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#gamergate davis aurini jordan owen men who really shouldn't be making movies sarkeesian!

Eraserhead, Clerks, Slacker and 5 Other Classic Films that Cost Less Than The Sarkeesian Effect

My face when watching The Sarkeesian Effect
My face when watching The Sarkeesian Effect

The Sarkeesian Effect has received its first positive review on IMDb!

In a review so gushing it sounds almost as if it had been written by Jordan Owen himself, reviewer  kiddo1-1 from the Czech Republic, writes that

Owen’s voice-over presents a clear, easy to follow timeline of events and ideas, all skillfully intercut with the raw footage enriching them with many new insights and much interesting information. … Overall, this is a remarkable achievement and nothing to be ashamed of. So if it means anything, Jordan, you knocked this one out of the park.

As kiddo 1-1 (who couldn’t possibly have been hired to post a review written by Owen himself) sees it, the only real problems the movie had stemmed from the ineptitude of Owen’s former partner, Davis Aurini, whose

atrocious raw footage has been, with the use of a few neat visual tricks, transformed from embarrassing unwatchable train wreck into something that … sometimes looks like quite a charming quirk – it’s hard to believe that one of the accusations levied against Owen was that he knows nothing about editing.

Who knows? Without Aurini’s baleful influence, and the film’s “budgetary restrictions,” perhaps The Sarkeesian Effect might have even deserved more than the 8/10 rating kiddo 1-1 (definitely not paid by Owen for his services) gave it.

But, you know, “budgetary restrictions” don’t necessarily stand in the way of artistic greatness, at least for directors who actually know what they’re doing, and who are canny enough to know what you can and can’t pull off on a limited budget.

According to blogger Margaret Pless (@idledilletante), who crunched the numbers for Owen and Aurini’s Patreon, The Sarkeesian Effect cost $47,806 to make, including the money spent to buy Davis Aurini a car, which was TOTALLY necessary for the production. (Pless also pointed me to kiddo 1-1’s review.)

There have been a number of interesting, innovative, and even visually striking films that have cost less than that to make.

And if you don’t believe me, well, I made a list.

Here are 8 Classic Films that Cost Less Than The Sarkeesian Effect to Make.

1) Following, directed by Christopher Nolan

Budget $6000 (1998); $8,772 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Following was Nolan’s first feature film, an ingenious, twisty psychological thriller; I think it’s his second-best film, after Memento.

2) Primer, directed by Shane Carruth

Budget: $7,000 (2004); $8,831 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 7/10

I found this time-travel puzzlebox of a movie overcomplicated and overrated — try TimeCrimes instead — but it’s an amazing accomplishment for $7000.

3) Paranormal Activity, directed by Oren Peli

Budget $15,000 (2007); $17,240 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 6.3/10

Not exactly a work of great artistry, but a genuinely creepy film that cost almost nothing to make and, for better or worse, launched a franchise. The version ultimately released in theaters had a pumped-up Hollywood ending added to it that cost more than the rest of the film cost to make, but I actually prefer the original ending.

4) El Mariachi, directed by Robert Rodriguez 

Budget: $10,000 (1992); $16,986 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 6.0/10

A visually striking action classic by the soon-to-be action/horror movie king Robert Rodriguez.

5) Slacker, directed by Richard Linklater

Budget: $23,000 (1991); $40,244 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Linklater’s sprawling, complex and often hilarious feature film debut.

6) Clerks, directed by Kevin Smith

Budget: $27,000 (1994); $43,419 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Kevin Smith’s celebrated debut.

7) Catfish, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman

Budget $30,000 (2010); $32,787 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

A charming little documentary that added a new word to the lexicon and birthed an MTV series.

8) Eraserhead, by David Lynch

Budget: $10,000 (1977); $39,326 (in 2015 dollars)

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Yes, that’s right. FUCKING ERASERHEAD, David Lynch’s surrealistic classic, with arresting, years-ahead-of-their-time visuals and innovative sound design to boot, COST LESS TO MAKE THAN THE SARKEESIAN EFFECT. Even after inflation.

RUNNERS UP: Four more quality films that cost only a little bit more than The Sarkeesian Effect.

Tiny Furniture (Lena Dunham, 2010), $65,000
Super-Size Me (2004), $65,000
The Blair Witch Project (1999), $60,000
Pi (1998), $60,000

For Pi, director Darren Aronofsky adapted his style to work within his budget, using high-contrast black and white visuals that relied heavily on close-ups, and devoting much of his small budget to sound design, knowing that nothing screams “low budget” more than crappy sound. The film’s soundtrack, filled with innovative electronics from the likes of Autechre, is in many ways as much of a classic as the film itself.

But of course Darren Aronofsky is, you know, a genius, and Owen and Aurini are idiots.

My own review of The Sarkeesian Effect can be found here, by the way. It was not written by Jordan Owen.

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Stephen Baynham
6 years ago

You didn’t link your review bud.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

The original THX 1138 (4AEB version) cost nothing except George Lucas teaching some Navy students.

nomoon
nomoon
6 years ago

The director of Primer (Shane Carruth) made his second movie “Upstream Color” for $50k and it’s incredible.

Tabby Lavalamp
6 years ago

Wait… Anyone can slap together a glorified YouTube video and they can get an IMDb entry?

theladyzombie
6 years ago

How can you compare these hack films to the brilliant, Randgaltian, masterpiece that is The Sarkeesian Effect!! I mean, did any of these films explore the brutal truth of vidya gaem sensor ships steered by SJW femnsists who want to take the pronz away from bath loving squatches? No. They did not.

theladyzombie
6 years ago

Good day, sir.

I said good day!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

I’ll also stick in a mention of “It Happened Here”. Think that probably meets the cost criterion.

Brilliant film, if slightly controversial. Cheapest way of portraying fascists on screen? Just ask some real fascists.

peaches
peaches
6 years ago

Slacker is great. My mother saw part of Boyhood and asked me about Linklater’s other movies. I told her that Slacker was beyond not having a plot, it didn’t even have an attention span, but it was hilarious.

childrenofthebroccoli
childrenofthebroccoli
6 years ago

The barriers to entry for IMDB are really low. I have an IMDB page for a 5-second cameo in a film my uncle made for the local film festival. It had a budget of like a couple of hundred dollars, and it was way better than the Sarkeesian Effect.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

You forgot one. John Waters’ Pink Flamingos cost an estimated $10, 0000
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069089/

katz
katz
6 years ago

Slacker is fantastic. The credits say it all, really.

http://orig11.deviantart.net/dea5/f/2015/271/9/8/untitled_by_gckatz-d9b9gou.png

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

I thought The Man From Earth would qualify, but Wikipedia says the budget was $200.000. Woha.

Clerks made it to the list, though, so I’m not complaining… I’ll take my time to chose which of thosevmovies I’ll watch next.

I might go ahead and watch Pink Flamingos, as I should have done long ago.

This Handle is a Test
This Handle is a Test
6 years ago

I didn’t watch Pink Flamingos but I saw “I am Divine” on Water’s first prominent star. In said movie, Mink Stole discussed Pink Flamingos and she had said that the budget for Pink Flamingos was actually extravagant compared to their earlier movies. Not that they were film classics or anything but Waters actually managed to make movies on even less than he made Pink Flamingos.

quantumdecadance
6 years ago

With $47,806, couldn’t they have hired a cameraman or a soundman to help them make the film look slightly professional?

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Huh, they had bigger budgets than I’d thought, but the [REC] series makes for good horror. The Spanish ones, the English ones… eh, not bad, but not the same series or as great.

This Handle is a Test
This Handle is a Test
6 years ago

Also, not to derail, but there needs to be some kind of a movie thread or something. I really need the opportunity to film geek out.

This Handle is a Test
This Handle is a Test
6 years ago

Well, since we’re talking horror, for only a little more than the Sarkeesian Effect, Mike Flanagan managed to make Abstentia ($70,000 budget). Its a surprisingly effect horror movie featuring only Doug Jones among actors you’ve actually seen before.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago

I think technically Linklater’s first feature is “It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books,” though I haven’t seen it…

Gus Van Sant’s first feature “Mala Noche,” which is rather good, was apparently made for about $25,000 in 1988; the internet tells me that would be around $50,000 today – so, pretty close.

Charles Burnett’s extraordinary “Killer of Sheep” was made for $10,000 in 1978 – around $37,000 today. And, it’s a Library of Congress-approved classic (apparently the BBC says it’s the 26th greatest American film ever made; it’s one of my personal favorites, too).

Jonathan Caouette’s acclaimed (and well worth seeing) 2003 documentary “Tarnation” was famously completed for $218.32, though in order to actually release it commercially it needed around $400,000 for stuff like licensing fees (much of the film involves appropriated bits of old pop songs and TV shows).

I’m not sure how much Jafar Panahi’s 2011 “This is Not a Film” cost, but it couldn’t have been too much since it’s basically just him in his apartment with a cheap video camera (for those that don’t know, it was a film that Panahi made surreptitiously to evade government censure). Anyway, 98% on Rotten Tomoatoes! Also well worth seeing.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I absolutely love Absentia. It’s one of my favorites of the decade so far along with It Follows and Lovely Molly.

