Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week’s killer crop of kickass shorts. While last week was more of a mixed bag with fun shorts from all sorts of genres, this week’s leaning more on the horror side. Out of all the shorts I’ve gotten, horror seems to take the cake in terms of shear numbers and I’m kind of okay with that. Below we have five shorts that I’ve fallen in love with and hope you do too.
So while the rest of the world is filling up on the fancy feast that is SXSW, you and I have our very own film fest right here at good old Ain’t It Cool News. No need for a ticket, just relax, grab some popcorn, and enjoy some shorts made by fellow Ain’t It Cool readers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a fan of every single short I have had the opportunity to screen here, so thanks again to everyone who’s sent theirs in and keep them coming!
That’s enough jibber jabber, let’s do this:
Up first is director Paul Campion’s incredibly twisted fish out of water story, EEL GIRL. "In a secure military laboratory, a scientist has become obsessed with the half-human half-eel creature he’s studying. When she beckons him to her, it’s the call of a siren…"
First off, what nightmarishly good makeup job! Seriously, those five minutes killed it. If you feel like checking out more from Paul, here’s a link to the EEL GIRL website, Paul’s website, and his Twitter handle: @paulcfilmmaker. I can't wait to see more from the guy.
Up next we have a unique short from Wolfgang Lehmkuhl, STRUMPET. I have to warn you, this one’s a little out there, but that’s kind of why I’m so fond of it. It’s 13 minutes of black and white silent eeriness that’s beautifully executed. “On the cusp of a murderous storm, a lonely traveler takes shelter in an old hotel. Greeted by the friendly, yet unnerving Innkeeper, the traveler checks in for the night. His slumber is cut short, by the beautiful, yet treacherous siren who haunts the inn.”
LITTLE FISH KILLER
So let’s hop back into the water with Alexandre Gravas’s LITTLE FISH KILLER, a slightly disturbing, yet incredibly well made piece of “What the hell?” “Jacques is secretly in love with his neighbor. Too shy to talk to her, he decides to become invisible...”
Alexandre, I’m not going to lie – you scare me a little, but in the best possible way. Even the last shot of the film wigs me out, but totally works. In this day and age I think it says something when you can give a movie goer the heeby jeebies and LITTLE FISH KILLER absolutely does.
I can’t help but realize the last three shorts have all included men going out of their ways to get the attention of a hottie and none ended up being all that successful. Enter LEASHED, from director Aubrey Reynolds: where the man actually gets the girl and… well… you’ll just have to see, since I’m not sure how to sum it up without giving anything away. I’ve had this short since Reynolds sent it to me back in January and am glad I finally have a chance to screen it. This short actually got him a job directing his first feature, a slasher in a Louisiana Bayou called CUTTER. If LEASHED is any indication of what insane fest of quality fun CUTTER might be, count me in.
THE KILLING JOKE
With the last short of the night let’s stylistically go back in time with director Sebastion Lopez’s gorgeously shot film about a woman who stumbles upon an odd box.
“The Killing Joke is a 15 minute suspense/fiction short film about a mysterious woman that finds a red balloon tied up to a curious little box on an eerie derelict street. Using classic elements of suspense and working within a seventies aesthetic, 'The Killing Joke' is an action packed film that pays homage to some of the horror movies from that era.
The piece was shot during four intense days of filming in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires. The micro budget production was shot using just two 7d canon cameras. The composition and CGI effects for 'The Killing Joke' required months of 'invisible' digital retouching to create the panoramic, yet claustrophobic atmosphere that pervades throughout the movie.”
And there we have it folks, the last short of the night. It’s time to turn the house lights back on and empty out, so we can get ready for our next screening. Remember, if you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in – I’d love to check it out.
Shoot me an email at "Mike@aintitcool.com"
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 or would want published.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times. I swear to each of you I truly check every email I get, and sending the same short a few times just makes it a bit messier.
And now I’m off to more SXSW fun! But hey, in the Talkbacks below feel free to share your thoughts on this week’s shorts. I’m sure the filmmaker’s would love your thoughts on their work. I’ve already given my two cents, how about yours?
Do you want to keep this SHORTS party going? Here's a few links to past columns:
*Also, if you're in town for SXSW and see some guy sitting at one of the South Lamar Drafthouse tables on a computer with some weird foot pedal device - that's me knocking out all sorts of kickass interviews - so feel free to say "hey." (I don't really look like a green raptor. Yet.)
- Mike McCutchen