Encapsulated Cinema: Monsters in the Woods, 2-Headed Shark Attack, and 8213 Gacy House

Monsters in the Woods (2012)
In the market for a creature feature of an entirely different variety? Step into writer/director Jason Horton’s faux documentary “Monsters in the Woods”, a film that takes yet another stab at lampooning the ridiculously evil movie industry. Glenn Plummer (“South Central”) stars as Jayson, an ill-tempered director who is being forced by his producer to shoot some raunchy additional footage for his otherwise tasteful and artistically sound genre-related endeavor. And just when you’ve had enough of the film’s movie-related satire, an earthquake unleashes a legion of blood-thirsty monsters upon the unsuspecting cast and crew. Thankfully, carnage ensues. As long as you’re willing to sit through about 30 minutes of expletive-laden rants and premature ejaculations, Jason Horton’s thoroughly enjoyable tale of Hollywood dissension and otherworldly monsters is smart, well-written, and delivers plenty of monster-related mayhem. In other words, “Monsters in the Woods” is definitely worthy of your attention. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s easily one of the stronger direct-to-video efforts in recent memory.

2-Headed Shark Attack (2012)
Screenwriter H. Perry Horton understands what fans of The Asylum want from their low-budget monster movies. Boobs, blood, and underwater beasts are in abundance throughout director Christopher Ray’s “2-Headed Shark Attack”, a motion picture that pushes empty-headed absurdity to lofty new heights. The story is typical straight-to-video malarkey — a group of scantily-clad college students are trapped on a sinking atoll by the titular two-headed mutant — and the filmmakers don’t stray at all from the formula The Asylum has perfected over the years. Headlining the flick is Brooke Hogan, Carmen Electra, and Charlie O’Connell, the latter of whom bears a striking resemblance to both his brother Jerry and Kevin Sorbo. It’s kind of bizarre, really. The ladies, meanwhile, thrust their ample assets towards the camera whenever possible, though Electra seems to be the one more interested in flaunting the goods than turning in a performance that smacks of sheer laziness. Hogan, on the other hand, appears to actually give a damn, and, surprisingly, she seems to be in on the joke. “2-Headed Shark Attack” may not rank amongst the likes of “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”, but it’s a worthy addition to the company’s canon of goofy monster movies. If you like ’em cheap and sleazy, consume alcohol and enjoy.

8213 Gacy House (2010)
Everyone wants a piece of the “Paranormal Activity” pie, including “2012: Supernova” director Anthony Fankhauser. The low-budget uber-producer’s “found footage” flick finds a group of paranormal investigators camping out inside the “abandoned” house constructed upon the site of John Wayne Gacy’s former residence. As per usual, the participants bicker and fuss and argue until the spectral fecal matter hits the cinematic fan. Unfortunately, Fankhauser doesn’t have a very competent cast, and watching them stumble and stutter through their scenes is incredibly uncomfortable to watch. Of course, their soul purpose is to fill the space in-between the ghost-related goofiness, none of which is particularly thrilling. Pictures fall off the walls, cameras and equipment start to malfunction, hysterical girls fall out of their chairs — it’s typical no-budget crap perpetrated as a legitimate motion picture. Even for a “found footage” movie, “8213 Gacy House” is a pretty lousy affair. Given the glut of like-minded films currently on the market, why you’d want to waste your time with this two-dollar knock-off is truly beyond me. Even “Paranormal Entity” was more entertaining than this nonsense. Avoid at all costs.