Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Short Films

The First Film Version of Frankenstein, Newly Restored!

The newly restored version of the 1910 Frankenstein is available on the Library of Congress YouTube channel and in the National Screening Room, a recently launched digital collection of films. And, like most films on the NSR, it’s freely downloadable in both ProRes LT and MPEG-4 formats, complete with the Sosin score.

 


FREE Halloween Horror Movie Festival

The Horrornymphs haves teamed up with the guys at Zombie Go Boom to promote a special Halloween 2012 film fest! Starting today, the Zombie Go Boom channel is going to have around 9 hardcore horror movies from some of Hollywood’s top up and comers, along with a video by comedian Tom Green (that guy is sick!).

CHECK IT OUT AT: http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieGoBoomTV and don’t forget to share and comments – let’s show some gory passion to young indie filmmakers)


Play Dead – Full Film on Vimeo

Check out the full version of Play Dead by Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes. This was the short that should have ended the ‘Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!’ night at the 2012 Fantastic Planet Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film Festival.

Play Dead (2012) FULL MOVIE from Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes on Vimeo.


How to Make a Horror Movie

Hilarious flowchart explaining how to make a horror movies… more accurate than any execs would admit. Click on the poster to see 4 more showing how to make an Action, Animated, Short and Porno.


The Living Want Me Dead

Not just the best zombie short film from 2011, the BEST SHORT FILM form 2011 was ‘The Living Want Me Dead’ by Bill Palmer. I saw it ath the annual Night of Horror Film Festival in Newtown and reviewed the night here. The entire short is now available to watch for FREE on vimeo, or below. Check it out and help support Bill in his quest to make another wonderful film.

The Living Want Me Dead – Full Short Film from Bill Palmer on Vimeo.


Dawn of the Dead – Romero Screening

The Alamo Drafthouse had their biggest event ever weekend over Halloween as 700 attendees piled onto buses and were escorted by police to the Highland Mall in Austin Texas for their ninth mystery screening: George Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead. When the buses pulled in, 200 zombies attacked them, forcing the film goers to race into the mall to watch the movie. There the director introduced his  1978 masterpiece which was accompanied by an awesome, limited edition poster by Jeff Proctor.

It was an event that won’t soon be forgotten and, you  can see the poster, photos and videos from the event. What better way to start off Halloween? I wish I could have been there.

All of these photos were taken by Arnold Wells and Jack Plunkett.

And then there’s video thanks to Arts & Labor.

The first one is the edit of the entire evening.

Romero’s introduction

The buses arriving at the mall


The Gawper – An Animated Graveyard Caper

Here’s a fun little short film that is part early Universal horror (or RKO — in particular, the Val Lewton films) and part Tim Burton.

Gawper from A Large Evil Corporation on Vimeo.


Buster Keaton

Joseph Frank “Buster” Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname “The Great Stone Face”.

Keaton was recognized as the seventh-greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Keaton the 21st-greatest male star of all time. Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton’s “extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, [when] he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies.” Orson Welles stated that Keaton’s ‘The General’ is the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made. A 2002 worldwide poll by Sight & Sound ranked Keaton’s The General as the 15th best film of all time. Three other Keaton films received votes in the magazine’s survey: ‘Our Hospitality’, ‘Sherlock Jr., and ‘The Navigator’.

His father Joe Keaton owned a traveling show with Harry Houdini, the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company, which performed on stage and sold patent medicine on the side. At the age of three, Keaton began performing with his parents in The Three Keatons. The young Keaton would goad his father by disobeying him, and the elder Keaton would respond by throwing him against the scenery, into the orchestra pit, or even into the audience.  He was eventually billed as “The Little Boy Who Can’t Be Damaged,” with the overall act being advertised as “‘The Roughest Act That Was Ever in the History of the Stage.” Keaton claimed he was having so much fun that he would sometimes begin laughing as his father threw him across the stage. Noticing that this drew fewer laughs from the audience, he adopted his famous deadpan expression whenever he was working.

