Directed by: Kelly Marcott
Starring: Wes Vance (aka The Creepy Kentuckian) & Aaron Frye (aka Uncle Bill)
Featuring: Kevin S. Tenney, Uwe Boll, Tiffany Shepis, Lloyd Kaufman, Harry Manfredini, Dean Bertram, Michael Felsher, David Gooslin, Clayton Hill, Sharon Hill, Andre’ Gower, Elske McCain, Kane Hodder, Betsy Palmer, PJ Soles, John Landis, Gary Klar, Jay Reel, Tony Moran, etc.
Ok boils ‘n ghouls, before I get into the review, a little horror-talk-radio history lesson. Back in the cold December of 2005, two Eastern Kentucky natives decided, not knowing many local fiends for horror, to produce an online horror talk radio show. Now, in 2010, the DeadPit show (found online at www.DeadPit.com and on iTunes) has thousands of listeners worldwide. Nearly every week has a new celebrity guest from Horror Greats such as George A. Romero and John Carpenter, to people like James Bryan (director of Don’t Go In The Woods…Alone!) and many others. DeadPit has become something of an internet phenomenon, changing the world of horror and warranting a documentary!
I’ve been a fan of DeadPit (a “Pitimaniac” if you will) since early 2007, finding myself with an iPod and nothing of note to put on it (except, well, Creedence and White Zombie…I will always love you guys…er…ahem), and, looking for something horrorific, happened upon the DeadPit show. Finally, two guys with even deeper southern accents than me (I’m from the boonies of NC) talkin’ about all things horror! I’ve come to think of Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian almost as friends, listening every week to their ideas and commentary on the genre.
INTO THE PIT takes a look at the people behind the Uncle Bill and Creepy Kentuckian talk show personalities, humanizing what had previously been only voices in my headphones (and in my car). Through interviews with parents and lifelong friends, we discover the early years of Aaron Frye (UB) and Wes Vance (CK). Childhood friends, they found themselves to be outcasts within a small town (Prestonsburg Kentucky, waaaay back in the hills) populated by those who found themselves interested in Hunting, Nascar, Church, Country Music, and Burt Reynolds flicks (not that there’s anything wrong with Burt Reynolds flicks), more than Horror Movies and Metal. Like me, and perhaps quite a few horror fans the world over, Wes and Aaron found themselves going to the local 1 or 2 screen theater and watching the latest big-screen horrors like the Friday the 13th flicks, and popping in at the neighborhood mom ‘n pop video store (I miss ‘em), to rent the seemingly endless supply of horror on VHS. Aaron’s father, we learn, is also a horror fan, and raised him right with all the classics. I imagine them, like me, sitting in their rooms at night and reading the latest Fangoria (back when the mag was worth reading) and listening to some Iron Maiden.
We then move to present day and learn not only about how DeadPit came about, but also what the guys are doing when they’re not putting together the latest show. It’s interesting to note that people who aren’t horror fans are always so surprised to learn that horror fans (with SOME exceptions, of course) are some of the nicest, most down to earth, NORMAL people, and it’s no different with Aaron and Wes. These are normal guys, with normal jobs, who happen to be two of the world’s biggest horror fans.
It’s interesting to note that fans of the show, upon listening for the first time, are sometimes a little put-off by the heavy, HEAVY southern accents. These guys are from eastern Kentucky, after all, in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. In the documentary, a fan from Australia says that when he first listened to DeadPit, he imagined that Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian were two “rednecks” back in some shack in the hills watching old and new horror releases on some rickety old VHS player. They even got emails from places like England from fans stating, in awe, “People actually TALK like that?!” What these listeners, and everyone else, come to find is that these guys have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of horror, from the classics to the obscure, Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian can spout off a list of facts and trivia that’ll leave your head spinning. These guys have seen just about EVERYTHING and INTO THE PIT gives us a look inside what makes these guys tick.
Initially one would think INTO THE PIT would be a documentary limited to the DeadPit fans alone, but I’d say this is a documentary for HORROR fans as a whole. Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian are like us, horror fans, who took their love of the genre and did something about it, creating the world’s first (and best) internet horror talk radio show and, through it, living the horror fan dream. They’ve become horror icons themselves, being invited to various horror conventions and becoming known as experts in the genre. One of the best parts of the documentary is a glimpse inside what I call the “DeadPit Dungeon.” There are thousands upon thousands of old VHS tapes and DVD’s along with just about every sort of horror memorabilia out there. Original posters, 8×10′s, Jason Hockey masks, you name it, signed by all the horror greats. The documentary also showcases a list of who’s-who within the genre, all talking about DeadPit. There’s even a brief bit with Uwe Boll, perhaps the worst filmmaker of all time (yet people STILL give him money), responding to the verbal lashing UB and CK have given him over the years (the even, once, challenged him to a wrestling match). INTO THE PIT documents the lives of the new kings of horror fandom(with the passing of Forrest Ackerman, they’re the obvious heirs to the throne), humanizing the DeadPit personalities and showing us that horror fans rock the world over!
What I viewed was a screener, so there were a few sound-sync issues I’m sure will be cleaned up before release. Also, I can’t comment upon special features, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of extra footage show up, perhaps some more interviews with horror celebrities, a commentary with Kelly, Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian HAS to be on there, and who knows what other goodies are on the way. Keep it tuned to BackwoodsHorror.com for updates on when INTO THE PIT: THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF DEADPIT.COM will be available for purchase. I’ll be getting a copy, by Gawd, so should you!
4 skulls outta 5!
Check out the Trailer and Kick-ASS poster courtesy Into the Pit the Movie,L.L.C. & Rusty Robot Productions: