Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Hilarious Wild Man of the Navidad Controversy


So my blogging pal Jeff Atencio from The Jaded Viewer also writes for the UGO Movie Blog and today he wrote up a review for an indy Bigfoot flick coming to DVD August 11th called The Wild Man of the Navidad. His review wasn't even necessarily a bad one but it did draw the attention of one of the directors of the film, who was moved enough to leave a couple comments defending the movie. Cool enough, right? Always nice to see a director who's passionate about his work and who reads and comments on reviews of his flicks, right? Well here's where this little story gets real funny and real lame....

The film is directed by two guys ; Justin Meeks and Duane Graves. Duane Graves is the one who commented on the review. But he didn't comment as Duane Graves, he commented under the name "bisforbest" and claimed to not be Duane Graves but merely a big fan of the film! HIS OWN FILM! Check out a few of the things this would be fan said :


"i think this movie is better than what you've painted. the main things that make it good are 1) the directors pulled off the look of those older movies skillfully, which can't be found in any "newer" horror flic and 2) they did it with next to nothing. but even so, why does everyone always focus on "budget" in reviews anyway? so what. budget does NOT equal greatness. the fact that these dudes pulled this quality with 7 grand or less is amazing. i'm a fellow filmmaker so i should know, and i commend graves and meeks for wild man. it may take a few years to be appreciated because these newer generation horror watchers just don't get it."

"we can't really determine what is or will be a cult classic when it first comes out. in twenty years this COULD be one, that's the thing. i saw this movie with an enthusiastic audience at a midnight screening at a horror festival, which was ideal i guess, but they loved it. i think what my friends and i appreciate the most is that there is FINALLY someone trying to bring back the old school way of cinematic storytelling - long master shots to soak in, linear stories, atmosphere, etc. it's refreshing in the genre, any way you slice it. and nobody with a budget has had the balls to try it so far. you weren't as harsh as you could've been i guess, but this movie is worth seeing if not just for inspiration to filmmakers- especially in the glut of crappy horror there is these days man come on."

So how did the dude get outed? After reading these rather suspicious viewpoints on the movie, Atencio's friend did a little Google reverse lookup on the e-mail address "bisforbest" registered with and the name that came up was none other than DUANE GRAVES! OWNED!

Graves, still under the pseudonym of "bisforbest" went on to continue denying his identity and claimed he was a man by the name of Albert, and it's all been hilarious to watch play out today. Click here for Jeff's full review as well as all the commenting drama! Jeff also just made a whole post about the ordeal on The Jaded Viewer, so check that out too.

Now I have not seen The Wild Man of the Navidad yet so I can't comment on the quality of the film (it's gotten pretty good reviews across the board, which makes this all the stranger), but I think this kind of bullshit needs to be addressed and clowns like Mr. Graves need to be outed. Lest you think this is merely one isolated incident, these guys have discovered a whole host of comments on various websites from this same e-mail address, all speaking highly of the works of Meeks and Graves. Come on guys, did ya really think you'd get away with it? There's nothing wrong with defending or speaking highly of your own film, but do it as yourself, don't pretend you're some fan of your own work.


the jaded viewer said...

The funny part is i'm still investigating. I've been checking out IMDB, other horror review sites and seeing if any mysterious comments have happened there.

So far some comments on Fangoria look fishy but nothing on others.

Well hey at least it wasn't robot/spider comments. :-P

Zacery Nova said...

This might be irresistibly fun, but this is a person's feelings here. I'm disappointed that you feel it's appropriate to propagate rumors and try to "out" somebody as bigging up their own stuff. It's cruel and unnecessary.

I thought you were better than this, Johnny.

Johnny said...

Whoa whoa, back up a second Zac. Do you not think it's wrong what this guy is doing? Should it never be addressed and should we all just allow people to read his reviews and comments on his own movies and be swayed into thinking we're listening to the viewpoints of the average Joe viewer? There's nothing wrong with a guy trying to "big up" his own stuff, but this is not the way to go about it and I think someone needs to speak up about things like this. I don't think that's cruel of me at all, to be honest. What this guy is doing is wrong. All i'm doing is addressing it.

Zacery Nova said...

I just feel kind of...sorry for him.

Johnny said...

Believe me, Zac, I kinda do too. I don't like doing things like this and exposing people like this, but it's gotta be done. It is sad to see a filmmaker stoop to these levels and it's especially sad given the fact that his movie has been getting good reviews and he had no reason to stoop to that level to get positive press for his movie. It's just totally unecessary, desperate, and sad. Don't think i'm an asshole for posting about it though. I'm not trying to be a dick and I know it might come off that way but like I said, things like this have to be addressed. I don't want people reading his reviews of praise and being swayed by them when they're not genuine and not truly the opinions of the average fan. I hope you understand where i'm coming from on this.

willy jerk-off said...

