Anthologies can be tricky things. No film is created equal, and that goes double for short films; but Blood Clots is a surprising combo of films that gives the audience a little bit of everything, while sacrificing nothing.
We start out with Freedom Cinema’s Hell of a Day, which takes place during a zombie apocalypse in rural Australia. It asks the question, “If you were trapped in a cellar, with a corpse, what would you do?” It’s not a question you would often think about. Instead of putting the focus on fighting an army of the undead, the focus is on the sole survivor of the story as she hunkers down in a cellar with a rotting body beside her. As the days pass, her mind fades, until she herself becomes a mindless zombie of her own. With a creepy, abandoned feeling straight from the get, Hell of a Day puts right where you want to be at the start of a horror movie marathon. Huge nod to the makeup department as well, who really added their own flair to the design of the zombies. (Check out the dangling arm! Trust me!)
Clot #2, Never Tear Us Apart from Sid Zaddorlin, is probably the weakest of the 7 short films. Two buddies (I assume,) rent an AirBnb for the weekend (I assume,) only to find the owners are cannibals. The twist ends with strange socket-shaped lumps on necks, all sorts of hugs and blood. What I am trying to say here is that the set up is confusing, and so is the ending. There is much screaming of lines from one character, and with it being such a short film you get yanked around so much mentally that you are left unfulfilled. This one could do with an additional 5-10 minutes to clear up a few things, and conclude a few things.
Martin Pick’s Blue Moon reminds me of another favorite short of mine, T is for Torture, by the Soska Sisters for ABC’s of Death. A scared Romanian girl has been hired by a sleazy porn company for some serious degradation in exchange for a couple bucks. The van is boarded on the inside, there’s a half dozen people advancing on her in the dark woods kind of kinky. Too bad for the oily producer and his cast, though, he chose to shoot during a full moon. What follows is several minutes of the goriest werewolf carnage you could hope for, sensitive appendages caught in doors, and overall you are left feeling a strange sense of justice served and girl power. Blue Moon takes “dogging” to a whole new level.
Now don’t judge me for saying that Luke Asa Guidici’s Time To Eat gave me warm fuzzies. I was first taken aback at how easily the actors in this one conveyed every single beat without uttering a word. The sweetest, every day moment of a mother calling her child in to supper takes on a whole new form with Time To Eat, and will leave you smiling in spite of yourself.
Clot #5, Still, written and directed by Carl Timms, takes over control with its dark humor reminiscent of classics like Shaun of the Dead. Our protagonist is a human statue, who remains frozen in the middle of a frenzied zombie feeding, commentating about everything from the cramp in his leg to the fate of his fellow street performers. Locked in a staring match with a suspicious zombie, he bemoans his choice of profession, and considers his possibilities of escape. The clever, dark wit of this film is backed up by makeup effects from Shaun artist Shaun Conran and stars Joe Capella as our golden-faced hero.
Let’s go from London to the sandy beaches of Savannah, Georgia with Hellyfish next, written by Patrick Longsmith and directed by Longsmith and Robert McLean. Wow; this one really floored me on production. Out of all seven films, Hellyfish I believe should be looked at as the next feature to join the ranks of Snakes on a Plane, or Piranha 3-D. Despite its strange, Sucker Punch-looking intro with an
Iranian and Russian spy suddenly dives into a dazzling set of opening credits and comes out a cheesy, ready-to-go SyFy original. The spies had been looking for a decades-old H Bomb off the coast and it seems that the jellyfish have gotten a little extra oomph from it over the years. What is created are mutant, man-eating jellyfish capable of crawling over land with their massive, tarantula tentacles. You’ve been duped. Though Longsmith was going for a metaphor on the state of foreign affairs in America? You were duped. Hellyfish isn’t about espionage, it’s cheesy B-Movie decadence. A fully-committed cast delivers all the expected beach movie tropes perfectly, from GTL Beach Bros to Jaws puns. Although it does end a bit too abruptly for my taste, that only gives me a bigger reason to beg Syfy to swipe this up as the next Sharknado franchise.
Finishing out our list is the seventh installment, The Call of Charlie. A classy dinner party being hosted by Brooke Smith (The Silence of the Lambs) is interrupted by an obnoxious couple inviting themselves over. Awkward, especially since the other couple who were actually invited are meeting for a blind date. Charlie has been single for too long, his friends think, and needs a companion. But the issue is that Charlie from work is a Lovecraftian Hell Monster. That doesn’t make him a person without value, though, and is just like us in a lot of ways. He knows how to bring just the right tasteful gift to the hosts, and gets nervous over someone he likes. He leaves gracious thank you cards, and enjoys good salmon. Although Charlie might be horrifying, and makes nearly impossible to watch him eat, he is still a person who deserves respect, something the party crashers struggle to deal with. A bit of a nod to accepting people as they are and equality for all wrapped in a dark, dry comedy, Nick Spooner’s The Call of Charlie is a great red wine at the end of a long line of horrific tidbits.
Find this freaky collection on Vimeo, or check out the trailer below