Killer 63 - Ottawa Independant Short Horror Film Collective
That event was Killer 63, a showcase of Independant Horror Shorts, presented at the Mayfair Theater, one of Ottawa's independant film theaters.
The rule was as followed: "A group of filmmakers, mostly from Ottawa - Ontario... conceive of, write, produce, film and complete a short film within a nine week time-frame. The only rules for the inaugural year is that they all must be horror themed and be no longer than nine minutes in length."
A few months ago I attended the IFCO Summer Gala, Ottawa's film co-operative's semi-annual display of its members works, and I was so moved by it that I decided to keep my ear to the ground and be on the watch for other such community events.
I expected an event where I would run into a few people I knew from around the scene, (of which there were indeed a few), content in the fact that I showed up in support of them. To be quite honest, I had a feeling that the films themselves would be 'fine examples of burgeoning potential', or rather 'kitchy low-budge B-Grade ideas that were put on a DVD so that these dudes could see their stuff on the big screen.'
Instead I found myself sincerely impressed by every film that was presented at this show, and I thought I'd give a little review to you, my two loyal readers...
The first film was Marc Adornato's In God We Trust. This montage of news footage focussing on George Bush, the war in Iraq and graphic battle images was more of a documentary, though succeeded in being, as Marc put it, 'a non-fiction horror film'. The hosts of this event chose rather well in making this the first film, as it was the most stomach-turning, given the powerful images of the dead, dying, injured and amputated. A well-edited social commentary indeed.
What followed was my personal favorite, Dead Air, directed by Josh Grace. In this film we find a strange deranged fellow luring drugged individuals to his home, a 'talk show set' of sorts, where he dresses them up as celebrities and proceeds to torture / interview them, twisted commercials included. Josh's acting as host was most impressive as his delivery had quite a haunting madness to it. The gore effects for this one was top-notch. Not to ruin anything for you but here's two words to remember: lawn darts.
Day Camp Massacre directed by Jodi Pittman, is a classic slasher tale, but rather than being set in the rugged wilderness camps of the wonderfully cliché Vorhees Serials, Jodi comically sets it in a day camp. A nice surprise came in the finale when the real hilarity began, including the masked stalker's masked stalker dog.
Brett Kelly's The Tell-Tale Heart was a modern retelling of the old Edgar Allan Poe classic of how a man's murderous guilt confesses for him. Brett in the lead role did quite the fine job indeed.
Ralph Gethings' Reckoning had a freakishly creepy imp thing (seen right) chasing after a man in the woods. Once the man is caught, we learn the reason for the chase and are explained some metaphysical principles of balance along the way. Well done.