BENEATH THE SKIN – Horror Short

A mother is preparing dinner while her young daughter is playing. At the same time, something sinister is lurking outside the house…

 

Facelift is a creepy horror short by Tracy Kleeman (who also created the horror short Fear Filter).

 

BENEATH THE SKIN - Horror Short

 

Director: Tracy Kleeman
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Luisina Quarleri, Mia Mamurov, Jolie Mamurov, Joel Ezra Hebner
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt11656770/

 

 

 

 

 

 



Netherworld (1992)

Netherworld reviewCorey Thornton has just inherited a mansion from his recently deceased father, and travels to Louisiana to check it out. Upon his arrival at the grand estate, he meets with a beautiful young girl which is described as “jailbait” (but who is clearly in her mid-20s…) and his father’s live-in housekeeper, who is the mother of said girl. And of course, a black-gloved and somewhat fishy-looking lawyer. Corey discovers that his father has written a will which includes a description of how the old man has, supposedly, found a way to return back from the dead, and in doing so he needs the help of his son. Corey soon ends up at the local pub/brothel called Tonk’s, where he meets a witchy prostitute who harbors the secrets of black magic. And she turns people into birds if she feels like it. Corey is now obsessed with the task of fulfilling his dead father’s wish of bringing him back to life, and seeks help from the strange people in the weird voodoo-brothel in the bayou.

 

Netherworld is a Full Moon Entertainment movie directed by David Schmoeller and produced by Charles Band. Right off the bat the movie sets a certain tone with the illusory opening scene in Tonk’s bar, which features both chicks and chickens in surroundings that resemble a sexy yet uncomfortable fever dream. Downstairs is what you could probably call a funhouse-like brothel with weird hallways and just as weird characters. To top it all we also get to see a flying disembodied hand and a guy that is turned into a bird (although the latter isn’t displayed to the full extent, but more implied). In other words, it gives a certain promise of being a really cheesy popcorn entertainment flick.

 

Then the movie takes a u-turn when we meet Corey and he enters his newly inherited mansion, and a more serious tone is set. While we get to gradually know more about Corey’s dead father and what he tries to accomplish, the pacing becomes a bit of a problem where it’s all moving a tad bit too slow. The scenes at Tonk’s are definitely the movie’s highlights, with creative usage of color and lighting and some pretty cool old-school effects and jazzy sex scenes. The brothel appears to have lots of girls with names of deceased celebrities, including a woman calling herself Marilyn Monroe, who looks…well..exactly like Marilyn Monroe. This is a pretty cool idea, actually…a brothel where deceased celebrities have been brought back to life.

 

While it does move a little slowly and never really gets very exciting, it makes up for it with the visuals and a fun premise. Netherworld is entertaining enough with its slightly goofy concept, perfect for a relaxed saturday evening with some popcorn.

 

Netherworld can be seen on Full Moon Features.

 

Netherworld Netherworld Netherworld

 

Director: David Schmoeller
Country & year: USA, 1992
Actors: Michael Bendetti, Denise Gentile, Anjanette Comer, Holly Floria, Robert Sampson, Holly Butler, Alex Datcher, Robert Burr, George Kelly, Mark Kemble, Barret O’Brien, Michael Lowry, David Schmoeller
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0104987/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



FACELIFT – Horror Short

Things start to change in the life of a depressed middle-aged woman when a mysterious mask appears at her doorstep.

 

Facelift is a creepy horror short by Virat Pal (who also created the horror short Bells).

 

FACELIFT - Horror Short

 

Director: Virat Pal
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Carly Jones, Cara Loften, Penny Orloff, Rashmi Rustagi, Nell Rutledge-Leverenz
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt13212248/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Malignant (2021)

malignant After going through a traumatizing event, Madison starts having visions of grisly murders which are carried out by her childhood imaginary friend, Gabriel. Having believed that Gabriel was just a figment of her own imagination, she must try to figure out who he really is and why he has come back to torment her and those around her.

 

James Wan, after an absence from the horror genre since Conjuring 2 (as a director, at least) he is now finally back with a brand new movie: Malignant. And while most people connect James Wan with haunted houses, ghosts and demons (because of the Conjuring and Insidious movies), he stated early on that Malignant would be something completely different. And that, indeed, it is.

 

At the movie’s opening, we go back to 1993 and witness a large, gothic building which is some kind of medical research facility, where the researchers are struggling with a patient called Gabriel, who kills and maims the nurses. We get a slight glimpse of this “Gabriel” fellow, and then we fast forward to present day and meet Madison, who lives in a beautiful victorian house with just the right exterior and interior for a proper creepy atmosphere. And of course, we step right into James Wan-ish territory with creepy hallways and things moving in the dark. While building up at first to be somewhat Conjuring-esque, it shifts and mixes in what is an obvious homage to giallo films (for those who don’t know, “Giallo” is a term for murder mystery thrillers with lots of blood and gruesome murders, mixed with detective/suspense elements).

