Films that pay homage to classic exploitation films, often referred to as “grindhouse” have become the new zombie film. For years, the zombie film has been used as a stepping stone by budding filmmakers to draw attention to their work. Since the “success”, or, widespread awareness, rather, of Tarantino/Rodriguez’s 2007 film “Grindhouse” blemished, grainy film with the classic “feature presentation” intro have taken that spot. Sometimes the result is highly entertaining, but often, it’s just exploiting nostalgia to mask a terrible film. Some films may actually be entertaining at first, but 20 minutes in, the gimmick grows old. If you’re going to make this type of film, the best way to go about it would be to produce a short. In and out in 20 minutes, give or take a few, and unless you’re really bad at what you’re doing, the audience never gets a chance to tire of your film. Canadian director Matthew Saliba illustrates this quite well, with his short, “Amy’s In The Attic”.
The film follows a group of “friends” as they lounge in a state of boredom at what was supposed to be a swingers party. The host, Alucard(Played by Saliba), has proposed an activity in an attempt to liven up the party. Whoever has their name drawn from a hat, will become the group’s “slave” and have to perform tasks that are demanded of them. This starts off as kind of sexy, but quickly takes a turn for the morbid.
Whether or not Saliba is a fan of Tarantino, I’m not sure. If not, I hope he doesn’t take this as an insult, as I truly mean it as a bit of praise. The cinematography, working in correlation with the soundtrack create an experience that is very reminiscent of his work. Most filmmakers try to mask their influences, even though a trained eye can still pick up on them. It’s refreshing to see a director carry his influences around like a membership card to the cool kids club. Saliba is clearly a big fan of ’70s Italian horror, and this love materializes within his film. “Amy’s In The Attic” is exploitation homage that actually works. To go a step further, I feel as if my attention would have been held for the duration of a feature length film. I hope that this film grabs someone’s attention, and Saliba is able to secure a substantial enough budget to bring us an even bigger vision.