Sick Horror Short “T is for Talk” Packs a HELL of a Wallop (From “The ABCs of Death” Contest)!

The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s  and The Divide;  his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”.

“T is for Talk” (2011), directed and co-written by Peter Haynes, was a top vote-getter in the “26th Director” ABCs of Death  contest. Of course, that was back when the voting window for the contest was still open, which I managed to totally miss, thus this series to share the best other shorts with a wider audience. I’m pretty sure you’ll see why; it packs a hell of a wallop into four minutes.  This is definitely one of the most intense entries, and isn’t something you should watch if you’re NOT in the mood for something dark, nasty…and very original. Oh, and if you have a pounding headache, I recommend waiting until your head’s back to normal (you’ll see why pretty fast).  Check out the very NSFW, intense “T is for Talk”, from New Zealand, below!

Damn!   A prequel to that short could be interesting in the right hands. Anyway, that’s eighteen down, seven to go (I think. I’ll do the math later). You can go back and read the first three posts, each with five picks either embedded or linked–some were only on Vimeo or the official voting contest page via the ‘related’ links below, or you can watch the first five entries (plus the introduction) here, the second batch of entries here, and the third bunch of five entries—which has one of the sickest entries in the series– here. I also went and posted a link (I couldn’t embed it) to one that I meant to post, but missed, a couple of weeks ago back in September, which you can check out here. Enjoy, and expect the last eight entries by the time of the full-length movie’s release, which should give me plenty of time since the release date got bumped way the fuck back to January 31st for VOD, and motherfucking March for a limited theatrical run (sigh). I read three reviews from sources I trust, and they said it was kind of a mixed bag; some were more toilet humor/gross-out* than scary or gory (or worth four minutes of your time).

Anyway, now that reviews are coming in, the reviewers said there were some great segments that made The ABCs of Death  worth sitting through. The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s  and The Divide;  his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”. My guess it she does a little whittling down at home, taking matters into her own hands by using a sharp blade.**  Another standout is supposed to be “L is for Libido,” dealing with (I am not making this up) a psychotic masturbation contest (worse than a biscuit party, I assume) –gee, how could THAT go horribly wrong in an unrated horror movie?–that ‘ends with sick and deadly results.’  I’m not proud of admitting this, but …SOLD!

Right now, I really  want to see what Banjong Pisathanakun (half the team from Shutter  and  Alone ) does with his four minutes …and with what letter of the alphabet and title. N is for Natre? S is for Siamese Twin

Well, that’s seventeen down and eight to go! More to come, definitely before the holidays (and probably sooner).

NO REPEATING

*I wonder if any of them had to (or needed to for the purpose of rating them, no-one held a gun to my head making me watch all of them, it was just too late in my project to back-pedal by then) sit through “T is for Testosterone Replacement Therapy”, “T is for Tentacle Rape“, or “T is for Tampon”? Those weren’t anywhere near scary, they didn’t have a plot, two out of the three were so misogynistic I felt like punching whoever was responsible for them in the teeth, and they didn’t even try to be entertaining –on any level. I got the feeling they only made the films because they had some serious issues and/or really filthy sexual fetishes to work through. Through the years, I’ve picked up on the fact that self-indulgence usually doesn’t make for an end product entertaining for anyone but the artist. Consider yourself warned if you’re somehow still compelled to watch them …especially if you’re eating at the time.

**For a while now, I actually have been fleshing out (no pun intended, I should get of my tired ass and take a stab  at grabbing the thesaurus before half my comments sound like The Cryptkeeper introducing a story, boils and ghouls ) an outline for a short horror story, where a woman with some serious issues hates her body  –and doesn’t have the money to go pay for lipo or another medical procedure. At the end, she really goes over the edge and tries the do-it-yourself approach with craving knives and maybe a vacuüm cleaner or other suction device. The scariest part? I’m afraid if I Googled or otherwise researched this, there will turn out to be not one but a ton of cases of people who already tried to do it. Self-surgery, not writing a short story about it, I mean. There’s no way that’s going to end well…

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Red Band Trailer of the Week – Juan of the Dead (2011)

I’ve been hearing nothing but RAVES for this zombie flick. Juan of the Dead, (2011) written and directed by Alejandro Brugué,  has won eight audience awards since making the festival rounds, and honestly, the kind of awards where fans and viewers all get a vote gain my trust the most. An early pitch sold it as “Cuba’s first horror film.” I’ll take their word for it!

