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September 11, 2008 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-11

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2B - Thursday, September 11, 2008 theb-side

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

28- Thursday, September 11, 2008 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

The Daily Arts guide to
upcoming events in Ann Arbor
Today 9.11.08
"Best of Michigan": Arbor
Brewing Company Beer
7 p.m.
At Arbor Brewing Company
$25 in advance and (if available) at the
History of Books & Printing:
The History of Bookmarks
7:30 p.m.
At Motte & Bailey Booksellers (212 N.
Fourth Avenue)
Tomorrow 9.12.08
Whole Foods Food Sessions:
"Fall Cheese Flavors" with
Cheese Buyer Matt Yost
7 p.m.
At the Foods Cooking and Lifestyles
Classroom (3135 Washtenaw)
"Oktoberfest Block Party":
Arbor Brewing Company
5 p.m.
On Washington Street between S. Ashley
and S. Fourth Avenue
Saturday 9.13.08
David Lindley
8 p.m.
At the Ark
$17.50-24.50 at the Michigan Union
Ticket Office
The Experience and Use of
Wonder: UM History of Art
Department Symposium
1 p.m.
At Rackham Amphitheater
Sunday 9.14.08
Sunday Artisan Market
11 a.m.
At the Farmers' Market in Kerrytown
Please send all press releases
and event information to

Blood and college
at their cam-pybest

Kwame Kilpatrick plays left tackle on
prison football team
Cast of "Weeds" gets arrested for
growing actual weed on set
Luke Perry guest stars as wise
grandfather on new "90210"
Chad Ocho Cinco changes his last name
to atti fem, or "85" in Norwegian
To recoup losses from lawsuit, Spielberg
sues Rihanna for use of word "Disturbia"
Kwame Kilpatrick plays Harold Hill in
prison production of "The Music Man"
Michael Phelps lands three-picture deal
from Disney after "Saturday Night Live"

Senior Arts Editor
Watching a bad horror movie is
an empowering experience. Face it:
The ability to laugh at something
that's supposed to be scary feels
good. That said, not only is it the film
itself - with its ridiculous-looking
monster-in-the-rubber-suit or stupid
characters that refuse to leave the
house - that spawns laughs, but it's
also the sheer failure on the part of
the filmmakers that makes the expe-
rience enjoyable. Because nothing
feels better than laughing at sincere
people who fall flat on their faces.
In 1981, Stephen Carpenter and
Jeffrey Obrow, a pair of UCLA grad-
uates, decided to make a movie. What
they ended up with was a typical,
low-budget slasher film with maybe
the greatest title ever conceived.
"The Dorm that Dripped Blood,"
as it's called, is not terrible. (I've
seen much, much worse.) That said,
it's not high art, either. That's why,
when our frightened heroine discov-
ers the dismembered body of one of
her (former) friends, and said body
is clearly a mannequin with ketchup
spilled over it, you're probably going
to laugh. And when the mysterious
killer, who has been terrorizing the
intrepid group of college students
trying to renovate an abandoned
dorm, is revealedtobe afluffy-haired
pretty boy who went on his murder-
ous rampage apparently to impress
the girl he loves, you're going to be
spending more time pondering the
ambiguities of his motive than cling-
ingto the edge of your seat.
But even with its occasional inept-
itude (although "occasional" may be
a bit of an understatement), there's
something oddly endearing about
this film. Sure, the acting stinks. And,
yeah, much of the film is too dark (lit-
erally - I couldn't see half of it.). But
the film, for all its failings, carries a
strange poignancy.
Then again, maybe it's not the film
itself. What's most endearing about

films like this is the amount of sheer
dedication that went into making
them. Horror movie or not, Carpen-
ter and Obrow were going for the
Oscar with this one. They had to - it
may very well have been their one
shot. Around the same time this film
was being made, Werner Herzog was
madly dictating the transportation
of a steamboat through the jungles
of South America for his film "Fitz-
carraldo." Just like Herzog, Carpen-
ter and Obrow had a vision, and they
carried it through - albeit ona much
smaller, less dangerous and massive-
ly more campy scale.
And it wasn't all for nothing,
either. Sure, no one saw "The Dorm
that Dripped Blood."As far asI know,
it still hasn't even been released to
Better than your
average dorm
room horror flick.
DVD. But Carpenter and Obrow were
able to continue their doomed quest
for legitimacy, helming two more
horror movies no one has ever heard
of: "The Power" (1984) and "The
Kindred" (1987). Obrow eventually
became a film professor in Califor-
nia. Carpenter, amazingly, had a brief
resurgence in Hollywood, writing
the ignored Samuel L. Jackson com-
edy, "The Man." But neither won his
"The Dorm that Dripped Blood,"
therefore, is more than just a bad
horror movie. It's a testimony to the
perseverance and deranged vision of
young filmmakers everywhere. You
can laugh at the title. You can laugh
at the special effects, acting and
Casio-keyboard music score. But you
shouldn't laugh at the filmmakers,
even though it's tempting. Because,
ultimately, they made their movie -
in all its ridiculous glory.





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