SHORTS BLOCK #9: HORROR COMEDY
The Popping (Shelby Pogue, USA)
The popcorn bucket from the “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” jingle finds himself in trouble after “falling off” his usual reel and ending up in a slasher film. Turns out Mr. Popcorn has some brains underneath all that corn and is able to outwit the Jason Voorhees-style slasher. Very enjoyable
Swear Words (Duncan Key, USA)
Although the dialogue is minimal, this looks and sounds fantastic. The stranded astronaut has little time to voice his displeasure once he realizes his situation has turned dire. The slow-motion effect gives the final images an alluring quality despite their horrific nature.
Flick (Ariel Zengotita, USA)
Our first gross-out film presents a loser college student slowly driven insane after being unable to remove a booger from his finger. Said booger morphs into a parasite, making for some Evil Dead 2-style horror with forced body part removals. An insane but hilarious premise.
The Axe and the Iron (Matthew Roseman, USA)
When a zombie apocalypse ravages the globe, four friends have to make existential decisions. First, who gets to “repopulate” the world with only one woman available? Do they need to kill one friend who may have been bitten? And are we really going into battle with just an small axe and an iron?! From the constant bickering and funny jabs given, you already anticipate their final course of action won’t be a smart one.
And Then He Kissed Me (Aaron D. Cohen, Russian Federation)
A woman’s Tinder date turns disastrous after she pops a bloody pimple during a bathroom break. Freaked out, she jumps out the window and becomes horribly disfigured from a hit and run accident. Nonetheless, she makes a profound discovery upon reluctantly returning to the date. Despite the gore, this was by far the most romantic offering this year and makes a poignant statement about our self-worth and beauty exceeding whatever emotional/physical scars we carry.
Bark (Ryan Irving, Canada)
You ever wonder what the trees around Crystal Lake are think about Jason killing everyone? Of course you haven’t — only a truly demented mind could make a film centered around a tree’s analysis of a stalking axe murderer! As goofy as this sounds, it works perfectly in capturing that Mystery Science Theater 3000 type of humor.
You will remember this next time you see trees in a horror movie.
Make a Wish (Dinh Thai, USA)
For better or worse, you begin to take on some of the qualities of your significant other. When a thoughtful but psychopathic fiancé gives her boyfriend an opportunity for murderous revenge as a birthday gift, the man must decide the limits of his love. Very strong performance Josephine Chang as the girlfriend, who’s still sympathetic and relatable despite her homicidal tendencies. Hey, if she won’t kill for you does she truly love you?
Sleep Tight (Lewis Taylor, UK)
When a wheelchair bound teen is put to bed after shooing off an overprotective father, the young man soon discovers a demon ready to pounce. Light-heartened throughout, the biggest takeaway is you’re not as ready for the world’s dangers as you think, and a protective parent has its benefits. The highlight here was the loving banter between father and son.
Green Cobra (Sigurd Culhane, USA)
Look, all of us can’t afford to regularly see a therapist. So, you may have to work on your issues in your spare time. If you’re lucky, you may get to even do it at work, like the hitman aka “Life Ending Technician” found in this film. Part mockumentary, the Green Cobra humorously recounts her career path and how she tortures victims while stapling pictures of her ex’s on them. Whatever it takes for quality mental health!
Numerous Duó (Nick Fiorella, USA)
WARNING – I would strongly suggest not to eat anything while watching this one. Giving a new standard to the phrase “foul spirits,” a Catholic girl ends up possessed by demons with diarrhea tendencies. And I mean spewing, water hose level excrement.
How about that for a test of faith?
Those with a soft spot with toilet humor will love this. And there’s certainly parallels a cynic can make with the religious setting and spewing bullshit.
Live Forever (Gustav Egerstedt, Sweden)
Our final festival offering is a musical of sorts. Referred to as a “love letter” by the director, the film pays tribute to all the horror movie victims who died before the sequel. What makes this hysterical are the victims do the singing with monotone expressions as they’re being killed. These deaths range from dismemberment and being eaten by zombies to bone breaks from demons. Dead horror victims of the world unite in song!
Another year of the Atlanta Horror Film Festival is in the books! Filmmakers, make sure to check http://www.atlantahorrorfilmfest.com/home-1.html regularly for notice on the 2021 submission season.