Category Archives: Shorts

Reviews, and insights into the shorter movies that are often forgotten. These may only be a few minutes long but provide fascinating raw independent talent, from the directors of tomorrow. low budget and surreal imagination is the key to a lot of the films, thought provoking and haunting.

Pork Chop Pictures

 

While looking up details on Pete Postlewaite I found out that his son had featured in a short film, called Tea for Two, I chanced on a trailer video which lead me to PorkChopPictures YouTube channel, and it’s actually quite brilliant, so many imaginative and well made films. Most of them are pretty old and the website is “Coming Soon”  https://www.porkchoppictures.com/ and I hope they do come back ASAP as we need more of this wholesome stuff.

For starters, here’s the trailer..

… and now for the rest.. Continue reading Pork Chop Pictures

3 Horror Shorts – Moonlight Man – The Jester and Don’t Look

A trio of quick scares to check out on the tube…

The Moonlight Man – Short Horror Film by Danny Donahue

Whenever I see Donahue’s name appear on a short film I often queue it and wait till morning to watch it. He’s a constant source of amazingly scary horror shorts and behind Vermin, Grin and the Whisperer. This story is tells of a woman trying to get home safe but is unfortunate enough to run into the Moonlight Man.. yet another terrifying character from the master of fear, although the first time he appears he does remind me of the Babadook7/10

 

The Jester | A Short Horror Film

I’m amazed more films aren’t set in New Orleans around Halloween, as it seems to be the perfect setting and has an remarkable atmosphere. So a jester appears in the street offering a free card trick to a guy on this way to work.. The trick is great but what to come next is disturbing and horrific. The intro is a little dodgy and the sound isn’t that great but once it gets going the film is robust with dark ideas and imagery. 7/10

DONT LOOK – (short horror film)

Directed by Tim Windolf and starring Lennart Malcolm this short horror is very curious, a young man seeming to get ready for beddybyes is soon dealing with a nightmarish mirror in his bathroom. It’s simple and effective and I feel it could be extended into something great. 8/10

Pelts (2006)

peltsMasters of Horror Collection.
Director : Dario Argento.
Starring: John Saxon, Meatloaf. USA.

Not quite sure where to put this, it’s too long to be a short but not quite a movie either but it was excellent to watch so here goes a quick flick review.

You’ll have to excuse me as I don’t watch television so when I find me series randomly on DVD I kind of go through the missing one movies.

Pelts is a twisted gore episode in the masters of horror collection from Dario Argento. Not necessarily a horror but a thrilling bone crunching, flesh tearing fiesta, starting Meatloaf as a pervy fur trader who is infatuated with a stripper and gets more than he bargained for when he’s offered a set of perfect pelts.

Of course there is a snag.

It’s a brilliant story about well, a set of haunted pelts that eventually get turned into a coat,  killing anyone who comes into contact with it along the manufacturing process and for the most part it’s not a horror but just out to gross and disgust it’s audience, which isn’t a problem at all. Meatloaf is excellent in the lead of a pretty dire cast apart from John Saxon who pretty much starts this ball of terror rolling by trespassing and killing the mystical raccoon’s (pine lights), in the first place, and boy does he have a cute technique “You gotta stamp on their necks”!?!

It’s been ages since I’ve watched any of the masters of horror minis and they do seem to be the perfect length for a horror,  without too much sentimental gumph to fatten it out into a full length feature. It takes forever to warm up and there is a heavy dose of porny scenes but it makes up for that in the later half with tons of gore and nastiness.

Argento’s earlier works are legendary but i lost a lot of respect for his more modern works but this does redeem a little bit of faith that he hasn’t completely lost it, the tension and mystery has gone but this is very watchable if you don’t mind the smut.

aofa04

Rating 4/10

4 Horror Shorts – Phil-a-del-phi-a, Skypemare, Amy’s Torch and Tea Time

Phil-a-del-phi-a
Director : Broadway
Starring : Chase Ramsey, JJ Shurbet. USA. 4m 50s

Quite a phenomenal short movie, which encompasses a lot of ideas, almost too simple for it’s own good I think a lot of people will miss how brilliant it is. A couple of brothers are travelling across country after a sort of interdimensional apocalypse, any loud noises results in people being snatched by invisible beings, the brother have lost their family and are travelling as silently as possible, until one simple and innocent mistake bring a sudden doom. It’s shocking and the narration is heartfelt. There is a lot of great acting from both young men, and some intelligent camera work, which makes up for the lack of effects, and this is a prime example of how to avoid effects, sticking with a good story is enough. There is a short piece after this finale which really brings home the melancholia, the young boy is an old man now and still lives in hope that his loved ones will return. 6/10

