3 VERSOS – Horror Short Film

A girl reaches a psychic looking for help after a ghost besieges her home.

 

3 Versos  aka 3 Verses is a visually strong horror short about three girls seeking help from a psychic, where in the end they all get more than they bargained for…

 

THE CROSSING - Horror Short

 

Director: Antonio Yee
Country & year: Mexico, 2016
Actors: Laura Mariscal, Edvan Galván, Daniela López, Dayhana García, Cirilo Cortez, Sergio Trasviña, Amanda Avilez, Herbey Rayas, Eduardo Murillo, Esthefania Montiel, Viridiana Barraza, Brenda Karina, Christopher Lepe, Anais Patiño
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt7375314/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zombi Holocaust (1980)

We’re at a hospital in New York at night, where someone is stealing body-parts from the cadavers. One of the doctors is able to catch the body-snatcher as he is about to eat one of the cadaver’s heart, but then quickly commits suicide by jumping out of a window. Well, case closed, then? Well, no, he doesn’t die right away, and says his last word “Kitoh ordered it”, and we soon learn that he was a part of a cannibalistic cult from an obscure island in Asia, also named Kitoh.

 

A trip to this island gets arranged with Lori, a journalist, and some other dude in order to meet a doctor named Dr. Obrero, while they get to the source of the cannibal cult. As soon as they enter the island, one of the bearers goes missing, and after a quick search for him the next morning they find him mutilated, and soon surrounded by a horde of cannibals and a doctor with some really shady practices. And yes, there’s also some zombies wandering around.

 

As you already know by reading the title, Cannibal Holocaust comes to mind. I assume that Zombi Holocaust was an attempt to do some sort of a crossover with the wave of Italian cannibal films that came and went in the late 70’s and early 80’s with the rise of zombie films after Lucio Fulci’s success with Zombi 2. Most of the film is pretty tedious and sloppy with dry dialogues, boring characters, cheesy undressing-scenes with porn music, plot holes and nothing much that keeps the pacing or interest up.

 

The title is also a head-scratcher since the zombies are far in the backseat and appears in only a scene or two. The film was released under several titles and most known as Doctor Butcher M.D. in the states, which is probably more fitting, I guess. However, the most entertaining moments are when the cannibals show up and provides some really grotesque death scenes. The last act is the best part where we finally get some interesting scenes with Dr. Obrero/Butcher, and a pointless ritual-scene with some blurry nudity. So yeah, Zombi Holocaust isn’t much as a whole, unless you’re only in for the goryness.

 

Zombi Holocaust

 

Director: Marino Girolami
Country & year: Italy, 1980
Actors: Ian McCulloch, Alexandra Delli Colli, Sherry Buchanan, Peter O’Neal, Donald O’Brien, Dakar, Walter Patriarca
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt0079788/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CROSSING – Horror Short

A newly hired housekeeper discovers the tenants of the home have an evil secret.

 

The Crossing is a fun horror short with some pretty cool monster/creature scenes!

 

THE CROSSING - Horror Short

 

Director: Kheireddine El-Helou
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Anna Kaskeeva, Sarah Navratil, Christof Ryjin Pearson, Juliette James, Gianna Misa, Jolene Andersen
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt9072474/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

In the summer of 1966 in El Paso, Texas, something really magical happened: Manos: The Hands of Fate was made. A movie so hilariously, mind-boggling bad that hardly any words from this universe would make it justice. But I’ll try. Harold P. Warren was a middle-aged man who worked as a fertilizer salesman for a living, but had a certain passion for film and was also a member of the local theatre. But while the passion was there, the talent was not. Yeah, we’re talking about an Ed Wood here. Anyway, one day he had a coffee with a screenwriter where he claimed that it wasn’t so hard to make a horror film, and made a bet with the screenwriter that he could make en entire film on his own. After the bet was official, Mr. Warren had no time to waste and scribbled the outline for his horror film on a napkin, a film in which he would write, direct, produce and be the star in. He then gathered some amateur actors, a budget of $19,000 and a 16 millimeter camera from the stone-age that could take only 32 seconds of footage at a time. And forget about any sound, all dialogues were horribly dubbed, assumingly in his henhouse or something, by three persons in post-production.

