Fantastic Fest 2015 Short Film Lineup is Awesome

Fantastic Fest 2015 Short Film Lineup is Awesome

The short film’s at this year’s Fantastic Fest is curated by veteran festival programmer, film producer and apparent hat enthusiast, Peter Kuplowsky. There’s 40 short films(!) to choose from this year, and, according to the press release, your minds will melt, your sides will split, and jaws will hit the friggin floor.

I’m always excited for the shorts at any film festival. They’re a compact showcase of both cinematic curiosity and burgeoning talent. Some of the coolest, most original narratives can be found in this vastly under-appreciated art form. The shorts at Fantastic Fest are even cooler, because they are some of the wildest, most insane cinema bites you will ever experience. Trust me when I say that you will be quite pleased if you find all of them and devour them immediately upon release.

Below is a sampling of this year’s best shorts…well the ones I’m most excited about, anyway. They’ll be both live action and animated offerings, hailing from all genres to please every greedy palate.

DETECTIVE TROUSERS

DETECTIVE TROUSERS IN THE BEAT GOES ON
United States, 2015
Texas Premiere, 5 min
Directors – Zachary Scheer and Matt Choi
The Gold Watch Murders have put a damper on Captain Padlilly’s Retirement party in this witty stab at an animated police procedural that intermingles humans with anthropomorphic animal gumshoes and will leave you jonesing for more.

GROWING PAINS

GROWING PAINS
Denmark, 2014
Regional Premiere, 21 min
Director – Tor Fruergaard
After years of living under his mother’s thumb, a sexually repressed teenager finds his body undergoing some unusual transformations upon catching the eye of a cute neighbor. A coming of age story complete with threat of castration, brilliantly animated against a backdrop of paper dioramas.

THE GUESTS
Australia, 2015
North American Premiere, 10 min
Director – Shane Danielsen
The guests have begun to arrive, only Anna didn’t invite them. An exquisitely eerie nightmare of manners.

MOVIES IN SPACE
United States, 2015
Regional Premiere, 14 min
Director – Chris Smith
The axiom that in Hollywood “nobody knows anything” also rings true in the rest of the galaxy, so Earth Ambassador Travis Shepherd discovers when he inadvertently becomes a movie mogul on an alien planet. An infectiously hilarious marvel in its comic escalation.

TOONPOCALYPSE
Scotland, 2015
Texas Premiere, 18 min
Director – Owen Rixon
Two cartoon characters become privy to a video documenting the invasion of the Earth by fiends hailing from the second-dimension! A thrilling and hilarious reinvigoration of the found footage genre through a delightful marriage of live-action and animation.

SHORT FUSE 2015

“Fantastic Fest once more ignites your synapses with an assembly of the year’s best short-form horror, including PORTAL TO HELL, the last film of genre film icon and wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper!”

BABYSITTER MURDERS


THE BABYSITTER MURDERS

United States, 2015
Texas Premiere, 21 min
Director – RYAN SPINDELL
A babysitter does epic battle with a dangerous psychotic in this slick and scary homage to slasher cinema.

El Gigante

EL GIGANTE
Canada, 2014
Texas Premiere, 13 min
Director – Gigi Saul Guerrero
A desperate trek across the US/Mexico border condemns a man to a blood-stained ring of death at the behest of a cannibalistic family of luchador aficionados in this slick and sick grand guignol of guts and gore.

THE MILL AT CALDER’S END
United States, 2014
Texas Premiere, 14 min
Director – Kevin McTurk
A young man returns to his childhood home intent on breaking a family curse. An exceptionally creepy pastiche of Poe and Lovecraft’s mood and mythology realized through bunraku rod puppets voiced by Jason Flemyng (THE MISSING) and Barbara Steele (BLACK SUNDAY).

PORTAL TO HELL

Canada, 2015
US Premiere, 11 min
Director – Vivieno Caldinelli
Toilet clogged? Call the super. Hallway light needs replaced? Call the super. Got an infestation of Cthulhu’s tentacles in the basement? Pray that Rowdy Roddy Piper is your super. Fortunately for the folks in this short, he is, and unfortunately for the elder god, he’s all outta of bubblegum.

SISTER HELL
Norway, 2015
World Premiere, 14 min
Director – Fredrik Hana
A nun absconds from her monastery and embraces a more hedonistic lifestyle, but the sisters she left behind are soon hot on her heels in a bid to save her soul. Only it might not be her soul that needs saving. Fredrik Hana (ANGST, PISS AND DRID, AUTUMN HARVEST) returns with this demonic parable inspired in part by the “energy & sheer insanity” of last years Fantastic Fest.

 

SHORTS WITH LEGS 2015

“Inspired by the DIY tour-de-force I AM A KNIFE WITH LEGS, which played at last year’s Fantastic Fest, this programme compiles the strangest and most compelling eccentric short films we’ve seen all year, from polished excursions into existential surrealism from the creators of SOUND OF NOISE and THE EDITOR to enthusiastic reveries of outsider art madness.”