Tea Time (2009)
Duration 3.19

This short is more disturbing than most I’ve seen, without trying to chuck in millions of jump scares this is way more psychological and includes simple but uncommonly effective camera effects. An elderly woman starts to make tea for herself and her husband. During the daily ritual of tea making a dark story starts to unfold. This murderous old dear has only gone and slaughtered gramps and pus pus..the ghosts do start to haunt her and a mental break down seems to be shaken off as she gets to work cleaning up her “mess”. Filmed in sequence and with one take each, this short film was made on a single Super-8 cartridge. It looks like a home video and has an abnormal atmosphere about it, there is also a dead cat under the sink and that pleases me muchly. 8/10

SKYPEMARE (2014)
Director: John Fitzpatrick
Starring : Cerina Vincent and Annika Marks. USA. 7m11s

What a load of something, this horror, thriller, black comedy isn’t quite what I was expecting. Two women talking over skype on Hallowe’en when one of them is attacked and the other is helpless!!? This is how it’s advertised but it’s quite different. The chick doing all the viewing, does try to help her friend, by calling the police 3 times, as she doesn’t know her best friend’s address (whatever), all this time the killer is sending her gory photos of his handiwork on her besties, then the killer reveals that the friends phone showing her address, she grabs a knife, to protect herself (after emptying the knife block and checking the dishwasher?? Who has time for this) and then makes a slapstick error. It’s sardined with errors and cliches but I guess you have to take the bad with the good right, it’s no Unfriended (2015) but that wasn’t actually all that good either.. It was just waaaay too slow to pick up and the acting is pathetic, maybe it’s supposed to be a comedy?? 3/10

Amy’s Torch
Created by : Gary Mellor and Ben Wilkinson

This was recommended after the long lasting effects that Lights Out was keeping me up at night, it’s not as scary but it does run along a similar pattern, in hindsight though this is way more violent. A young girl called Amy has a torch that keeps away the monsters at night, but one night the battery runs out. There’s a scream in the night, her mother comes to the rescue, poor innocent Amy is pointing under the bed, her mother goes to check and.. RAH scary monster. It has this soft hazy fairytale beginning and it’s only downside is that it doesn’t really have any build up but it’s got a semi decent jump scare. 4/10

3 Horror Shorts, Laugh, Grin and Vienna waits for you

Laugh (2015)
Director: Kantorn Chantorn
Starring Vorasit Tatrivijid, Thitika Phongcharndech. Thailand?. 2m 53s

I initially found this while reviewing Hi  and The Passenger and should have made it a triple bill then but failed to do so. It’s quite funny watching a horror movie on youtube that is a guy watching a movie on youtube. Basically man along at home watching TV and laughing along, hears a woman laugh with him, but he’s home alone. It’s a little creepy but it made less so buy the really loud and constant atmospheric music, cut that down and allow the laugh to actually be scary and it might be more effective. 4/10 Continue reading 3 Horror Shorts, Laugh, Grin and Vienna waits for you

Horror Shorts – The Stairs, Selfie and Playing with the Devil

 

Another addition of horror so soon! Yep I’m on a roll, and I found three more interesting horrors.

The Stairs


Director : ??? France. 2014
Duration: 3.46
Starting with some bleeding steps and flashing pictures of all those scary faces that usually make up the title of any modern Creepypasta, this short remains totally “typical” it soon cuts to the usual home alone with a mobile phone scene that 90% of all horror shorts seem to be exhausting these days, until the young man notices his front door open, after closing it, strange noises come from the bottom of the dark stairs ,and on investigating the lights go out… It’s spooky in a sense but not gripping or scary in the least,
Rating: 1/10

Selfie


Director : Kantom Chantom and Pattakit. Thailand. 2015
Duration: 2.32
Just from the title I kinda guessed the ending of this short, and even if it is predictable and the end result is a bit tacky, without trying to give too much away, it looks like it’s been edited on Paint, but the jumpscare was done well and actually worked on me! So despite the dullness of this I have to give it some credit for the excellent editing.
Rating:4/10

Playing with the devil


Director : Nick Stentzel. Starring : Rachel Frain, Balerie Trevherz, Jessica Hadlock USA.  2014 Based on a Japanese Ritual Hitori Kakurenbo, (One Man Tag) and using characters from the Screenplay “LETTERS” Written Damon Peoples.
Duration: 7.09
First off I was confused and put off by all of the fucking rules, not really knowing what the Ritual entails and only getting little bits of information constantly throughout was off putting, maybe I should have read up about it first, but to make something like this accessible i think a lot more could have been done to educate the viewer but don’t let this distract you as it’s still an awesome horror short, that does actually have a few frights. Three sisters decide to partake in this ritual and until things go terribly wrong and the movie soon turns into a rollercoaster of unsettling frights. The acting from the three young ladies is faultless and it the quality of the film itself is sound. I just felt that every few seconds a new rule was being introduced and I was left confused wondering why anyone would want to play this “game” but it does it’s job I am unnerved, well done. I was expecting it to turn into that early scene in Cabin in the woods  (2011), where the kids are exorcising the witch but… well you’ll have to spare a few minutes to check it out.
Rating: 6/10

