The Curator of Schlock #411 by Jeff Shuster
The Revenging Manta, the ninja vigilante of downtown Orlando, fitted me with a kevlar vest because we were going back to the Museum of Schlock to clean house. Over the vest went the washed and pressed outfit of Gary, the drug dealer/pizza delivery guy. I know I hadn’t mentioned that we stole his clothes after the Revenging Manta had exploded his head with a flying bowling bowl. It must have slipped my mind.
— To be continued.
Tonight’s movie is 2022’s Skinamarink from director Kyle Edward Ball. I’ve heard it described as an experimental horror movie from the new genre of lo-fi horror. I’d never heard of lo-fi horror before. If I ask the question in a Google search, I get this:
“Lo-fi” refers to the way the movie is filmed; usually on a shoestring budget, using the familiarity of a sputtering home video to incite terror. Found footage is often lo-fi, but it’s not the only indicator.
A photo from the movie Skinamarink accompanies this definition. Where can you watch Skinamarink? It is currently streaming on Shudder, a horror streaming platform.
I would have liked to have experienced Skinamarink on the big screen. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I could only watch the movie on my laptop. There’s a David Lynch video circulating on YouTube where he chides people who watch movies on their iPhones, saying that you haven’t really watched the movie if you viewed it on a screen that small. So perhaps I didn’t really experience Skinamarink which is good because what I did experience bored me to tears!
So this is not a traditional movie. Don’t expect scenes of two characters talking. Don’t expect to even really see any of the characters in this movie. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a glimpse of the back of a child’s head or a pair of feet. The camera may linger on a toy phone or some old cartoon playing on television. All of this is filtered through grainy film and crackling sound for about an hour and forty minutes.
What’s the movie about? From summaries I’ve read online, Skinamarink centers around two young boys who wake up to find their house is now without windows and without doors. No way in and no way out. And there’s something evil in the house. It’s even corrupted their parents. There’s a point in the movie where one of the boys slowly walks toward his mother. We see all this from his point of view. I think the mother warns him to not come any closer. And then she turns around to reveal a creepy face. Maybe this was supposed to freak me out, but it didn’t.
Nothing happens in this movie! Its brief instances of whispered dialogue by two toddlers and slap shot camera angles don’t show anything of consequence. Lingering shots of toys bricks on the floor or a half eaten bowl of cereal. It’s riveting and by riveting I mean the exact opposite of riveting.
I know. I know. I don’t get it. I’m a philistine.
And I watched Skinamarink on a laptop which means I didn’t really watch it.
Whatever it was.
Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, episode 284, episode 441, episode 442, episode 443, episode 444, episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, episode 496, episode 545, episode 546, episode 547, episode 548, and episode 549) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.