Izzy’s Terror-ific Shorts Program [Boston Terror ‘Thon 2016]

terrorthon-2016Filmmaker Izzy Lee gathered shorts films from different fellow short film makers and will be showing them to the crowd at Boston Terror’Thon 2016 this weekend.  For those unable to attend, here’s a sneak peek of four of the shorts in small bit sized reviews.

Death Metal (USA) (2016)
In Chris McInroy’s short, a metal musician who sucks at this art is given a guitar that will help him but it comes with a few stipulations.  Death Metal is a funny, gory, and awesome horror-comedy short that is soaked in blood.  So much so that it has more blood gags than your average horror feature with no one safe from the massacre.  The special effects done under the supervision of Eric Zapata and with assistants Erin Einbender and Sarah Danki are what makes this short so kick-ass.  The original music by Andrew Hoke and featuring Matt Miklaw is properly metal and fits the film and its crazy insane amounts of blood.  Lead actor Kirk Johnson, who looks to be sporting a wig, gives a good performance in all the mayhem.  This short film clocks in at 4 minutes and 45 seconds (including credits) and it packs quite the punch in its short time, being one of the most fun shorts this year.  It would pair great with last year’s Deathgasm.

Cleaning House (USA) (2016)
Two friends wander a house as they are supposed to be cleaning it, digging through the owners’ secrets until things take a turn.  The first part of the short is shot found footage style and then it switches to traditional once the mayhem starts.  Written and directed by Andrea Wolanin, the film follows two gleeful criminals enjoying their time in a house.  These two young ladies are played enthusiastically by Nicole Dessingue and Jaquelyn Fabian.  The special effects by Stacy Buchanan are minimal but effective while the cinematography by Jessica Barnthouse looks good throughout, even in the found footage scenes.  Another short short that packs a lot in its run time, this one process that sometimes less is more or at least more in less time works.  The film has a good amount of violence and blood without being excessive with two leads that are fun to watch.

The Puppet Man (USA) (2016)
Directed by Jacqueline Castel who wrote it based on characters created by Johnny Scuotto, this short about a group of friends in a dive bar getting picked off one by one is a neon light and synthwave fueled nightmare.  The Puppet Man is a new slasher that keeps its story short and sweetly bloody.  The characters are simple and well-acted.  What really sets this film apart is its look.  The blue and red lighting pattern creates a striking look that the director uses to its maximum potential with calculated cinematography and beautiful imagery.  The characters in this film have very few to no lines, letting the music by THE John Carpenter (who also cameos in the film) speak for them and masterfully set the mood.  The Puppet Man is all about visuals and music, feeling like it would right at home in the 1980s.

Nasty (2016)
After his father’s disappearance, a boy goes looking in his belongings, finding a treasure trove of horror classics on VHS tapes.  As his mother tries to protect him, he discovers more about his missing father.  Writer Anthony Fletcher and director Prano Bailey-Bond team up to create an atmospheric short film that pays homage to classic horror films without feeling like they are copying them.  The small cast is led by Albie Marber as Doug, the son of the disappeared.  His performance is imbued with curiosity and care for his missing father.  His performance is supported by Madeleine Hutchins as Doug’s mum Carol.  Her performance shows a wider range of emotions, rooting the story in something relatable.  These two, and the others, are supported by cinematography by director of photography Annika Summerson who uses the settings and the great lighting set-ups to create 80s style colorful tableaux.  Nasty has good effects and acting set in appealing images.  The film is low on death scenes but is still effective with its homages to classics and good music.

Programmer Izzy Lee has a story in the anthology Wicked Witches: An Anthology of the New England Horror Writers available on Amazon Here.