ALIKE & DIFFERENT
United States, 2015
World Premiere, 4 min
Director – David Davis
David Davis becomes your new favorite outsider artist in this lo-fi satirical look at a first contact scenario.

DISCO INFERNO


DISCO INFERNO

Spain, 2015
North American Premiere, 12 min
Director – Ali Waddington
A black clad vixen infiltrates a sumptuous mansion overrun with cultists in what begins as a rescue mission, and then deliriously descends into an eerie musical reverie, before finally arriving at a most unexpected conclusion.

DOGBOWL

DOG BOWL
United States, 2015
Texas Premiere, 19 min
Director – Gordy Hoffman
The theft of service “dog” vest ignites an existential crisis with “sirius” cosmic repercussions. This short is also exactly 44.5x funnier than that aforementioned pun. It is impecable absurdism, the kind that inspires both wonder and gleeful delight.

MAN WITHOUT DIRECTION

Sweden, 2015
World Premiere, 15 min
Directors – Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Pelle Öhlund, Nina Jemth
A put-upon man nearly loses himself to the labyrinthine corridors of a shabby roadside hotel in this sublimely surreal dark comedy inspired by Dante’s Inferno. A unique collaboration between the creators of SOUND OF NOISE and Moomsteatern, an acclaimed Swedish theatre company comprised of performers with intellectual disabilities.

MY JOHNNY
United States, 2014
Texas Premiere, 30 min
Director -Vincent de Ghoulie
An epic suburban fever dream about a boy, a babysitter and prescription LSD. LA fringe filmmaker Vincent De Ghoulie claims to have invoked the spirit of his former teacher and great experimental artist George Kuchar while making the film and the result is something so magnificently singular it deserves to sits alongside cinematic company as prestigious as Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE and as infamous as Breen’s FATEFUL FINDINGS. May melt your brain, but will split your sides and leave you in utter astonishment.

TRIAL RUN
United States, 2015
World Premiere, 20 min
Director – Lawrence Peter Klein
A pop-up ad on a porn site leads an unemployed and unstable man on a convoluted cross-country mission to recover a litany of mysterious corpses with the promise of sexual fulfillment. A kinetic and compelling menagerie of conspiratorial musings and manic ruminations reminiscent of Craig Baldwin’s Tribulation 99 monologues, as if performed by a deranged Jack Burton.

 

SHORTS PAIRED WITH FEATURES:

THE CHAMP
Canada, 2015
World Premiere, 9 min
Director – Fabian Velasco
A former boxing champion sits on death row. He has accepted the inevitable, but is nonetheless determined to ensure that no one will ever lay claim to his championship belt. An exceedingly odd and idiosyncratic parable of ego and futility.

THE_CHICKENING_STILL

THE CHICKENING
Canada, 2015
US Premiere, 5 min
Directors – Nick DenBoer & Davy Force
All work and no chicken makes Jack a dull boy, so heeeere’s THE CHICKENING! The most awe-inspiring and ridiculous mash-up of cinema and cuisine your eyes will ever see.

COPYCAT

COPYCAT
United States, 2015
Regional Premiere, 9 min
Director – Charlie Lyne
In 1991 Rolfe Kanefsky made a meta-horror film that few people saw, but perhaps one person stole. Experimental filmmaker Charlie Lyne records the testimony and sets its against a hypnotic and witty montage of horror cinema.

DEATHLY
United States, 2015
North American Premiere, 13 min
Director – Mike Williamson
A man’s home becomes the site of supernatural occurrences following his wife’s untimely passing. Alan Ruck (FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF) stars in this fun slice of pulpy horror from Fantastic Fest alumni Mike Williamson (IN THE WALL).

FUCK BUDDIES
Canada, 2015
World Premiere, 19 min
Director – Nathaniel Wilson
Platonic roommates Joseph and Ellie try to ‘keep it casual’ when they find themselves manipulated into sex with each other by an enigmatic entity. A gross, disturbing and scathingly funny investigation of the compulsion for intimacy and its emotional and biological collateral damage.

FUCKKKYOUUU

FUCKKKYOUUU
United States, 2015
Texas Premiere
Director – Eddie Alcazar
Love hurts in this gorgeous and grotesque experimental trance of time travel and body horror, stunningly captured with immaculately textured black and white photography.

SLOW CREEP


SLOW CREEP

United States, 2015
World Premiere, 12 min
Director – Jim Hickcox
Three teens defy the warnings of a video store clerk and go ahead with renting a cursed VHS. What begins as an endearing exercise in creature feature schlock then transforms into a sublime and infectious… well I won’t spoil it here.

WARM INSIDES

United States, 2015
World Premiere, 10 min
Director – Andrew Merrill
A skin-crawling and impressively haptic grayscale psychodrama, wherein a woman’s body becomes host to a parasitic, worm-like organism. She really doesn’t need this right now, especially so close to the holidays.

WORLD OF TOMORROW

United States, 2015
Special Screening, 16 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
A young girl is confronted with her future in this sublime award-winning festival favorite by Don Hertzfeldt (IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY, REJECTED).

 

There you have! The weird, the awesome, the fun, the FUCKED UP shorts of Fantastic Fest 2015. Get into it.