Phoenix Film Festival 2014 “Horror Shorts A”

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Horror Shorts A

I can’t remember the first horror movie I saw, but I’ve seen a lot, including pretty much all of the classics. Though the trend nowadays of all the “jump out at you” scary movies isn’t my favorite, I was really hopeful for this collection of short horror films.

Love (Liebe)

A poetic love story of the love shared between a man, a woman, and a monster. This German film is amazingly hysterical. It’s a good thing it was done in German with English subtitles, because if it’d been just English speech, I wouldn’t have been able to make out most of the last half. The entire theater was dying with laughter, myself included. I laughed so hard I cried. If you ever hear about this showing near you, I urge you to go see it!

Happy Birthday Mr. Zombie

In another horror/comedy, we’re treated to the birthday celebration of one Mr. Zombie, thrown by his zombie friends. A comedy of errors, it’s delightfully lighthearted. Though I disagree with the level of intelligence shown by the zombies, them all singing (or trying to sing) Happy Birthday was hilarious. Again, the entire theater was in tears from laughing so hard.

VHS

When a man ditches his VCR and VHS tapes to upgrade to DVD, the tapes aren’t too happy about it. Campy and silly, this “horror” short is just stupidly entertaining. No brain power needed, you won’t hurt yourself laughing, but you’ll get a couple decent chuckles from this throw-back to 80’s horror films (the ones with hardly any budget).

Itsy Bitsy Spiders

In one of the more “creepy” shorts, a young boy has recently become obsessed with spider. During Rorschach testing, the boy only sees spiders on each of the blots. At home, he continually draws spiders all over the walls. Meanwhile, a child murderer is nearby, and has his next target picked out. I was fairly entertained by this one, though it wasn’t really horrific, except for the last few moments, and that’s just because I don’t particularly care for spiders!

‘Til Death

4 husbands, lamenting about their terrible marriages, come up with the brilliant idea to murder each other’s wives. After doing this dastardly deed, they wake up in the morning to an awful surprise. Yet another short that had the audience in stitches. Brutal and funny and somehow also sweet, I was really impressed with this short film.

Signal

I don’t have much to say about this, at least not much that’s kind. I understood the intention, I’m pretty sure, but the execution was pretty awful. Essentially, a static monster murders young women. Static, like the TV snow from the olden days? Yeah. Pretty awful.

One Please

At first slightly unsettling for it’s normalcy, this short soon packs a punch, right into the funny bone. A very interesting take on an old tradition, and with no dialog, it’s a colorful, wonderful, humorous short film.

Beware of Children

Another one I didn’t particularly care for. The premise is a neighborhood that’s terrorized by children. Literally, that’s it. The kids are murderous crazies, torturing and killing all adults dumb enough to get caught. I was very “Meh” about this short.

Kenneth Miller’s Dust Jacket

A serial killer, the self-proclaimed Red Menace, is terrorizing Phoenix. A young red-headed woman is followed home by two men, who prowl around her house, trying to find a way in. When she hears noises, she grabs a knife and goes to see what’s happening. Then it all goes crazy. Based on a short story that Miller wrote 10 years ago, he called it Dust Jacket because “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover!” If you get the chance to see this, I’d recommend it.

Samantha Cantrell
As an avid Jill-Of-All-Trades, I dabble in many things, but I've always been passionate about writing and photography. I read like a fiend, all sorts of genres and authors, and I hope someday to write my own novels. I've been taking pictures since I was little, and I strive to improve my skills everytime I pick up a camera. I love all kinds of movies, from those terrible-yet-hilarious B movies to the latest superhero blockbusters. I play video games, roleplaying games, even Magic: The Gathering (much to the chagrin of my wallet, at times), because I adore delving into these other, amazing, created worlds. Check out all my interests and projects, or get in touch with me, on my Facebook page at: Http://www.facebook.com/SamanthaCantrellAZ
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  • Jason

    Hi Samantha. Jason Tostevin from Hands Off Productions here — I directed ‘Til Death. Thanks for watching and covering the shorts, and for the very kind words about ours. “Brutal, funny and sweet” is about the best way yet anyone’s summed it up.

    If they’d like to know more, your readers can follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/handsoffproductions.

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