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Fresh SATURDAY SHORTS. Come get them while they're hot!

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…"

Eel Girl from Paul Campion on Vimeo.

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.”




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...”

Tueur De Petits Poissons (Little Fish Killer) from Alexandre Gavras on Vimeo.

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.

Leashed 480p version. from Leashed film on Vimeo.




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.”

The Killing Joke from sebastian lopez on Vimeo.

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 ""

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



Readers Talkback
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  • March 10, 2012, 6:28 a.m. CST

    Thank you Muldoon!

    by t_allen

    Once again a solid bunch of short films.

  • March 10, 2012, 8 a.m. CST


    by justmyluck

    EEL GIRL : Good production quality, esp. sound. Bodacious vampy nude seduction à la LIFEFORCE. Otherwise didn't do anything for me. STRUMPET : When fleeing a mighty gale in a silent movie, a bit of visibly blowing wind helps. Also a close-up of a loud suitcase drop. No sound, remember? This one was all over the place, and played everything too broad, to be chilling or provocative. What was with the forehead drip (beyond a nod to ALIEN or THE FIFTH ELEMENT)?. Assured lighting and a good location with *The Lemp Mansion*, though. TUEUR DE PETITES POISSONS : Surrealism works when it unsettles the subconscious, and this certainly fits the bill. Seems to be a statement on INTROVERSION: conflicts of the outer and the inner; the visible and the unseen. Excellent use of perspective and P.O.V., though a bit too much cross-cutting of geography, scattering the ambiance at points. Absorbing direction, otherwise. Great art direction and camerawork. Man/speciMAN. Loved this. LEASHED: Maybe keeping the butcher's face unseen and his surrounding noises close mic'd would have elevated the suspense. In full disclosure, I'm not big on depictions of victimization for their own sake, *entertainment value*, etc. So I'll leave this one at *solid production which made no sense*. THE KILLING JOKE : Choppy VIMEO embed, saved by YouTube. Nice long lens, backlit look to this one. Style over substance, unfortunately. Under ten minutes might have worked (could have used more of those jump cuts to move things along). Didn't buy it as suspense, thriller or bad dream — that victimization plotting again. Seemed more like a director's reel and, as that, it's fairly strong. Overall, another interesting Sat/short festival.

  • March 10, 2012, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Good shit. thanks Muldoon!

    by evilnik

  • March 10, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Muldoon- this feature is consistently good...

    by RRL

    Thanks! Keep 'em coming (and WTF, too)!

  • March 10, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    R.I.P Moebius

    by Gorgomel

    Just learnt that Jean Giraud (Moebius) died today. His work on Alien, Tron and René Laloux's Maîtres du temps will be remembered forever. Miyazaki must be devasted

  • March 10, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    And in other "not so cool" news - Moebius has died

    by Ivan_Mtl

    French comic-book artist and designer Jean Giraud, also known as Moebius, died overnight at the age of 74 after a long illness. His influence on comic books and films was tremendous, and director Sir Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Prometheus) has cited him as a major inspiration.

  • March 10, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    the first short should be titled LARS AND THE EEL GIRL

    by Tigger Tales

    I love the tension. Very well done.

  • March 10, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Moebius also worked on The Abyss

    by Gorgomel

    such a tragic loss :(

  • March 10, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    and on Heavy Metal of course! :(

    by Gorgomel

  • March 10, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    STRUMPET -- Come see LA BAMBA in his first feature short!

    by Tigger Tales

    The score is a bit menacing in places, but solid nonetheless.

  • March 10, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    Another great/fair job my friend - I'm sure some of the filmmakers will appreciate that. I'm glad the general consensus seems to enjoy the shorts this week.

  • March 10, 2012, 6:35 p.m. CST


    by lars

    This is a great thing. Keep doing them. Having several shorts in one place makes my being cooped up in this room much more palatable. k

  • It always played late at night and all it was short films, there were sometimes themes in an episode but there was some crazy stuff in there. I remember several of them being out right disturbing, some were just cool as well. I forget the exact name but maybe someone here remembers it. One of the first ways I was really able to view shortfilms seeing as I didnt have a great internet connection... or at all, I forget. BTW Muldoon, did you see Quantic Dream's Kara prototype, short film thing. Looks like I Robot if it didnt go the way of crazy action and sneakers. Here's a link:

  • March 11, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST

    Liked eel girl a lot

    by Fritzlorrerains

  • March 11, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST

    First, This is an Awesome Column. Second...

    by ShadowVoyd

    ARCHIVE! ARCHIVE! I know I have the link to the first Shorts article.... somewhere....maybe. Or not. So I say again, ARCHIVE! That one little feature linking back to past Shorts articles would render unto this column perfection. <P> Seriously, This feature and WTF Hollywood are good stuff. Keep up the great work, man. I look forward to more. Oh just one quick thing.... ARCHIVE!

  • March 11, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Eel girl was amazing

    by Bobo_Vision

    I'm going to have to rethink sending in my short film i made using my GI Joe figures in my bath tub. Its not up to snuff.

  • ...I don't know why these shorts have to try so hard to be whacky or zany all the time. Most of them seem like were entering a story that's already been going on for a while. I'd like to see a sweet little short movie with a start middle and end. I remember we did a short movie at college, i wrote a script about some drunken revelations during an office christmas party; 6 minutes and we did okay to start and finish our story. But i like the shorts feature Muldoon so keep it up!

  • March 11, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST


    by Muldoon

    Send it in, man. I'm not just looking for super glossy shorts - if you think it's good - I'm down to check it out.

  • March 11, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Demo Reel Dumping Ground

    by MooseMalloy

    -- might be a better name for this column.

  • March 11, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Muldoon is da man!

    by notcher

    Keeps these coming dude!!!

  • March 12, 2012, 3:30 a.m. CST

    I see archive links!

    by ShadowVoyd

    Woohoo! My camper is happy!

  • March 12, 2012, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Inner camper... is happy. You know what I mean.

    by ShadowVoyd

    Right? He's a handsome man-raptor and all but.... You know what? Never mind.

  • March 12, 2012, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Clarisa Staracci

    by ReefShark

    She is stunning...