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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 10.28.11]

Last night, Vancouver's Rio Theatre was host to a packed house of horror fans ready to take in nearly three hours of entertainment (which dragged into more like 4) for the 2011 Bloodshots screening.

The long running contest, the brainchild of Kier-La Janisse, features 25 teams, each given a specific horror subgenre, weapon, object and a line of dialogue which must be used in their short which can't run more than 7 minutes (credits included) and they have to pump these movies out in 48 hours. As with any competition of this type, the field is varied in talent and output but some of the competitors over the years have gone on to great success; Scooter Corkle's Chloe and Attie (full short) was a big winner a few years ago and the Twisted Twins themselves, Jen & Sylvia Soska, made a splash at the competition before they hit comedy gold with Dead Hooker in a Trunk (review).

Last night's screening featured quite an assortment of styles and stories, some better than others. I didn't make it through to the announcement of the winners and an official announcement hasn't been made on who took home the Bloody Axe for best short but there were a couple of stand outs well worth a look and since all of the shorts are currently online, you can have the pleasure of checking them out yourself.

I loved some of the imagery of Brandon Normon's giallo Paura all'ombra del Desiderio (full short) along with the absolutely fantastic opening and closing moments of Jeffrey Kaiser's Downcast (full short). Two of the funniest films I've seen in a while are Darren Borrowman's Full Moon Tonight (full short) which also has the distinction of featuring an outstanding werewolf transformation, and Ian Gray's Lycan Pride which lacks visual punch but features some fantastically hilarious dialogue. Also worthy of mention are Stephen Stubbs Requiem for a C.H.U.D. (full short) which features the best make-up work I've seen in quite some time and Ria Ambrose and Mark Benard's CGI heavy nightmare Cerebral Static (full short).

My favourite three films, included below for your viewing pleasure, of the night were also three of the most unique: Kial Natale's Father Chrismas which features no blood but beautifully builds a little tale of horror, Andrew Moxham's My Guitar Gently Weeps which is by far the most twisted of the shorts in competition, and Scott Belyea's Of the Dark, a spectacular post apocalyptic tale which pays homage to The Road. It's staggering that Belyea and his crew managed to bring this together in 48 hours because it's pretty spectacular. The image of a decimated Vancouver brought up a cheer from the crowd.

Though the competition continues for a few more days with voting and the awarding of the grand jury prize, this year's Bloodshots has pretty much wrapped with an excellent offering of shorts. Looking forward to 2012!

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uncleB (10 years ago) Reply

Of the Dark was very good.

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