I decided that I really needed to put some effort into these shorts, if I’m ever going to get back up to date with things! And with the release of Salad Fingers Ep. 11 I had renewed energy!
Often in short movies there’s not a huge amount of time to elaborate on the characters back stories and this unknown is rarely played apon but it’s put to very good use in this incredibly well shot; out of body horror experience. A young girl has just moved into her new home and decides to try a guided out of body experience, but once out of her body she is witness to a gruesome act upon her unmanned body and is unable to awake. There are some really amazing detailed slow motion scenes and effects in this terrific horror. 8/10
Not to be mistaken for another short film with the same name, reviewed here . This tension filled short has a lot of merit, the cast of two manage to create a damning atmosphere when a cleaner is faced with an curious intruder, there is a good display of camera work but the sound is minimal. The ending is quite pivotal and yet hangs wide open but remains terrifically terrifying. 7/10 Continue reading Short movie roundup Feb 03 2019
This weeks short film roundup, is heavily horror themed as these are sometimes the best and more inventive short films around, kicking off this week’s selection is…
The Moonlight Man 2
If you haven’t seen the first, I featured it here. Danny Donahue shouldn’t be a stranger to any horror fanatics out there as he creeped the internet out with his amazing short movies including Vermin and the Whisperer. He has a talent for creating the creepiest demented monsters and building insane tension mostly through camera work tight timing. This feature see’s a wouldbe thief have his plans spoiled by the moonlight man who I think just wants to play. This isn’t the most frightening of his collection but it’s part of an impressive resume, he also has a lot of “Making of” movies. 5/10
Sadly this one isn’t based on a particular hunchback but instead a son is prepping funeral arrangements with his sister as they have lost their father when he’s suddenly deafened by the sound of ringing bells, then he notices a figure moving inside his home and before you know it, he’s following a blood trail…
If nothing else the use of sounds is incredibly effective in this unusual horror movie that features a bizarre toothy monsteress. But overall it doesn’t gel together all that well, but it’s filmed and acted well and does have a few scares even if it’s a bit incoherent. 3/10
And the best for last!?
I have been DYING to see this film for ages when I missed it at the Estonian film fest and then again at Screamfest.. how unlucky can a girl be…probably not as unlucky as the girl in this charming and deadly film
Alfred J Hemlock
In the previews this character reminded me of a dodgy Johnny Depp fucked up on London Gin and I wasn’t far wrong, just add some Beetlejuice, and viola! . A young girl, named Emily is dumped on the way home by a jealous and pissed off boyfriend after an argument at a party, sobbing she says to herself that she wants to die.. and while heading home she chances on a comedy villain who identifies himself as Alfred J Hemlock who terrorizes her. while the matter is serious there’s a touch of League of Gentlemen in this charismatic thriller. I would like to see more of Mr Hemlock in the future, he’s brilliant running around dark alleys with a hatchet and singing strane songs while riding a tiny bicycle.. what more do you want from a horror villain. Lead man Tristan McKinnon who only seems to have made a few shorts, really can hold his own in a full length film and hopefully if Wyrmwood Chronicles of the Dead takes off I hope he gets a proper role. 7/10
Director: Jeff Lieberman
Starring:George Kennedy, Chris Lemmon, Gregg Henry, Deborah Benson. USA. 1h 42m
While gearing up to write a review for Satan’s Little Helper (2004) I finally deciding to actually investigate who directed it and low and behold it happens to be the pretty well known director Jeff Lieberman better known for his earlier films such as Squirm (1976) and the hippy flashback from hell Blue Sunshine (1978) but while I passed through life totally oblivious to directors, I never would have connected the two as the style is so very different but in between these amazing varied classics comes another slightly different movie, a backwoods slasher with a very different atmosphere to a lot of the other genre specific slashers of the era. Just Before Dawn is a menacing thriller that takes a very sly stab from time to time. Continue reading Just Before Dawn (1981)
Director: Joel Anderson
Starring: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Australia. 1h 27m
Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.
Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body. Continue reading Lake Mungo (2008)
AKA Non Si deve profance il sonno dei morti, Don’t Open the Window, the film officially has 15 titles, so take your pick..
Director: Jorge Grau
Starring: Ray Lovelock. Arthur Kennedy, Cristina Galbo. Spain/Italy. 1h 35
There’s a subtle Giallo twist to this unusual but gripping science fiction zombie flick, undead, mystery, giallo, car crash, sci fi horror, pesticides, it’s got so much going on but all to the backdrop of the gorgeous English countryside and littered with the creeping dead.
