NIGHT VISIT – Horror Short Film

A police officer is performing an evening wellness check and soon discovers that someone (or something) is waiting for him.

 

Night Visit is a creepy little horror short with a sinister vibe!

NIGHT VISIT - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Spencer Keller
Writer: Spencer Keller
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Chloes Ciara, Raymond Power, Luke Schuck, Mackenzie Wynn
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt22022002/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gutterballs (2008)

In this little 80’s throwback slasher and rape/revenge-flick Gutterballs, we spend time in a bowling hall with two groups, getting ready for a bowling contest. But the plan for that night goes down the toilet when a fight escalates. The individual that stands out is the unhinged Steve, a sadistic bully with some serious anger issues. He screams desperately for attention in every scene, spews out a world record list of obscenities, one of them being over 600 fuck-bombs (yes, someone actually tried to count them). I wouldn’t recommend the drinking game for obvious reasons, but at least we have some other use of colorful words to play with such as cunt, bitch, motherfucker, whore, pussy, etc…

 

The plot and the boners thickens when Steve and his group of friends gang rapes Lisa, the girl whom left Steve for some other guy in the other group. The next night the two groups hook up again in the bowling hall to start over. Lisa is still there, that poor girl, but reserved behind some, big dark sunglasses. And when the bowling-match is about to settle, a mysterious, unseen player by the name BBK is shown on the score monitors. They soon learn that they’re being terrorized by a killer wearing a bowling bag over its head and using sharp bowling pins to penetrate the victim’s private parts.

 

THE MOST OFFENSIVE FILM EVER, many calls it. Well, at least it’s far from being boring. But yeah, it’s hard to not agree that the characters are a bunch of insufferable fucks performed by the bottom of the barrel actors from Troma, and you can’t wait to see them get brutally killed. And let me tell you, Gutterballs doesn’t disappoint in that aspect. Some dude gets his head crushed by two bowling balls, another’s head gets blown to smithereens by a shotgun, we get a nasty close-up castration, sodomizing, face melting and even more. The most memorable scene is the couple getting killed while having a steaming 69 in the bathroom. Sadistic and perverted fun for the whole family.

 

Writer and director Ryan Nicholson has since the mid 90s primarily worked as SFX artist on titles such as Ghost Rider, Stargate, Transformers, X-Files and the list goes on. Special effects is clearly his main focus, but despite the film’s limited budget, he also manages to lit up the bowling hall with the use of neon light to enhance some of the 80s atmosphere. He followed up with the sequel Gutterballs 2 for his cult-followers in the underground horror movie community, and also made films such as Dead Nude Girls. Sounds fun. Gutterballs seems to be his most approachable film for the masses, and if you like raw, trashy and silly 80s slashers like Intruder, Chopping Mall, Savage Streets and Troma in general, this one will surely please you.

 

Gutterballs Gutterballs Gutterballs

 

Writer and director: Ryan Nicholson
Country & year: Canada, 2008
Actors: Alastair Gamble, Mihola Terzic, Nathan Witte, Wade Gibb, Candice Lewald, Jeremy Beland, Trevor Gemma, Nathan Dashwood, Scott Alonzo, Jimmy Blais, Danielle Munro, Stephanie Schacter, Saraphina Bardeaux, Dan Ellis, Brandon Dix, Ryan Nicholson
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt1087853/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VR ESCAPE ROOM – Horror Short

In this virtual reality escape room you may not get out alive! A girl is playing a VR Escape Room game, but finds that this game is not letting her win that easily…

 

VR Escape Room is a fun horror short with a spin on how Virtual Reality can become a little too real!

VR ESCAPE ROOM - Horror Short

 

Director: Alex Magaña
Writer: Alex Magaña
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Malia Arrayah, Julian Duque, Brittnee Hollenbach
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt15787228/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear of the Dark (2003)

Ryan is a young boy who is afraid of the dark, and believes that there are sinister entities hell-bent on getting their claws on him once he finds himself outside the protection of light. And of course…no one believes him. One evening, Ryan’s parents are going out on a date, and his big brother Dale is going to babysit him. And what happens? There’s a power outage, of course! And Dale, who previously used to mock Ryan for his fear of the dark, soon experiences that this fear is not at all unfounded. The good old phrase “there’s nothing there in the dark that isn’t there in the light”, which Dale has told Ryan to tell himself over and over, now also lose its power over Dale as well when it becomes evident that there is indeed something there in the dark after all…

 

Fear of the Dark, with its cheesy ghoulish dvd cover and simple concept, pretty much gives you exactly what it promises: this is a “horror” film for a younger audience, and could pretty much be seen as a long Goosebumps episode, and perhaps as being a little reminiscent of Are you afraid of the Dark, which was also a horror series for a young audience which is considerably lesser known than the aforementioned one. With that in mind, and without any expectation of getting some real scares here, it can be a decent enough watch. The story is simple enough: when it gets dark, the boogeymen are coming after you. Something that is easily identifiable for many of us, as a fear of the dark is something a lot of children have experienced (and mostly, thankfully, grown out of). But not for this film’s protagonist, of course…here, the boogeyman is real, and there’s not just one, but several of them. They come off as some kind of mix-up with Freddy Krueger and the aliens from Dark City, wearing long coats and hats. Not scary in the slightest, but maybe a little for the kiddies, and the ghoulish appearance of the boogeymen kind of fits with the film’s otherwise slightly cheesy tone.

 

There’s not really all that much to say about a movie like this, and if you’re looking for a scare, then, well…this is definitely not the movie you should watch. If you’ve still got enough of your child in you to appreciate a movie aimed for a younger audience, then Fear of the Dark can be an okay experience if taken for what it is.

 

Fear of the Dark Fear of the Dark

 

Director: K.C. Bascombe
Writers: K.C. Bascombe, John Sullivan
Country & year: Canada, 2003
Actors: Kevin Zegers, Jesse James, Rachel Skarsten, Charles Edwin Powell, Linda Purl, Daniel Rindress-Kay, Derrick Damon Reeve, Charles-Etienne Burelle
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0308252/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEY’RE HERE – Horror Short Film

A twelve-year-old girl named Sam whose grandmother suffers a severe stroke that leaves her catatonic. Unable to cope, Sam becomes convinced that her grandmother has been invaded by an alien and will stop at nothing to prove she is right… before it’s too late.

 

They’re Here is an entertaining sci-fi horror short!

THEY'RE HERE - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Sid Zanforlin
Writer: Sid Zanforlin
Country & year: Canada, 2021
Actors: Melia Charlotte Cressaty, Alain Goulem, Matt Keyes, Bronwen Mantel, Julie Trépanier
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt14033602/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucker (1986)

It’s the 1980’s and the place is Belgium, where the young upcoming filmmaker Johan Vandewoestijne had the rebellious desire to show the government and the strict censor board the middle finger with his slasher film Lucker. It’s the similar premise that the like-minded Jörg Buttgereit and Andreas Schnaas did in Germany some years later. And with that being said, you would already know by now what kind of territory this is. This is also the one and only horror film made in Belgium during the whole 1980s, and it’s a product that shouldn’t even exist after the film’s unnamed producer destroyed all the negatives. The only surviving material was a VHS copy that was bootlegged to shreds in the underground horror circle throughout the years – and the only source for director Vandewoestijne to make a Director’s Cut for the 2007-DVD release by Synapse Films.

 

In Lucker (also known as Lucker the Necrophagous), or a more fitting title which could’ve been Lucker The Corpse Fucker, we follow the morbid journey of the serial killer John Lucker (Nick Van Suyt) – a middle-aged, bulky guy with a double-chin, thin hairline and overall the perfect look for a deranged homicidal madman. After ending up unconscious in a clinic after a suicide attempt to escape from the police, one of the nurses asks (with a cheesy and stiff, cartoonish dub) while standing over his bed:

 

Hmm..? Who is this guy ANYway?
His name is John Lucker. A few years ago, he murdered eight girls. Raped them afterwards. And when I say afterwards, some of the corpses were decomposing.
A guy like that should be in a MENTAL institution.

 

Lucker

 

Huh, no shit, Sheri Holmes! Anyways … he wakes up, sneaks out of the clinic, body counts two people on the way, steals a car and heads out to the nearest town. He tails one of the first women that appears on his radar and kills her in some…weird way. The filming is too inept to really see what’s going on, but her entrails get spilled out of her stomach, or maybe a fetus if we use a little morbid imagination. He later hooks up with a young chick from a bar, ties her up in a bed in some apartment and … well, while she gets aggravated and deliver a line such as: Untie me … I hate creeps like you … Untie me  … Lucker sits on a rocking chair next to her, swinging back and forth like an old demented doofus, while he gives her the silent treatment, only to drag out the running time. After he finally kills her, we jump four weeks later where her body has been decomposed to a slimy maggot infested corpse and fuckable enough for lucky Lucker to finally give us Jörg Buttgereit’s favorite scene of all time.