 

A family of three, the husband Mike, wife Margaret, their daughter Debbie her little dog (which of course is soon to be killed) is on a road-trip on a desert place where they seem to be lost. As they continue to drive through the deserted countryside, in a driving-segment that seems to last forever while the soundtrack is consisting of elevator music, they arrives to a place which is guarded by Torgo. He’s half-human and half-satyr, with big knees and dressed as a homeless man from a western movie. And one can see right away that this man has some serious issues as he’s twitching, barely able to walk, completely zoned-out and disorientated with a hopeless expression on his face that screams: Kill me now, please! Well, he wasn’t acting, more on that sad story later.

 

Manos: The Hands of Fate

 

While they have some kind of a staring contest, Torgo finally delivers one of the greatest lines in the history of cinema: “I am TORGO! I take CARE of the place, while the MASTER is away! And he then says “But the CHILD, I’m not sure the MASTER would approve, or the dog. The master doesn’t like children. He also has his own theme. Anyway, they ask him for some directions, but Torgo says that there isn’t any way out of here, and it will be dark soon. Torgo lets them stay for the night, even though he gives a warning with “The MASTER would be very DISTURBED! As they settles in they see a painting of the master, who looks more like a Mexican drug lord. The wife finds the painting very unsettling and says with the most monotone-dubbed voice: “He looks so sinister… oh, Mike, I’m scared…he has the meanest look…” And most of all, as Torgo said, he doesn’t like children. But we soon learn that he loves beautiful women and The Master wants her. But since The Master already has a dozen of wives in his harem, Torgo wants her for himself. Alright, time to get the fuck away. Too late.

 

Here’s a drinking game: take a shot for every technical flaw and fuck-up that pops on screen, and you’ll be dead of alcohol poisoning just after the ten first minutes or less. Where to even begin… the fact that the film was shot with a rotten potato of a camera that was able to just film 32 seconds at a time, is just the top of it. There’s so much eye-rolling and what-the-fuck-moments here that it is hard to keep track. The editing and pacing is completely off the rails, the acting is completely absurd with lines that hardly could be written by a sober person. It’s so incompetent in every single aspect, from the first frame to the last, in such a unique way you’ve probably never seen before. Actors look awkwardly right into the camera with obviously zero instructions from the director as the camera just rolls. There’s a cat-fight scene between the Master’s frustrated wives which is so bad that words are just too hard to find, as pretty much the rest of Manos: The Hands of Fate – or “Hands: The Hands of Fate” which is the accurate translation since Manos is the Spanish word for hands.

 

Manos: The Hands of Fate

 

Manos: The Hands of Fate became a big deal in El Paso when the film had its premiere at the local theatre, where even the city major was among the audience. The actors came with limousine and all dressed up as it was a big Hollywood-film event, but little did they know as the cast and crew hadn’t seen a single clip from the film, and didn’t know what a disastrous, humiliating shitshow that awaited them. The only one who saw some of the raw footage, was Jackie Neyman Jones, who plays the family’s daughter, who could tell that this didn’t look like real filmmaking after seeing some Hollywood movies. Harold then said “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it in the lab“. And she then thought to herself: wow, movies really ARE magic. The premiere can maybe be described as a “The Room scenario” where the audience begun to laugh and scream at the movie in such way that the cast and crew snuck shamefully out of the theatre and was never seen again. John Reyonolds, who played Torgo, blew his brains out after struggling with drug problems, which is on full display in the film. Nothing would stop Hal Warren, however, and shortly afterwards he wrote a script for his second film, with the title Wild Desert Bikers, but no producer would touch it. So, Manos became his first and final film.

 

After some screenings at some drive-ins, the film quickly disappeared into obscurity, and it wasn’t until the film was picked up by the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 some years later, that it was brought back to life. It has since gathered a solid fanbase and cult-following, and has grown into one of the greatest so bad, it’s good movies. An obscure prequel titled Manos: The Rise of Torgo was made in 2018 and the sequel Manos Returns where Tom Neyuman, The Master himself, would reprise his role. Unfortunately he died during the filming at the age of 80. And as a goldmine of trivia Manos: The Hands of Fate is, also check out the short documentary Hotel Torgo.

 

Director: Harold P. Warren
Country & year: USA, 1966
Actors: Tom Neyman, John Reynolds, Diane Adelson, Harold P. Warren, Stephanie Nielson, Sherry Proctor, Robin Redd, Jackey Neyman Jones, Bernie Rosenblum, Joyce Molleur, William Bryan Jennings
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt0060666/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 DAYS – Horror Short Film

When three female friends sense danger on a camping trip, they keep each other laughing until one decides to make a run for it.