In February 1917, Keaton met Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle at the Talmadge Studios in New York City, where Arbuckle was under contract. During his first meeting with Arbuckle, he asked to borrow one of the cameras to get a feel for how it worked. He took the camera back to his hotel room, dismantled and reassembled it. With this rough understanding of the mechanics of the moving pictures, he returned the next day, camera in hand, asking for work. He was hired as a co-star and gag man, making his first appearance in ‘The Butcher Boy’.

In 1920, ‘The Saphead’ was released, in which Keaton had his first starring role in a full-length feature. After Keaton’s successful work with Arbuckle, Schenck gave him his own production unit, Buster Keaton Comedies. He made a series of two-reel comedies, including ‘One Week’ (1920), ‘The Playhouse’ (1921), ‘Cops’ (1922), and ‘The Electric House’ (1922). Based on the success of these shorts, Keaton moved to full-length features. Keaton used various writers, but the most ingenious gags were often conceived by Keaton himself. Comedy director Leo McCarey, recalling the freewheeling days of making slapstick comedies, said, “All of us tried to steal each other’s gagmen. But we had no luck with Keaton, because he thought up his best gags himself and we couldn’t steal him!” The more adventurous ideas called for dangerous stunts, also performed by Keaton at great physical risk. During the railroad water-tank scene in Sherlock Jr., Keaton broke his neck when he fell against a railroad track, but did not realize it until years afterward. A scene from ‘Steamboat Bill Jr.’ required Keaton to run into the shot and stand still on a particular spot. Then, the facade of a two-story building toppled forward on top of Keaton. Keaton’s character emerged unscathed, thanks to a single open window which passed directly over him. The stunt required precision, because the prop house weighed two tons, and the window only offered a few inches of space around Keaton’s body. The sequence became one of the iconic images of Keaton’s career.

Aside from Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928), Keaton’s most enduring feature-length films include ‘Our Hospitality’ (1923), ‘The Navigator’ (1924), ‘Sherlock Jr.’ (1924), ‘Seven Chances’ (1925), ‘The Cameraman’ (1928), and most famously, ‘The General’ (1927). The General, set during the American Civil War, combined physical comedy with Keaton’s love of trains, including an epic locomotive chase. Though it would come to be regarded as Keaton’s proudest achievement, the film received mixed reviews at the time. It was too dramatic for some filmgoers expecting a lightweight comedy, and reviewers questioned Keaton’s judgment in making a comedic film about the Civil War, even while noting it had a “few laughs”. The fact that the heroes of the story were from the Confederate side may have also contributed to the film’s unpopularity.

It was an expensive misfire, and Keaton was never entrusted with total control over his films again. His distributor, United Artists, insisted on a production manager who monitored expenses and interfered with certain story elements. Keaton endured this treatment for two more feature films, and then exchanged his independent setup for employment at Hollywood’s biggest studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Keaton’s loss of independence as a filmmaker coincided with the coming of sound films (although he was interested in making the transition) and mounting personal problems, and his career in the early sound era was hurt as a result.


American Horror Story

FX has put out a fantastic teaser ad campaign for it’s new series ‘American Horror Story’, which stars Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Jessica Lange, is described as a psychosexual thriller. It centers on therapist Ben Harmon (McDermott) and his wife Vivien (Britton) who, dealing with the aftermath of Ben’s adultery, move along with their kids into a new house that seems to know all about their fears and plays on them. To date there appear to be 10 teaser clips, a couple of straight generic forward ads and a series of ‘house call’ ads where they film people scaring their partners… This is one of the generic ads, mainly because I couldn’t show all the teaser clips, but it shows a stylish, high quality production. The show premieres on October 5th this year. Looking forward to it.


Zombiefication: A Short Film – FREE Download

Everyone likes free stuff… click on the link to download: ‘Zombiefication: A Short Film’ free from iTunes

“Zombiefication” is the ultimate manual when it comes to the proper handling of the living dead. Recommended behavioural patterns in case of imminent Zombie epidemics are explained in comprehensible steps and vividly executed. Bloodthirsty horror fun for the entire family!

