Ray and Shawn go over their recent viewings, and there are A LOT of recommendations therein. From Netflix’s new Fear Street: 1994 to Ray’s impressions on this year’s Etheria Film Festival, to a succession of films Shawn is already betting will end up in his top of the year six months from now, we have a lot for you this week. Oh yeah, and there’s a totally impromptu discussion about Terminator to begin the episode. Just ‘cuz.
It’s the end of the year (finally), and thus, time for the time-honored tradition of ranking our favorite Horror films from the last 12 months!
One thing this past Halloween really highlighted for me is the fact that there is an abundance of short films in the Horror Genre, and as such, there are more vehicles out there to deliver them to us than I’d ever realized. This includes fests, but also, there are shorts on Shudder, Amazon Prime, umbrellaed within series on streaming services, and online. After attending Joe Bobs Haunted Drive-In on October 27th, I formulated a plan to begin seeking these out and posting them here in a new column.
Welcome to The Short Version!
With the help of The Horror Vision’s new Facebook Discussion Group – I’ve been falling down a bit of an Internet Rabbit Hole on Horror Shorts. Here then, are some of the most recent shorts I’ve seen or trailers for series that host them. Seek this stuff out – there are often times when I don’t have enough time to watch a full flick, and Shorts can deliver the same intensity and wonderment that a full-length does.
To start, here’s what I considered the best of the short films I saw on October 27th at Joe Bob’s Haunted Drive-In:
Next, here are some I’ve found or been pointed at by fellow Horror Vision Discussionairies (yes, I totally just made that word right the hell up. Deal with it!)
Blight was directed by FX gurus Kate Walshe and Christopher Goodman.
Miners Mountain was written and directed by Bennett Pellington. There’s a Part Two in the works, the trailer for which can be viewed HERE.
Next, here are the trailers to two shows I stumbled across on Amazon Prime lately. The First, By Night: Origins is the first in what I hope will be more seasons of an anthology show, each episode unique unto itself and very different in tone and
The Second, a Spanish-produced anthology that continually sees the same actors and creators making low budget but very well executed Horror shorts:
I don’t know much about either By Night: Origins or From Beyond the series, however, both are short enough seasons to knock out in little time, and both definitely pressed the “Happy Horror Joy Buzzer” in me.
More next time in The Short Version! See you then.
Hey fiends! So Halloween has come and gone, and if you were like me, it was somewhat uneventful while you sat at home being safe. But maybe you are not ready to let the season go by quite just yet. So why not take in a couple of great anthologies that are perfect for saying goodbye for the season with Scare Package and Tales of Halloween.
Scare Package is a fun anthology of horror shorts all tied together by a couple of framing devices and tons of fun horror and gore. The film is not just an homage to the horror genre but is also how most horror fans over the age of 30 were first introduced to horror movies, the local video store. The film’s primary framing device is Rad Chad’s video store, where the stories usually have their genesis as either a story or a videotape being played or discussed. Rad Chad is the know-it-all horror guy, and Sam is one of his customers, the attention-seeking horror nerd. Later Chad acknowledges his role as a know-it-all horror guy and that he is a part of a horror movie. Most of the characters in the meta situations are easily recognizable in horror, and the way they are used and displayed is comic and fun.
Many genres of horror are referenced, and usually, every short references more than one. From slashers to monsters to devil worshippers to body melt to black government scientists, so many troupes are referenced and made fun of but in the most loving of ways. The people involved in this love horror movies and wanted to create something that showed that love. There is a fun reference early on to a horror icon who later makes a cameo as a character. Among some of my favorite moments are a short involving body melt and a secret government experiment. There is also a wrap-around framing device and an entertaining character in it.
Tales of Halloween is a lot less meta but still pays its share of homage while utilizing a more cemented location and a fun run start to finish. The film takes place on Halloween in a suburban town. A local DJ, played by Adrienne Barbeau, narrates and is heard throughout the film when characters listen to the radio. For fans of the Fog, you will live the use of Barbary. Some of the stories are very horror focused while others are horror-comedy. Among the genres referenced are urban legends, vengeful ghosts, devils and imps, slashers, aliens, witches, and demons. I tend to like the more comedic, but a couple took me by surprise with their twists.
I think the order of Scare Package and then Tales of Halloween is the better choice because of how the stories are presented. Scare Package tends to ramp up and even ends with a bang. Continuing with Tales of Halloween is a good way to end the night because it’s almost a cool down and all of the tales take place on Halloween night. If you feel ambitious or just have lots of time, you could always make this a triple feature with Trick-r-Treat if you did not already watch it this past Halloween season. I would probably place it right between the two or after Tales of Halloween, but that one I will leave for you to decide.
Finally, both Scare Package and Tales of Halloween are available on Shudder, where I suggest watching them. For one, they are both conveniently streaming in one place, so whether you are watching from a computer or smart tv you can stay in one application. Tales of Halloween is on the main page under a Shudder Halloween and Scare Package is in the separate category Exclusive and Original. But I would recommend looking up the Last Drive-In presentation of Scare Package just to add another element of fun with Joe Bob Briggs.
Ray, Kirsten, and Shawn bring you their immediate review/reaction to the nine short films and plethora of awesome trailers that Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, and Felissa Rose hosted at Joe Bob’s Haunted Drive-In tonight at the Roadium in Torrance, CA. Tickets are still available for several shows this week – go HERE to buy them now!
Our favorite from the fest: