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Ocho: Arachnid From Hell

June 21, 2008

Daniel Lee, a Tupelo filmmaker, gave me his B movie, Ocho: Arachnid From Hell, with fair warning that it is really bad. And that is what is so hilarious about it. From bad acting to awkward dialogue, this is more than a B movie, it is a hysterical homage to bad movies. From the mad scientist who is forced to make a weapon for the government, to the annoying girls dancing in their garage to badass Johnny who before you even see the ending know he will save the day, the characters are awkward stereotypes of 60’s cool cats.

As odd as the movie is, you can clearly see that Lee has his own style and is really on the path to making some fun films. If anyone has ever seen early Peter Jackson movies, you know that you can come pretty far from your first attempts, and Lee is definitely able to tell a story. Where he sometimes goes wrong is in getting lost in the music scenes. But one of his best moments is when the annoying girls are having a pillow fight and then the edits back and forth speed up along with the music until they are attacked. It is actually quite a well shot scene for such a campy film.

I hope that in future films, no matter how campy, that little details (like the laptop and cars made after the time set) would not be in his films. However, despite those distractions, I had fun laughing at this movie so bad you have to love it.

“I am a mad scientist of the cinematic arts. I have a great love for old film styles. I have been in love with science fiction and horror since my earliest memory of seeing The Empire Strikes Back (at a drive-in no less) in 1980. We watched b-movies, old Universal classics, Ray Harryhausen flicks, Godzilla movies, Star Trek, anime (anyone remember Tranzor Z?), and more on a UHF station – Channel 43. Most of the movies were hosted by a local horror host named Superhost. This localized viewing habit provided myself and my talented brother (an amateur filmmaker in his on right) with a pretty unique set of influences which we still draw from today. The result is pretty one-of-a-kind. Even my brother’s films bear very little stylistic resemblance to my own,” said Lee.

One of his first attempts was a music video for “Graveyard Road.” After figuring out some of the technical problems with his camera, he tried again with “Six Feet Underground,” which screened at the Tupelo Film Festival. He’s now gone on to win awards at Magnolia and Tupelo Film Fest and is married to another filmmaker that won for her music video at Tupelo this year. Both have their own style and are both musicians. To follow Daniel Lee’s films, visit his myspace page.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2008 4:43 pm

    I’m ready for the Ocho sequel!

  2. June 25, 2008 5:51 pm

    That musical bit with the car was actually supposed to be twice as long in an attempt to torture the audience. I decided to have mercy.

    The laptop is one of the many anachronistic in-jokes. There was going to be a gag where the ‘government auditor’ asks what the heck that thing is, the good doctor attempts to explain his marvelous invention – The Computer! and the beauracrat replies “That’ll never catch on.” But it got cut out for one reason or another. I think it had something to do with the fact that I never had those two actors at the same place on the same day and had to limit their interaction.

    Amazingly, to this day, they still have never met!

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