A few years ago, actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy made a documentary in reaction to the overwhelmingly negative critical response to his film Son of the Mask entitled Heckler. The film is a very personal and at times defensive critique of criticism itself, which actually struck a chord with me in particular, even beyond the clear irony that blasting critics due to their profession presents. Sprinkled throughout Heckler are interviews with comedians and actors describing how they feel when they are the subject of negative criticism, with many resorting to the stance that they would like to fight anyone who calls their talents into question — including director Uwe Boll, who did just that, and as a result is seen as a kind of hero.
I understand this sentiment entirely. I take criticism very personally — even reasoned, constructive criticism will sometimes send me into a days-long depression. When I was editor for the Squelch, I took it very personally when we would get the occasional “you suck” or “you aren’t funny”, and it even got to me when someone told me we were offensive. I understand what Kennedy is going for in Heckler. But there’s just one problem. Son of the Mask DID suck. Uwe Boll DOES make awful, awful films. And sometimes Squelch ISN’T funny. Sometimes things are just bad and just because someone worked really hard on it doesn’t mean that it’s exempt from being bad or that it has special protection against people calling it bad.
This is particularly applicable to the comedy Horror in the Wind, a film that was sent to us for some inexplicable reason.