I’m a big fan of the concept where studios or a collective of directors take various short films from indie directors and create anthology horror films in the vein of “Tales from the Darkside” or “V/H/S/.” The idea is a great one and opens up a broader audience, and allows them some great exposure. “A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio,” is one of the many that’s come along, mixing seven stellar horror shorts told by a lone radio DJ in the middle of the night.
I’m all for psychologically challenging genre fare, especially in a time where most directors and actors are convinced that many modern audiences aren’t interested in that kind of entertainment anymore. With “Perfect,” Eddie Alcazar taps in to the type of dark science fiction that can be placed beside “2001” and “Waking Life” as just pure utter mind fucks that will leave your head spinning. Alcazar’s sheer visual brilliance sadly tends to mask a narrative that otherwise has no real direction or pretty much anything of real merit to say.
Going in to “1BR,” its pretty clears that director David Marmor takes pages from Ira Levin’s psyche, reflecting many themes and ideas the author was known for. Director David Marmor builds a simplistic but absolutely harrowing thriller that confronts similar feminine themes. “1BR” feels so much like a movie torn out from 1979 and altered for modern times. That element works for the movie, as the lack of more modern constructs gives his thriller a very timeless displaced feeling. This sense of aesthetic contributes to the sheer claustrophobia and alienation that character Sarah experiences.
It’s the middle of the summer and quarantine is still under way, sadly. We hope you and yours are doing well during these bizarre, frightening times. “Shorts Round Up of the Week” once again goes back to Quarantine, visiting a list of short films of varying genres that were created during quarantine. This scenario allowed a lot of great filmmakers to build genuinely beautiful, fun, and sometimes horrifying cinema, and it’s managed to be a great twist in such unusual circumstances.
For this edition we have some great short films including a documentary, a horror comedy or two, and yes, a zombie flick.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.
As she returns to her childhood home to care for her mother with her daughter there to help, a woman is faced with a haunting presence in the house that will force all three of them to look at their lives and themselves.
Director Ryan Nicholson’s slasher throwback is thankfully a horror film that, while imperfect, has managed to appreciate in value since its release in 2008. While we may be well past the age of the eighties revival in horror cinema, “Gutterballs” is a nice look at the fad done well and with some semblance of substance over style. It’s still not a masterpiece, but it’s definitely midnight movie fodder that should be appreciated with its cinematic contemporaries. Frankly I’m surprised slasher BBK’s signature look never caught on with the horror community, but I digress.
Despite the title which weirdly made me think this was an homage to “Plan 9,” Lance Polland’s science fiction thriller is quite an impressive survival film. Director Polland obviously has great affection for and knowledge of classic science fiction television, thus he creates an interesting character study that feels like a more sophisticated take on the original “Star Trek.” In many cases, so much of the scenes feel like something directly ripped out of “Star Trek” (and I mean that as a compliment).