The Body Corporate (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Midnight Movies” Shorts Block

I can’t say that I would recommend Stepanka Cervinkova’s dystopian horror film per se, but I appreciated the message behind it, and I liked its energy. I also loved the special effects as they garnered the right amount of yuck factor. The big problem with “The Body Corporate” is its sheer confused tone, but otherwise director Cervinkova is at least a good director with a neat concept.

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Control (2017) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“A Real Scream” Shorts Block

I found Kimmy Gatewood’s “Control” to be pretty fucking excellent, and it’s probably one of my favorite short films of the “Final Girls Berlin Film Festival” so far. The premise is genius and her short brought me back and forth from grinning to tisking in sheer sadness; let’s just say I related to her creation more than I thought. While the premise has every chance to be exploitative and played for cheap laughter, there’s an inherent sadness underneath every moment, and it’s more poignant, in the end.

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All Men Must Die! (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“A Real Scream” Shorts Block

At nine minutes Kate Beacom’s “All Men Must Die!” is a complete swing and miss. I get what she’s going for, here, but all sense of the horror element is lost in favor of this odd indie flourish, and a climax that makes no actual point. While director Beacom does enter in to a turn of events that universal to the intended audience, “All Men Must Die” takes forever to get to the literal splash in the climax, and I was left thinking “That’s it?” Continue reading

Allen Anders – Live at the Comedy Castle – circa 1987 (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“A Real Scream” Shorts Block

Laura Moss’s “Allen Anders…” is a beautifully bizarre bit of experimental horror that I kind of loved when all was said and done. Mimicking an actual worn out VHS tape, we’re subjected to a 1987 stand up routine of a young comedian named Allen Anders performing at the Comedy Castle. Anders looks worn, exhausted and covered in sweat while an agreeable audience looks on. While Allen is never exactly hysterical it never really matters as the audience responds to just about everything he says with nods and laughs. When he’s done with his skit, he’s called up on stage once again to repeat the very same routine.

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Friendsgiving (2018) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Midnight Movies” Shorts Block

I wasn’t completely won over by Samantha Kolesnick and writer Sean Richard Buddle’s short horror comedy, I’ll admit. It’s probably because the premise has been done to death, and I mean I’ve seen this premise done so many times on film that there’s really nowhere to go with this idea.

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Call Girl (2014) [Final Girls Berlin Film Festival]

“Midnight Movies” Shorts Block

Director Jill Gevargizian’s short “Call Girl” watches like a short interlude you’d probably see in a digital horror anthology similar to “V/H/S/.” And I mean that as a compliment. As a short but sweet little horror tale writer Eric Havens’ script has all the classic tropes of the genre. There’s the vile enemy, the victim, the set up, the twist, and the juicy comeuppance.

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Lost Holiday (2018) [Slamdance Film Festival 2019]

I wish I liked “Lost Holiday” a lot more. While I think the premise has a ton of potential to be an off kilter drama mystery, it works a little too much in the bizarre comedy spectrum to really involve the audience. Michael and Thomas Matthews mix a coming of age comedy with a crime mystery, focusing on a gum shoe of a woman who has no idea how to keep herself from falling over, but decides to solve an unusual kidnapping that only sees her descend deeper in to catastrophe.

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Slamdance Narrative Shorts Block 1 [Slamdance Film Festival 2019]

Autumn Waltz (2018)
Ognjen Petkovic’s short thriller is a tense look at a couple trying to escape a war zone and make it out of enemy lines without becoming one of the many victims of the ensuing battles. Set in the 1990’s amidst a landscape of rubble, and torn down deluxe flats, a man and woman attempt to make it outside of Yugoslavia. When they’re faced with a barricade of ruthless armed soldiers, they make up a story that allows them free passage. But as the soldiers interrogate them their reasons for leaving their home land begin to fall apart. At the last minute they’re saved by the most unlikely source and it’s a testament to how the past can affect the present, and vice versa. It’s a well shot and tense short with some fine photography and I quite liked it.

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