FILM REVIEW: 2018 SPOOKY MOVIE INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FEST Selection - EYESLICER: HALLOWEEN SPECI
Directed by: Robin Comisar, Laura Moss, Brian Lonano, Nellie Kluz, Sophy Romvari, Jennifer Proctor, Joshua Yates, Jacqueline Castel, Emma Debany, Carlos Lopez
So, if you're a fan of the classic HBO TV show Tales From The Crypt and the syndicated classic Tales From The Darkside, then this movie will be a real treat for you. Eyeslicer: Halloween Special is a series of primarily female-directed and themed horror and Halloween shorts. These shorts range from the scary to the extremely funny.
The first short is called Great Choice, directed by Robin Comisar. Acting as a darkly funny love letter to Tales From The Crypt, Carrie Coon finds herself trapped in a Red Lobster commercial that seems to keep repeating itself. Goons soon realizes that the only way out is to stop her co-stars from saying their lines. It's weirdly funny and original at the same time.
The next short is called Fry Day, directed by Laura Moss. Set in 1989, this unforgettable story centers around a teenage girl who is taking pictures of people who have come to wait outside the Florida State Prison where Ted Bundy is about to be electrocuted. While I wouldn't call this one a horror movie, there is a dark coming of age-story that is compelling and makes the viewer think of Rob Reiner's classic film Stand By Me.
As mentioned before, many of the shorts dont play to the horror elements as much as they do comedic elements. Gwilliam’s Tips for Turning Tricks Into Treats by Brian Lonano, for example, is a comedy starring a misshapen puppet called Gwilliam, who tells sophomoric jokes while hitting on men. Crow-Hand, also directed by Lonano is conversely a fun, blue-screen centric movie about a guy who picks up a crow key-chain and soon finds his left arm transformed into a crow that attacks him and his girlfriend.
In contrast to those features with comedic undertones, you also have shorts that are more thoughtful. All the Witches (directed Nellie Kluz), for instance, is actually a behind-the-scenes documentry of a fictional horror movie called All the Witches. Pumpkin Night (directed by Sophy Romvari), in contrast, is not so much a horror movie as it is a story about two women living on different sides of US - talking to each other through Skype while carving their respective pumpkins for Halloween. While not explicitly scary, the short is still very engaging. Then there's Jennifer Proctor's short, Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix, which shows a series of bathtub scenes from various thrillers and horror movies in a way that makes the audience think about how women in bathtubs have been used in horror movies.
Now, with all prior assessment about the prior shorts featured, don't get the impression that Eyeslicer skimps on hardcore horror. Puppet Man (directed by Jacqueline Castel), for example, is a fun tribute to eighties slasher films and also features a cameo by legendary director John Carpenter. Joshua Yates' Underbelly Up is a story about the 2015 South Carolina floods that causes the story's narrator to become a ghost.
Overall, of all the shorts, I would say the two most scariest short movies were Emma Debany's Steve's Kinkoes, about a man who stops at a twenty-four copy store that doesn't want him to leave. Then there's Laura Moss' second short movie, Allen Anders – Live at the Comedy Castle, where a stand-up comic must keep getting back on stage to perform the same comedy routine over and over again to the same audience - who keeps laughing at it as if its the first time he's ever told it. This one, for me, was very disturbing.
To close the film, you have a short called Ghosting It, directed by Carlos Lopez. In this hilarious film three friends decide that one of them needs to hook up with a guy dressed in a ghost costume. The result is pretty funny.
Eyeslicer: Halloween Special is one of the best movies horror movies one could see this weekend at the Scary Movie International Horror Film Festival.
Overall Grade: A