 

3 Days is a creepy horror short that reminds you how camping in the woods can be anything but cozy sometimes…

 

3 DAYS - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Julie Sharbutt
Country & year: USA, 2019
Actors: Zoey Martinson, Julie Sharbutt, Liz Wisan
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt9562580/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come Play (2020)

Oliver is a young non-verbal autistic boy who communicates through tablets and smartphones. His parents are struggling with their relationship, he is bullied at school, and he is lonely and longing for a friend. As Oliver is spending most of his time trying to comfort himself with Spongebob episodes and using the Snapchat filter for fun and giggles in his own room, a strange story suddenly appears on the screen. It’s the story about Larry, or “The Misunderstood Monster”. This mysterious creature is trying to use Oliver’s devices in order to break into his world, but will his parents be able to save him before it’s too late?

 

Come Play is a movie that’s based on a short horror film titled Larry by Jacob Chase. Chase is both the director and writer of this movie as well. It’s his first feature film, and as a debut it’s a solid performance where he proves that he knows how to utilize certain tricks in order to kick up the atmosphere a few notches. While a considerable part of the movie is centered around the family drama, it manages to make it credible without taking away the focus from the monster. If you have seen other boogeyman-movies like for example the Australian The Babadook, you might easily agree with the necessity to delve into family tension before bringing out the monster tension.

 

Now, as for the monster itself…it is creepy mostly when you don’t fully see it (which is often the case with monsters in movies). The illustrations in Larry’s “story” are very atmospheric, however, where you see him in various poses without ever showing his face to the viewer. The style of the illustrated story helps bringing in a lot of tension in regards to the monster and our expectations of what he actually looks like.

 

While the original horror short does come off as a bit more creepy since there is practically nothing revealed about Larry at all, Come Play is a decent feature film version based on a simple idea that was given a bit more flesh. While it’s not really a movie that will scare your socks off or anything, and is probably mostly aimed at a younger audience, I hope Chase is planning to make more horror films in the future. Also, I like the movie’s obvious allegory: how technology, which is supposed to bring people more together, often make them more lonely than ever…and how it’s easy to become prey to whoever wants to manipulate you from the other side of the screen.

 

Come Play

 

Director: Jacob Chase
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Azhy Robertson, Gillian Jacobs, John Gallagher Jr., Winslow Fegley, Jayden Marine, Gavin MacIver-Wright, Rachel Wilson, Alana-Ashley Marques
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt8004664/

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUÉRMETE NIÑO – Horror Short Film

A religious mother of newborn twins is constantly awakened by the disturbing sound of her crying babies. Using a radio monitor to check on them at night, she encounters a series of unsettling events that might jeopardize even her own beliefs.

 

Duérmete Niño is a creepy and atmopsheric little horror short, set in a time where the first “baby monitors” came into use!

 

DUÉRMETE NIÑO - Horror Short Film

 

Director: Freddy Chavez Olmos
Country & year: Canada, 2019
Actors: Piercey Dalton
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt8959692/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside (2007)

Inside, or À l’intérieur as it is called in the original language, is one of the most tasty delicacies of a slasher that has come after the turn of the millennium, directed by the duo Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury. Inside was one of the first in the so-called New French Extremity-wave with, among others such as, Alexandre Aja’s  Haute Tension a few years back, and Xavier Gens´ Frontier (s ), which came the same year as this one. Already the following year, Pascal Laugier pushed the strings even further with Martyrs. So yeah, the 2000’s  was an exciting time for French horror films that flourished new, young, hungry talents while the stiff bureaucrats at the censorship board probably was on a permanent vacation.

 

The film begins with an ugly front-to-front car accident with the pregnant Sarah and her husband. The husband dies while Sarah survives. Four months later, exactly on Christmas Eve, Sarah is depressed and just wants to be all alone in her big house with her nine month-pregnant belly. But the peace and silence turns 180 degrees when Sarah unexpectedly gets a visitor at the door: an intimidating and tall black-dressed woman who just wants to borrow the phone – who by coincidence knows Sarah’s name and that her husband is dead. Sarah calls the police when the woman starts to get threatening, but it does not stop her so easily and her mission is crystal clear: she wants to murder Sarah and anyone who comes in her way, with unclear motives.

 

So, we’re clearly talking about a home invasion-film here with a small budget and limited use of location.  It’s however a highly steady technical and gruesome film with some pretty insane killing scenes and is basically a love-letter to gorehounds, more or less. The acting is also a major plus, which gives some really strong and convincing performances. I especially have to point out Beatrice Dalle, which  is pretty relentless and goes all up to eleven in a rollercoaster-ride of  psychotic rage attacks I haven’t seen in a female killer probably outside of Asian movies.

 

The atmosphere is slicey-thick and some of the scenes are downright creepy, especially the first shot where we see the killer inside the house while Sarah is sleeping on the couch. It’s got a slow and subtle build-up which plays with your emotions and expectations. But when all hell breaks loose, it’s non-stop carnage, mayhem and pure slaughter house to the last second where we get the pleasure to witness some first class prosthetic effects and brutal kills, some of which are so realistic and so well done that it’s painful to watch in some places. The only minus here is the CGI images of Sarah’s baby in her womb that didn’t look convincing back in 2007, and surely doesn’t look any better now. But besides of that, Inside is a solid film and even after 10-plus years after its release, it’s still the nastiest slasher  I’ve ever witnessed, and I still wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who’s pregnant.

 

For a complete uncut version of the film, look for the DVD release from Dimension Extreme. And don’t let yourself get scared away from the awful trailer, by the way..

 

Inside

 

Directors: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Orignial title: À l’intérieur
Country & year: France, 2007
Actors: Alysson Paradis, Jean-Baptiste Tabourin, Claude Lulé, Dominique Frot, Nathalie Roussel, François-Régis Marchasson, Béatrice Dalle, Hyam Zaytoun, Tahar Rahim, Emmanuel Guez, Ludovic Berthillot, Emmanuel Lanzi, Nicolas Duvauchelle
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt0856288/

 

Tom Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HO HO HOWLING – Horror Short

Under a full moon on Christmas Eve, an unassuming family faces a legendary home invader whose gifts could change them forever.

 

Now that we recently published a werewolf horror movie review (Wer) it’s quite fitting to have a holiday-themed short with a similar premise: what if Santa could “infect” you with a bite?

 

THE HO HO HOWLING - Horror Short

 

Director: Andrew Neill
Country & year: USA, 2019
Actors: Joe Rapp, Katie Vannelli, Allen Fredrick Voigt, Novalee Wendt
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt11426678/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wer (2013)

The Porter family is camping in the woods somewhere in France, where they are brutally attacked by someone (or something), leaving the wife as the only survivor. She is severely wounded, and claims that her husband and young son were eaten alive by a strong man. Soon afterwards a Romanian man named Talek Gwynek who lives in the woods with his mother, is arrested and accused of being the killer. Kate Moore is assigned to be his lawyer, and together with investigator Eric Sarin and animal expert Gavin Flemyng, they believe that the accused man is innocent as the attack bears a clear resemblance of a vicious animal attack, which could not be done by a human. At least, not a normal human…

 

As far as werewolf movies go, Wer is a totally different breed than for example Ginger Snaps. While many werewolf movies goes more into pure action and sometimes even dives into complete fantasy-territory, Wer tries to take a more realistic approach to it. Starting off as partly found footage as we witness the Porter family getting attacked, with some other scenes of news reports and later a typical shaky-cam filming throughout, makes it feel like a found footage film despite that it’s not. It’s a little bit distracting at times, but not enough to ruin the experience overall. It’s a bit different, but also refreshing, and a different take on the popular creature of folklore.

 

It takes a while for it to build up to any real werewolf-action, but it manages to portray a sense of mystery. The movie also does not spoon-feed us with the werewolf-myths (like how they can infect others by biting or scratching). There’s a fair amount of the movie that focus on the lawyer-bits and Talek’s condition, where it is proven he has an illness called Porphyria. But when it moves over to the third act all hell breaks lose, and the full moon of the night appears to bring out more than just one monster into the light.

 

Wer makes a dark and grisly entry into the werewolf horror genre, where some of the special effects are pretty neat (aside from a few shoddy CGI effects), and the gorey scenes are satisfactory and effective.

 

Wer

 

Director: William Brent Bell
Country & year: South Africa | USA, 2013
Actors: A.J. Cook, Brian Scott O’Connor, Sebastian Roché, Simon Quarterman, Vik Sahay, Stephanie Lemelin, Brian Johnson, Oaklee Pendergast, Camelia Maxim, Alexandru Nedelcu, Daniel Popa, Alin Olteanu, Ioan Brancu, Adrian Ciobanu, Corneliu Ulici
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt2229511/

 

Vanja Ghoul