Directed by Jim O’Rear
Written by Jim O’Rear & Bryan Wilson
Starring Jim O’Rear, Bryan Wilson, Danielle Harris, Robert Englund, William Forsythe, Tony Todd, Cerina Vincent, Tom Savini, Ernie Hudson, & many more!
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Watching UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE is like meandering through a horror convention with all of your favorite horror stars and the geeks that love to watch them. Jim O’Rear and Bryan Wilson started a low fi cable access show in the late eighties that may not have known it at the time, but influenced quite a bit of modern culture. At least that’s what this film would like you to believe. Shot documentary / best of style, UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT: THE MOVIE is a retrospective on the years the wily television show made madness happen on the air and pushed the boundaries of good taste and what was allowed to be seen and heard on cable during a time when the FCC was lobbing fines like Frisbees at anyone even thinking of using four letter words.
The reason why this film is here in AICN HORROR is that it features a truly impressive cast of stars giving testimonials on their appearances on the show and what they thought about it. Most of the interviews are brief snippets captured at horror cons, but the compilation of them all is a who’s who in horror and extremely fun to watch. Seeing the likes of Danielle Harris, Robert Englund, Lloyd Kaufman, Tony Todd, Tom Savini, William Forsythe, Doug Bradley, Cerina Vincent, and Ernie Hudson testify that the TV show invented everything in pop culture proved to be entertaining from beginning to end.
Interspersed between the bits are snippets of old shows, interviews with former directors and station managers, and an in depth talk with Bryan and Jim themselves. Though most of the claims in this film are less than accurate, it is fun to see some of lunacy that occurred on this show focusing on genre films, comics, and toys. Seeing the childlike glee the two hosts had pushing the envelope and just having fun talking about stuff they love like old films, obscure music, banned toys, and fringe entertainment will make even the most jaded fanboy giggle.
Plus, as an added bonus that I’m sure the filmmakers don’t know, at the 146.00 minute mark of the film, there’s a small cameo by AICN’s own Capone standing in the background as Tom Savini and Tony Todd wrestle with one another in front of the camera at a convention (I don’t think he knows this either, but I assure you, it’s there!)
Bryan and Jim are all of us. It’s evident in this film. They love comics and movies and toys and music. They go to conventions and geek out like the rest of us do. And they had a whole lot of fun making the UNDERGROUND ENTERTAINMENT TV show. All of this is evident in this film; a well made gourmet of geek culture through the eyes of two guys proud to be a part of it.