Dead By Dawn 2013 – The Shorts
Unlike previous years, the short films shown at this Dead By Dawn were all spread out to come before main features. No animated selection this year and no bumper selection of short after short. I believe that this was due to the year 2012-2013 just being so damn busy for people involved with the festival, but I also believe that I preferred this set-up. The short films were still given a chance to shine, and there were also a couple of fiction writing excerpts read out by some talented local (I believe) writers.
Anyway, here are the shorts.
A woman is chased through the woods by some men in this short from Josh MacDonald. It’s a scenario that we’ve seen many times before. And then things change, thanks to a very humourous twisting of the whole scenario.
You may want to eat before watching this short from Jason Noto because you’ll certainly not have as much appetite left after it. A boy watches his grandma cook up a hearty meal in the kitchen, but the reality of the food preparation and the vision seen by the boy are two very different perspectives.
If you can imagine Chris Cunningham doing a music video for some crossover project between Tom Waits and Jack White then this astonishing short might well be the result. Sam Walker really impresses with the visuals, and the song is great.
The Graveyard Feeder
Rich Robinson directs this short, something that feels like a mixture of The Frighteners and Dellamorte Dellamore. Sean Bridgers plays the groundskeeper, Burke Sawyer, trying to stop the corpse of his deceased father from being eaten by the hungry creature that’s making its way through the graveyard.
Boys From County Hell
There’s an easy way to describe this short by Chris Baugh, but I think it would spoil the main surprise so I’m not going to take that option. I’ll just say, instead, that this has the usual charming humour expected from Irish fare and adds some decent visuals and genuine tension here and there. Really good fun.
Fist Of Jesus
15 minutes of inspired lunacy by Adrian Cardona. View it here and then help them get a feature made any way you can. This was the winner of the best short here at Dead By Dawn, and deservedly so, in my opinion.
I Am Your Grandma
If you don’t take one minute of your time to watch this slice of bonkers brilliance from Jillian Mayer then I have nothing to say to you. Treat yourself.
Two Fingers/Vengeance Rhythm
It’s rare indeed to find a pertinent comment in the sea of dross that is the dreaded . . . . . . YouTube Comments section, but someone called this Tarantino’s childhood. That sums it up. Fantastic stuff with a LOT of over the top bloody violence. I also really liked the music by Amon Tobin, but Chris Ullins is the man supplying the visual carnage.
Careful With That Crossbow/Careful With That Axe/Careful With That Power Tool
A trio of very funny, but also very cringe-inducing, shorts from Jason Stutter. Each film shows a small boy who really should be more careful with the things around him and each one ends with an unexpected laugh, but only after making you very, very nervous for the preceding two minutes. Careful With That Power Tool is here, but I highly recommend catching the other two movies whenever you get the chance.
Ruairi Robinson creates a fantastic sci-fi horror that mixes great special effects with a very cute central character and plenty of heart. Check it out here before keeping your eyes peeled for his upcoming feature, Last Days On Mars.
and last, but by no means least, we have
Tim Dean directs this 5 minute Australian short that gives us all something to aspire to in our next job interview. Check it out here and take some notes.