BEDTIME STORY – Horror Short

Two young brothers, who, after hearing their Mother’s haunting bedtime story, are terrorized when it comes to life.

 

Bedtime Story (El Cuento) is an unsettling and creepy horror short!

 

BEDTIME STORY - Horror Short

 

Director: Lucas Paulino, Ángel Torres
Country & year: Spain, 2019
Actors: Nerea Barros, Ismael Palacios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Silence (2007)

Dead Silence (2007)

Jamie and Lisa are a married couple that one day receive a gift from an anonymous person: a box that includes a ventriloquist doll that is called Billy. When Jamie is out getting some take-away food, his pregnant wife is attacked by an entity that not only causes her to have a miscarriage, but literally rips her tongue out as well. Jamie is immediately suspected for having something to do with his wife’s gruesome murder, but he is soon released from custody due to lack of evidence. When he comes home, he inspects the mysterious gift and sees a message about some called “Mary Shaw”: a ventriloquist that lived in Raven’s Fair, Jamie’s hometown. He decides to visit the old town where he grew up, which is now looking dilapidated and forlorn. He visits his estranged wheelchair-bound father, who has now remarried to a much younger woman. When trying to find out more about Mary Shaw, the doll Billy, and the secrets of Raven’s Fair, Jamie ends up realizing that there are times when it’s best to keep your lips tightly sealed…

 

Before James Wan got renowned in the world of horror due to the Insidious and Conjuring franchise, he had previously made another (completely different) type of horror movie: “Saw“. Saw is of course a completely different beast, where that franchise pretty much turned into what could probably be considered (soft) torture porn. However: what few people seem to be aware of, is that Insidious (2010) and Conjuring (2013) were not Wan’s first entries into the supernatural horror genre. Predating them both, Dead Silence was released in 2007. Unfortunately it was a box office failure upon release (some believing it was ahead of its time, as creepy atmospheric ghost horror movies had a higher popularity some years later) but it has later been somewhat re-discovered. While not on par with some of James Wan’s later achievements, it is now considered a solid entry into the supernatural/ghost horror genre.

 

In the film, you can easily spot James Wan’s distinctiveness all over the place, where you can see the early hints of what to come as he’s now exploring the realm of spirits and creepy, atmospheric settings, while also having a little bit of the Saw-grittyness in it which includes some fairly nasty death scenes. Nothing over-the-top, but enough to blend in with the the rest. There’s a lot to appreciate when it comes to eerie scenery, there’s even an old theatre partly submerged by water from the nearby lake. It’s spooky and gothic, maybe a little cheesy here and there but with enough creepy atmosphere to keep the chills coming.

 

And, let’s not forget the villain of the movie, the undead ventriloquist Mary Shaw, played by Judith Roberts. As the nursery rhyme from the movie goes: Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children, only dolls. If you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream or she’ll rip your tongue out at the seam (and let’s be honest: if you saw someone like her, it would probably be hard not to scream…). She is somewhat reminiscent of “The Bride In Black” from the Insidious franchise, so you could say that Mary Shaw was a prototype of other ghostly villains to come.

 

Overall, Dead Silence is a horror movie that still holds up well after 15 years, and can easily be seen as a nice prelude to Jame’s Wan’s later films into the supernatural horror genre.

 

Fun fact: there is actually a little easter-egg during the climax of the movie: among Mary Shaw’s collection of dolls, you can see Jigsaw’s doll (from the “Saw” movies) among them.

 

Dead Silence

 

Director: James Wan
Writers: Leigh Whannell, James Wan
Country & year: USA, 2007
Actors: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan, Dmitry Chepovetsky, Judith Roberts, Keir Gilchrist, Steven Taylor, Steve Adams
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0455760/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRACKISH – Horror Short Film

A menacing spirit lurks in the mangroves waiting for an unsuspecting victim. She is the Brackish Undertaker, cursed by the crown she wears.

