Quick Hit: My first micro short is fun but doesn’t go far enough for me.
This was a good choice for me to watch, as I’m currently trying to find the time and the finances to go get another tattoo. It’s a micro short, with this one being right at a minute long. It essentially features a story of some nefarious dealings that occur behind the scenes of a tattoo parlor.
One of the things about a micro short – EVERYTHING has to go right, right away, because there’s no time for anything to go wrong. Where Michael Wong, director of this short, succeeds, he is extremely successful – the coloration of the short is fantastic. The cold open with the women on the chair getting a tattoo is perfect to set the scene. But I didn’t like the quick bleed (pun unintended) into the screaming, trapped people. One key shot seems to have been missing – it could have just been the Tattooist walking out of the room – that would have served as a nice transition.
I also wasn’t huge on the dancing at the end either, but what do I know? I’m just an old curmudgeon sometimes.
Wong has created a short that is strong on ideas and visuals, even if it wasn’t my favorite. I’m giving it a “B-“.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
Quick Hit: Boring and awful and unnecessary.
It’s unfortunate when creepy things go by the wayside. Internet and social media culture (of which I’m a huge fan of) consistently sends things into the stratosphere of popularity, only for them to slowly deflate like the rubber balloons they are and drop down to the earth, deflated and useless. But, alas, Hollywood was never not one to try and make a quick buck, and the expansive mining of the internet brought forth Slender man – a Creepypasta meme that ended up taking a drastic and traumatic turn in real life.
So we have what probably could have made a good horror film, if you were willing to either A) go to some very dark places in exploiting the death of a young teen, or B) delved into the mystery and given rules to a creation that essentially has no backstory besides a guy who pasted a picture next to some kids. While I don’t really think an origin story for a meme character is necessary, it would have at least given this dribble a bit of direction.
Essentially what happens in this film is that four friends summon the Slenderman one night when they’re bored, by watching what seems to be the video from The Ring. Nothing happens but a week later one goes missing, and they all know it’s the Slenderman because of dreams or something like that. It’s truly an awful transition, and the performances are so varied that I don’t know how it could get much better. The movie drags onnnnnn and onnnnn as they tiptoe around trying not to be scared before always ending up in the woods (I guess because that meme seemed to be in the woods. Hmmmm).
All this in a ninety minute horror film – can you believe it?
This movie has stolen so many things from so many different horror films - blatantly, I might add. And it's adding nothing at all of its own ideas. I thought the Bye Bye Man was awful, but at least he kinda sorta had rules to follow. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what happens to these victims. It's worthless - follow horror movie rules or subvert them, but when you totally ignore... ugh.
Don’t waste your time – skip the Slenderman and find one of the better shorts on the internet about him. “F”.
I'm not even gonna link this to IMDB. It doesn't deserve it.
Quick Hit – Very funny short that combines some fun ideas with good performances, but doesn’t totally stick the opening
It can be really interesting to imagine the pitches to certain famous things, particularly when it comes to kids programming (well, he’s a sponge, and he lives under the sea…). That’s the idea behind Italian Turtles, the latest short sent in by friend of the site Timothy J. Cox. It’s the pitch meeting behind the classic cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
I’ve written before about the history of the turtles after watching the much maligned live action reboots. It’s fun to see the little things that are brought up in the pitch meeting, because when you know a lot about something, you appreciate when others bring it up. I can see why they didn’t bring up Daredevil, but I really wish they could have found a way to. I think the setting of the story and having the entire thing play out in one room was genius.
I really liked the acting too. For me, the weakest characters were those playing Kevin and Peter. I feel like they just weren’t really given enough. The strongest were the characters of Karl (BJ Gruber) and Pat (Janel Koloski), who played the “Yes men” to Cox’s John Handy. The highlight for me was watching these two actors play off each other in their competition to suck up. I honestly think Koloski stole this whole short with her performance, as some of her comedic timing is perfect and had me chuckling out loud (for those keeping score, that’s LOL’ing). She was terrific and I look forward to seeing her in more things!
With a little extra pizza sauce on the opening scene, I think this would have been perfection. As it is, I’m going to give this one a still very good “B+”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"