Topic: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

As I look at horror films these days, I must admit how dissapointed (in most cases) I am in the over all "look" the directors are creating today. Maybe because I'm a product of the 70's and my fears are triggered in some way by memories of watching 70's horror films as a child. When I watch (especially a low budget 70's flick) something unusual happens. My mood turns grainy, almost dilapidated and I actually get "The Fear" at times. Unfortunately new digital CGI infused blu-ray films with beautiful bright red, bloody explosions and monochrome atmospheres visually don't frighten me. Well, atleast not like the older films do. The horror flicks of the 70's make me feel kinda dirty (in a good way) if you know what I mean.

Why aren't more directors (if any) filming in that "old school" style? I looked up a few of my favorite low budget horror films from that time and it seems that directors I love and admire used the same camera and format.

Camera
Panaflex Camera and Lenses by Panavision

Laboratory
Technicolor, USA (processing by)
MGM Laboratories Inc., USA (color by)

Film negative format (mm/video inches)
35 mm

Cinematographic process
Spherical

Printed film format
35 mm

Aspect ratio
1.85 : 1

Does anyone know why more directors don't revert to this style?

Last edited by DanielTempest (2013-01-18 05:56:33)

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

For starters, film is getting hard to find, and it is much more expensive.  Silver was $5/ounce back in the 70s, now it's up to $30.  Panaflex and Panavision have been introducing digital models for a while, so a director would have to pick up some older equipment.  With studios pushing the new digital distribution style, converting the film to digital is an extra cost and takes time.  As for aspect ration, with widescreen HD TVs, 2:35 is the new standard (mostly).

Basically, it's mainly a cost thing, with a secondary affect of 70's era equipment becoming obsolete.  For example, a 35mm film camera by itself is about $100K, then add lenses etc.  A new RED digital camera starter kit (lenses etc.) goes for about $50K. 
Programs like Dxo and Alienskin can process that "clean" looking digital film to make it look like actual film.

Last edited by azathoth (2013-01-18 06:31:59)

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Wow! Thank you for educating me. I was thinking the old cameras would be cheaper! The programs you mention, is that something Rob Zombie used in his films. His films have a "dingy" look to em but still not the same.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

My grandpa had a home movie camera in the 70's that had that grainy look to it. I think it is called the Super 8. Are these also expensive? And could a director film a full length movie using this camera and then use software to make it into any ratio needed?

I'm a musician not a director so sorry if this is an obscure question.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

No problem.  I've always been more a technical wonk about films than the creative guy (I leave that to Ace and Lon).

For his Halloweens, House1K & Devil's Reject, they were all 16 or 35mm film.  Lords of Salem was shot with a RED digital camera, so you'll be able to compare that with his older stuff.

As for the post-shooting processing, I'd have to go dig around, it's not something IMDB lists.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Thank you for your insite, I find this very interesting. I just looked up a few super 8 mini movies on youtube and I do believe this is the camera my grandpa shot so many home movies my family still has to this day. I love that quality! Has anyone directed a full length film using this technology that you know of? Oh, and I just watched this clip and absolutely agree with Terantino here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BON9Ksn1PqI Perfectly said I think.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Super 8's you can get off eBay for under $100.  The bad side is that the film & processing is going around $35 per reel, but it doesn't say how long the reel is.  You'll need around 2500 feet for 90 minutes.  After it's processed, you can have a company do a scan conversion on it; not sure if that is something you can do with consumer software.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Here's some that have been shot on Super 8 recently.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_8_film#Popularity

Here are some more.
http://www.fosterfilms.co.uk/8mmfeatures.htm

When we were doing a bunch of Bava and Argento's gialli films, we talked about the color saturation that they had.  Those guys used some heckuva expensive film, like KodaChrome and maybe one of Fuji films.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

With modern digital technology we as musicians don't think much about editing, cutting and splicing like we did in the past. Same goes with filming a movie. I never thought about how much tape and how many reels are involved. That said reminds me of an interview with John Carpenter I watched years ago about the opening shot in Halloween. If you notice from the time the camera starts on the Myers house, there's not a single cut till the final overhead shot of young Michael in the yard. According to Carpenter the film ran out just after that take.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Heh, another reason directors are going digital- getting rid of slashing tape up for days on end to put together scenes.  There was a very good reason for the phrase, "Tape left on the cutting room floor."  Now with digital you just select and drag it to where you want it.  Heck, I've done it on my dinky projects just using iMovie on my laptop.  And I know I'm going to be using it on my next one.  And as a bonus, HM gets to see it, lol .

