Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bleedfest Film Festival Spotlight: Short Films

In just a few hours, this month's edition of the Bleedfest Film Festival (details here) will be getting under way. I had the privilege of checking out the short films and works in progress that will be featured in advance. Here are my mini-reviews of each.

Preview of A Work In Progress:

Produced by Cindy Baer
Cinematography by Jenny Ramirez
Writer/Director Matthew Irving

A woman sitting at an outdoor cafe notices a stranger staring at her from across the street, sporting a hoodie and a pig mask (what is it about a swine face that instantly gives you the heebie jeebies?). She calls a friend and admittedly, acknowledges she is one for paranoia. But she can't help but notice the man continuing to follow her, even showing up in a super market that she ducks into to try and elude him. As she gets to her apartment he again shows up. But as we near the end of our tale, we're left with a great twist and wondering who's really the one being stalked here?

In Competition:

Morbid Curiousity
Director/Producer Cindy Baer

A funny tale about a women who talks about her history of being able to imagine harmful events happening to people and those events actually coming to life. From a painter working on her childhood home when she was a little girl, falling off his ladder and being impaled by garden gnomes, to passing the scene of an accident when she was a teen only to have all parties blow up in a horrific fireball. She recounts and gives a rundown of each instance with some funny flashback images to highlight her confessions. This Carrie-esque spoof would make an excellent feature length.

Dead Boyfriends
Writer/Director Xstine Cook

A combination of live action and animation, Dead Boyfriends is a funny and amusing look at a women as she reflects upon the deaths of her significant others. All of which, is set to the backdrop of a zydeco-like song and dance.

Writer/Director Marichelle Daywalt

When I first saw the run time of this, I thought to myself 'How in the hell can you freak someone out in 3 minutes?' Well, with opening and closing credits, it's actually closer to 1:52. A man sits at his home office desk with baby monitor atop. When his newborn rustles and fusses about, mother can be heard singing a soothing nursery rhyme. All seems normal until the real mother comes walking through the front door and the last line of the rhyme is uttered. You don't see anything but you're left with hearing the screams of both parents through the monitor as they enter the baby's room and discover what's happened. A totally creepy and unnerving tale.

Writer/Director Sophia Segal

I'm honestly not sure what to make of this one. Blending two mediums together, both film and song, the film features a cult-like group taking a little girl off to a sort of dream land. What ensues is a bit of a psychedelic trip as other characters join the group, the girl runs through open fields and it all plays out against an Enya-like soundtrack. Overall, a real head scratcher.

Bad Girls
Writers/Directors The Soska Sisters

Written and directed by The Soska Sisters (Dead Hooker in a Trunk), this short focuses on a pair of sisters (played by the duo) who are visiting their grandmother. Grandma is living on her own and has care providers assisting her with day to day tasks. The girls get grandma a laptop complete with video so that they can readily keep in contact, despite grandma's reluctance to figure out todays technology. After a hard night of partying, the girls wake up the next morning and log on to their computer to check in with dear ol' grandma. What they see on the other end shocks and horrifies as the Meals on Wheels delivery man beats her, kicking her as she falls to the ground. What happens next is a dish best served cold as the girls and their two male friends get even.

Partnership Award:

Horror of Our Love
Writer/Director Dave Reda

An ode to the slasher's unrequited love, the short film and music video showcases a Jason-like figure as he stalks and slashes his victims with the exception of all but one: a woman whom he loves but can't be with. Playing over an emo like song about love being a horror, we see Jason trying to appeal to his love the only way he knows how, complete with severed appendages and other body parts as offerings. He shoos away other suitors (a hilarious bit here as Freddy shows up with flowers in hand) and after he's exhausted every effort, by the close of our film and song, we see that true love prevails.

That's a wrap folks. Look for more features and reviews coming soon as Bleedfest is now flowing on a regular monthly basis.

The shorts Mockingbird and Bad Girls can be viewed below.

Cortez the Killer


Bad Girls:

"bad GirLs" - 2009 Bloodshots 48 Hour Fast Film Entry from Twisted Twins Productions on Vimeo.


Xstine said...

Hey James
Did you get a chance to check out my Dead Boyfriends?

Planet of Terror said...

I sure did :) And I just updated the post to reflect the short.

Sorry about the technical difficulties.