H’s entry in our A-to-Z short horror film review series is rather a mixed bag of blood, entrails and beasties, all put together in what Alfred Hitchcock once titled one of his short story compilations, “Death Bag.”
Nearly all of today’s subjects are from the United States, with a representative from Zombie-infested Australia and from the Hotbed of Horror, Spain. Let’s start with a device that many short film makers seem to love to do. That is the fake movie trailer.
Why make a feature-length film when you can have just as much fun with a trailer of a movie that everyone would likely love to see?
Short film makers do this all the time. But this practice is not just used by short film artists. Sketch comedy films, like “Kentucky Fried Movie”, “Tunnelvision” and “Lobster Men from the Moon,” have all included fake trailers from other films. And let us not forget that John Landis has been making constant reference to the Easter Egg movie “See You Next Wednesday”, which has been touted to be everything from a Sci-Fi epic to a tune-filled romp through the leper colonies of Molokai.
So let’s begin.
The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon
Richard Gale’s 2008 masterpiece, that deals with a man, tormented by a spoon wielding demon from Hell. This film gives you every thrill, every chill, and every thwack of the deadly spoon. True to its title, the film is over ten minutes long, which gives the viewer that same sense of “Get On With It”. Most trailers are less than three minutes long.
Hell No: The Sensible Horror Movie
Ever sat in the theater, watching stupid characters make stupid decisions that end up getting them killed in horrible ways? Do you yearn for some intelligence? Do you want to see teenagers make the safe choice in a horror film? Well, look no further than Joe Nicolosi’s 2013 short. You must like a film that contains the tagline “Spoiler Alert: Nobody Dies”.
Okay, this is off-topic. Maybe the best parody movie trailer of all time, and very topical for the day, is the 1977 Ernie Fosselius short about a war in a galaxy far, far away. If you have never seen this, where have you been?! “You’ll Laugh. You’ll Cry. You’ll Kiss Three Bucks Goodbye.” Yes, a trip to the movies did only cost that back in the day.
An animation, from 1964, of the poem, by Maurice Ogden, this film shows the horror that befalls people who turn a blind eye to the injustice in the world around them. I saw this in high school as part of a humanities class.
The Humans Are Coming!
In a world where roles are reversed and zombies are the norm, humans are the threat! From 2013, Dustin Alcock shows us this world. And find out what happens when forbidden love between a zombie girl and her human boyfriend (who is tied up in the basement) comes for a call. The film is in Zombie with English subtitles. It is also in English with Zombie subtitles.
I’m not kidding. No, really. It is.
Halloween Before Christmas
In recent years, Spain has been the purveyor of excellent scares. Many of the features that come from there are so good, in fact, that Hollywood remakes them into less-than-appealing horror movies. Films like “The Orphanage,” “[REC]” and “Pan’s Labyrinth”, have been a breath of fresh air in the genre. Many of their short films carry the same impact. Rafa Martinez directed this one in 2010. Also, online is his other horror short, “Zombies & Cigarettes”, from 2009. Also highly recommended.
Once again, Australia is Zombie Central. In the same class as great shorts like “Cargo” and “Waterborne”, Cameron McCulloch’s 2010 short film looks at the isolation that can occur during the Zombie Apocalypse, watch one woman trying to cope with being alone and afraid. This isn’t his only horror short out there. Give him a look. He’s scary.
So this closes the door on the letter “H”. Doing these articles by letter gives Horror a nice “Sesame Street” appeal. Well, it is more like “Scream Street”, Tommy Donbavand’s wonderful thirteen book children’s series. You get the picture.
Once again, some of the information here is supplies by Vimeo.com, YouTube and IMDB. Coming soon, the letter “I”, where we will talk about turning “Ishtar” into a series of short films in order to make it better.
Talk about a rich fantasy life…