 

So … where do we go from here? To get the run time going forward to at least the 45 minute mark, Lucker gets his eyes on one of his former victims, a walking trophy, that got away from him, and of course he can’t have any of that.

 

There’s two versions of Lucker, the VHS version and the Director’s Cut version, and both of them are available on the Special Edition DVD from Synapse Films. The VHS version, with its runtime on 74 minutes, is a tedious slog of a chore to sit through. There’s an endless scene with Lucker just walking on an empty road. After he hitchhikes to a town, there’s more walking. And … even more walking. Lucker The Walking Man. There’s zero pace and you’ve already dozed off when something interesting is about to happen.

 

Then we have the Director’s Cut version presented in 16:9 ratio and cut down to 68 minutes. It’s still trash, but better edited. And I have to  give director Vandewoestijne some credit for at least for trying his best to stitch together a barely watchable film from the VHS material. He’s also filmed a new opening title for the occasion. Even though there’s less mindless walking and more pacing, there’s still a lot of drawn-out scenes. There’s especially this shot where Lucker ties up a woman, then sits down and just stares at her while she screams like she’s faking an orgasm, which is copy-pasted to make the running time reach its milestone of 60 minutes.

 

And yeah, both versions contain the corpse fucking scene, so don’t you worry ’bout that.

 

Lucker Lucker Lucker

 

Director: Johan Vandewoestijne
Writers: Johan Vandewoestijne, John Kupferschmidt
Also known as: Lucker the Necrophagous
Country & year: Belgium, 1986
Actors: Nick Van Suyt, Helga Vandevelde, Let Jotts, Marie Claes, Martine Scherre, Carry Van Middel, John Edwards, Tony Castillo
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0091446/

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PORTRAIT OF GOD – Horror Short

A religious girl prepares a presentation about a painting titled “Portrait of God”. What she sees challenges her beliefs.

 

Portrait of God is an effectively creepy horror short that really manages to send a chill down your spine!

PORTRAIT OF GOD - Horror Short

 

Director: Dylan Clark
Writer: Dylan Clark
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Sydney Brumfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Evil Eyes (1990)

Sometime in the late 80s, George A. Romero was invited to Italy to eat pasta and sip red wine with Dario Argento. The result of that meeting became Two Evil Eyes, an anthology of two films, one hour each, based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe. The original idea was an anthology of four segments in which also John Carpenter and Stephen King was considered to make the other two. However, Carpenter was busy with other stuff while Stephen King, still and forever traumatized by the experience with Maximum Overdrive, had no desire to call himself a “moron” a second time, and thus Four Evil Eyes got reduced to Two Evil Eyes.

 

THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M. VALDEMAR – George A. Romero

The millionaire Ernest Valdemar is on his deathbed in his big mansion suffering from terminal illness, and his younger and gold-digging wife Jessica and Dr. Robert Hoffman have a plan: to hypnotize Valdemar into signing the will papers so they can get away with all his money. During the last hypnosis session, things go horribly wrong and the old man dies … well, sort of. They hide him in the freezer in the basement while Valdemar seems to be trapped in hypnosis and moans with a ghoulish voice that a bunch of demons will take over his body.

 

George A. Romero were on hiatus during most of the 90s where he made only two films; The Dark Half and this one. Instead of tons of gore, we get a slow build-up and an eerie atmosphere where Creepshow meets Tales From the Crypt. Even though the story itself is intriguing, Romero’s direction feels as stale as if it was meant to be made for TV, and the runtime could have been cut down to thirty minutes. The scenes with Jessica and Dr. Robert is as dry and boring as a soap opera, and with even stiffer acting than Valdemar in the freezer. As already mentioned though the atmosphere is great, and Tom Savini, who worked on both segments, provides with some top-notch prosthetic makeup and a memorable death-scene.

 

THE BLACK CAT – Dario Argento

We follow the crime-photographer Rod Usher (Harvey Keitel) who documents the most brutal crime-scenes in Pittsburgh, George Romeo’s hometown of all places. Rod is a cold psychopath with a distant relationship with his empathic girlfriend Annabelle. As she feels ignored, she gets some comfort in a stray black cat. The cat hates Rod and he hates the cat back and as the classic story goes, he kills the cat who then starts to haunt him until he descends into complete madness.