 

While it definitely felt good to be able to see another horror movie directed by James Wan, I can easily see how people might be a bit divided regarding their experience with this movie. Those who expect James Wan to have done another movie in the same vein as his haunted house flicks, might be put off due to this being something completely different. In fact, while we were watching it at the big screen, there were some people who left the theater when the first bloody murder scene was shown. Clearly, some people didn’t expect the movie to take that route, despite it having been given a strict R rating…but perhaps they thought that this rating was given because of titty scenes or something (which there are none by the way). Who the fuck knows.

 

James Wan did indeed do something very different with Malignant, and to be honest it was quite a pleasant surprise. Therefore, my advice would be to see this movie and not expect some kind of “Conjuring 4” or whatever. This isn’t a new haunted house flick, it ain’t another jump-scare carousel. It’s a throwback to the late 80’s/90’s slasher/thriller/giallo films, and if you’re familiar with these kinds of movies you’re most likely going to take a lot of the references (like the color usage, the killer wearing black gloves, etc.). Malignant is a decent slasher with atmosphere and creepy scenes, and a good amount of effective blood ‘n gore.

 

Malignant Malignant Malignant

 

Director: James Wan
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jean Louisa Kelly, Susanna Thompson, Jake Abel, Jacqueline McKenzie, Christian Clemenson, Amir AboulEla, Mercedes Colon, Ingrid Bisu, Ruben Pla, Jon Lee Brody, Ray Chase, Mckenna Grace
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt3811906/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



MILK TEETH – Horror Short Film

An orphanage spirals into mayhem when a boy discovers a shadowy creature who comes to collect more than just the children’s teeth.

 

Milk Teeth is a beautiful fairytale-like horror short with a creepy spin on the tooth fairy (and probably a little anxiety-inducing on those who are suffering from dental fear…)

 

MILK TEETH - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Felipe Vargas
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Aaron Bradshaw, Tyler Sanders, Griffin Chodler, Casey Grimm, Viravara Shetty, Eddy Breslin, Ghino Lee, Eddiejames ‘EJ’ Castro, Graham Schulze, Conor Kowalski
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt11421562/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Cat Sick Blues (2015)

It’s a quiet evening and two young ladies are chilling, smoking bong and watching cat videos on YouTube, like most of us do. Then they hear some noises on the roof that sounds like their cat. When one of them goes up to check, she gets surprised by a tall, skinny person wearing a cat mask. She’s too high to get scared, of course, and laughs it off as if it was a prank. He chops her head of with a shovel and throws it down the stairs, and strangles the other one.

 

We then learn that the person behind the mask is a young man named Ted, who’s turned into a homicidal maniac after losing his beloved cat.  When he’s not out killing, he spends his nights jacking off to a cam girl, who’s dressed as a cat. Of course. And he really worships his cat more than anything and wants it back. And to do so, he got the genius idea to kill nine people, collect their blood, to resurrect his cat. He later extends his cat persona by adding a big strap-on dick with spikes (supposed to be penile spines, I guess) because … well, why not.

 

We then get introduced to Claire, who owns one of the many viral cats on YouTube. She gets an unexpected visit from an obsessed “fan” that you wouldn’t want to get near to. Stupidly enough she invites him in, and he (take a wild guess) rapes her, after he accidentally breaks her cat’s neck and tosses it out the window. She attends to a pet grieving group where she meets Ted. They start dating, fucking, and they have a chemistry like two lobotomized potatoes with a relationship that goes in a bizarre direction which you’ll never see coming. And when Ted is not dating Claire, he’s out body counting.

 

As a cat-person myself, I was hoping to get an antagonist to feel or at least root for. But no, Ted proves to be just a deranged and complete soulless, cold-blooded serial killer from the very start, who clearly enjoys raping and killing innocent young ladies for the hell of it while feeding his morbid, obsessive fetish fantasies. And when even fellow cat persons gets body counted by him, that’s a big  no-no, from me at least. He also kills the cam cat lady we saw earlier for no reason. There’s a lot of sadistic cat killers out there, by the way. Why not hunt some of them, in Dexter-style, which no one would miss anyway? Before I take this shit too seriously I’ll just point out that the idea itself for Cat Sick Blues is pretty genius and unique, just too bad we don’t get any depth or backstory of the killer.