When i saw the title i immediately thought of francesca kitten "NATIVIDAD" that bird with massive knockers from the russ meyer movies.

Nik Holmes said...

I just find it really confusing why in a community as close knit and welcoming as the Horror one, he'd try and dupe his audience this way. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of self promo, nothing at all, and he could have easily defended his film in the same manner without posing as a fan. No one would have felt any less of him doing so. Hell, it's his baby, he has a right to defend it. But it's the whole assuming the voice of his audience which is a bit unfortunate. The next step is setting up your own horror blog just so you can give yourself glowing reviews and quote them on the cover.

the jaded viewer said...

I'm not trying to be cruel either. I thought I was having a nice comment exchange with a "fan" of the film. But when the "fan" turns out to be the director (or even if he's an actual fan he seems to oddly really like this film and sees no faults in it)you have to call him out.

I know the internet is all about anonymity, but putting "plant comments" in was just unneccesary as most of the reviews were positive.

Monkeymanbob said...

I'm kinda with Zac, having poured heart and soul into a labour of love and to have it slated is hard, but saying that he should listen to the feedback and use it to grow. 1st time masterpieces are rare as rocking horse shit

Johnny said...

Nik - Glad someone sees it the same way I do.

Monkeyman - But see, the movie has gotten pretty good reviews from big outlets like Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central. His movie isn't really getting bashed by anyone, which is why this is so bizarre. I could at least understand it if everyone hated the movie and he wanted to post positive reviews for it everywhere so that people would be fooled into thinking it's good, which would still be very wrong mind you, but that's not even the case.

Sean said...

See, Johnny did a review of our film recently, and hey, he liked it.

Even if he didn't, and completely trashed the film, I would have posted on here as my own name, with my association to the film.

So Johnny, you're right. He took the shitty coward's way instead of coming out and saying "I'm Duane Graves, I think you didn't give us a fair shake and here's why:"

If he did, mad respect for standing up for his art, but because he tried to use a not-so-clever ruse, it's like putting a pull quote on your movie poster from "John Q Public" that says "BEST MOVIE EVER!".

It's deceit and it just shows you obviously don't have faith in your work if you have to hide in order to try to defend it, for fear of something which I'm not quite sure of. And by deceiving the fans, it shows you have no respect for them or their intelligence.

And in a field where the fans are literally EVERYTHING, it's like putting on a rock concert, taking the stage, and then saying "Fuck off, I hate you all" and not playing the show. It's the ultimate show of disrespect.

I wish I could feel sorry for the guy, but I don't, because it's his own damn fault, he fucked up, not Jaded Viewer, not Johnny, not anyone else who talks about his film.

Johnny said...

Amen, Sean. Everything you said right there is spot on.

John said...

The funniest thing is the filmmakers are probably sitting back laughing at all this extra free publicity online because of some lame identity controversy that everyone's blogging about. Who cares? Somehow I doubt that care if a few people lost their respect - if it even was them in the first place. One word against another is how I see it. Certainly not impossible for someone out there to be a fan of their work if it's readily available to be seen on DVD, which obviously it is or else there'd be no review on UGO.

Johnny said...

Truth be told, I am actually Duane Graves and Jaded Viewer is Justin Meeks. Mwahahaha! You've all been had!

I doubt they're laughing at this "free publicity". They say any publicity is good publicity but I don't really think that applies in cases where your reputation is thrown right out the window. And no, it's of course not impossible for someone to be a diehard fan of their work. But did you not read the part where I said this particular commenters e-mail address was looked up and it turned out his name was Duane Graves? Is it possible that there's a man by the name of Duane Graves who is a huge fan of Duane Graves work, but they're both totally different Duane Graves'? I find that highly unlikely.

the jaded viewer said...

Hahaha. That's what my friend said as well Johnny. I finally finished my investigation and I'll admit there was 1% of me that might have thought this wasn't the director.

But I'm now 110% sure this dude was the director, no FRAKIN doubt.

I found another review with freeads (aka the director) commenting a while back on his own review and glorifying the hell out of it.

I'm going to stop with this whole Wild Man stuff so they don't get any more free publicity out my site or yours.

I guess Mr. Graves never thought he'd be found out and we gave too much press for such a average, silly movie.

Johnny said...

Not that I had any doubts, but i'm glad it's more or less been confirmed. I would've felt AWFUL if we were wrong about this...

But ya, i'm done talking about it too. No more free publicity. Although I can't lie, I do kinda wanna see the movie now!