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Saturday's Explosion of Awesome SHORTS

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s kick ass screening here at your very own Aint It Cool Shorts. My name is Muldoon and I will be moderating today’s festival of badassitude. Below you’ll find that I’ve programmed six incredibly interesting shorts for your viewing pleasures. While I typically try to program a mixed bag, this week I decided to go with a more blatant horror/sci-fi vibe, so fair warning – if you’re faint of heart, you might not want to continue from here… If however you are a connoisseur of unique genre films, you are in for a real treat. If by chance you don’t like a short in particular, please refrain from screaming at the screen or going out of your way to be ugly in the TalkBacks below – you never know who’s in the audience. That said, this theater that you’re now sitting in is a celebration of how incredibly badass the movie world is, how each person who’s made a short film has their own personal view and has busted their ass to make something cool. I’m a fan of every single filmmaker and short I’ve had the privilege of screening here for you guys.

Without further ado, let the games begin:


Up first we have a twisted little film written and directed by Stephen Reedy. At only two minutes long, it’s insanely disturbing and twistingly enjoyable. I implore you, once you hit play, to see the full thing through. If you by chance stop watching 90% of the way, you’ll be left an upset and frustrated moviegoer… “When's the one time it's ok to stalk pretty girls & break into their bedrooms?” Let’s check out the short to find out:

So yeah, if you’re planning any mischievousness this next year, you may want to reconsider. You’d hate to be on the Winter Stalker’s naughty list. Check out Stephen’s website here and Zero Friends Films here.


Our next twisted tale of the show is brought to us by longtime reader Adam Kargman and might have you rethinking the next time you go in for surgery… “A woman's failed anesthetic during heart surgery leaves her fully conscious and able to feel all pain--but paralyzed and unable to warn anyone.” While on the surface you might write ANESTHESIA as a knock off of the Hayden Christiansen film AWAKE and boy would you be wrong. Not only was this completed before that film, but it kicks the crap out of it in the best way possible. Hit the play button below for “The scariest six minutes of film you will ever see.”

ANESTHESIA from Roundhay Garden Films on Vimeo.

What a twisted little bit of “Oh God, fuck that” Kargman’s created. While I do find hospitals intrinsically disturbing (aside from obviously saving people’s lives…), this sick little gem might indeed make me slightly more nervous the next time I end up one. In case it’s not apparent, I loved the hell out of ANESTHESIA and might get a nightmare or two out of it, so thanks Adam.  Check out Adam’s vimeo page here.


Whew, so after that last short I kind of need some air, unfortunately our next bit of fun takes place in space, so I’m kind of screwed there. (Bam! a joke). Up next is a break from the horror world and a offers us a glimpse into the future of space travel. Director Jamie Surgener made this scifi short called AVABOT in his senior year at the College for Creative Studies and I personally think knocked it out of the park (or is solar system better?) Anyways, the film feels like a love letter to 2001 and MOON, but those are just my two cents. Here’s the synopsis Jamie shot at me:

“An astral salvager and his automaton delve into the deep reaches of space in search of a legendary starship that has been missing for over a century. Their quest takes them on a perilous journey where they learn a lesson of mortality, selflessness, and what it is to be human.”

Wow, what a kickass robot. Jamie, I really feel like you’ve got a feature hidden somewhere that you want to make, (Maybe not hidden) but seriously count me in man. In an age where audiences are becoming more and more cynical at CG vs. practical, I think this short and the fact that you were able to make it while in college kind of says something. I’m sure that’s blasphemous and I’m by no means hating on practical, but you were able to build an entire world inside of a computer and give us an interesting short – I think that’s just a testament of creativity and think it’s cool that technology has afforded us the opportunity to make stuff like this.

UPDATE: Check out the cool making of AVABOT here.


Okay, I’ll step down from my CG loving soapbox to bring us back to Earth, back to THE DEVIL’S TOY. Alex Lugones has created a uniquely disturbing look into the origins of a peculiar jack-in-the-box. “Two young boys are about to discover the mystery behind a jack-in-the-box recovered 65 years ago from a Nazi concentration camp.”

The Devil's Toy - Short Film from Alex Lugones on Vimeo.