 

Brackish is a creepy and pretty horror short that takes us into fairytale-land…

 

BRACKISH - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Christa Boarini
Writer: Christa Boarini
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Lauren Crandall, Michelle Hardy, Laura Palacio
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt14720184/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leprechaun Returns (2018)

13 years has gone by since the the last Lep with Leprechaun Back 2 tha Hood, and a thing or two have obviously changed since then. Trimark was shut down in 2003, only three movies after Back 2 tha Hood, while Warvick Davis had moved over to Hogwarts with Harry Potter and recently shot the first season of the upcoming Willow series. And yeah, there’s a film called Leprechaun: Origins from 2008, an amateurish nothingburger which has zero to do with the franchise in any shape or form. So we have to jump further in time to 2013 where Leprechaun finally returned, in a direct-sequel to the original, directed by Steven Kostanski.

 

The plot goes as follows: the teengirl Lila Jenkins is on her way to an old house in North Dakota, where she’s going to spend the summer vacation with a group of college friends (body counts). As she gets a ride with Ozzie, the clumsy redneck from the first film, she tells him that her mom Tori (the protagonist from the first film) had died of cancer the same year. Rest in peace. After putting off Lila by the house, Ozzie suddenly gets some green liquid sprayed on him from the well which Lep fell into 25 years ago. The liquid somehow impregnates Ozzie, which leads to a gory rebirth where Lep punches and kicks his way out of Ozzie’s stomach like a toddler with a tantrum. He then gives a quick return monologue just to ensure us that he, after being trapped in a well for 25 years, is still a witty goofball who hasn’t forgot how to rhyme: “There once was a lad they thought DIED, his flesh had melted off his whole HIDE, but he escaped from the WELL, alive and quite SWELL. And now he’ll be killing in stride!” And he’s excited as a kid on Christmas morning to finally catch up with the killings.

 

The B-movie insanity that increased all up to eleven and blew out of all proportions in space, are toned-down and back to the roots with the farmland-setting, woods and overall back the 90s horror campyness. As the eight film in a horror franchise like this, it’s pretty remarkable how more polished and, if not, more professional (for lack of better word) Lep Returns look. Director Steven Kostanski was also co-director on the modern cult-film The Void two years earlier, so there’s clearly some talent behind the camera. There also seemed to finally be some competent special effects artists on set to give Lep some decent kill scenes, and there’s no exaggeration in saying that this is the goriest film in the franchise. Lep eagerly uses some modern technology to slice someone’s throat with drone blades, a whole body gets sliced in two, a fun little nod to Phantasm (I assume) with a mouth getting impaled by a sprinkler faucet. And there’s a … pillow fight.

 

This being said and all the positives, the film itself is pretty mediocre with the same old cliché slasher characters which you couldn’t give a toss about, and a standard mediocre slasher you’d forgotten about if it wasn’t for the – drumroll – Leprechaun. As they got the same guy who played Ozzie in the first one to reprise his role, they for one last time, also tried to get Jennifer Aniston back. But nah. So, the only curiosity is on Lep, and why he looks more like as if Mortiis had a child. This time he is played by the relative unknown Linden Porco since Warwick Davis had his whatever reasons to pass. As low to non-existent expectations I had, he was quite a surprise and did a good job by mimicking the demeanor of Davis while investing some of his own personal flavor to it. And the most important of all, he seemed to have a fun time. So, my life wouldn’t get absolutely ruined if he signs on any future Lep films.

 

Lerprechaun Returns Lerprechaun Returns

 

Director: Steven Kostanski
Writers: Suzanne Keilly
Country & year: USA, 2018
Actors: Taylor Spreitler, Pepi Sonuga, Sai Bennett, Emily Reid, Ben McGregor, Oliver Llewellyn Jenkins, Mark Holton, Linden Porco, Heather McDonald, Pete Spiros, Leon Clingman
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt8155182/

 

Related posts: Leprechaun (1993) | Leprechaun 2 (1994) | Leprechaun 3 (1995) | Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996) | Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT WE FOUND OUT THERE – Horror Short

Two friends find a dead man’s video tapes in the woods and enlist the help of another friend’s expertise to find out what’s on them, but nothing could have prepared any of them for what horrors they found out there.