Juan of the Dead was featured in a recent issue of Fangoria magazine with (I believe) the Fangoria Seal of Approval(™). A review from someone I trust, who saw it at a festival début, said if it had in a traditional theater showing with a traditional audience, he was so vocal that someone would have complained about him to an usher, and he might’ve even been asked to leave. Instead, the VERY live fan crowd howled and cheered through the entire movie. That’s sure as hell good enough for me! Here’s the Red Band trailer.


Here’s the official lavishly written plot synopsis, fresh off the official movie site…
Juan is 40 years old, most of which he spent in Cuba doing absolutely nothing. It’s his way of life, and he’s prepare to defend it at any cost, along with his pal Lázaro, as lazy as Juan but twice as dumb. Juan’s only emotional tie is his daughter, Camila, a beautiful young girl that doesn’t want anything to do with her father because the only thing he’s good at is getting into trouble.
Suddenly some strange things start to happen, people are turning violent attacking one to the other. Juan was first convinced it’s just another stage of the Revolution. Official media refer to the attacks as isolated incidents provoked by Cuban dissidents paid by the US government. Little by little Juan and his friends start to realize that the attackers are not normal human beings and that killing them is quite a difficult task. They’re not vampires, they’re not possessed, but they’re definitely not dissidents; a simple bite turns the victim into other violent killing machine and the only way to beat them is destroying their brains.
Juan decides that the best way of facing the situation is making some money out of it…


“Juan of the Dead, we kill your beloved ones” becomes his slogan. Lázaro, along with his son Vladi, and Camila (who had no other choice but joining her father after he rescued her from grandma´s killing desires) are Juan´s army, and their mission is to help people get rid of the infected ones around… at a reasonable price.
But this plague of bloodthirsty attackers is out of control. The population is helpless. There comes a moment in which the only way out people found is throwing into the sea and try to run away from an island that became a real carnage, and Juan has no choice but to do what he avoided all his life: take some responsibility assuming a hero role, to guide his beloved ones with the hope of getting them safe out of the madness in which Havana, full of flesh-eating zombies has turned.

Here’s the teaser, longer than most traditional teasers, and a pretty clever one at that:

How do you see it,  we both ask? Well, the movie is on the festival route  now (you can also check the somewhat plaintively titled section “WHERE?” on the official Juan of the Dead site , which is packed with info and fun stuff, by the way). Guess what, though? It will hit digital VOD platforms from Focus World next August. Uh… wait, this IS August!  It better be available somewhere to watch FAST when it hits digital VOD (which it hasn’t yet, at least on Comcast, and surprise surprise,  Netflix doesn’t even have a fucking availability date).

I’m not entirely sure what the story behind THIS still is, I’m thinking a creative zombie-kill.

By the way, there’s an entire You Tube channel created by the film-makers, which I’m guessing has enough behind-the-scenes, making of, and Q&A footage that it adds up to at least the running time of the film. I didn’t see any major spoilers, either, so if you have time for the movie but no way to watch it yet, the You Tube Channel for Juan of the Dead should hold you over temporarily! Until then…

Horror Short Film of the Month – T is for Temptation (NON-Claymation)

Remember that “ABC’s of Death Competition” I raved about in a previous post? This was an official submission, and probably the one I’d have voted on if I’d discovered the contest in time. I realize I already posted Best Claymation short film of the month, but this one’s live action. It’s flawless and very impressive. I think it’d probably get away with a PG-13 rating –or be very close–in terms of content. Also, doesn’t quite go in the direction you think it will, and I’m usually pretty dead-on (too dead-on for my own good, when my brain ruins plot-twists and reveals and spoils it for myself) at second-guessing plots in any horror content. I also hope it gets the attention it deserves. It was obviously created with care and concern and craftsmanship, and it all comes together perfectly.

…a fine work of film-making that REALLY knows what horror fan audiences want: story, scares, and some gore. A horror film can be pretty good when it contains 2 of the above (for example: good story, good scares, I can live w/the barest amount of gore possible).

I gave it a 10/10 on the IMDB page for the short film (which was written and directed by Michael Foulke, and trust me, he knows what he’s doing. Here’s the official plot description:

An ambitious, cookie selling girl scout who won’t take no for an answer may have bitten off more than she can chew when she knocks on the door of a serial killer.

The writer/director was even cool enough to send me a message when I raved over it and gave it positive feedback (after it blew me away) on the YouTube listing. Here’s how it went:

Me:  love it! Not sure where you found that actress, but she NAILED it. I’ve been on a binge of watching these “T” contest entries (unfortunately, discovered it after voting closed) since I found the movie’s site last night, and yours really stands out. Will feature it on my blog. Guess I’ll have to tell people who are too scared to watch it that it has a happy ending…

mfoul2422: Thank you so much for the kind words! I would definitely appreciate you featuring the film on your blog and I’m so glad you enjoyed the film. I found the young actress Ashley when she auditioned for one of my earlier shorts. Even though I ended up going with another little girl, I remembered Ashley and when this came up I gave her a call and asked her to come in for it. I thought she would be great for it and she was. Thanks for watching and posting it on your blog. It really means a lot!

So, a cool horror short with story, scares, and a little gore, plus a really cool director who’s clearly a horror fan himself? This deserves a look, and it’s less than five minutes (plus, I put up the HD version). It’s still got the top ranking on my list  (an official actual list is coming in a post soon) for the “T” entries in the competition entries.  Check it out!

Trailer of the Day- Grabbers (2012)

 

Grabbers apparently opens in the US on August 10th. Just the plot synopsis from the movie makers (though they already had me at “Irish Creature Feature”) sounds awesome:

Short Version: When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive. Starring Richard Coyle, Ruth Bradley and Russell Tovey. Directed by Jon Wright and written by Kevin Lehane.

Longer Version (from the official site):

Ciarán O’Shea, the handsome though washed up policeman of sleepy Erin Island, has a daily routine consisting mainly of hanging out at the pub with the local drunks and various other charmingly eccentric characters. But his day is about to go horribly wrong.

Teamed up with the unwanted help of Lisa – an uptight workaholic policewoman from the Irish mainland – they suddenly find themselves dealing with dead whales, decapitated fishermen and weird alien creatures or “grabbers”. Like a giant squid with tentacles, fanged jaws and a three-foot barbed tongue, they’re making mincemeat of the locals.

Faced with another imminent attack, O’Shea and Lisa figure out that the only person to survive the last onslaught only did so because he was so drunk his blood was literally toxic to the monsters. So there is only one thing for it: They have to get the entire village as drunk as possible in order to survive the night … a task that the villagers apply themselves to with gusto.

But one person must remain sober so for the first time in years O’Shea has to face up to things without a drink. When things don’t go to plan, an extremely drunk Lisa and a very sober O’Shea have to reconcile their differences and somehow save the day.

That sound like fun? It sure as hell does to me! Here’s the trailer, check it out…

And a clip that was recently released; ir looks pretty promising:

So far, all the buzz is good. The movie has won numerous “Audience Awards” at various competions.  As of now, there’s no official website, but a Twitter page has been created for all the latest news: https://twitter.com/GrabbersMovie . This one looks fun!

 

Claymation Horror Short of the Month – Lee Hardcastle’s T is for Toilet

Wait wait whoa whoa whoa! Give me a chance to explain.