 

The Black Cat is one of Poe’s most famous works, and this film adaptation is made in modern times where a crime-scene photographer has been replaced with the author himself, Poe. Harvey Keitel is the money shot here, alongside with FX maker Tom Savini, and the only reason alone to give Two Evil Eyes a watch, to be honest. Argento’s segment is also far more stylish, better paced, better acted and of course more graphic.

 

So, there you have it. Two short horror tales from two directors with their own style of filmmaking and approach to storytelling. And some with more meat on the bone than the other.  For HD buffs, the film is available on 4K Ultra HD from Vingar Syndrome.

 

Two Evil Eyes

 

Directors: George A. Romero, Dario Argento
Writers: George A. Romero, Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini, Peter Koper
Original title: Due occhi diabolici
Country & year: Italy, USA, 1990
Actors: Adrienne Barbeau, Ramy Zada, Bingo O’Malley, Jeff Howell, E.G. Marshall, Harvey Keitel, Madeleine Potter, John Amos, Sally Kirkland, Kim Hunter, Holter Graham, Martin Balsam, Chuck Aber
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0100827/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAIKA – Short Horror Film

Fleeing from a catastrophic accident aboard the International Space Station, a lone Cosmonaut faces a haunting spectre from his country’s past. But is it all just in his mind?

 

LAIKA starts off with telling us the true and sad story of Laika, the dog who was sent into space in 1957. Then moves forward to present day, and gives us a creepy little spin on the story…

LAIKA - Short Horror Film

 

Director: Adam Fair
Writer: Adam Fair
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Anton Valensi, Róisín Monaghan, Aleksander Kaczmarek
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt15819500/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She Creature (2001)

We’re in Ireland, and the year is 1905. Two carnies, Angus Shaw and his infertile wife Lily, runs a fake mermaid show where Lily plays the role of a beautiful and enchanting mermaid. One evening, during one of their shows, a mysterious fellow named Mr. Woolrich appears and privately calls them out on their act, while at the same time appearing strangely relieved that Lily was, in fact, not a real mermaid. They offer him a ride home, where it’s revealed that he’s got a mermaid captured. A real one. Naturally, Angus wants to use this creature as part of the freak show, but Woolrich strongly warns against it. Not easily deterred, Angus later brings a few colleagues back with him to abduct the mermaid, and smuggles her aboard a ship in order to take her to America. Lily tries to object to this idea, but to no avail. And onboard the ship, the mermaid soon reveals her darker side…

 

She Creature is a 2001 made-for-TV horror film, directed by Sebastian Gutierrez (the title of this film was originally Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature, but there was never any part 2). It’s the first in a Cinemax film series called “Creature Features”, which were all paying tribute to the films of American International Pictures, where the titles are reused without being actual remakes. In this case, the title is borrowed from the 1956 film The She-Creature.

 

She Creature was shot in 18 days, and is a typical B-budget movie . It’s filmed in a style that resembles the old monster movies, and with taking place in the Victorian era there’s also some really atmospheric cinematography reminiscent of the old Hammer films. With the renowned Stan Winston as producer it also should come as no surprise that the special effects are pretty decent. The mermaid is also portrayed in a rather convincing way, possibly much due to the fake mermaid we witness early on at the freak show. The mermaid Lily plays there is so obviously over-the-top fake, that when we get to witness the real mermaid in a tank of water the contrast makes it come off as believable. The real mermaid does not sing, she does not talk (except from making a few sounds), and appear more like an intelligent animal with human features rather than any “little mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen. This is no Ariel, that’s for sure…

 

Much of the atmosphere comes from the Victorian scenery and settings, fitting like hand in glove when constructing a horror tale with a blend of fantasy and gothic mystery. She Creature is by no means any masterpiece, but it’s a fun and slightly cheesy little throwback to the monster movie era with moody cinematography, good production design and some really cool CGI-free special effects. Overall, it makes for a pleasant little pearl of a gothic and aquatic creature feature film.

 

She Creature She Creature She Creature

 

Writer and director: Sebastian Gutierrez
Also known as: Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature
Country & year: USA, 2001
Actors: Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino, Jim Piddock, Reno Wilson, Mark Aiken, Fintan McKeown, Aubrey Morris, Gil Bellows, Rya Kihlstedt, Hannah Sim, Jon Sklaroff
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0274659/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul