This Week's SATURDAY SHORTS: Horrific Fun!
Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with this week's roundup of interesting shorts created and submitted by fellow AICN readers. You may or may not remember, but I had planned on showing these horror films last week and unfortunately had to push it back to today. Trust me, they are worth the wait and should help add a little bit of creepy to your pre-Christmas weekend. (There's even a little bit of the Christmas spirit with our first film of the day.) Below you will find five short films that did the trick for me and hopefully will do the same for you. I've seen them for about a month now... (Jokes), but truly hope you ladies and gents get a kick out them. Whatever your thoughts, sound off in the Talkbacks below!
Go grab yourself some popcorn, lock your kids in a closet, kill the lights, relax and check out this little weekly film fest we've got ourselves here:
THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS
And here we are with our first short, a twisted tale about... well "the origins of Christmas." It's gorgeously shot, perfectly cut, and leaves a sting. Director Stéphane Grasso has crafted something that will stick with you well past the yuletide festivities. "A little girl receives an advent calendar for the holidays... and with each chocolate travels further back in time discovering the true origins of Christmas." If you dig what you see, you should make your way to his vimeo page.
Here we have a new film from the creators of SUCKABLOOD, Ben Franklin and the gang at Bloody Cuts Films. "D.I. Collins has a suspected serial killer in custody. But there may be more to his crimes than the Detective imagines...'Death Scenes' is the 7th slice in Bloody Cuts' anthology of short horror films, made by a young team of UK film-makers on low budgets. Written and directed by Joel Morgan it stars Robin Berry and Ayden Callaghan alongside Charlie Bond, Paul Jibson and Carol Storey." Be sure to check out their site or follow them on Twitter with @bloodycutsfilms.
From director Gabriel Sabloff (who did the GRAYSON fan film) comes this next bit of creepy. "Living silently among us are the bearers of THE CURSE - men and women doomed to walk the earth, hungering for HUMAN SOULS. MIDIAN, the strongest of the CURSED LAWMEN returns from exile to hunt down a dangerous supernatural fugitive."
TO ROMERO WITH LOVE
While this next film isn't exactly horror, it feels like a good fit - so bam! Documentary Time! From Aaron Peacock at Two Blue Shirts Productions comes a tale of how two couples came to be - with the help of a certain "God of zombies."
And to wrap things up this week we have an interesting head scratcher of a film from director Matt Glass. It's got a unique style that never seems to get old. "Experience the monochromatic life of a gentleman puppet as he navigates office furniture, elevators and a burning childhood all confined within a maze of floors in a bottomless skyscraper. Like a vertical timeline, each floor represents a different point in his life. With the aid of an off-kilter elevator operator, he journeys though his life with the horrors of his past following closely behind."
That's it folks, that's this week's SATURDAY SHORTS. I ho-ho-hope you enjoyed it... Oh, I sleigh me (*note spelling intentional). Seriously, I hope you liked this week's selection and if not, well sorry - maybe next week will blow your mind. What's that? You want to check out past SATURDAY SHORTS? Well have at it, pal:
If you have a short and think it belongs here or are on the fence about whether to send it in, please do send it in - I'd love to see what you've put together. I've already seen hundreds of fresh new filmmakers' shorts and like any good addict, I need more!
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. The more info you send my way, the more info there is to put with your short.
Please don’t feel the need to submit multiple times.
Remember, the filmmakers might still be in the audience, so feel free to share your thoughts in Talkbacks below. (JUST DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE). I picked them, so you know I think highly of all of these, but how about you fine folks? How'd you like 'em?
- Mike McCutchen
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Dec. 22, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST
esp Death Scenes
Dec. 22, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST
Dec. 22, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST
Dec. 22, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST
must be a record
Dec. 22, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
nice christmas to everyone here and thanks again Muldoon for the work. "The origins of Christmas" were my favourite, very disturbing as a horror story should be. "Death Scenes" was very good too, as is to be expected - I really liked Suckablood and everything is top notch here too. "The Curse" - atrocious acting meets overdone sfx, this had the looks of a horror spoof but if it is I didn't get the jokes. Haven't watched the docu yet and couldn't watch "Citadel" because of technical problems with vimeo - I'll try later.
Dec. 22, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST
Speaking of Horrific as long as they play reruns of honey boo boo for the next 1000 years I'm good on Horrific! :)
Dec. 22, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST
Were good. THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS had a real creep factor that dials up. And Death Scene was well made and acted. The curse - had production value but the pace and performances were it's weakness. Turned into Scanners near the end. CITADEL has a unique style. But the pace and length ruined it for me.
Dec. 23, 2012, 1:47 a.m. CST
It was interesting, but without any sort of explanation behind what the girl was seeing, it didn't really make any sense, and what was the mom seeing at the end? Random, violent imagery and 'BWAH!' sound effects do not a good short make...
Dec. 23, 2012, 3:10 a.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
It is a sort of lovecraftian story - every cookie in the calendar takes you farther back in (pre-)history, from christianity to pagan feasts to - one guesses - the "old gods" or something like it. Really neat and tightly edited, that short - perfect timing in my opinion.
Dec. 23, 2012, 3:20 a.m. CST
THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS From the pagan Saturn festival to...lunging caveman? A great deal of work went into creating the religious/historical polyptych, smartly limiting it to a single cyclorama (instead of various green screen composites) for pictorial impact. Open ending suggests that adults are ultimately culpable for carrying forth such traditions. Multi-modal Xmas/*bwaahhh* scoring and young actor hit the right notes and, tech-wise, soft-box lighting, costumes, makeup, editing and sound editing were aced. Still confused as to whether the lunging caveman was intended to have an historical aspect, or emerged due to the violation of the mother stealing her child's final Advent treat. DEATH SCENES Interesting mash-up of SE7EN (which opening and end credits [running down, not up] seem inspired by) and PRIEST. On-set transitional lighting cues a welcome change, but overdone to staginess. Actors well-cast to the expected look, especially criminal suspect, who's performance and delivery *transform* him from sickly killer to ascetic monk. Practical makeup FX with digital augmentation especially good. Like SUCKABLOOD, this project had a battle plan from the get-go. THE CURSE There's usually a fundamental issue to address when I turn to the director's synopsis — as with any such movie, it's very difficult to show what is going on in a character's head without direct visual clues or narration. When the action turns to telepathic discussions and battles, the intent (the *lawman* battling the *fugitive*, one or both trying to eat souls, avenge crime...or save lives) becomes confusing and unclear. Modern overuse of jump cuts, shallow focus and other post production filtration also becomes distracting, as does padded shoulders and wig on AWOL telepath, making viewer wonder if she's a man in disguise before the vampy reveal. Propulsive scoring the high point, elevating project's cinematic feel while direction deliberately taps B-movie exploitation, action and horror veins to mixed results. TO ROMERO WITH LOVE Youth culture valentine to Zombiedom's father figure has a home movie charm, but dodges a major opportunity to explore what Romero couldn't answer: why is this happening? Is it embracing a countdown to death and decay which begins with adulthood? Is it accepting that people are bones and bloody goop at the core, and it's time to display it outside in a celebration? Is it rebellion; a complete rejection of the roles which society expects of young adults heading off into the world? Is it just another form of attention-getting outer wear? Now there's a zombie documentary. Tech = n/a. CITADEL Levels of purgatory as an office building; perhaps an observation on draining away one's life in them. Construction paper, photo-appliqué, and mostly shadowless lighting create a neat pseudo-2D effect to puppets, with basic 3-D CG models composited non-obtrusively. Appreciated the claustrophobic, self-sealing story loop, multiple interpretations of the door, square and rectangular symbols of the office opposed to the circular inner portal, and project's overall experimental approach. Only critique is a big one — film may have been more confident and evocative as a silent, or at least with much less talky (puppety) exposition. Overall this week = Stirred...not shaken!
Dec. 23, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST
Also, poor deluded horvak!
Dec. 23, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST
probably super old news around here at this point (which by 2012 AICN perspectives, would be look a scoop! hiiiiiiiiiyyyyooooooo! teehee) Seriously, a short film question in the body of my comment below...
I'm sure we all remember that short that blazed onto the internet several years ago, it was a Batman story, I can't recall the name, but it was Batman fighting I believe at least 2 of his foes (including, of course, the Joker) maybe like 15 minutes long, and though the guy playing Bats and some of the other villains had acting "ability" left to be desired, the film did certainly LOOK good.<br> <br> But the primary question I was left with after watching was, how in the hell did this no-better-than-any-other-cheap-struggling-filmmaker get to direct his own Batman story for a short film? Legally speaking, how did he get rights to do all that characterization? Again I'm sorry, but has probably already long been discussed in some TAlkback graveyard, but I unfortunately never knew the answer. How was this douche allowed to do that?
Dec. 23, 2012, 9:16 p.m. CST
umm.. DUH DOY!! I completely ommitted one of the key elements of that Batman short film, that I'd imagine would hope most people reference it in their cranial hard drives
Most (if not all of) the action and story of the short took place in like some rainy, darkened back alley way. any help?
Dec. 24, 2012, 1:58 a.m. CST
He probably didn't wait for permission, just made something he/she cared about without waiting for DC's blessing. They can't do too much if you just go and do it on your own. They know that. If he tried to make money off it, that's a different beast - but I'd place my bets with the dude just didn't give a shit if DC would be so petty as to go after him/her. BTW - was it "Dead End?"
Dec. 24, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST
I was confused by the ending and then watched it again and noticed in the mother's eyes a shapeless black image moving around. I am inclined to agree that she was seeing a primordial or ancient evil...but...did she eat the candy to save her child or did she just decide to sneak in a last candy on the 24th?
Dec. 24, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
She pinched the candy (really doesn't make much sense otherwise, why eat it when you know it's dangerous?). But I don't think the child was saved that way either, if this really is a lovecraftean story then of course the old gods (or whatever) now have entered our world again, just starting with Mama.
Dec. 24, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST
by Industrious Angel
She pinched the candy (if she'd tried to save the daughter and knew it was dangerous, why eat it?). Yet the child wasn't saved anyway, if this is a lovecraftean story, then the Old Gods (or whatever) are now back in the world and the girl will be #2 on their list :)
Dec. 24, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST
You mean this short? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vACtvTsvcyg
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