Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2016 Comedy Shorts Block: Part 2

stained-posterStained (UK) (2016)
Everything that could go wrong at tea time.  A man is encountering minor annoyances in an otherwise fine afternoon.  As he goes to the loo, once he’s done, he discovers that he is completely out of toilet paper.  As he hobbles to the corner shop to buy some, he is haunted by his poo, taunting him, threatening him with a stain.  Written by Mark A.C. Brown and directed by Phil Haine, Stained takes a basic life event, running out of t.p. and turns it on its head.  The film is funny and it’s due in big part to the leads played by Michael Shephard and Chris Spyrides who keep a straight face throughout.  Thefilm takes this situation and pushes it to its absurd limit and it works beautifully well.

Kaddish! (France) (2012)
As a man heads home to go on vacation with his family, he stops at a rest area and this go incredibly… weird.  And funny.  To tell more of the story would be to do this short a disservice as what happens next is surprising, hilarious, and well executed.  Writer/director Emeline Castaneda creates a really funny and unexpected short.  The ending is fantastic!  The cast led by Steve Achiepo and Alexandre Pivette has great timing and does great things with that second half.  This one needs to be seen.

Landscape (USA) (2014)
After falling for the lady who owns and landscapes the garden he lives in, Gnorman The Gnome goes on a killing rampage for her love.  Writers/directors Patrick Gibbs and Paul Gibbs create a fun short about how a cute garden gnome can go mental and on a spree.  It’s dark, it’s funny, it’s basically the flipside of Amelie and her travelling gnome.  The performance by Gnorman (who did all his own stunts) is perfect for the part while his love interest is played by Brooke Kelly who is perfectly lovely and charming.  The music by Randin Graves is fun and adds to Gnorman’s adventures.  This gnome is killer!

Dark Roast (USA) (2014)
This very short short explores the dating life of a Reaper as she finds out that her latest date is just like the others, not quite capable of accepting her as she is.  Pete Yagmin writes and directs an effective 3 minute dark comedy while Diana Porter shows good timing and talent as the lead.  The intro to this one is cool and well done and the humor is on point.

A Zombie Next Door (USA) (2014)
Written and directed by Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger, based on Geiger’s idea, this short is a faux documentary about people who adopt and care for zombies like there are pets.  As these are exotic and dangerous pets, owners can only have one at a time and three is considered a herd.  This film is inspired in part by an actual documentary called A Tiger Next Door and by the humor and style of Christopher Guest films.  Some of the lines were ad-libbed as the cast has a great talent for comedy.  This cast led by Ron Roggé and Alison Martin is funny and handles the ridiculousness of their situation beautifully.  The xombies like Bub who was found in Florida are homages to the films of Romero and other classics.  The effects on these zombies are good but sadly not great.  However, the short is funny beyond this and is a hoot through and through.

The Procedure (USA) (2016)
A man is captured and awakens tied to a table in a warehouse.  A bizarre experiment is conducted on him.  Written and directed by Calvin Reeder, this very short short brings all kinds of What-the-Fuck to the table with its short and weird experiment.  The ending almost makes the whole film.  Lead actors Frank Mosley and Christian Palmer do great in their respective parts.  The way this short holds the attention and builds tension makes it interesting past the WTF factor and gives it a more powerful impact on viewers.