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Im guessing the scratched effect they add to new grindhouse film's like Planet Terror uses some sorta software in post production.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

I totally understand from a musicians perspective azathoth. I still own a Tascam model 34 reel to reel 4 track recorder since the 80's. What I do now is record everything track by track and edit using software. No more "Tape left on the cutting room floor". But I do master the mp3's on the analog recorder THEN remaster it digitally. If that makes any sense? For me it made perfect sense in that analog gives a certain warmth and character that digital just can't duplicate even with analog mastering software. So I thought about some of my favorite albums that have been remastered. For example, King Crimsons In The Court Of The Crimson King, Pink Floyds Animals and The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. They were all recorded (obviously) using tape, then remastered digitally. Basically that's what I want for my sound and by using this method gives me that effect without wasting tape!

So what if someone was to do something similar in motion picture? This would save a lot of tape and time???

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

I can usually tell when that scratch effect is used Vasquez. It appears fake to me. The color is also way too bright for me most of the time. To much detail. I wanna see grain!

Last edited by DanielTempest (2013-01-18 08:19:04)

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Develop the film and then digitally scan it and then do the edits/cuts?  You'd still have the "soft look" look of film, unless someone went nuts and decided to try "sharpening" it for some absurd reason.  Don't know if it would save film, since you still need to make as many shots as you need to get it the scene to your liking, but it would make the editing much easier later (like if you were doing an analog recording and you blew a chord or whatever, you'd still have to redo it.  The difference being is that you can reuse your tape, but once film is exposed, it's done).  They might even do that now.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

So are there any newer films shot on 35mm besides RZ's?

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

I know Tarantino did in most of his films. Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction have that look.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

The look I miss in film today is that of old 70's and early 80's. Especially made for TV horror films from that time. Dark Night Of The Scarecrow comes to mind. The color isn't sharp at all. In fact the over all color to me is a pea green. Anyone else know what I mean by that?

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

@DG-
Here's one list
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fi … ly_on_film

@Dan-
They were probably using B-grade film stock.  It's not an official term or has any official definition.  Just a term referring to film that is not top tier, i.e. using cheaper materials to make the stock cheaper, but with less visual quality.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Interesting!  Black Swan was filmed on 16mm and it does have an old fashioned look to it.  The new Rob Zombie movie is very vibrant...like it was shot using Technicolor.  It reminded me of Suspiria at times because of that.


I am pretty sure one of the films I reviewed this past year was shot on 16mm also.  At least it had that look to it...

http://www.horror-movies.ca/if-a-tree-falls-review/

Last edited by DirtyGirl (2013-01-19 08:16:58)

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Did a bit of research and found this list of movies shot on 16mm...

Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (original)
Wes Craven's LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT
Wes Craven's THE HILLS HAVE EYES (original)
William Lustig's MANIAC
George A. Romero's MARTIN
Sam Raimi's THE EVIL DEAD
John McNaughton's HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER
Rob Zombie's THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
Jim VanBebber's DEADBEAT AT DAWN
Jim VanBebber's MANSON FAMILY
Roger Watkin's LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET
Jörg Buttgereit's NEKROMANTIK 2
Jörg Buttgereit's SCHRAMM
Some of THE BLAIRWITCH PROJECT
EQUINOX (although the footage added by Jack Harris was 35mm)
THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD
HORROR HIGH
WARLOCK MOON
George Romero's The Crazies
Peter Jackson's Bad Taste



Found this article talking about trying to save 35mm film as well.  Just like Azz mentioned, it comes down to dollar and cents to the studios instead of artistic integrity. 

http://www.laweekly.com/2012-04-12/film … Hollywood/

Last edited by DirtyGirl (2013-01-19 08:14:46)

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

^^
She's good.

edit- the LA Times article also brought up something I totally ignored, since it's 2nd nature to me.  Preservation of digital data.  If you don't have your originals RAID'd in at least 2 different "clouds," (man, I hate that term) your asking for trouble.  Cappy probably has some better ideas than that, too.

Last edited by azathoth (2013-01-19 09:07:42)

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

Very informing posts. Thank you all for educating me. Awesome list DirtyGirl. I looked up a list of films using the Super 8 and was suprised to see that many independent filmmakers such as Derek Jarman, Dave Markey, Sean Pecknold, Jem Cohen, Damon Packard, Sam Raimi, Jesse Richards, Harmony Korine, Teod Richter, Nathan Schiff and Guy Maddin have made extensive use of 8 mm film.

What suprised me is that Oliver Stone, for example, has used it several times in his more recent films, such as The Doors, Natural Born Killers, Nixon, U Turn, and JFK where his director of photography Robert Richardson employed it to evoke a period or to give a different look to scene.

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

This is a fuckin right on topic... I feel at home here.

So whats goin on I just cruised in here cause I saw 70s flashing in my eyes/

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

oh so this film 101
ah see ya later I thought it was about the good old days of raunchy 70s movies that I hold close to my heart the drive in close to my bone

Re: New Horror Film With A Classic 70's Feel?

A question for all the film gurus. is there a visual difference between Super 8, 8mm, Super 16, 16mm and 35mm? Just talking about this subject excites me to the point to where I am thinking about directing a short horror movie!