Jack-in-the-boxes have never really seemed like a real toy to me, rather than a sporadic monster looking to poke you in the eye whenever it has a chance. Then again I’m sure two or three year old Muldoon might disagree (though he ought to be out catching raptors, am I right? No? Okay…) Seriously, maybe it’s because I’ve seen too many TWILIGHT ZONE episodes or because I think the tacos at Jack In The Box are a disturbing mystery in themselves, but the box full of Jack has always seemed like it needed a backstory and now thanks to Alex, we have one.


Speaking of surprises, director Ross Peacock has a fun little story for us with his film, ANIMAL. It’s absolutely at home here in AICN Shorts territory as it hands down harkens back to a familiar tone John Landis helped sculpt with his best film in my opinion… I’ll try to be vague as to which one exactly, but watch the video and I think it’s kind of obvious. In fact, straight from Peacock’s email to me: “I wrote it whilst working for John Landis and attribute my choice of tone to various conversations with him!” Yeah Ross, I’m there with you on that one my friend, it really is a kickass short.

“A man is on his way home from work late one night when he is set upon by two vicious thugs, but as the moon rises in the sky it becomes clear that this man may be more than he seems...”

While being accosted by random thugs isn’t a daily concern of mine, if and when the next time that does happen, being able to Hulk out on them with werewolf powers definitely would be the a plus. ANIMAL beautifully showcases why you should never fuck with people, you never know what you might be getting into… Check out the short’s IMDB page here.


Man, that last short certainly howled at the moon and while I wouldn’t normally double up on shorts about werewolves, director Paul Williams’s short, THE FURRED MAN, is too cool not to include this week. “A bruised and battered Max sits in an interrogation room dressed in a ghoulish costume caked in dried blood. With his alibi littered with two corpses, blood-curdling screams and a tale of "the beast", this furry man swears he can explain...” When I first saw the short it had me wondering “WTF is next?” and honestly combined two things I very much dig, weird creatures and a fun mystery.  Without more delay, check it out!

What a well contained mini epic and the creature design was gorgeous, the stuff ninos have nightmares about. Seriously, what a fun twisted little HANGOVER of a horror film. Well done man, bloody (literally…) well done! Check out Paul’s Evil Hypnotist Productions Ltd’s website here.

Sadly folks, that’s the last film of the day. I know, I know, I wish I could keep you here for a few more hours to check out some more kickass shorts, but hey there’s always next week. Speaking of next week, I feel like we’re due for some comedies… As always, if you’ve submitted a short whether it be a month ago or yesterday, fear not – it very well could be playing next week, so no need to send multiple submissions in. I am after all one man, (though incredibly dashing and awesome) but I watch every short submitted and really do my best to showcase some of the cream of the crop. Of course my picks are just that, my picks, and if you don’t care for a certain one in particular – that’s absolutely okay, just don’t be a jerk about in the comments section below (I don’t want to be a buzzkill, but I won’t allow hateful comments in this column – unless they’re directed at me, in which case… meh…)


So after watching these fun shorts are you sitting there like “Hey, I’ve got a damn awesome short!” If so:


Shoot me an email at ""

In the subject line include:

“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”

Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need [EX: the film’s website or a funny story involved with getting the film made…]


So that’s all folks. As you exit the theater, please pick up whatever trash you might have dropped up and make sure to come see us again next week, same time, same place.



-Mike McCutchen



Care for more badass shorts? Check out older columns below!




Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 18, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST


    by Crobran

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Winter Stalker - saw the punchline a mile away...

    by Crobran

    ...but it was still fun.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Animation fests at the Inwood in Dallas

    by Crobran

    This makes me think of those. I used to attend them back in the 90's before I moved away. Saw some fun stuff, some disturbing stuff, some beautiful stuff there. Do you ever feature all animated shorts?

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    This is definitely my new favorite thing AICN does...

    by notcher

    I mean apart from posting five stories a day on "John Carter" and treating "The Human Centipede" like it's a really important/great film. Keep posting the short films! Most impressive!