 

What We Found Out There is a creepy horror short about two men finding something in the woods that ultimately seals their fate…

 

WHAT WE FOUND OUT THERE - Horror Short

 

Director: Karl Kimmel
Writer: Karl Kimmel
Country & year: Canada, 2021
Actors: Dayleigh Nelson, Sean Collins, Zachary Loewen, Pascal Belanger, Tara Gothreau
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt13508834/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)

We’re at some shithole in Los Angeles where Mack Daddy (Ice-T) with a big 70’s afro, and some other dude, discovers a room with Lep’s statue and his pot of gold. Holy shit! You midget Midas mothafuckah, Daddy says before he grabs a mysterious flute from the pot of gold. We later learn that Mr. Daddy is a rap-music producer and the flute has the magic powers to set the listeners in some euphoric trance and some shit. Lep (Warwick Davis) comes to life, kills the other dude with a comb and goes for Mr. Daddy as he steals his gold. After Daddy gets empty for weapons that were hidden in his big afro, everything from a knife to a baseball bat, just to ensure us that we’re still in Looney Tunes land, he manages to trap Lep with the medallion and turns him back to stone. Got yo ass!

 

We then meet our protagonists Butch, Postmaster P, and Stray Bullet, a group of young struggling rap artists. They get in touch with Mack Daddy who sees some potential in them. The only problem is that their rap songs are too positive and family-friendly, and that shit is whack“, yells Mr. Daddy. After they refuse to follow Daddy’s advice to make their lyrics more R-rated, he tells them to fuck off. They then take revenge by breaking into his office, stealing the golden flute and the medallion from a certain stone figure which finally (again) awakens Lep, and … well, it’s yet another Lep movie, made for shits n’ giggles for the video market with the production value of a well-used Lada.

 

First Lep took Vegas, then space and now the Hood. So what’s new here? Crack-smoking, rapping, some vulgar gangsta talk (of course), more crack-smoking, more rapping, dopey effects where Lep shoots green lazer into someones eyes, gun fights and just overall incomprehensible buffoonery all across the board. Lep smokes so much crack to the point he wants a cross-dresser to give him a blowjob. Oof! Warwick Davis really needed the money this time, didn’t he. And I almost forgot to mention the three-second cameo of none other than Coolio himself. And just to put the cherry on top, and let Lep embrace his inner gangsta, he finally grabs the mic and performs his own rap song, Lep In The Hood, I’m so Bad I’m Good”, which alone tells it all.

 

And last, but not least, here’s the drinking game: take a shot for each time someone says mothafuckah”.

 

Leprechaun in the Hood Leprechaun in the Hood

 

Director: Rob Spera
Writers: William Wells, Alan Reynolds, Rob Spera, Doug Hall, Jon Huffman
Country & year: USA, 2000
Actors: Warwick Davis, Ice-T, Anthony Montgomery, Rashaan Nall, Red Grant, Dan Martin, Lobo Sebastian, Ivory Ocean, Jack Ong, Barima McKnight, Bebe Drake, Donna M. Perkins
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0209095/

 

Related posts: Leprechaun (1993) | Leprechaun 2 (1994) | Leprechaun 3 (1995) | Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996) | Leprechaun returns (2018)

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LOOKOUT – Horror Short Film

When a fire lookout gets a strange call for help over the radio, she ventures into the forest to investigate.

 

The Lookout is a simple yet effectively creepy horror short!

 

THE LOOKOUT - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Katherine Oostman
Writer: Katherine Oostman
Country & year: USA, 2021
Actors: Lizzie McDowell
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt17023894/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996)

In known Trimark fashion, they had no clue what to do with Lep or which setting to put him next in the fourth installment of the franchise. And after the success Leprechaun 3 did on the home video market, there was no time to waste. It wasn’t until an executive at Trimark saw the promo art for Apollo 13 (1995) and replaced Tom Hank’s face with Lep’s when the genius idea came to fruition. That pitch-meeting must’ve been amusing to witness, to say the least.

 

The year is 2096 and a group of space marines are on their way to Planet Leprechaun where their mission is to search for Lep (Warwick Davis) after he, during the past six months, has disrupted the galactic mining operations. And the order is clear as a gamma-ray: Kill The Bastard! The timing couldn’t be worse as Lep is about to propose to the alien princess Zarina (Rebecca Carlton) so he can become king for some planet that never gets mentioned. The marines storm his low-budget-looking cave where Lep gets blown to pieces by a grenade after a quick gun-fight. The princess survives and gets taken back to the shuttle before they take Lep’s precious gold. Movie over, then? Ha-ha.

 

The marine who threw the grenade takes a piss one Lep’s remains just to boast his victory like a high school bully. The plot seems pretty normal so far, but just hear this: As he urinates on him, Lep’s spirit travels through his stream of piss and into his dick like a bolt of lightning. We later get the most unmemorable and lazy kill count where Lep gets resurrected by jumping out of his dick and pants, implied more than shown, since there was no one in the effect-department who had a clue how to pull it off. No gore – nothing. Boooo!

 

We also get introduced to film’s second villain, Dr. Mittenhand (Guy Siner). He’s the commander of the marines and is a bald-headed cyborg with only his upper torso remaining after a failed experiment. He’s a bizarroman version of Dr. Evil the James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who tries to look evil with the effect of a mouse trying to be as big as an elephant, and speaks like a deranged Hanna-Barbera cartoon character on amphetamine. His plan is to use Zarina’s regenerative DNA to recreate his own body and … good luck with that.

 

Leprechaun 4: In Space

 

The effects are worse and more primitive than ever, and I think that director Brian Trenchard-Smith sums it up best by saying that he was disappointed by the final quality of the special effects, calling them “below Playstation”. Lep in Space falls off the tracks really fast where the plot, script, talent and all braincells just seemed to get sucked away in a black hole. And what we have left is a demented, bizarre, ultracheap-looking, completely out of control schlockfest with zero direction, and one-note cartoon characters only trying to over-act each other. It’s basically Looney Tunes in a mental asylum in space with a riot. And Lep? Don’t worry, he’s here, still portrayed by Warwick Davis who seems to have fun as usual and goes with the flow the best as he can. But the award for best-worst actress of the decade goes to Rebecca Carlton as princess Zarina who has acting abilities like a broken Hello Kitty toaster. 

 

The one and only legitimate positive thing to mention, is a certain spider-monster creature which (dare I even say it) gave me some Dead Space vibes. And talking about video games, here’s a fun, little trivia: The sound of the doors opening and closing are taken from the original Doom, where it was the sound of the elevators.

 

And I can’t allow myself to not mention a trailer that popped up on my YouTube recommendations recently for an obscure family film, called A Very Unlucky Leprechaun, which came two years after Lep in Space. And guess who plays the unlucky one. There’s little to no info to find, but the only post on its trivia section on IMDb can at least inform us that “Warwick Davis also plays another Leprechaun which is a serial killer.” Huh…

 

Leprechaun 4: In Space Leprechaun 4: In Space Leprechaun 4: In Space

 

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writer: Dennis Pratt
Country & year: USA, 1996
Actors: Warwick Davis, Brent Jasmer, Jessica Collins, Guy Siner, Gary Grossman, Rebecca Carlton, Tim Colceri, Miguel A. Núñez Jr., Debbe Dunning, Mike Cannizzo, Rick Peters, Geoff Meed
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0116861/

 

Related posts: Leprechaun (1993) | Leprechaun 2 (1994) | Leprechaun 3 (1995) | Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) | Leprechaun returns (2018)

 

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EASTER BUNNY – Horror Short

The last remaining video of Garrett and Bill Saunders before their bodies were found outside a horse farm in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania.

 

Easter Bunny is a found-footage style “easter bunny” horror short!

 

EASTER BUNNY - Horror Short

 

Director: Jacob Arbittier
Writer: Jacob Arbittier
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Caden Chambers, Donald Cluff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leprechaun 3 (1995)

Lep 2 didn’t hit the box office gold as Trimark Pictures had hoped for, and because of that it was the second and final film in the franchise to be given a theatrical release. Despite this, Trimark had no plans to call it quits when they still had Warwick Davis on board and saw further potential to dig for more gold in the home video market. And the best way they could ever go from here was to no other place than the city of sins, casinos, strippers and pawn shops: Las Vegas.

