[David Krause scrapes up some more Roadkill for us. This time, he's turned up a few short films that have lingered for years on the highways and byways of the Weird Wide Web...]
I don’t know what it is about horror, but many budding filmmakers choose the genre as the focus of their initial short-film efforts. Some (Tobe Hooper comes to mind) make fantastic works, while others create schlocky shit that nobody could even ironically enjoy.
Usually those first shorts are sent out as calling cards on the film festival circuit. Once the director finds gainful employment, the films are tucked away and forgotten, much like a college entrance essay. However, some of these early efforts are entertaining and original. There are many such films bobbing around in an endless expanse of web-video sludge, waiting to be found by eager film buffs.
Imagine finding a thread descending into your kitchen sink; you pull on it and a black, fetal mess gurgles out at you. What would you do?
Kitchen Sink is one of the first films by Canadian Alison Maclean, who went on to direct episodes of Sex and the City, Carnivàle and Gossip Girl. Made in 1989, the fantastically creepy short would have never been seen outside of the festival circuit if it wasn’t for YouTube or Vimeo.
Where Kitchen Sink stands out from the web-video crowd of today is its Lynchian tone and creature-feature trappings. It could almost be described as Nektromantic meets Eraserhead, but that connotation would be too horrific and strong. However, the comparison needs to be made to help identify similar visual tones found in the short.
It would be well worth your time to check out Kitchen Sink. Enjoy!
Production company Fewdio creates scary shorts and places them on its YouTube channel. For budding horror creators, the shorts are must-sees to gain inspiration on what can be done with talent, technical skill and ingenuity.
Bedfellows plays on the idea of home sanctity, to a terrifying degree of suspense. Snuggling up to a loved one in bed is one of life’s simple pleasures. It is where we feel intimate and safe – at least, it was. Watch at your own peril!
Some short-film animators go on to illustrious careers in narrative film or television (South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone), while others wind up in advertising. Don Hertzfeldt has etched a living for himself that is far removed from those mainstream channels. Instead of creating feature films and working with a team, he slaves away in his house for years on end to create his animated shorts, which he tours himself and sells on his website.
Billy’s Balloon was made by Hertzfeldt and released to the public in 1998. It was nominated for a Short Film Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and gave a boost to Hertzfeldt’s film career.
The short is cute, surreal and strangely disturbing. As adults, we see children giggling with balloons in parks, but never think twice about the objects in hand: the balloons themselves.
Hertzfedlt plays with the shiny, inanimate objects and turns them into things of horror. Funnily enough, the children in Billy’s Balloon look bewildered and bemused – almost bored – as their little bodies drop repeatedly from the sky onto the hard ground below.