POP ART: Episode 67, Hell House, LLC/Man Bites Dog

Howard Casner • January 5, 2022

“Usually, I start the month with a postman”. It ain’t easy being a new filmmaker these days. First there’s the money. Then you have to assemble a crew. Of course, you need actors. And if all that’s not difficult enough, then you have demons trying to kill you or a serial killer who gets you involved in his gleeful crime spree. What’s an artist to do? Sounds like it’s time for Episode 67 of Pop Art, the podcast where my guest chooses a movie from popular culture, and I’ll select a film from the more art/classic/indie side of cinema with a connection to it. For this episode, I am happy to welcome as my guest for the Pop Art Halloween special, teacher by day, horror aficionado by night and someone who makes a career of being on other people’s podcasts as well as being a podcaster herself, Lisa Leaheey, who has chosen as her selection the horror found footage film Hell House LLC, while I have chosen the Belgian dark comedy found footage film, Man Bites Dog, both films about documentarians who discover that their subject matter is a little more than they bargained for.

And in this episode, we answer such questions as: What is found footage film and how has the meaning changed? Why should first time filmmakers watch Man Bites Dog? Clowns, why is it always clowns? What is one of the faults often found in found footage films, especially in Man Bites Dog? What are the literary precedents of found footage films? What does the phrase Man Bites Dog mean? What is the first found footage film? Where was Man Bites Dog banned? 2C or not 2C? What rating did Man Bites Dog get and how did it end up in Blockbusters? What really happened in the basement?