INTO THE PIT: THE SHOCKING STORY OF...
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Wes Vance and Aaron Frye
What's it about
A documentary that chronicles the creation and evolution of the horror talk show Deadpit.com, and the two guys behind it. But that seems rather obvious, doesnít it? I mean, it would have to deal with the creators at some point.
Is it good movie?
Documentaries are always hit and miss. Some grab outright. Others donít. And itís not always the subject that matters because the great thing about documentaries is that if theyíre well-constructed, the blandest subject can seem utterly fascinating. Now, itís important to consider the purpose and who created it. Sometimes fascinating people warrant a glimpse into their lives. Other times, not so much. Into the Pit: The Shocking Story of Deadpit.com falls somewhere in-between. The subject and the people are interesting, but are they worthy of a 95-minute spotlight? Well, up to a point.
For the uninitiated, Deadpit.com is an online radio show beamed from somewhere in Kentucky and has managed to find worldwide success. It stars two proud hicks, Wes ďThe Creepy KentuckianĒ Vance and Aaron ďUncle BillĒ Frye, and they both know their stuff. In fact, theyíre damn near experts, and they donít have some low run operation. Theyíve had an extensive guest list of the top names in horror, and more so, they sure do love their job. They broadcast from the small conservative, Christian town of Prestonsburg where their love for horror and the bizarre creates automatic tension with the townsfolk. They struggle to remain independent yet connect with their roots. Theyíre, I hate to say it, losers who found a niche. But does that make them a worthy subject? Yes, but with qualifications. At times, this feels like a promo for their radio show. A publicity tool isnít anything new, but when the movie ends, I shouldnít realize it. Both Vance and Frye are interesting and likeable enough. Old friends who appear to have little life outside of each other. Their bond, their nerdiness creates some mojo, but not as much as another documentary that does something quite similarÖAmerican Movie.
Now a documentary about horror fans must be compared to the classic American Movie. If youíve never seen it, rent it. It has so many classic moments and lines that I canít dive into it here. Iíll summarize by saying it feels real. Mark Borchardt and his acidhead friend Mike Shank are just quirky enough and have just enough passion for horror that they make fascinating subjects. Theyíre authentic. They never appear to play to the camera. On the other hand, thereís something about Into the Pit that doesnít fully grab. It feels like the two guys are in control. I never felt like a pervert in the trees watching some lady undress. The film didnít emote a feeling of distance from the subjects. Most likely thatís because the two spend the majority of the time talking to the camera. A little of that is good, but unless youíre Michael Moore, it isnít always the most successful route. While itís undeniable that Vance and Frye closely resemble Borchardt and Shank, they pale in comparison for shear entertainment value. Clearly, Vance ad Frye live to talk about horror, but perhaps thatís not enough to warrant 95 minutes. Good documentaries show someone in action, either creating, defending, or fighting for something. And thatís Into the Pitís biggest fault. Most of the time they just stand and talk to the camera. Thereís nothing at stake. No action. No real drama. And that makes Into the Pit: The Shocking Story of Deadpit.com suffer in the end.
Video / Audio
Video: A clear Widescreen presentation.
Audio: Presented with the power of really good sound (it didn't say).
A fairly, light-hearted look at two friends, their life in Kentucky, and their love for horror. Itís not splashy and itís not a classic, but itís interesting enough for fans of horror, their radio show, or people from Kentucky. At the very least, Iím sure as hell going to check out their show.