 

On the more positive note, the film is overall  pretty entertaining for what it is, a pure demented serial killer slasher. If you’re in for the gore and kills, you will not be disappointed. As a low-budget film, and the debut feature of Dave Jackson who made it by crowdfunding from Kickstarter, it looks pretty impressive. While there’s some clearly experimental stuff going on with slow motion and scenes that slip into some out-of-place artsy moments, the killing scenes are straight to the point, with some nasty visuals that will probably get your dick as hard as Ted’s strap-on. Also a great use of practical effects with heads smashed to pieces, and chopped off, and of course some throat slashing with some sharp cat claw gloves. Even Selena Kyle would be intimidated by this maniac. And as little as there is to wrap one’s mind around Ted’s deranged head, I have to give actor Matthew C. Vaughan some credit for his acting-style and use of energetic cat body language while he goes hunting for victims.

 

Cat Sick Blues is available on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.

 

Cat Sick Blues Cat Sick Blues Cat Sick Blues

 

Director: Dave Jackson
Country & year: Australia, 2015
Actors: Matthew C. Vaughan, Meg Spencer, Jeni Bezuidenhout, Danae Swinburne, Rob Alec, Mahalia Brown, Shian Denovan, Smokey, Rachel Rai, Noah Moon, Matthew Revert, Andrew Gallacher, James Arnold-Garvey
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt4185862/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



MAKING FRIENDS – Horror Short

Mo Patterson is a lonely weirdo who finds it difficult to make friends. An invitation to his old school reunion brings the opportunity to reconnect with his old childhood sweetheart…

 

Making Friends is a weird little horror short with a nice balance between being humorous and disturbing.

 

MAKING FRIENDS - Horror Short

 

Director: Chris Vincze
Country & year: UK, 2019
Actors: Mark Davison, Lucy Roslyn, Rick Warden, Lucy Barker
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt10450236/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Redneck Zombies (1989)

Redneck Zombies is probably most known for being one of the first films that was shot entirely on videotape (VHS) and released direct-to-video. Combined with that the film was shot on video and the result being what it is: a complete trashy home-made schlockfest with amateur actors and a script that seems to have been scribbled on toilet paper as they went along, didn’t impress the distributors very much. They basically told director Pericles Lewnes to fuck off, and after having enough rounds of rejections, he finally decided to try his luck with Troma – which is pretty odd he didn’t do in the first place since Redneck Zombies feels like pure Troma from start to finish, and just the title itself could probably give Lloyd Kaufman an instant hard-on. Most of Troma’s trademarks are all over the place: the outlandish over-the-top looney tunes acting with dialogues that are so stupid you’ll lose some braincells while watching, a demented plot which makes no sense, blood, greasy gore, puke, and I wish I could say tits. Whatever.

 

The plot goes something like this: It’s a regular day in the middle of redneck-nowhere in ‘Merica where the soldier Tyrone is transporting a barrel full of toxic waste. As he drives along the bumpy hillroad, smokes a joint and talks shit to his passenger dog, the barrel suddenly rolls off the jeep and further down a valley. The valley of redneck Hell no-go zone that is. When he tries to retrieve it, he immediately gets gunpointed by Ferd, a redneck slob who wants the barrel, since it already trespassed on his “land”. After Ferd scares him away with a warning shot, in true second amendment-style, he trades the barrel with a clan of imbecile inbreds who mixes the waste with moonshine and starts to drink the damn thing like there’s no tomorrow. And you can’t in a million years guess what happens next … the liquid turns them into zombies. Who could possibly know. But they are not some  regular zombies, no-no, they’re REDNECK zombies! Good lord.

 

At the same time, a group of city slickers are camping nearby, which seem to have the same level of IQ as the rednecks, or they are just as bad actors. The only thing that differentiates the rednecks from the “civilized people”, to use that word loosely, is really the dress code. And to no surprise they eventually stumbles upon the redneck zombies and a lot of weird, retarded, crazy shit happens. I can mention the scene where the rednecks start to drink the waste and the TV screen goes into a full psychedelic acid-trip, and the effects are just horrendous.

 

While the plot seems seemingly straightforward, the film throws in a lot of random filler scenes that gives us some nuggets of what the heartland has to offer, and to give a more authentic impression of the redneck community. Here we learn that The Elephant Man himself is still alive and well, but still covering his head with a burlap sack with one hole in it to peek through. The rednecks calls him Tobacco Man, since he sells tobaccos from his vendor van. He’s also some kind of a prophet which the rednecks worships, and rambles some weird, crazy nonsense with a dark baritone voice.