This short was reviewed as part of the ‘A Night of Horror Film Festival’ in April. Check out the article here


Dublin Zombie Walk 2010 – Zombie Short Film Week

The Dublin Zombie Walk brought together a large group of zombie-loving people, who walked the streets to benefit The Irish Cancer Society and the RNLI. Creatively shot, the video footage of the spooky event was paired up with Johnny Cash’s ‘The Man Comes Around.’ If you watch the video of the Zombie Walk in Dublin, you’ll spot everything from a Gaga zombie to a plastic baby on a string. You will also see blood spewing mouths everywhere. Look Dead, the Zombies are Coming on the 23rd of July 2011 to Dublin.  It’s gonna be horrible! Facebook Event here 


Play Dead – Zombie Short Film Week

A zombie apocalypse unites a ragtag pack of dogs in the ruined streets of Miami. Immune to the epidemic, they must stick together to survive in the midst of ferocious undead and human survivors. Sit. Stay. Play dead… Zombie short film wee. Part 4.


Hobo with a Shotgun

The guys responsible for ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’ recently ran a fan competition for the best fake trailer. There were some awesome entries. Check out the best of them here:

Hobo with a Shotgun gallery

The poster is from a March 15th screening presented by SXSW Film at the Alamo Ritz. It’s bloody great.


Alice Guy-Blaché

Alice Guy-Blaché (July 1, 1873 – March 24, 1968) was a French pioneer filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry and is considered to be one of the first directors of a fiction film.

In 1894 Alice Guy was hired by Leon Gaumont to work for a still-photography company as a secretary. The company soon went out of business but Gaumont bought the defunct operations inventory and began his own company that soon became a major force in the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Alice Guy decided to join the new Gaumont Film Company, a decision that led to a pioneering career in filmmaking spanning more than twenty-five years and involving her directing, producing, writing and/or overseeing more than 700 films.

From 1896 to 1906, Alice Guy was Gaumont’s head of production and is generally considered to be the first filmmaker to systematically develop narrative filmmaking. In 1906, she made The Life of Christ, a big budget production for the time, which included 300 extras. As well, she was one of the pioneers in the use of recordings in conjunction with the images on screen in Gaumont’s “Chronophone” system, which used a vertical-cut disc synchronized to the film. An innovator, she employed special effects, using double exposure masking techniques and even running a film backwards.

In 1907 Alice Guy married Herbert Blache who was soon appointed the production manager for Gaumont’s operations in the United States. After working with her husband for Gaumont in the USA, the two struck out on their own in 1910, partnering with George A. Magie in the formation of The Solax Company, the largest pre-Hollywood studio in America.

Alice Guy and her husband divorced several years later, and with the decline of the East Coast film industry in favour of the more hospitable and cost effective climate in Hollywood, their film partnership also ended.

Following her separation, and after Solax ceased production, Alice Guy-Blaché went to work for William Randolph Hearst’s International Film Service. She returned to France in 1922 and although she never made another film, for the next 30 years she gave lectures on film and wrote novels from film scripts. All but forgotten for decades, in 1953 the government of France awarded her the ‘Legion of Honour’.

Further reading: http://www.aliceguyblache.com/lost-visionary/home


Demonitron

Check out this fake trailer and equally brilliant fake DVD cover left, for ‘Demonitron: The 6th Dimension’  

This screened at the ‘Dead by Dawn’ International Horror Film Festival in Edinburgh.

It’s a hilarious, yet spot-on homage to the films of Italian Horror Film Makers Argento, Fulci, Bava, etc., this fake trailer is a ridiculous amount of fun (even if you don’t know any of the names mentioned above).

I’d rent it.


Shorts Program #3: Night of the Evil Dead

Seven friends and myself attended the ‘Night of the Evil Dead’ short film night at the 5th Annual A Night of Horror film festival. The program consisted of eleven short zombie flicks of varying length and quality. Rather than review them all and give you my opinion I decided to poll my friends to get a more balanced response to the screening… this is the result of that poll. They are in order from the festival website, they did not screen in this order.