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by 88mph

    Beautifully shot, simple idea with a quick, smart execution. Nice work. Looking forward to watching the rest.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    An explosion in my shorts? Where?

    by Unscripted

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Muldoon ...

    by DrMorbius

    I think the term you were reaching for is ... *Faint of heart*

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Ha, I

    by Crow3711

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Ha, I'm Realizing Mine Has No Shot

    by Crow3711

    These are all so well-made and amateur-professional efforts. The one I submitted was just an experiment me and buddy shot for like 300 bucks and the effort it took to get around every inch of Manhattan island. But it doesn't look good like these do. It's just natural lighting, guerrilla film making around the city. I just didn't really expect for all the user-submitted ones to be this involved. I've made some stuff this quality too, but none of it is as good as the piece of shit me and my friend made around Manhattan. Oh well. Maybe if you run out of the good stuff, we'll see mine in a few months... Either way, this series fucking rules. AICN innovating and keeping things fresh. Love it. keep it up.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Thanks Muldoon!

    by ross peacock

    Glad you dug the film, great of you to put it up! We have more at if anyones interested :D

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Notcher, well put.

    by 88mph

    Don't forgot the minute-by-minute coverage on This Means War. Great selection Muldoon. The Furred Man was top-notch.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Thanks again Muldoon,

    by alexander

    ANESTHESIA, AVABOT, and THE FURRED MAN were highlights for me, I love this column!

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 3:39 p.m. CST

    How great

    by Kevin

    Props and many thanks to Muldoon, Harry, et al. for supporting and celebrating the aspiring short films from indie, student and aspiring filmmakers alike. I look forward to this diversion every saturday now. Great work all!

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Here's a cool making of Avabot too...

    by Kevin

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Nice job, Muldoon

    by Mennen

    keep'em coming.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    ANESTHESIA is truly a horrifying short... way too realistic :)

    by Tigger Tales

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    [Fixed] Thanks man! I kind of have trouble spleling somtiems.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Thanks Muldoon,

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Love the column.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    Thanks for checking it out!

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Not a biggie Muldoon.

    by DrMorbius

    Love the column, even though not every short. Usually a great selection. Looking forward to the people bringing the funny next week. Thanks man.

  • I remember seeing it in the top ten.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 7:46 p.m. CST

    winter stalker...

    by allouttabubblegum

    ....seems like a variant of Rare exports to me. Nothing new there.

  • Feb. 18, 2012, 7:48 p.m. CST

    heres a great short

    by allouttabubblegum made with no money!

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Thanks Muldoon and My Thoughts

    by bionicsbob

    Muldoon, thank you for including my film Avabot in AICN Shorts. I feel honored. I watched the other shorts and was quite impressed. This week was a great collection and I enjoyed every one of them. The production, cinematography, editing, and acting qualities were top notch and quite impressive for independent films. Thanks again, Muldoon, for AICN Shorts. Jamie Here's my simple thoughts of the other films of this week; Winter Stalker: Mysterious, suspenseful. Loved the sexual metaphoric scene with the glass of milk. The ending was unsuspecting and made me smile. Anesthesia: Nightmarish, disturbing and very hard for me to watch. Definitely six minutes of scary film. Devil's Toy: Epic. Intriguing. My favorite of this collection. Animal: Gem. Underdog turns superdog and defeats his antagonists. I'm a fan of films and stories like this. Furred Man: Enjoyable. Great dialogue delivered from talented actors. Loved the lead character and the predicament he finds himself in at the end of the film.

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Loved Furred Man

    by t_allen

    Great acting by all around and a naked girl? Who the hell doesn't love naked English girls? Devil's Toy was really fun also. Thank you for this spot. Great fun, Sir! Looking forward to next week.

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST


    by t_allen

    If Avabot is your film, well done. I really enjoyed everything this week, but very well done =)

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 6:29 a.m. CST

    ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS did "Anasthesia" 50 years ago.

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    And it's been done at least once or twice since by others - possibly the 80's AHP revival. Nothing new here.

  • The talkbacks are great because of the lack of censorship. Don't be soft like that. Great column, otherwise.

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST


    by ScriptCunt

    Ya know... praising awkwardly acted and predictably written stuff like this is no different than getting excited over the first elephant drawing that your elementary school kid brings home. I'm sure it's a fantastic SCHOOL project but hardly worth getting worked up over out of that context.

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 4 p.m. CST


    by Kevin

    Check out some of the first film (student or amateur) attempts from any successful director or filmmaker. For myself, I love seeing what can be done with the barest minimum of time/budget, but high ambition and resourcefulness. Some of those kids whose drawings of fugly elephants that ended up on the fridge turned out to be talented artists.

  • Feb. 19, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST

    "Furred Man" is pretty good.

    by ufoclub1977

    Good casting and direction of actors, good performances, and nice story.