Battery Life

Battery lifehttps://vimeo.com/153864294

Duration 11:40
Director Justin Nixon/USA/2016
http://www.justinanixon.com

A short stop motion sci fi story, written and directed by Justin Nixon that tells a warming story about a family of robots living in a desert dystopia. After a tragedy in the family they go to their local “church” to get help but ACCESS DENIED this spurs the family to discover the truth behind dark secret of the faith. On a small budget of $5000 raised by a Crowdfund, Nixon has created an extremely poignant story that displays strong will that doesn’t follow the the crowd and questions dogmatic views. It’s incredibly detailed and what stands out is that this futuristic robotic story is based in a wild west background with a strong theological core.

Rating : 7/10

RBlackwater Gospel, TARBOY, Invention of Love

3 Sci-Fi Shorts, Mech, human trials, Singularity and Mis-Drop

I’ve done a few Horror collections so now it’s time for some sci fi, and this is really where things can get quite technical when it comes to short stories.

I have been a fan of sci fi since I really started watching films as a kid, with the The Thing (1982) and Alien(1979) being two of my earliest favourites. We’ve come a long way but our thirst for predicting the future has never faded and it’s always interesting to see what the raw and imaginative directors can come up with in the most creative movie art form.

All of these short movies come from a Youtube Channel Called CGBros I’ll try and add a link in here somewhere.


Mech: Human Trials
Director: Patrick Kalyn
Duration: 5.52
Starring: Steve Baran. ???. 2015

Despite not being a 110% original idea this dramatic short plays out more of an intro to something much bigger and it does look like the experienced director Patrick Kalyn, who’s worked on films such as District 9 (2009) and Avatar (2009) will be bringing into fruition this year. So what’s all the fuss about, the main protagonist, has always wanted to be somebody and in this pursuit he becomes addicted to a new drug,  called Mech,  which starts to morph him into something that belongs in any 90’s Manga film. While he starts to question the drug, it and it’s dealer disappear and another force makes itself known to him but is his a friend or a foe?

It’s beautifully shot, but does come across as a film preview more than an actual film and for a film this short it repeats a couple of scenes, I’m not sure if the director thought that we had forgotten or if he just wanted to showcase the most epic scene twice because it is so damned epic, either way it’s a just above average short, impressive on the graphics but not really a “short film” but just a stepping stone to a feature.

Rating 6/10


Singularity
Director:  Samuel Jorgensen
Duration : 8:04
Starring : ?? Produced by Jeremy Pronk ????. 2015

A slightly longer and more epic film here, while it’s futuristic it’s also steeped in the look and feel of a modern warfare game (take your pic they all look the same to me). A special forces team have to rescue the president as there is a group of sentient androids out to destroy the president and it seems they aren’t all warm and mushy over any of the human race.

It takes a little while to warm up and doesn’t waste any time introducing any characters, mostly because the rest of the film is a blood bath! I was overly impressed with the effects and the acting, both are skillfully applied and neither one more overbearing than the other. And with a slightly predictable twist at the end there is a story that carries through to the end and isn’t forgotten among the robotics and bullets. It’s actually an okay movie, a lot better produced than some supposedly full length features.

Rating 6/10


Mis Drop
Director : Ferand Peek
Duration: 13:14
Starring : ????/2014

Possibly too long that it needed to be, this (not so) short film is presented as a found footage film, a forensic accountant is reviewing a video from a drop pod stream to understand why it was broken in the initial stages of a colonial invasion, upon opening this  kinda black box recording of a young rookie  Private Glenn’s  first combat drop on an alien planet. First he’s strapped into his suit and given some advice by an old timer this scene is particularly wonderful just due to the presentation, the entire film is set up with a camera faced onto the lead like a gopro, all other characters are portrayed as voices or by their reflection.

The rookie is  fished by the other “marines” and then things start to go awry. Taking a leaf out of the original Starship Troopers () this poor rookie has a rough introduction to life in a combat zone and even attempts to connect with his last one night stand, yep there’s even a hint of romance, this short is a mini epic.

It’s actually beautifully crafted, for the time and budget the resources, but it’s a bit too long for the short amount of story that it tells, and with an open ending I felt a little cheated by the end of the third watch, and it can’t be denied that it looks amazing, maybe if it is part of a series then it can redeem itself, but get in there now and check out this awesome first chapter.

Rating 6/10