 

There’s also a complete random parody of the hitchhiker scene from Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Well, why not. And we get some scenes of a redneck lady with her beloved Perky the Pig, where she promises him that he won’t end up as bacon. When we thought we’ve seen it all in redneck hell, we jump right into a scene where two dudes are watching chickens getting slaughtered on TV, and who have a girl in the living-room, wrapped in duct tape. Of course. There’s some scenes that are shot like it was a sitcom where the only thing missing is fake laugh tracks. This film has some serious symptoms of schizophrenia, and I believe even Dr. Phil would agree on that.

 

The gore delivers, for the most part, at least. Heads are being scalped, beheaded with a shovel and crushed with bare hands, eyes gouged out, limbs ripped apart and so on. It’s juicy, greasy and at times, a little gruesome. Some looks cheap, others looks almost too competent for a film like this. It’s also hilarious that the zombie make-up was made by cornflakes. Yes, really.  My final verdict? Get drunk, pretend to be a young teenager and you’ll probably have a blast with this one.

 

Redneck Zombies

 

Director: Pericles Lewnes
Country & year: USA, 1989
Actors: Steve Sooy, Anthony M. Carr, Ken Davis, Stan Morrow, Brent Thurston-Rogers, Lisa M. DeHaven, Tyrone Taylor, Anthony Burlington-Smith, James H. Housely, Martin J. Wolfman, Boo Teasedale, Darla Deans
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0093833/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



THE TRUNK – Short Horror Film

A girl discovers a cursed trunk.

 

The Trunk is a creepy horror short from Social House Films!

 

THE TRUNK - Short Horror Film

 

Director: Aaron Fradkin
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Misha Reeves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Perfect Blue (1997)

Mimarin Kirigoe is a J-Pop star who decides to leave her group (“Cham”) in order to pursue a life as an actress. But her life takes on a quick turn for the worse after this decision, and Mimarin starts losing her grip on reality. An online fansite of her appears, describing things from her life in such detail, and in such a personal way, that the only person who could know about these things is herself…and she is constantly confronted with sightings of her alter-ego: the Mimarin who wanted to remain a pop-star. While struggling with differentiating between fantasy and reality in her now paranoid existence, people around her gets murdered.

 

Perfect Blue is more or less what you would get if you decided to mix anime, David Lynch, Hitchcock, and a dose Dario Argento. The result is an animated psychological thriller that works incredibly well. You get your eyes as well as your brain cells stimulated, and you never know exactly which of Mimarin’s experiences are rooted in reality, and what happens only inside of her fragmented head.

 

Satoshi Kon (R.I.P.) knows how to build a story of this type, something he’s proven time and time again (like in Paprika, Paranoia Agent, Millennium Actress, etc.) Building a story where you’ll witness a character’s gradually broken psyche can easily be a difficult task, where you’re supposed to make it a bit confusing and mystical, while also making sure the viewer doesn’t get thrown off completely. The reason Satoshi Kon for the most part does this very well, is probably because he doesn’t seem to give a damn whether the viewer pays attention to everything or not. He’s got a story to tell, and he tells it the way he thinks best. If the viewer loses track, it’s due to not paying proper attention. When the director gives himself a free reign like that, he also avoids any tedious “spoon-feeding”. The result is a movie that is rare in many ways, and can be perceived as both exciting and surprising along the ride.

 

The violence is executed in a very effective way, and the animation (although it could be perceived by some as a little bit outdated today) is holding up to a good standard. Facial expressions, body language and movements look natural, and fits the situations the characters find themselves in. The music also fits very well, where you make transitions from the cheesy and lively J-Pop music from Cham, to the more action-filled and sometimes ominous music score in the other scenes. This makes the atmosphere successfully creepy.

 

When it comes to the movie’s conclusion, you may sit back with a feeling of thinking that this choice was a tad bit too easy. Not that the ending is predictable – far from it – but there’s something about the otherwise complexity of the rest of the movie that kind of warranted a bit more complex ending as well. Still, it’s at least good that the movie decided to let the viewer have a proper explanation without a lot of loose threads.

 

Simply put, Perfect Blue is a well done anime psycho-thriller that is likely to hold on to being a classic for a good time to come.

 

Perfect Blue Perfect Blue

 

Director: Satoshi Kon
Original title: Pâfekuto burû
Country & year: Japan, 1994
Voice actors: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura, Yôsuke Akimoto, Yoku Shioya, Hideyuki Hori, Emi Shinohara, Masashi Ebara, Kiyoyuki Yanada, Tôru Furusawa, Shiho Niiyama, Emiko Furukawa, Aya Hara, Shin’ichirô Miki
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0156887/

 

Vanja Ghoul