True indie cinema is what horror was built on through the 1960s and 1970s (maybe the 80s with the direct to VHS boom).  If it was not for these no-budget gems, where would horror be? After all, Hollywood only seems to rehash and redo great films from the past and other than a few picture companies have lost the creative horror touch. Plus, these filmmakers truly do not care if there is a ton of good or bad reviews, hell they could careless if they have any, they are just still plugging away making the movies that they want. When I bought these flicks, I gladly spent the 10 bucks, because I knew that the money would be put toward the next project and isn’t that what this country and horror cinema was built on?

If interested in picking up a copy of the Hollows or any Amplo Film production, it looks like you have to email them through their MySpace Page or get lucky and find one at a horror convention or something along those lines. That being said, I would not recommend this one for everyone. But TRUE fans of no-budget indie horror should check it out if they get the chance.


  1. Hollow Man has some of the coolest special effects I've seen. Too bad the film is aptly named, offering nothing of substance.

  2. Wow. What a find. I'm hoping that there are lots of STAR WIPES and random use of black and white, simply because there is a button for it on the camcorder.