The film focuses on two protagonists who until their vehicle crash led two totally different lives, there’s Edna (Galbó) Who’s trying to visit her family and the brash George (Lovelock) a hot tempered and pushy individual but his drive really powers the action. Continue reading The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue / Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
Director: Justin Price
Starring: Natassia Halabi, Gabriel Miller, Lassiter Holmes. USA. 1h 30m
I’m sure this film was intended to scare but it’s a new form of mental torture that I wasn’t quite prepared for when I sat down to watch this.
The not so credible story is centred on Nick (Miller) and his bodacious botoxed girlfriend Victoria (Halabi), opening in an old antique/toyshop that Nick has inherited the couple take stock of the contents while out shopping for Christmas gifts. Nick breaks away while Victoria take a pointless and long winded phone call, meanwhile he discovered a chest with handmade toys, the room begins to fill up with fresh snow as he discovers a creepy Elf toy holding a knife, attached to it is a curse/spell after reading this out he noticed that there’s a list of name at the bottom and they correspond to his family, meh nothing strange about this. Continue reading The Elf (2017)
Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Melissa George, Michael Dorman, Rachael Carpani, Henry Nixon, Emma Lung,Liam Hemsworth. UK. 1h 39m
At first glance it would seem that the title seems to refer to the Bermuda Triangle, where puzzling things seem to happen at sea, but really if this film deserved an apt title it would be Loop but that would sound stupid.. so triangle it is.
The film is quite smart and even with rounds of repetition it’s still interestingly constructed, sly and a fairly deep piece from British Director Christopher Smith who gave us deeply disturbing projects such as Creep (2004).
Set in the US, with a totally Aussie/New Zealand crew, there are a few accent faux pas but they are totally acceptable in the time loop chiller, that seems to be a cross between Ghost Ship (2002) and Donnie Darko (2001), that sees a group of youngsters take a jaunt on a fancy yacht and run into curious difficulties. Continue reading Triangle (2009)
Director: Anthoy Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Alexander Godnov, Monkia Schnarre, Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell . USA . 1h 44m
After the impressive Waxworks(1988) Anthony Hickox spoilt his loyal fans with a sequel only 4 years after the original, possible in an era when fans were honoured with such things rather than waiting a lifetime for nothing. It’s very typical for Hickox’s trademark horror lightly dusted with black comedy, evil henchmen drenched in black with lots of hints of magic and a bizarre array of special effects and fantasy.
The final scene of Waxworks has been re-enacted and the film flows on seamlessly from here. Although it’s a little scattered and less formed than the original where we saw a group of wayward teens visit an enchanted waxworks exhibition and its freakish staff. They one by one get seduced into a display and find themselves thrust into the fantasy world that it depicted. While this is rife in this comedic sequel, it has a very different atmosphere to it, nothing is really taken seriously here, and after all we’ve seen it all before with the original and it seems that Hickox was just out for a lark with this one. He does make the most of the original set up, so the film is presented in different segments each with a very unique feel and theme. Continue reading Waxworks II – Lost in Time (1992)
Director: Marc Price
Starring: Alastair Kirton, Dominic Burgess, Daisy Aitkens . UK . 1h 37m
I get all giddy over low budget movies and this one I think has to be the cheapest movie ever made for a record £45! Well done Mr Price you are a legend! Shot on a camcorder this well written horror deserves the hype that it originally receive at the Aberystwyth Abertoir Film Festival.
The film is a study of the social break down around a zombie outbreak more than just being a Zombie film, while it had lashings of shock factors in it with zombies attacking a house party and some random attacks on British streets, the main protagonist is Colin (Alastair Kirton), just an average guy trying who get’s bitten early on in the film, the magic is that the film remains focused on Colin no matter what states he’s in. Continue reading Colin (2008)
Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, David Warner, Michelle Johnson, Patrick Macnee, Dana Ashbrook, John Rhys-Davies . USA . 1h 35m
The 80’s was a decade of goofy horror, obviously there were some real shockers out there which really upped the ante and changed the game forever but I feel that the number of cheesy comedy horrors was possibly at an all time high, but some were presented in a way which really captured the hearts of horror fans and like this, made themselves into the cult classic year book. Waxworks have always thrilled and entertained but in this epic terror things get more creepy than usual when a mysterious exhibit appears from nowhere with a staff of misfits at its helm. Continue reading Waxworks (1988)