I watch a lot of short films. Most of the offerings that make their way into my inbox are those of indie filmmakers and producers. Over the last few years, my love of indie horror and for the awesome folks in the industry has grown seemingly boundlessly. We’ve shared so many good stories and gotten to see some fantastic works of art.
When Hellarious popped up in my inbox, I knew it would be a film that deserved our immediate attention. Lunch Ladies—my favourite horror short of all time—was being featured in an anthology! My initial thought was, “How could any film dare compare!” But once reason returned and my blood pressure halved, I found myself considering the absurd notion that perhaps there were other short films out there that were indeed worthy of recognition. Now, I know you are laughing with me and not at me, and I know we all stopped watching short films after viewing Lunch Ladies (I mean, what’s the point? Amiright?), but let us, for a minute, entertain the idea that other greats may exist; a Kaiju to defeat the almighty Godzilla!
Waiting for the last customer to leave, the crew of a local supermarket can’t wait to call it a day. Today, it is young Cass’ first day as a store manager and she wants everything to be in order, nevertheless, things will take a turn for the worse as a slight intercom problem together with a sudden power outage will lead to a much more serious trouble. Without a doubt, there’s a killer among them and he wants blood. But where is he hiding?
So, kaiju No. 1. What have you brought forth as a challenge to the mighty Lunch Ladies? In all fairness, this was a fantastic short. It checked off both the horror and comedy boxes without being cringy, which is a challenge in and of itself. The acting was superb; award-tier efforts all around. The leads were perhaps a little too good-looking (weird complaint) and Christine Rodriguez made me consider becoming a homicidal shopping cart if solely for a nibble. She had that squeaky-cute thing going which is really just kryptonite. Ray Bouchard was also the kind of good-looking that makes you reconsider your orientation. In this short, almost everything was edible.
Nom jokes aside, the production value, editing, and choice of shots made this a really well rounded, well-produced, and well shot short. While comedic in nature, it never shirks the high standards it holds throughout and delivers what I can honestly say is one of the best short horror/comedies I’ve seen. It doesn’t, however, dethrone my queens.
A Texas goat rancher must defend his double-wide trailer from a mysterious predator.
So, kaiju Number 2…you too seek the throne? This one was a lot more comedy than it was horror. It is definitely fun, but just a little too slapstick for my taste. The setting and attention to detail are definitely worthy of praise, but the short was almost an adult version of those Saturday morning Loony Toons—and thinking about it in retrospect, it probably was supposed to be just that.
Four unhappily married husbands wake up to a gruesome surprise the night after killing each other’s wives.
Kaiju number 3 was definitely one of the funniest short films I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. Everything was great; the characters were awesome, the story original(-ish), the practical effects and makeup were stellar…it just really just shone across the board. We tend to abuse the acronym “lol,” typing it most often with a deadpan face. ‘Til Death made me literally (a word we also abuse) laugh out loud a number of times. 9/10. You almost got that crown Kaiju 3. Almost.
A metalhead gets passed down a satanic guitar that riffs to shreds.
I’ve actually had the pleasure of seeing this short before, though I cannot—for the love of Satan—remember where. As a bit of a metalhead myself and a lover of all things Lucifer, this definitely tickled my fancy. It pulls off a lot of good gore and special effects while remaining comical and zany; very Metalocalypse. Although admittedly one of the strongest Kaiju, Godzilla still stands unbeaten!
Two burnt out high school Lunch Ladies do whatever it bloody takes on their quest to become Johnny Depp’s Personal Chefs.
The best thing since sliced head. Read our review here.
A mysterious and violent encounter sends a dog on a night of adventure and possibility.
I didn’t expect kaiju number 5 to be such a good boy! I’d say that’s borderline cheating. Bitten is ballsy, bold, and brilliant. It’s a clever concept devilishly executed and it doesn’t shy away from some full-frontal escapades. Sound acting, saucy cinematography, and packed full of laughs, Bitten doggedly pushes boundaries and gets those tails wagging. It really deserves a good belly-rub. The doge was, unfortunately, unable to usurp our Ladies of the lunchroom.
When a group of bumbling Satanists has their summoning ceremony go terribly right, they’re left to face the decidedly holy shit consequences.
I mean…Jesus fucking Christ. Loved every second of it. A flawless (as close as you get) short film that packs so much into its tiny runtime. It’s funny, gory, so well edited and just buckets of blood and fun. It’s also weirdly relatable, which if you’ve seen the short, is probably the most unlikely word you’d attach but it makes perfect sense.
While the short films picked for this anthology were admittedly awesome, Lunch Ladies still remains my all-time fav, with ‘Til Death coming in a very close second with those bountiful laughs. This is a really well-compiled film—all of the shorts have a very similar atmosphere; a tongue in cheek sense of humour and a love of the outrageous. I enjoyed this anthology way more than I had expected and had a ton of fun writing the review. It was really just a great experience overall and you (yes…YOU) should totally throw some cash at this one. It’s money well spent, especially if watching with friends this Halloween over bongs and beer. It’ll be absolutely great for a party and offers many toilet breaks! Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Links and other important info below.
“Hellarious is the perfect movie to celebrate the Halloween season,” said anthology creator Jason Tostevin. “There are scary stories, eww moments that will make you squirm, and even some weirdly sweet moments. And of course, they’re all absolutely hysterical.”
The seven shorts that make up Hellarious are: Lunch Ladies by Clarissa Jacobson and J.M. Logan, Horrific by Robert Boocheck (ABCs of Death 2), Death Metal by Chris McInroy, Born Again and ‘Til Death by Tostevin and Randall Greenland, Killer Kart by James Feeney, Bitten by Sarah K. Reimers.
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