Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 784


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MaximumMadness 5 / 10

Half documentary, half scripted-psychological/slasher-horror-film, "S&Man" works at times, but ultimately flops...

From J.T. Petty (director of the halfway decent direct-to-video "Mimic 3: Sentinel") comes the bizarre, pseudo-documentary, pseudo-mockumentary, pseudo-scripted feature "S&Man" (pronounced "Sandman", not "S and M Man").

The film is presented and introduced as a "documentary" about how, after his original intent to make a film about a convicted voyeur from his hometown failed, J.T. Petty decides to interview underground horror filmmakers who make simulated snuff films and B-movies. These subjects include real filmmakers Fred Vogul (director of the famed and nauseating "August Underground" series, and several other extreme films), Bill Zebub (another real underground director I am not familiar with) and a fictional character, Eric Rost (played by Erik Marcisak), whom is the creator and director of the "S&Man" video series. A series similar to Vogul's "found-footage" work, in which Rost plays an evil character who stalks women and murders them.

Petty and his crew interview the three men (Vogul in particular giving some great insight into horror, underground film and extreme cinema, and why people are into these sorts of films), "Debbie D", an underground film actress, and several psychologists and therapists, talking about horror and its impact on society.

And the first half of the film does come off as a rather compelling analysis of extreme horror and underground cinema, the reasons why it is made and has a popularity, and how/why it impacts people. Some of it is very troubling, some of it is insightful, and some of it is disgusting.

However, the problem lies in the fact that this isn't a true documentary. The first half of the film is essentially an excuse Petty uses to make the second half, which is 90% a scripted story (though still in documentary style) feel more real. In the scripted storyline, Petty begins to question if Rost's "S&Man" series is real or fake, and Rost begins to exhibit evil, disturbing and dangerous tendencies, climaxing in an interesting ending.

However, it felt very unneeded and unnatural. The scripted storyline is phoned in and obvious, and Rost (though compellingly and wonderfully played by Marcisak) just comes off as too much of a "character" in comparison to the real cast like Vogul and Zebub.

So much insight and thought is placed into the real, documentary segments (as I said, Vogul has some very interesting things to say, and Zebub is a fascinating and seemingly troubled person), and they are so informative, that the scripted segments felt like too much of a betrayal. It would have been more compelling if Petty had either made a straight documentary, without the "Is Rost really a killer?" scripted storyline, or just made a full-on mockumentary about Rost. Combining the real and the fake is an interesting concept, and could work, but it just quite doesn't gel here.

As it stands, it's not a bad film, but sadly "meh." An average 5 out of 10.

Reviewed by targosfan1 9 / 10

Wow, only one comment?

Too bad, I guess this most excellent horror spoof is not getting the attention it deserves. Of course, I saw it with the live "reveal" at TIFF, so maybe my impression of it's entertainment value is skewed somewhat. The film itself is a deliberately cheap-looking "documentary" about the sleaziest, most misogynistic face of horror films - the no-budget, horror-porn indie films that exist only to show beautiful women being killed while undressed. Each film crew shown are real, however -- except one! This misdirection fooled my wife and I completely, and we had a huge laugh when the truth was revealed. After the credits rolled the director and lead actor came out to give the punch line. I hope the DVD of this film includes something to approximate the delight we felt at that moment.

When this becomes available (i presume it will - almost everything does, eventually,) rent it, partake of some "attitude adjustment" and watch it in the company of one or more fellow horror fans. Satisfaction or your money back (in Canadian Tire bucks, natch!)

Reviewed by Illyngophobia 6 / 10

Interesting Look At Snuff and Horrors

I first saw this a year or so ago while browsing the Movie/Free Movie section of Comcast's On Demand. Scrolling through the pages of films, I saw Fred Vogel's name appear in the cast listing and became fascinated quickly. I took a look at the trailer of the strangely titled feature and was engulfed with curiosity. The film had a look of a documentary with directors and actors in films from horror's "underground scene".

While we meet different celebs talking about movies like "Peeping Tom", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Henry" to name a few, we meet with a fellow behind a line of videos called S&Man, a voyeur and stalker who films people.

I enjoyed this as a filmmaker who would casually look for grand terrors in said "underground scene". I would recommend for anyone who has an interest in film, horror movies and the weird.

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