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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sean Kelly

BITS 2013: Short Film Showcase Thoughts

tashaandfriends

One of the main highlights if this year’s Blood in the Snow Film Festival is the short film showcase, which features everything from killer puppets, to vampires, to a full-on post-apocalyptic epic.  I’ve seen six of the eight shorts playing as part of the showcase and I will post my individual thoughts on them here.  Keep an eye out for additional short film reviews, for the pre-film shorts, later this weekend.

Ruby’s Secret
You know the score: man meets woman in bar, goes home with her, and discovers her disturbing secret.  This short, which is only four minutes long, gets straight to the point and is mostly built around the final shot.  I thought that it was pretty well done.
8 | LIKED IT

Tasha and Friends
In what can be best described as “Sesame Street meets Child’s Play” a children’s show host is sick of how her puppet co-stars are stealing her spotlight.  As she prepares to get rid of the puppets, they suddenly come to life and decide that the show would be better off without Tasha.  Tasha and Friends was highly entertaining, with some great comedic violence and gore.  There is just something about the inherent ridiculousness of killer puppets and this short was a blast to watch from beginning to end.  Without a doubt, this was my favourite short of the bunch.
10 | LOVED IT  

Dead Rush
This short uses a first-person perspective to follow a group of survivors during a zombie apocalypse.  The thing that is the most apparent about this short is that it seems to be trying to replicate the feel of first person shooter videogame, with the zombies appearing around every corner.  Dead Rush was pretty well-done, though the first person perspective does result in some motion sickness.  Also, it does seem to be somewhat similar to the second segment of V/H/S/2, even though it’s probably just a coincidence.
8 | LIKED IT

Old Sanguine
One a New Year’s Eve, two old friends reunite.  Conrad has spent years living as a vampire, while Eric has remained human.  Through their conversation in a bar, we learn how their different paths affected them individual.  This was a quite well-done short, which tackles the issue about whether immortality is all that it’s thought to be.  Perhaps its better to live a full life as a human, than a shallow eternity as a vampire.
 9 | REALLY LIKED IT

Mr. Spontaneous
Featuring a storybook opening in the style of the “Mr. Men” children books, this short tells a man named Mr. Normal, who lives a mundane life.  One day he comes across the “Happy Face Killer,” who influences him to do something spontaneous.  Mr. Spontaneous is part of an on-going series called Mr. Serial Killer and not the most sure about it.  I probably would have preferred it stayed in the animated storybook style, instead switching to live action halfway though.  There is a lot of extreme violence in this short, so it’s sure to please the gorehounds, even much of the blood is digital.  This should was OK, but not spectacular.
7 | FAIR 

Dead All Night
In a dystopian society, a prisoner (and former special agent) is freed and assigned to infiltrate an occupied state and recover a missile-control chip from a man, known only as “The Veteran.”  This short is obviously influenced by John Carpenter’s Escape from New York, though I would also argue that there is a heavy Mortal Kombat influence, complete with a “Finish Him” line.  The entire short consists of one-on-one fights with various henchman, which often end in a gory death and a cheesy one-liner.  The Veteran does not look threatening at all, especially with his very cheesy moustache.  I suppose this short has a certain camp value to it, though for a short stretched to a full half hour, it’s very repetitive and formulaic.  Dead All Night is OK enough, but it would’ve have been better if the plot was tighter and more to the point.
7 | FAIR 

Also playing as part of the Blood in the Snow shorts showcase are The Meeting (directed by Evangeline’s Karen Lam) and the supernatural horror-comedy Spookslayers.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).