A feature length documentary about grassroots horror filmmakers, The Brilliant Terror’s inspiration comes from being intimately included behind the scenes of microbudget genre filmmaking. This is more indie than indie. Witness the obsessive lengths to which creative people will go to bring their greatest fears to life on screen—and why. It’s not just about blood and boobs, zombies and vampires. 

Shot over the course of seven years, this observational film follows small-town auteur Mike Lombardo as he writes, directs, shoots, and reshoots (and reshoots) “The Stall.” Viewers are privy to candid moments that inform his inner drive – from the giddy triumph at successful DIY special effects to painful personal traumas to the everyday tedium of working at a pizza shop. 

Along the way, interviews with a handful of fantastically fierce women filmmakers, imaginative genre directors, horror researchers, and misunderstood fans bring refreshingly frank viewpoints about exploitation, dealing with fears, and the community bond within the low budget horror genre. 

At times hilarious, at times repulsive, and at times weirdly moving, The Brilliant Terror is not only for horror fans, but for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. It helps us understand why we all, in some way, need a place to belong – and why that place may well be lying with friends on a cold, dirty bathroom stall floor wrangling (and re-wrangling) bloody, slime-covered tentacles. 

Speaking to the psycho-entrepreneur in us all, Lombardo says, “It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be awesome.”
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