Penny Pinchers: Kings Of No-Budget Horror from Sinister Studios is an entertaining insight into the world of low-budget horror filmmaking from the perspective of those who work outside of the "devil-worshiping Hollywood conglomerate," as Lloyd Kaufman of Troma would say. Filmmakers Donald Farmer (Savage Vengeance), Johnny Dickie (Slaughter Tales), Lloyd Kaufman (Class of Nuke 'em High), Tim Ritter (Wicked Games), Todd Sheets (Violent New Breed), Todd Jason Cook (Demon Dolls) and various others are interviewed and provide tips about creating a career based on low-budget filmmaking.
Fans of films like The Toxic Avenger, Burglar From Hell, Evil Night and Death Metal Zombies are going to love this well put together doc that provides aspiring filmmakers with tips on how to create these types of films, while also giving an informative back story on all the directors involved. The directors talk about how they got interested in making movies, how they've funded and distributed their films, the type of equipment they've used over the years, and a plethora of other valuable info for anyone interested in dabbling in the industry.
The directors involved don't "sugar-coat" the industry, rather they state that filmmaking is what it is, a business, an art form and with a good team, passion, proper support, and a bit of luck, one can rise to the ranks of James Gunn (Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy) or Trey Parker (Cannibal! the Musical, South Park). Two filmmakers that started at the bottom and worked their way up to very successful careers in film.
The sound and visuals are clear enough and easily understood, with most of the interviewees being filmed in their homes or offices. Nothing special in terms of technical aspects, but what can you expect from a documentary about low-budget films. I very much enjoy how this film serves two types of viewer, those interested in the people involved and their careers and those who want to pursue a career in the field, it does a great job providing for both.
Ultimately, if you're interested in making your own damn movie or just wanting to learn more on this underground genre and those that live for it, Penny Pinchers: Kings Of No-Budget Horror is a fantastic and informative documentary that never loses focus and shows a lot of passion and love for low-budget horror.
Penny Pinchers is available now on DVD and VOD via SRS Cinema.