Every October for the last few years I’ve watched the Animal Planet TV show Lost Tapes. At this point it’s become a tradition whenever this month comes around. Not because it’s especially good, or is scary, or has a production value higher than a community theater, but because it’s just too much fun to ignore. Thus the new GUILTY PLEASURE series is born. Hanna also has a few herself to share in the future…
The premise is exactly what it sounds like, found footage from monster attacks with each episode featuring a different one. The creatures range from potentially undiscovered species like giant anacondas to supernatural beings like vampires. With one notable exception, they do all have something in common: none of them are portrayed convincingly enough to be frightening.
This was clearly a show meant to get viewers with its premise instead of impressing us with good acting or special effects. There are a few decent performances throughout all 3 (yes, 3) seasons, but nothing especially convincing. The special effects are mostly limited to a very obvious guy in a monster suite running around killing people with the occasional (low quality) CG effect thrown in.
Oh, and there are interviews with “experts” (I’ll explain the quotation marks in a moment) interspersed throughout the found footage explaining the monster of the episode. Though mostly these are with people who hold advanced degrees in recognized fields like biology, zoology, and history, I find myself wondering if they knew their interview would be edited for this show to make it look like they were saying the Sasquatch exists.
There are two interviewees who clearly knew how they’d be portrayed however: a cryptozoologist who is in a lot of episodes and Max Brooks (author of World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide) in the zombie episode.
That being said, this show is like the fake play that they made in The Producers which turned out to be a hit. It’s just so entertaining between the corny stories, over-the-top acting, and questionable effects that I enjoy watching it every year. They barely show any of the monsters in Season 1, so it can get a bit slow when you’re just watching people wandering around, but they fixed this in Seasons 2 and 3. Season 3 showed the creatures the most and tried to have an ongoing storyline with a security firm that investigated the paranormal, and the actors they hired for this are probably the best in the series.
For Halloween itself, I recommend the “Werewolf” episode from Season 2. It’s the only one that I find actually scary and has better writing than most of the series. Even if you don’t believe in anything paranormal nor are easily scared, I’d recommend checking it out for something that’s just fun. Hanna on the other hand cannot stand these and usually tunes them out while I’m watching.
I’m going to do two ratings, one for quality and one for enjoyment.
Quality: 2/5 ★★
Enjoyment: 4/5 ★★★★