Most of the time we get such a backlog of short films and feature length indie films that we work hard to take them all on and review them before the year is up. In “Shorts Round Up of the Week” we review a round up of short films of varying quality.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.
This week we have a trio of shorts from Chris McInroy, a psychotic tattoo artist, and the tale of a walking baby.
Bad Guy #2 (2014)
Director Chris McInroy completely rethinks the whole gangster tropes by looking at the life of the number two henchmen in every mobster movie. When a local mob boss has had enough of his cronies failing to catch a killer, he kills his number two and number three becomes the new number two. Now under pressure to stay alive by his girlfriend, Bad Guy #2 has to look for the killer, and things get wet and gory. “Bad Guy #2” is a very funny and very clever horror comedy, and one that’s covered in wet gooey gore and grue. McInroy almost never wastes an opportunity to show off the great effects by Doug Field and Susan Benson, including head shots, knifes to the face, maimings, and a thug even melts to death after an acid mishap. “Bad Guy #2” is mostly for the gorehounds, but if you like some genuinely funny gore gags that will make you giggle to yourself, along with top notch acting, this is a great short film.
Complications of a Walking Baby (2014)
I’ll just say it: I don’t know what writer / director Jason Erickson’s short film is about, if anything. I guess, deep down, there’s some kind of message about fitting in, or the cruelty of the real world. I don’t know. Maybe it’s all one big story that leads up to the final scene about giving birth. I don’t know. All I know is there’s a tale of a baby who could walk who was sad about being called a baby. So he cuts out a paper mask of an Asian woman and suddenly it’s accepted as a person. Until it meets an injured woman and, it kind of trails off from there. The whole film is played with a straight face, and it’s presented with an arthouse gloss, but I don’t know what it all means. Maybe it’s just being bizarre for the sake of bizarre? I just ended the film with a furrowed brow and a confused shrug. People need love. We’ll go with that. That’s what the movie means.
Death Metal (2016)
Chris McInroy knows how to make stupid a lot of fun and with “Death Metal” his talent is on full display. In fact, the premise has a lot of potential to be a feature length horror comedy. “Death Metal” centers on Lars, an aspiring death metal rock star who flops whenever he performs in the park. When he learns from his uncle that he’s the son of Satan, he’s given his dad’s cursed Guitar. There are three specific rules he must follow or else. Of course Lars is so eager he ignores everything he’s warned about and begins playing the park. Almost immediately things go awry and the gore begins to ooze all over the screen. The key to “Death Metal” is the absurd gore and grue, and McInroy goes whole hog with severed limbs, decapitations, and yes, even children get maimed. “Death Metal” is fun and hilarious, and another great horror comedy outing from Chris McInroy.
The Tattooist (2018)
A micro-short by Michael Wong, “The Tattooist” is a kind of a pseudo-trailer and spec film for a potential horror movie that could promise to be quite wonky and chaotic. Wong’s “The Tattooist” is a great premise where a tattoo artist subjects his victims to becoming the victims of his masterpieces, and in the process they have to figure out how to escape his grasp. I think “The Tattooist” could work as a great indie horror film, especially with Michael Wong’s creative direction and use of colors and moments of pure gore and terror. It could lend a new angle of fear to a classic trade, much in the way “The Dentist” did in the nineties. A winner at Canada’s Bloody Horror International Film Festival, Horrorhaus Film Festival in LA, Canada’s Terror in the Bay Film Festival and with multiple wins at Diabolical Horror Film Festival, I look forward to seeing how this project evolves.
We Summoned a Demon (2017)
Director Chris McInroy returns for his third outing with frequent collaborator Kirk Johnson. This time he appears as geek with friend Carlos (Played by other recurring McInroy collaborator Carlos Larote) hoping to enact a spell that will turn his character Kirk cool. After failing to do so by brutally slaughtering a chicken, they accidentally unearth a merciless demon that rises from the floor with mysterious intentions. The centerpiece for “We Summoned a Demon” this time is the excellent demon make up. While the gore is up to McInroy’s usual standards of splatter and slime, the demon looks very much like a demonic Jester, and he is a formidable villain brought to life with some fun special effects. I liked the whole concept behind the short, and would love a feature film version of this down the line. While McInroy’s previous films were more gory gags, “We Summoned a Demon” has bigger potential for more characters and twisted terror.