 

Leprechaun 3 starts with a guy, with one leg and a hook for a hand, enters a pawn shop. He’s stressed out and frightened, carrying a Leprechaun statue with an amulet around its neck, and a pot of gold in a bag. He wants to sell it so he can buy gas and get the fuck away. And before he leaves, he warns the shop owner that he must never take the amulet off its neck, which … he of course does shortly afterwards. Lep comes back to life, bites the man’s ear and one of his big toes off, before he eventually kills him with his magic powers. One of the gold coins goes missing and falls in the hands of the naive young man Scott, the film’s unlucky protagonist, (played by the future Oscar nominee John Gatins) who has already fallen in love with the blonde girl Tammy (Lee Armstrong). She works as an assistant to a douchebag of a magician, and spends most of the screentime giving the viewer some eyecandy in her kinky, black corset. After Scott has lost all his money on gambling, he uses the coin to grant his wish to win it all back, plus some extra, on the casino roulettes.

 

The luck seems to strike for Scotty until the boss gets his eyes on him and makes sure that he won’t leave the building with his fresh new fortune. Things goes from bad to worse when the coin is rolling from hand to hand, granting one wish after another which escalates into full chaos. And the night has just begun when Lep is roaming the streets of Las Vegas in search of his precious coin. He seems pretty stimulated by the dazzling surroundings and even gets the pleasure to be a part of the greatest moment in the history of cinema by meeting the king himself, Elvis. The luck also seems to completely run out for poor Scotty when he himself slowly gets transformed into a Leprechaun, after having gotten bitten by Lep and infected with his green blood. He’s not aware of the transformation until he can’t say a sentence without adding a rhyme to it. Two Leps in one film? How much worse can it possibly get from here?

 

The gory aspects in the Leprechaun films is pretty minimal and as cheap as a moldy piece of bread, but there’s at least not one, but two memorable death scenes to mention here. The first one involves Lep using his magic to make a blond stripper crawl out of a TV screen to give a sleazy guy some pleasure. Well, think again. As she lays upon him and getting ready to suck his dick, Lep transforms her into a cyborg that electrocutes him. And a wet, special thanks goes to the nude Penthouse model Heidi Lynne Staley for making this scene happen. Then we have the scene where Caroline Williams makes her wish: to be young and beautiful again. The result is the whole film in a nutshell, where her lips, boobs and ass blows up like a balloon and explodes in pure Looney Tunes fashion, then followed by on of the best punchlines from our favorite comedian Lep: Now that was quite a LOAD to have to EXPLODE. What a lovely LASS, I had to blow up your ASS, but now I must hit the road!”

 

Lep 3 is regarded as the best in the franchise, or best-worst, if you will. The film is delightfully bad on every level and surely deserves its place on the Hall of Shame of so-bad-its-good-movies, and no one seems to take the franchise seriously for a second at this point. The acting, the dialogues, the shoddy effects filled with outlandish cartoon logic, a flavor of naughty nudity only to piss off the parents, makes this a great time and perfect film to watch on little junior’s birthday party! Warwick Davis is at his peak here with his best lines and embraces the insanity to its fullest with his performance. The tone and the humor, whether is intentional or not, suits Lep’s wit and personality perfectly and the Las Vegas setting adds even more to the fun. This is also Davis’ personal favorite in the series, and it’s hard to not be on the same page with him on that one. Leprechaun 3 was shot in 14 quick days, and  became the highest selling direct-to-video film of 1995 which kept the spaceship ready to send Lep to his next adventure.

 

Lerprechaun 3 Lerprechaun 3 Lerprechaun 3

 

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writer: David DuBos
Country & year: USA, 1995
Actors: Warwick Davis, John Gatins, Lee Armstrong, John DeMita, Michael Callan, Caroline Williams, Marcelo Tubert, Tom Dugan, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Richard Reicheg, Linda Diane Shayne, Heidi Lynne
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt0113636/

 

Related posts: Leprechaun (1993) | Leprechaun 2 (1994) | Leprechaun 4: In Space (1996) | Leprechaun in the Hood (2000) | Leprechaun returns (2018)

 

 

Tom Ghoul