New batch of 'mini-reviews' of short horror, 'arthouse' and various oddball indie films. Same setup as before: Nothing over 15 minutes. Lot of good ones here...
Callous Sentiment (2002)
Cool little horror short about a teenage boy who begins seeing mortifying, ghostly spectacles going down in an abandoned, fenced in playground. Things like, a guy butchering his cheating girlfriend with an axe, a chick hanging herself from the monkey bars, a gang-type beating and a body being buried. Ultimately, the kid's sanity begins to curtail as he develops a sinister addiction to the atrocities on display in the empty playground...
Pretty well made short with a simple, yet kind of creative and neat concept and a little bit of violence. Recommended.
Directed by: Vincent Grashaw
Runtime: 13 minutes
A dude invites a chick over to his place for a date. She kind of looks like Elaine from Seinfeld. Anyways, they have dinner, he makes her read some poetry into a really huge, old reel-to-reel tape recorder. While she does this, he shoots her in the back with a rifle, then proceeds to fondle her corpse and dismember her...
Pretty morbid little short. It's shot kind of like a faux-snuff film, showing the guy setting up the camera and often moving it around while you hear the constant whirring of the film. The effects of the dismemberment aftermath are pretty realistic as well. Well done.
Directed by: Olivier Smolders
Runtime: 15 minutes
"Cottonmouth" is quite a nightmarish little flick, based off the graphic novel by Steve Bissette that I have never read or heard of until seeing this short recently...
A gang of corpsey, demonic-looking women stitch shut the mouth of a man responsible for the distribution of toxic tampons that lead to the death of a young girl on her first period.
While it was alright on a visual basis - with good make-up effects and interesting lighting and colors - "Cottonmouth" was still much too vague to really interest me all that much. I kinda needed a little more than what the 7-ish minute run-time gave me. Maybe I'll have to check out the comic at some point.
Directed by: Christopher P. Garetano
Runtime: 6 minutes
Pretty decent short from Austrian 'arthouse' film-maker Kurt Kren. Much like his other work, this one has no plot - just relying on it's visual merit and nightmarish weirdness.
A guy is laying in a room and writhes around in paint or some kind of slime. He eventually gets a bunch of razor blades stuck to his face and then starts clamping his eyelids with an eyelash curler and slicing them off with scissors...
It's not bad. The imagery is kinda cool and grotesque and the editing isn't as rapid and confusing as many of Kren's other shorts.
Directed by: Kurt Kren
Runtime: 5 minutes
"Harvey" is just a cool fucking short horror film, starring Nicholas Hope from "Bad Boy Bubby". You got a guy peeping through the mail-slot of his front door at the chick living in the apartment across the hall. He breaks in while she's in the shower and it's revealed that the entire left side of his body is completely missing, right down the middle. After abducting her - and a bit of a time-lapse - we see that he has removed the right side of HER body and attached it to his. They try having dinner and co-existing, but she's adamant about removing herself from him...
Runtime: 11 minutes
This very short little flick had me smiling just cuz it is SO fucking accurate! Or, at least, it WILL be very soon. David Cronenberg plays a guy who is despairingly preparing to commit suicide in the men's room of the very last movie-house in the world. As he slips that single bullet into the clip, two presumed TV reporters are narrating the live coverage of the man's eventual self-inflicted demise in a gleeful, media-vulture-type fashion...
The more time that goes by, the more relevant this 3 minute short will become, I believe. The idiotic news anchors in the film say at one point that, basically, it's a GOOD thing that the theater is soon to be demolished because there is no need for cinemas anymore and that it's currently full of garbage, hence Cronenberg has to kill himself in the restroom since it's the only place with enough space. Check out this cynical little piece of truth.
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Runtime: 3 minutes
This is the short film that the 2013 Guillermo del Toro-produced feature was based off of. It's about 3 minutes long and doesn't really have a conclusive story - it's more of just a 'scene'.
Two young girls are rushing to escape their house because "Mama is back". Mama is a staggering, ghoulish, scraggly-haired broad who comes running at them from behind a corner...
If you've seen the full-length movie, you'll surely recognize this portion since it was remade for that. However, I actually found it much more effective here than in the feature. The CGI is kept to more of a minimum and Mama doesn't roar like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The sound effects are much more subtle here, yet her movements are pretty fucking creepy. Still, part of me is wondering if there was actually a little more to this, since no plot is established and it really DOES seem like a fragment of something a bit longer. Anyway, you can find it online. Check it out.
Directed by: Andrés Muschietti
Runtime: 3 minutes