Last month Fantastic Fest played host to over 40 short films from around the world. While most of them are still playing the festival circuit, a few have begun to crop up online. Birth.Movies.Death. has already championed Givertaker and Judy, but just in time for Halloween weekend, here are a few other fantastic shorts that have recently hit the Internet. Though none of the seasonally appropriate Short Fuse shorts have been released yet, this eclectic ensemble nonetheless boasts a fair share of delirious and disturbing imagery. Enjoy!
First up is Ryan Dickie and Abigail Horton’s Club Policy, an exemplary slice of escalating absurdism that features both hilarious performances and some truly novel ocular prosthetics.
Following up on their terrific Norwegian Metal Documentary Until the Light Takes Us is Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell’s fictional debut, the understated but absorbing speculative fiction called Memory Box, which explores the drama that bubbles between an actress (Mackenzie Davis) working at a memory recreation facility and her seemingly enigmatic client (Shane Carruth).
Ricocheting to something completely different is the completely bonkers The Man From Death: a silly, splatterific symphony of ludicrously action-packed ultra-violent mayhem (and meme-hem) which pivots around a magical prophetic to-do list and is set in an anachronistic old west populated by gunslingers, martial arts and sentient bullets. The short teases a larger story and with this ambitious proof-of-concept director Stephen Reedy and writer Eric Lim certainly have my attention.
The Shorts With Legs program at Fantastic Fest is dedicated to championing the weirdest and most surreal submissions to the festival, and it’s also an opportunity for me to unleash the baffling but beguiling works of Vinny De Ghoulie on an audience. A student of underground auteur George Kuchar, De Ghoulie’s Sister's Fire is a truly unhinged psycho-comedy. Aesthetically anarchic and cast with more LA eccentrics then a Tim and Eric sketch, the film unravels a truly bizarre vaporwave nightmare about an elderly woman trying to kill her substantially younger drug-addled brother. Well worth the time of eyeballs that have enjoyed the films of Damon Packard and that which lies in the recesses of deep YouTube.
Harking from the same Fantastic Fest program as Sister's Fire, but operating on an opposing register, is James Siewert’s mesmerizing monochrome mixed-media allegory The Past Inside the Present. Stunningly realized in part through hand-drawn charcoal rotoscoped animation, the short is being officially distributed by the filmmaker collective Indie Street, and they’re offering both the film and a bevy of special features for free through the newly christened platform Bit Torrent Now.