Tag Archives: indie film

Shorts Roundup June 9 2019

Shorts Roundup June 9 2019

Sleeping Betty

Surreal animated comedy is such a British thing but when adopted by the Canadians this Monty Python style animation adopts a lot of British monarchs alongside a range of fairytale creatures to retell the story of sleeping beauty *ahem* Betty and is absolutely brilliant. A young princess can’t be roused so her father pops into a red phone box and calls for help, the range of remedies is both slapstick and outstandingly deviant. Prince Charles, Queen Victoria and King Henry the VIII all make appearances along with a fire breathing moose dragon and topped with a angsty horse it’s the tip of the iceberg of this “delightful” warm short from Quebec film animator and illustrator Claude Cloutier.

The Door in the Woods

Some short movies feel as if they are just an introduction to something bigger but this feels like a fully constructed mini epic. A group of children dare each other to open a locked door randomly placed in the woods, after trying to smash the lock a simple child’s rhyme does the track and the lock flys off, one boy is brave enough to open the door and his reward is to pulled into the blackness and reappear without his head. They have released the monster. The children run home but nowhere is safe anymore. There’s a lot of interesting creature effects in this folklore horror from director/actor Billy Chase Goforth, a portion of the ending is a bit soft but otherwise it’s a solid short film with lots of potential and a Guillermo Del Toro horror fairytale atmosphere.

Rasp

No one likes to be disturbed in the middle of the night by some asshole knocking on their door, but when you can’t see who’s knocking and you’re alone at night then demonic midnight cherry knockers are nothing but horrific and with the addition of the cruel director Danny Donahue this short is bound to spark a laugh and scare.. how does he do it? There’s an uber cute scene where the dude threatens the raspy knocker, picking up a stapler and claiming that he’s cleaning his gun.. I shall keep a stapler near my front door in the future.

Place to Stay

This adorable science fiction drama is a bit of a scandinavian ET film, an injured woman in the woods falls unconscious and is then rescued by a young man, on awakening she speaks a foreign language and despite his many attempts he can’t quite calm her down or communicate with her fluidly but he eventually works out that she needs to get back to where he found her when she makes him carry her by knifepoint. Out in the Finnish wilderness she introduces him to a her outstanding culture.

This is quite an accomplished short with a lot of character and manages to tackle a few language barriers that hollywood have fucked up so badly from time to time, which goes to show how easy it can be. So great acting and with the effort put into the website etc it looks as if there might be more coming out and this short is in fact a promo.

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Proof of the Devil (2014) AKA The Butcher of Louisiana

Director: Paul Catalanotto.
Starring: Lisa Mackel Smith, Sam Cobean, Michael Bienvenu,  USA. 1h 15m.

After a string of murders, a young man named Jesse returns home to finish off his parents, the dramatic scenes of him butchering his father lead to his infamous serial killer profile name of the Butcher, the sketchy found footage shows him doing the unthinkable but promising not to hurt his mother while he moves around like a puppet and commences the killing. After a short trial and while proclaiming his innocence, he’s executed by lethal injection. Years later his mother invites a film crew to document her raising the devil in order to prove that demonic possession exists that this is what happened to her son. It might seem of a strange way to prove his innocence but it makes for a brilliant documentary and the crew can’t turn down such an amazing opportunity. Continue reading Proof of the Devil (2014) AKA The Butcher of Louisiana

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