Of the many genres cult films can assume, it is horror that is one of the most popular (if not the most popular). Many classic horror films remain beloved classics today due to their use of practical effects instead of today’s digital effects, which makes for more gruesome and nightmarish scenes. An article on the Globe and Mail website dated October 31, 2014 details the research of a Cinema Studies professor and why he believes the horror genre is better served by practical effects. The professor describes his work as follows:
I’m looking at contemporary horror films and observing how there is this increase in digital effects and there’s this preservation or stronghold of the visceral effects that’s reserved mostly for violent penetration of the human body and bodily fluids spilling out; and then trying to collect as much material as possible on how the audience of the horror genre perceives that change. And it’s not like they’re completely resistant against it; they’re very realistic and they know that digital cinema actually helps the horror genre cut costs because in many cases digital effects will actually save you money.
If you have to simulate the flight of vampires then digital will save you money. If you have to give the impression that there’s 1000 zombies on the street but you digitize them so you don’t need 1000 extras and the logistics that come with that, that saves you money too.
Cult films typically have some of the lowest production budgets and offbeat scripts, but that does not stop them from dazzling a select group of loyal audiences many years later. Their liberal use of practical effects, in particular, are things not normally found in today’s films, and can be a treat to see again and again. Unfortunately, cult classics laden with “old school” effects are often rare and cannot be found normally in stores. It is a good thing that viewers curious about such flicks can watch free movies through online hosting sites with comprehensive libraries like The Viewlorium.
Online video streaming sites are the perfect place to view films not typically found elsewhere. In these websites, obscure classics such as “The Toxic Avenger” can be found alongside more recent cult favourites such as “Poultrygeist”; all of which are heavy with practical effects and prosthetics galore. Horror cult movies are the stuff of nightmares and the occasional dark humour, and they can all be found in the catalogues of online video streaming sites. Best of all, select streaming sites offer their movies absolutely free, allowing viewers to enjoy their eccentric films whenever, wherever.
(Source: UBC professor examines horror films’ resistance to digital effects, theglobeandmail.com, October 31, 2014)