A little over 24 hours ago I discovered a movie that’ll be released in October from Magnet Releasing, called The ABCs of Death. Hold up, is that as sick as I think it sounds? Why YES. I read the description from the  twisted but very entertaining, and even addictive, official site for the movie…

FROM THE DIRECTORS OF
HOUSE OF THE DEVIL
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN
A SERBIAN FILM
TOKYO GORE POLICE
YOU’RE NEXT & Many More
COMES THE GENRE EVENT OF 2012

Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABC’s OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is composed of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death.

Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABC’s OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity. Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films are proud to present this alphabetical arsenal of destruction orchestrated by what Fangoria calls “a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world.” 

They are not fucking around, trust me. The trailer alone was the goriest trailer I’ve seen in over a year. Maybe more, I’ll add it at the end of this post, so you have plenty of warning NOT to watch it if you’re eating something, are easily offended, and can’t stand violent trailers. Even  I was saying, out loud, ” Jesus fucking Christ!!”  at higher than normal volume for when my husband is trying to get some sleep next to me. I’m surprised my husband slept through my reaction.

Don’t take the adjective ‘disturbing’ lightly! Oh, and  several YouTube comments strongly advised “Do not watch if you’re high“. I didn’t feel the slightest urge to test this theory out, but I’m still 100%  sure it’s great advice. This is hands down the goriest claymation short I’ve ever seen…

So there’s that. Then I read about their contest for the letter “T”. It was an open call for short horror films lasting less than five minutes, the prize being the short getting to be included in this fucked-up anthology, with plenty of cool directors attached –the winner would be the 26th director. I am really sorry I missed voting on there, even the entries that I thought would be more appropriately titled, “T is for Torture Porn” had good production values, good effects, and it was clear that the directors took pains to craft the best short film they could. I have a dozen or so more entries I’m either going to post or include in a playlist on You Tube. There are a few ones less worth your while than other ones; I’ll try to limit my playlist to the ten best, entertaining, most effective ones  (okay, maybe twenty, but no more), not necessarily all of them. If by some miracle I can exercise enough self-control to keep it down to ten, I’ll post ’em here for you to watch.

I also watched maybe… pffffft …15-20 entries in a row, which did not have a beneficial effect on my sleep cycle. I had nightmares not about any of the images in the movie, or the movie itself, and I can only half-remember said nightmares. You may be familiar with those. I do remember it was one of those dreams that was so stressful and/or wretched that I made a deliberate, and successful effort to say, OK, this is horrible, I think I’ll wake up now. Even going without enough sleep I can live with, since it’s better than this God-awful dream. Unless you need to stay awake and can’t find coffee, I recommend NOT watching ten of the contest entries in a row after dark.

You Tube description : Very disturbing, not for children. Humorously creepy clay-mation horror that tells the story of a little boy who is a bit uncomfortable about using the toilet.

Don’t take that disturbing part too lightly! Oh, and “Do not watch if you’re high,” several YouTube comments advised. I didn’t feel the slightest urge to test this theory out, but I’m pretty sure it’s great advice. This is the goriest claymation short I have ever seen. Even though there were DOZENS of entries, at least half of them out-standing,  the below short is the one than won the contest call to be included in the movie. I assume the claymation gave them an angle–as well as it should, since it probably took a long, looong time and hard work to create, then execute the concept. I’ll share some of the finest coming up.

OK, you have NOW BEEN WARNED! Plus if this is too gruesome for you, DEFINITELY don’t watch the seriously Red Band gore-fest trailer that I’ll post last.

Nasty little twist at the end, too, that really nails it shut!

Here’s the goriest trailer I’ve seen in years. I think the last real jaw-dropper was a trailer for “Summer Massacre,” but I’m not 100% sure that’s an actual feature film that has now been completed. Again, don’t say I didn’t warn you! BEWARE …unless you’re a gore fan, or curious. VERY NSFW!

Well, I warned you! More shorts from the contest entries coming soon!