Categorized | Reviews

TV Review: Can You Survive a Horror Movie?

Genre: Horror | Reality | Documentary

Air Date/Time: Friday, July 13 at 9/8c

Network: Chiller

Summary:
Can You Survive a Horror Movie? is the all-new original special from Chiller that will put the most terrifying horror movie moments to the test.

Is it possible to fight a zombie, and win?  Could someone live on blood alone?  How long could a human being survive being buried alive?  The special’s three daring hosts – Anthony Marks (Remains) Annie Unnold (Celebrity Ghost Stories) and Morgan West (Dead Souls) – will confront these and other adrenaline-pumping Hollywood moments with the help of authorities ranging from doctors to physical fitness gurus to survival experts.

Its iconic setting is none other than the same idyllic camp in Blairstown, NJ popularly known as the macabre “Camp Crystal Lake” in the original Friday the 13th film.

Can You Survive a Horror Movie? is produced by Richard Drew and Roger Pelegrinelli for Savannah Media.

This Chiller special is really two shows in one. About half of it is a very interesting investigation into determining which things that happen in horror movies are actually possible, and how to combat them, and how to avoid them. Amongst the topics are zombies, vampires, slashers, being buried alive, and killer animals. The team of hosts does mostly narration in this portion of the program, introducing the topics and experts in voiceovers. The experts include three survival experts, a police detective, a zookeeper/animal trainer, the editor of Fangoria magazine, a few scream queens, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, a fitness expert, an M.D. from Mount Sinai Hospital, and a biochemistry professor from NYU.

Interviews with the experts are interspersed with clips from various horror movies. Not surprisingly, I recognized a few scenes from Chiller’s first original movie, Steve Niles’ REMAINS, along with clips from Jaws and some classic horror films, plus a few breathless glimpses of Alexander Skarsgard and Robert Pattinson as vamps. There is one unfortunate – well, it’s horrible, really – dramatization of a modern-day vampire woman with her prey that is straight out of a bad porn film without the porn, but otherwise this whole side of the show is pretty interesting.

Then there is the other part of the show, the part that comes at the end of each topic, where our intrepid hosts attempt to put the experts’ advice to good use by putting themselves through some interesting challenges. Okay, some mostly gross challenges. At first I was totally put off by the “stunt” aspect of this, because on face value it looks like they want to make the show more “fun” after the boring stuff about, say, how to escape a shark. In actually watching the challenges, however, there is some illustrative value in what they are doing. No, really. In one challenge, the woman has to crawl through a maze that is inhabited by domesticated rats. Yes, it’s totally creepy if you aren’t a fan of rats as pets. But the animal trainer is there, talking about what rats can and will and won’t do, so it is still pretty interesting.

Some of the challenges, however, are totally stomach-turning. I know that there are thousands of people who love this sort of thing; you know who you are. Fear Factor lovers. This part of the show is absolutely for you. If not, you’ll get plenty of warning when the grossness starts, so you can go grab a sandwich. Or a barf bag, in case you come back to the show too soon and see what they have to eat. For someone like me who gags on overcooked vegetables, it is basically intolerable. Still, while the hosts are good sports and they don’t refuse every challenge, they also don’t always just dive right in.

Obviously these challenges are no reflection of what you’d actually do if, for instance, the only key to the lock that is keeping you from safety is under some maggot-infested meat, but you can actually gain some insight by listening to the experts during the challenges. Or, if you’re one of those Fear Factor lovers, you’ll just enjoy it for the sheer joy of watching someone throw up.

The production values are low-to-modest, and even though I saw a rough cut, it was mostly finished and I don’t expect it to get a lot better when it airs. If they had excluded that ridiculous porn without the porn vampire scene, however, that might have lifted the whole rating of the production by potentially a full star. It is that bad. Well, okay, I may have also been influenced by the calf brains. You’ll see.

If you have some serious concerns about getting eaten by a shark while on a boat, or want to know the best way to elude a slasher, watch this show with a notepad in hand, because you’ll get some valuable tips. If you enjoy a good horror movie and are curious about whether  a person can actually live on drinking blood, relax and enjoy this special. If you also totally get in to watching someone be forced into vomitous situations, woo hoo! Get ready to jump on board this multiple-personalitied special.

I give Can You Survive a Horror Movie? Three Out of Five Stars.

 

 

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