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Fantastic Fest: Five Past Shorts to Watch at Home

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This week, FANGORIA and a whole mess of film lovers hit Austin for the ever-unreal Fantastic Fest, a weeklong celebration of the adventurous and genre-inclined. Fantastic Fest gives audiences with voracious appetites for all manner of weird and fun their fill, and often introduces those at home to the films they’ll be anticipating in the months ahead.

To that end, I realize many readers fall in the latter category. For those at home, myself and Fantastic Fest Shorts Programmer and acclaimed author Kier-La Janisse (HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN) have scared up five our favorite short films from Fantastic Fest past for your enjoyment.

As FANGORIA is a proud sponsor of the 2014 Fantastic Fest Shorts Programs, I’m excited to highlight a taste of the event’s always exciting lineup…

ELECTRIC FENCE (2008, Dir. Matt O’Mahoney)

Janisse writes, “This was an early short from Canadian director Matt O’Mahoney, who made the feature BLOODY KNUCKLES that premiered at Fantasia this year. Like Ken Takahashi’s GARY’S TOUCH which played the fest the year before – and is also Canadian – it was a key Fantastic Fest film in determining how far our audience would go with us in abandoning political correctness in favor of boundary-pushing art. It played the festival in 2008, where it won best horror short. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say Matt O’Mahoney seems to like the theme of one’s appendages remaining cognizant after being disembodied!”

8 (AKA “OCHO”; 2011, Dir. Raúl Cerzeo)

Preceding the highly anticipated sophomore effort from Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury, LIVIDE, in 2011, 8 was an unexpected delight. Largely sensory, the film is a gothic treat with the style and grim humor of an EC comic. I’ve thought about the film frequently since its screening, and hope to see more of Cerzeo soon.

THE SLEEPOVER (2012, Dir. Chris Cullari & Jennifer Raite)

The clever THE SLEEPOVER was a favorite in the Short Fuse Program when I served on the Shorts Jury in 2012. The film imagines a world where slashers are a reality and babysitters are, in turn, warriors. It’s evident writer-directors Cullari and Raite have a strong handle on horror-comedy, and their brief, punchy piece of work should bring a smile to your face.

ANGST, PISS & DRID (2013, Dir. Fredrik S. Hana)

Janisse writes, “I feel like we came across a major talent with Fredrik Hana (although I can’t take credit for this – it was actually programming assistant Brian Kelley who watched the film first). I compared ANGST PISS & DRID to NEKROMANTIK at the time, and that still holds, due to its unique blend of gore, squalor and pathos– although admittedly Hana’s is a much more accomplished film visually. It really is a perfect short horror film, and went on to win the Short Fuse Award for Best Horror Short in 2013. His new film AUTUMN HARVEST will have its World Premiere at this year’s festival and it’s a complete departure, but one I think the FF crowd will really dig.”

RAW DATA (2013, Dir. Jake Fried)

RAW DATA is stunning. Overwhelming, hypnotic, and at its short runtime, endlessly rewatchable. And there’s more like it right here at Inkwood.

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About the author
Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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