Flanagan is going to be directing Ouija 2 🙁

The first one was terrible, didn’t need a sequel and I don’t think he can save it.

Some other recent horror movies I loved that didn’t have huge budgets are The Babadook, Citadel, Magic, Magic, Lake Mungo, Mine Games, Banshee Chapter, Pontypool, and The Bay.

Okay, Lake Mungo and Pontypool aren’t all that recent, but they’re great and everyone should see them.

Sadly, Japanese horror seems to have peaked. I haven’t seen one I loved in a long time.

This Handle is a Test
This Handle is a Test
6 years ago

I liked Abstentia, plus Flanagan gets some credit from me for going to the lengths he did at the ending (that whole seen in the climax was really well done and gave a sense of rising tension…to say more would spoil it, plus two women were the main characters in the feature, that doesn’t happen often with horror). And I agree on Flanagan’s recent directing choices, although I did *really* want to see Oculus (maybe On Demand will have it on the Horror section for Halloween). I’ve seen trailers for Babadook and it really looks interesting. Lake Mungo I never saw as it was part of the After Dark film festival and with the possible exception of Dread none of the ones I’ve seen looked good.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Has anyone ever seen the Spanish horror movie Sleep Tight? I’ve been wanting to see that one. The Devil’s Backbone is a must see. So is The Orphanage. I recently saw The House at the End of Time an that was pretty good. Since Rec has already been mentioned those are all the good Spanish language movies I can think of off the top my head right now.

Also, if you all haven’t seen the original Spanish short Mama that the feature of the same name is based on, change that immediately.
https://youtu.be/fcrM74s7tm4

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

Ooh, speaking of Spanish horror, has anyone else ever seen La Cabina. It’s the one where the guy gets stuck in a phone box. Fantastic.

Wonder how much it cost.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

David David David Dvaid Dvaid Dvadi Davdi

http://humanriotsmovement.tumblr.com/post/130098621195/trans-love-rad-hate-huffingtonpost-mra-group

The article has been updated to say it might have been trolling, which it probably is because no MRA would be able to make such a slogan and meme as good as this but still.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

And I agree on Flanagan’s recent directing choices, although I did *really* want to see Oculus (maybe On Demand will have it on the Horror section for Halloween). I’ve seen trailers for Babadook and it really looks interesting. Lake Mungo I never saw as it was part of the After Dark film festival and with the possible exception of Dread none of the ones I’ve seen looked good.

I thought Oculus was pretty good. Not shit your pants great, but definitely worth a watch. It’s on Netflix. At least the American version. I know it’s different in different countries.

I know After Dark (justifiably) doesn’t have a great reputation, but don’t let that scare you. Lake Mungo is absolutely brilliant. It’s not a traditional horror movie. There are no jump scares and no gore. The payoff is a long time coming. But every time I see it, I feel unsettled for hours afterwards. Actually, the Korean film Voice is a pretty good After Dark movie too. I’m in the minority amongst horror fans in that I didn’t like Dread. I really love the short story and I just don’t think the movie did it justice.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Ooh, speaking of Spanish horror, has anyone else ever seen La Cabina. It’s the one where the guy gets stuck in a phone box. Fantastic.

That sounds really scary. At least to this claustrophobic person.

I know I’m spamming up the page here, but once I start talking about horror, I find it hard to stop. If anyone has a recommendation for a good YouTube channel that has horror shorts, it would be much appreciated. I really like Daywalt Horror and Fewdio, but he never puts out new stuff anymore. If anyone hasn’t watched Drew Daywalt’s stuff, it’s great. It’s amazing how impactful something under two minutes long can be.
https://youtu.be/_BCGf8FjBPE

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

I don’t know a lot about Spanish horror, but I did watch La Habitacion Del Niño and it was the right kind of scary for me.

As in a scary trip, without lasting effects after the film is over, but very disturbing while it lasts.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago
danhag3n
6 years ago

There’s always the MST3K A Day Facebook group, which doesn’t cost you anything.

pecunium
6 years ago

theladyzombie should take this internet, I’m not using it. I don’t think I could do it justice after that bravura performance.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

WWTH — I’m gonna have to get out my watch list and note those down! You see REC 4? If not, do so, Angela gets seriously badass.

Everybody — that’s why I mentioned it, she’s the lead role for 1, 2 & 4, 3 is set elsewhere at a wedding and the lead is pretty evenly split between the couple (she might get more screen time, I’m not sure). And all but the second pass the Bechdel test. So yeah, if you like your horror films to come with damsels (not) in distress who kick ass despite being surrounded by not-actually-zombies, go for it.

Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
6 years ago

Is that really a fair comparison, putting this movie up against movies made for less by really brilliant film makers? Most of those movies were also better than “Waterworld”….

Fair would be comparing “The Sarkeesian Effect” with low-to-mid-budget films that were absolutely horrible and still not quite as bad as it. It shouldn’t be difficult, even if you’ve got a large source of incompetent documentaries around and are willing to watch some of them.

(Disclaimer: I haven’t seen “The Sarkeesian Effect”, and thanks to you, I now know it exists and won’t waste 2.5 hours of my life watching it, even if I have a case of really bad beer that needs to be disposed of and a large supply of popcorn to throw. Ugh.)

bvh
bvh
6 years ago

6) Clerks, directed by Kevin Smith

Dante and Randall arguing about Gamergate, etc would be so entertaining. You know Randall would fall for it, and Dante would be pulling his hair out trying and failing to talk sense into Randall. OTOH Dante is known to get sucked into Randall’s convoluted hypotheticals ala probably how a lot of ex GG were sucked into GG:

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@pecunium, theladyzombie

theladyzombie should take this internet, I’m not using it. I don’t think I could do it justice after that bravura performance.

Her postscript made both me and my boyfriend laugh out loud.

Good day, sir.

I said good day!

No, good day to you, ladyzombie!

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

I can’t belive that cost 50,000.I feel sad that they dipped so many people now :(.

Also supersede me has a lot of probelms. Namely the results he claimed can’t be replicated and anytime someone tries to do a scintific study he re-loses his data charts.
Do while fast food is bad is true, his exact results and the movie itself may also be a scam. Or at least badly done/not a good documentary.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

I’m still unclear on what the Sarkeesian Effect is, but this effect seems to last for a long, long time. Months, so far — intermittently. No end in sight.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

@Robjec
Supersize Me?

Although your version does sound intriguing.

katz
katz
6 years ago

Here’s another classic film that cost less than $50,000. I’m not sure of the exact budget, but I think it was approximately the cost of a pencil and some paper.

Falconer
6 years ago

Argenti! How are you? How is puff? How are things?

Bibulb
Bibulb
6 years ago

I liked Primer, but “… knowing that nothing screams “low budget” more than crappy sound…” NAILS that one as well. It cost $7000, and they really needed $8000 – where the extra thousand goes straight to ADR and foley.

TSE, meanwhile, blows goats. Foldable Human’s tech review livetweeting was a thing of hideous beauty.

Bill Stewart
Bill Stewart
6 years ago

“Bambi Meets Godzilla” is about 1.5 minutes long. TSE is about 150 minutes long. With the editing skills apparently used in TSE applied to BMG, imagine a foot smashing onto a cute little deer’s face, forever, or at least for 100x as long as it needs to.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
6 years ago

Someone might want to tell the menz going their own way with the diamonds that there’s a surgery to restore the hymen. Or not.

theladyzombie
6 years ago

@pecunium, theladyzombie

theladyzombie should take this internet, I’m not using it. I don’t think I could do it justice after that bravura performance.

Her postscript made both me and my boyfriend laugh out loud.

Good day, sir.

I said good day!

No, good day to you, ladyzombie!

Fank you! Fank you very much!

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

HI Falconer! Pop over to the glossary thread for the menagerie update 🙂

katz
katz
6 years ago

“Bambi Meets Godzilla” is about 1.5 minutes long. TSE is about 150 minutes long. With the editing skills apparently used in TSE applied to BMG, imagine a foot smashing onto a cute little deer’s face, forever, or at least for 100x as long as it needs to.

XD

brian
6 years ago

$47,806, and worth it! You can see every dollar up there on the screen!

Orion
6 years ago

Also supersede me has a lot of probelms. Namely the results he claimed can’t be replicated and anytime someone tries to do a scintific study he re-loses his data charts.
Do while fast food is bad is true, his exact results and the movie itself may also be a scam. Or at least badly done/not a good documentary.

Thank you for that information. It’s good to know.

Of course, for purposes of this thread, it’s still an example of compelling filmmaking on the cheap.

reimalebario
reimalebario
6 years ago

Man Bites Dog, the 1992 Belgian black humour classic satire of the media’s fascination with violence and serial killers also cost only 33,000$ to make in 1992 which also, even when inflated for inflation, makes it cheaper.