Review: Diary Of A Deadbeat


This week FDTC writer Adam Holtzapfel had a chance to check out Diary Of A Deadbeat, Victor Bonacore’s documentary on cult filmmaker Jim Van Bebber. If you’re not familiar with Van Bebber’s work, this is a great introduction.


I know I'm late with this one, I had been aware of the documentary since the premiere at Dayton’s Neon theater was announced for an August 2015 date. Unfortunately life got in the way and I missed it. It has played at several Days Of The Dead shows, as well as Nightmares Film Festival with each screening being packed.
The film starts with footage of Van Bebber in 1992. From there it goes to his homemade short films as a child, his appearance at Cinema Wasteland in 2010 to a look at his notable works (My Sweet Satan, Deadbeat At Dawn, and Manson Family). Talking about his roots in Greenville/Dayton, OH, to his years at Wright State University, to his move to Hollywood, to his move to Florida we get a picture of Jim as a person who is making movies on his own terms. A look into the making of Gator Green, shows the work he puts in scouting locations and trying to raise funds to get the film made. As of right now Gator Green is still a short film.

With interviews from frequent collaborators like Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, Marc “Bone Crusher” Pitman, Leslie Orr, Mike King to fans Cody Lee Hardin, Rob Steinbruegge, to others Nivek Ogre, Robert Mukes, and Heidi Honeycutt. The film touches on comparisons to Rob Zombie but without the notoriety of having a music career and a comparison to Rob Zombie, but with talent. 



Jim himself states he doesn’t make horror films, but he makes true crime films. With recently seeing Manson Family, I can see where he’s coming from. It’s not a schlock film and he tried making the film to look as authentic as possible down to the murders.



If you see this playing at a convention or film festival do not miss this! You can also purchase it from Massacre Video or Victor directly if you see him at a festival or convention.


(Images taken from Google)