For some film makers the short film is the calling card to gaining recognition and financing for a larger and perhaps more ambitious project. For others completing the short is the achievement in itself. To produce a piece of cinema is a real achievement. To do so on a micro budget and make it interesting is something to be very proud of indeed. Falling into the personal achievement category we review the 2011 documentary film, For the love of Lugosi, from Director Andy Gregor and writer / presenter D.T. (Derek) Wilson.
The Documentary begins with the presenter setting out his argument for his love of the old masters of Horror with his favorite being the biggest horror film star of the black and white era, Bela Lugosi. Overlooked in this day and age with slasher and torture porn, the golden age of horror is fading into the background. Taking the question of who is Bela Lugosi? to the local shopping centre he gains a few insights into what people regard as horror films and the fact that his hero is in fact remembered as the defining portrayal of Dracula. From this we are led to Derek’s past. He shows us around his childhood estate, a now condemned horror show in its own right. In discussing his childhood D.T. reveals his feelings regarding his parents, his Aspergers syndrome and how it shaped the man we see in front of the camera.
This is a very good piece of film. It pulls no punches throughout. D.T is brutally honest regarding himself, his upbringing, his isolation from others and his health. Sometimes awkward in his narration which is not surprising given the subject matter. He isn’t looking to raise awareness of his condition but it seems he is using the time on screen to exorcise some personal demons. In doing so and ending on a positive message regarding the way his life has improved since moving away from his childhood home.
There are a couple of different styles in use in this film. The Graveyard scenes with the presenter kited out in the Gothic horror style. It flits between pieces to camera with small drama interjections. The rest of the film is direct to camera with Derek walking us through his life. It a very straightforward style from Debut director Andy Gregor. It is to his credit that he doesn’t detract from the theme of the piece and in fact uses the unique screen presence of Derek to make the film quite memorable. Andy wrote a blog piece on his experience of working with Derek on the film. You can find his excellent piece here.
Overall a really interesting film that bares it soul for all to see. Recommended.
You can view the entire film here. Please give it a look and leave a comment for the film makers.