OCTOBER 19, 2008
SOURCE: THEATRICAL (SCREAMFEST)
A lot of the features have had shorts before them (a welcome change from Screamfest’s past), and while some have been pretty lousy, I wanted to point out a few that I thought were pretty great.
The best was The Tale Of Haunted Mike, by Drew Daywalt & David Schneider. It’s hilarious, well shot, and it stars a couple of overweight 30+ guys. Mike’s a scam artist who sells “haunted” stuff on ebay, the other guy is one of presumably many folks who sells assorted junk to Mike for much less than he will make on Ebay. The story has a nice twist, and there is random usage of the Saw music, so all in all it’s definitely a winner.
Two others involve Danielle Harris. One is Burying The Ex, which she just stars in (along with Freaks and Geeks' John Francis Daley), and it’s a funny/sad account of a guy who needs to move on with regards to his ex girlfriend. The metaphor is a bit on the nose, but it’s funny, well shot, and unlike some of the other shorts, fully professional on both sides of the camera.
The other Harris-fied short is Madison, which was actually directed by her (she also pops up in a brief role). It’s about the title character (Dana Daurey, whom I never heard of and was completely smitten with by the end of the short) dealing with her rising paranoia of why her boyfriend hasn’t returned home after heading out with a female friend. Halloween fans should definitely dig it; along with Harris, 4’s Kathleen Kinmont and 6’s JC Brandy (who was playing Harris’ role in that film) also show up. And its produced/written by Anthony Masi, who was behind the excellent documentary on the series called 25 Years of Terror.
Another great one was Rory Kindersley and Jason Noto's Butcher's Hill. It's a pretty simple, gory version of Hansel and Gretel, with one of the best gore gags I've ever seen and a wonderful look to it. And unlike some of these others, it was actually, well, SHORT, clocking in around 5 minutes (if it was longer, it certainly didn't feel that way).
Strangely, some dude asked about when the Harris films would be on DVD – wasn’t aware that short films were often found at Best Buy. But I’m sure they will all be playing festivals and/or shown online in some form – keep an eye out for all of them.
What say you?