To B or Not to B: Short Film Review Series

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This is the second installment in an ongoing series of articles on short horror films.

So far, no words of disdain from Sue Grafton, so I’ll keep going.

One of my favorite blogs has been “Maynard’s Horror Movie Blog”. It is run by Maynard Morrissey, an Austrian film fanatic. He has been running the site for six years. Every horror film that comes down the pike ends up on his site with a review. Honestly, I have never seen someone who is more insightful. His reviews are to the point and generally spot on! He is a great source of film knowledge for both features and short films. Thanks to his site, I found many great short films to view.

This year was the cube that broke the cenobite’s back. He has gone on hiatus until June of 2016. Why?

I think his words are best:

“I enjoyed writing for this silly little site – but this year, the joy became a pain in the ass. Way too many shitty movies in theaters… I forced myself to continue writing and blogging and posting, but it wasn’t fun anymore. It was a chore. A bore.”

 

I will miss his sense of humor and his extensive film knowledge.

But rather than rail on about the status of horror movies today, which I have begun to realize is an easy trap to fall into, let’s look at five interesting shorts.

Billy’s Balloon

The line between horror and comedy is very thin, as is shown by this animated short. Made in 1998 by Don Hertzfeldt of the US, it illustrates what can happen when good toys go bad. The film has won 23 awards at various festivals and was nominated for Best Short Film at Cannes in 1999.

 

The Backwater Gospel

From Denmark, this 2011 animated short by Bo Mathorne shows us what death could look like. With jaw-dropping animation and a thundering soundtrack, this film is difficult to be “unseen” once viewed.

 

Boob

Parodies of “Alien” are numerous. This 2009 short by Honest warns of the dangers of body enhancements.

 

Breathe

Director Toby Meakins tells us the story of a ghost that can only be seen if you hold your breath. This 2013 tale stars “Game of Thrones” actor Josef Altin and was nominated for Best Short Film at the Sitges Film Festival.

 

The Black Imp

Sooner or later, I had to get around to the master of early Cinema. This 1905 short by Georges Melies tells the tale of a man tormented by a mischievous imp at a hotel room. Monsieur Melies uses camera stoppages to move about scenery and other props to tell this fanciful tale in a way few others did at the time.

And do try to keep that in mind. What we would see as “old hat” today, was innovation in 1905.

 

 

I should mention that I have a love for the early, seminal films of the French masters. In my opinion, all fantasy, horror and science fiction begins in France. It starts with the Lumiere Brothers, moves to Georges Melies, and is continued by Segundo De Chomon, Ferdinand Zecca and Alice Guy-Blanche. And, yes, we will visit all of them over the course of the articles.

For now, we close the letter B.

I want to thank YouTube, Vimeo and imdb for all the info and for their support of Short Films.

Continue the hunt.

B is for Bonus!

Marv Newland’s 1969 Classic – Bambi meets Godzilla

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for over fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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