The Drudgeon reviews Small Gauge Trauma

Small Gauge Trauma Various min., Various
Written by Various
Directed by Various
Language: Various
My rating: ★★★★★

This is a phenomenal collection of short films!

* * *

These are a selection of short films from the Fantasia Film Festival.  Fantasia is a film festival that has been going strong since 1996.  They have been introducing the world (okay mainly North America), to some of the best new horror titles and directors.  Along with the major movies they also specialize in short films.  They have always had a place open for shorts and have embraced them where others would ignore them.  Here are some handpicked shorts by Fantasia founder Mitch Davis.

Abuelitos
aka Grandfathers
Paco Plaza
16 Min.
Spain, 1998
Rating:  2

Interesting little film about a bunch of old men and how they are taken care of.  The color of the film is great and the idea is actually pretty good, but there is a lot more that could have been done with this one and it left me wanting more.  Normally that’s a good thing, but not when it’s a short and there isn’t likely to ever be another one.

Amor Só De Mãe
aka Love From Mother Only
Dennison Ramalho
21 Min.
Brazil, 2003
Rating:  3

Filho (Everaldo Pontes) is a man that still lives with his mother even though he is a grown man, and his lover Formosa (Debora Muniz) has had enough and is leaving and she wants him to leave his mother.

This is a really good film that takes a very common subject, possession, down a good road.  The acting is really good, especially the possessed Debora Muniz and the reverse camera use is a nice touch.

Chambre Jaune
aka Yellow Room
Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani
8 Min.
Belgium, 2002
Rating:  1

This is one of those movies that try to do something different and it never really goes the way it’s planed (at least that’s how it seems).  They use a bunch of different styles of shooting, with some working well and others just feeling very out of place.  The one that has me on the fence is the use of still photos in succession.  It’s interesting, but it’s also a little annoying.  Not really up my alley.

Flat ‘N’ Fluffy
Benoît Boucher
7 Min.
Canada, 2001
Rating:  skull

An odd animated short about two friends.  One is a drug taking hippie (damn hippies) and a gun nut.  This one is my least favorite and maybe the message or comedy is lost on me, but I wasn’t even remotely entertained.  Next please.

Gorgonas
aka Gorgons
Salvador Sanz
15 Min.
Argentina, 2004
Rating:  4

This is one of my favorites.  We are introduced to a world where almost everyone has been turned into stone.  We meet the two main characters and through them we learn about how this all came to be.

The animation is pretty darn beautiful, but sometimes there is less care taken with it, but when it’s done right it’s fucking gorgeous.  It’s also a really interesting story and the end is a real kicker.  Great!

I’ll See You In My Dreams
Miguel Ángel Vivas
20 Min.
Portugal, 2004
Rating:  3

We meet Lucio (Adelino Tavares) as he is walking among some trees and bitching about them and zombies.  He is a zombie killer but he is keeping his zombie wife in a cage.  What happens when Lucio finds a new woman?

This movie is really great.  There are a rash of zombie movies out there that are just lame and are done to cash in on the zombie craze (that finally seems to be dying), but this one is actually really good.  It runs the perfect amount of time and gives you a very logical and entertaining ending.  By the way note that there is a midget zombie in the movie and that pretty much makes this required viewing for some people that I know.


aka Infini; Infinity
Guillaue Fortin
9 Min.
Canada, 2002
Rating:  3

It’s hard to really explain what is going on in this one.  I think this one is really up for interpretation depending on the viewer.  If you have a chance to check this one out, give me your interpretations and we can compare notes.

L’ilya
Tomoya Sato
39 Min.
Japan, 2000
Rating:  1

The story follows around Ilya (Shino Ogihara) who is recording people’s suicides and using them for a project and it shows the effects that doing that has on her.

This one is pretty slow and that’s where it loses me.  It’s a short film, but it still clocks in at almost 40 minutes.  Normally I don’t mind slow movies, but the payoff had better be well worth the wait and this one really wasn’t.  It’s not terrible and the acting is pretty solid, but this should have been a full-length movie instead of a short, because I think there is a lot more that could have been done with it.

Miss Greeny
Tenkwaku Naniwa
24 Sec.
Japan, 1997
Rating:  4

It’s 24 seconds long!  Watch it for your damn self!  It’s bizarre and awesome!

Ruta Destroy!
Diego Abad
15 Min.
Spain, 2002
Rating:  3

This one is really strange.  It starts with a guy looking for drugs and then it goes into a bunch of musical numbers.  Songs about soft cocks, pills and ashtray hair is all I have to say about this one.  Not really horror but a whole lot of fun!

The Separation
Robert Morgan
10 Min.
UK, 2003
Rating:  4

This one is stop motion, phenomenal and probably my favorite.  It’s about a pair of brothers that are conjoined twins and after a few years they are finally separated.  A few more years pass and they miss the closeness of being attached so they come up with a plan to get reattached.

The stop motion is great and the score that goes with it is just awesome.  The story is moving and thought provoking and even though a word is never spoken you get exactly what is going through their heads.  It’s really a beautiful film.

Sister Lulu
Philip John
5 Min.
UK, 2001
Rating:  3

We start by meeting the main character that is holding a string and a lighter and then she starts to tell her story about Sister Lulu.

This is a very simple story with a great ending.  It shows what can happen behind closed doors and what some will do to escape or hide those secrets.  Nicely done and beautifully shot.

Tea Break
Sam Walker
7 Min.
UK, 2004
Rating:  4

This movie shows the work place and no matter what job you do, you eventually get bored with it and just long for that fifteen minute break.  Then the break ends and it’s back to the grind.

This is just plain fun.  My favorite thing about this one is the reaction (or lack thereof) by the man at work.  He really shows what happens when you are doing a job for too long.  Also the score is just great.

 

Short films are a completely different art form than normal films.  In most short films there are no constraints when it comes to subject, length or even logic.  The best shorts are done so well that even at a mere 5 to 15 minutes you are left completely satisfied and sometimes with questions in your head about what you just watched.  Sadly there are very few collections of short films out there, yes we have a bunch of collections of older films, but what about all the modern shorts that come and go and almost no one ever sees them.  Luckily with the creation of DVDs, more shorts are making appearances with major releases.  Saw and The Grudge are two examples of DVDs that add some shorts that might have never been seen otherwise.  Here’s hoping that more collections like this will surface.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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