Art is a really hard concept to define. At its simplest, it’s a man-made product that invokes reaction from its viewers. But, what if the emotions the art raises are ones people do not tend to want to feel? Ocular is a strange film, the soundtrack is ear-piercing and difficult to listen to. Visually, the images on the screen are horrible to watch. This is a short that makes people queezy, look away in terror, scream, shutter and, often gag. This film is art!
Without the use of excessive blood and guts, director David Brudie created a short film that very few people have been able to watch in one sitting. Being a huge supporter of Ocular, I helped distribute the film at Shock Stock 2014 (a position I asked for by begging Brudie to enter the short and attending the festival as a representative). Arriving late I ran to the screening room and watched the audience take in what they could. It was awesome. Most would keep their heads down while their eyes peered up at the screen. Others were screaming with loving-disgust. Co-creator of Shock Stock, Jake W. Grimbro, loved the film and was quoted as saying “It’s putrid.. Definitely earns the title of short shocks… This film epitomizes what our convention and festival is all about… Intensity, Originality, and Horror in all it’s forms… HANDS DOWN THE SS (Shock Stock) 2014 FAVOURITE SHORT SHOCK!” From my own feelings, the reaction of the viewers combined with selling out every DVD, I totally agree with Grimbro.
When asked about how the reception Ocular has received, David Brudie responded genially, “I feel that it is a love/hate sort of film… The people who like it are very adamant about it and supportive, but there are also others that see nothing redeeming about it… Ocular has been called a lot of things; “Satanic”, “Incoherent” and “Demented”, all spring to mind… However, there are people who look past the obvious shock value and see that there is more in it than meets the eye… I have already had a few people question me about what I was trying to get across in the film, basically they wanted to know (from my point of view) what the film meant… I have no problem explaining certain motivations for Ocular but I also point out that it is something each viewer must interpret for themselves… I think that the people who ‘get it’ see the film in a whole different way, but sadly there are many that ONLY see the repulsiveness in it… That’s kind of a shame, but I knew that it was likely as I was going into this project… Ocular is hard for certain people to watch for a few good reasons, the most prominent one’s are the disgusting acts that the film deals with and the horrorific tone that the movie has… I wanted to grab the viewer right away and keep their attention… On the surface Ocular comes across as a series of unrelated gross acts, and some people like to show their friends and watch the reactions they get… Kind of like a dare or perhaps initiation into the twisted and disturbing nature of the film… I call it being ‘Ocularized’ and I’m cool with whatever reasons people are interested in Ocular, but I’m just saying that if you look deeper there are other things going on…” While discussing what the audience was taking from Ocular, Brudie quipped “That really depends on what the audience brings with them before watching the film… Everyone will get a different feeling or impression from Ocular and will likely come away with something individual… However, if (at the very least) I give the viewer a unique and perhaps thought provoking experience for 15 minutes, and they walk away wondering what the fuck they just saw, then I’ll feel like I accomplished something…” Brudie seems to have accepted all opinions on the film, which is a rare trade for a director, be it a new one in the field.
Why am I not getting in to the plot? Why not discuss the actors? Because it is irrelevant. The film is like a sculpture without a solid form, not every one is going to have the same experience seeing it. The plot, it’s what you think it is, no opinions is wrong. I find those who say they hate Ocular seem to hate the intense emotional and often physical affect the movie has, not the film itself. These are also the same people who don’t seem to be able to sit through a viewing. And, it is fucking hard to do. I will admit it, I put my hands over my eyes, turned down the volume and gagged when I popped my Ocular cherry.
People in the genre are raving about Ocular. It is fresh, artsy and mega-repulsive. After watching Ocular, Chris Alexander, editor of Fangoria, supplied the following quote “An eerie, abstract collection of strange, haunting images held together by an unnerving and unyielding sound design.”
I questioned Brudie about what directors he found inspirational hoping to futher understand where he was coming from with Ocular, “There are three director’s (and three films) that greatly influenced Ocular… First off is David Lynch and his film “Eraserhead”… I think much of Ocular‘s nightmarish and haunting qualities can be attributed to Lynch’s film… Secondly, is “Begotten” by E. Elias Merhige, which not only inspired the cinematography and post production filters and effects in my film, but also the significant religious overtones… Like Begotten, Ocular speaks mostly through its silent and cerebral imagery… Lastly, I have to give recognition to John Waters and his film “Pink Flamingos” for destroying any inhibition I may have had in filming some of this unsavory material…” His response didn’t yield any concrete information in relation to the explosive style Ocular exuberates, but, I accept that. Brudie is a complicated man, thus it makes sense his artwork would be the same.
I highly recommend Ocular to any horror fan. Would I recommend it to my Aunt who relishes thrillers on the Women’s Network? No, she would beat me silly. This is a very intense experience one should be prepared for. Do you think you could make it through the entire film in one sitting?I’ve seen grown men walk out regurgitating.
As for what Brudie is working on now… “At the moment I am working on a collaborative effort with a facebook (secret) group called HORROR GEEKS…
We are trying to get a Horror anthology going, featuring the short films of various members of the group… They will all be linked together by a wrap around story… I am very much looking forward to this project because I am a huge fan of horror anthologies and in my opinion there just isn’t enough of them being made anymore… Some of my favorites are “Tales From The Crypt”, “Asylum”, “Dr. Terror House of Horrors” and of course the more recent “Creepshow”, by George A. Romero… My plan is to make this film reminiscent of those great one’s of the past…
When I’m not filming you will usually find me writing and I’m happy to say that I just released a new book last December called “Dribs n Drabs“… It is a series of short stories and poems that deal with a variety of scary and disturbing things… I’ve recieved some really great reviews (which are available at the Amazon order page) and am thankful that people enjoy my work…
By the way, one more thing I’d like to mention, is that OCULAR is finally going to see a public release!!
It will be available shortly on Amazon’s ‘ ‘Instant Video’ site… I’m very excited, and hope you take the time to check it out… I’d love to hear YOUR opinion, so drop me a message on my IMDb page or at the Official Ocular facebook site…”
OCUALR – AMAZON
OCUALR – IMDB
OCULAR – FACEBOOK
DRIBS N’ DRABS – AMAZON
Ocular is a great short to shock people and I am putting out a dare. Would love to know what horror fans out there are able to sit through and entire viewing of the movie. It’s the kind of flick that people make videos of themselves watching. Please let me know if you are able to watch it and, if you make a video of yourself watching Ocular please post it here as a comment. If you can do it, you’re probably one sick mother-fucker.
Should also comment on Dribs N’ Drabs, I have read a short story from it and I thought it was a smooth ride. Great read.