Catherine Feeny – People in the Hole (Dir: Keith Rivers / USA / 4 minutes). 1/5 stars The film that polled least was the opening short of the night, a music video for a Catherine Feeny song called ‘People in the Hole’. Catherine is singing away at graveside when a corpse tries to climb out, Catherine helps it and a few more until one of them turns on her and she ends up as one of the living dead. It was well shot but featured way too many aerial shots for whatever reason, maybe someone on the crew knows a helicopter pilot…

Home (Dir: Cameron McCullock / AUS / 12 minutes). 3½/5 stars The second highest points scorer in the poll. This was a great little short about a girl fending off the odd zombie in rural Australia; she reaches a point where she’s had enough and goes into the basement… An excellent lead performance, great SFX and well shot.

Cabine of the Dead (Dir: Vincent Templement / FRA / 10 minutes). 3/5 stars A business man on the run from the undead through a warehouse district backstreets. He hides in a phone booth and calls the Police, his hapless friend and his mother, all to no avail…

Night of the Punks (Dir: Dan Riesser / USA / 19 min). 3/5 stars A punk band arrives at a run-down club for their first ‘road trip’ gig. As the band start to play, demon members of the crowd turn on the other patrons and the band in a feeding frenzy. Very tongue in cheek, we’ve seen it before but it’s done with a sense of humour. Awful acting but who cares? Fun… ish.

Rise of the Living Corpse (Dir: Christopher Walsh / CAN / 1 min). A one-shot visual gag about a corpse rising from beneath the grave… until his rise is cut short. Throwaway fun.

Alice Jacobs is Dead (Dir / USA / 21 min). 3/5 stars The most serious entry of the evening; it was trying to put a different slant on the genre and well done for trying. Adrianne Barbeau is excellent as the titular Alice Jacobs, however John La Zar was so bad as her scientist husband that he really annoyed me. Would have scored more without la Zar…

Zombiefication (Dir: Stefan Lukacs / AUT / 7 min). 2½/5   A fake ‘in flight safety message’ refit delivered to the cinema crowd as a guide to identifying and dealing with zombies in the cinema. Well put together and went over with the majority of the crowd, not so well in our poll.

15:2 (Dir: Brennan Parks / USA / 7 min). 3/5 stars Two paramedics arrive at a deserted dorm building. They’re there to save an overdose victim… he jumps back to life and attempts to eat them. Tongue in cheek with a fun twist that had the cinema laughing.

Tombstone Brides (Dir: Victor Mathieu / USA / 7 min). 2/5 stars Not so great story of a man who apologises at his dead wifes graveside as he is about to remarry… and use the same ring. As he and his new wife start to blow out the thousand candles he’s put around the empty house, his ex-wifes corpse attacks them. Excellent make-up SFX but annoyed me for some reason.

Kidz (Dir: Bren Lynn / CAN / 9 min). 3/5 stars Some kids playing violent shoot-em-up video games tool up after their parents are killed by zombies. They head out into the street and some beheading and shots to the heads of the undead ensues. Fun but one pollster commented that it would have been better if the kids had been killed.

The Living Want Me Dead (Dir: Bill Palmer / USA / 23 min) 4/5 stars The most popular film amongst our group and the best received among the crowd in general. This was a fun take on the genre and was by far and away the best quality flick of the night. Well written, acted and shot. I’d happily buy a copy of this film on DVD… I’ve already joined the facebook page and so should you, show these guys your support here Overall a really fun night, we’ll be back next year.


A Night of Horror International Film Festival

For those of you in Sydney, do yourself and the local film industry a favour and get along to one of the events at this years ‘A Night of Horror Film Festival’

In an industry that seems to be constantly struggling to get local product made, film makers in the horror genre have always managed to get there work out there… and turn enough of a profit to enable them to make another project. This could be down to the passion of the film makers, the quality of their work or the demands of the marketplace… more than likely it is a combination of all three. 

In it’s fifth year, the festival is great fun and low key, no ego here… check it out here Good luck to everyone involved.