Inside we’ve added two reviews for short horror films that you’ve just got to check out. The first, entitled Mainstream, was written and directed by Adam Barnick (interview). Also inside you’ll find a review for Devi Snively’s 2004 short Teenage Bikini Vampire. In the short all Sadie wants is to frolic on the beach and find a surfer boy to call her own. If only she weren’t a vampire. Read on for the reviews…Teenage Bikini Vampire (2004)
Reviewed By: Tex Massacre
8/10 or 4 Skulls
Running Time 6:55 Minutes
Directed By: Devi Snively
Written By: Devi Snively
Distributed By: Deviant Pictures
“Two worlds collide when a vampire girl falls for a surfer dude“
Sadie (Ashley Fox) spends her waking nights dreaming about the sun and fun of the California surf life. But her hope so finding a handsome hunk to share her days with is severely hindered by the fact that she is a vampire. Just as all seems lost, Sadie’s family has a big surprise to soothe her sorrows.
Director Devi Snively’s seven-minute short packs in more pop culture than a game of trivial pursuit. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Snively skewers the Beach-blanket-bebop virtues of the 50’s, hotwiring it with a slick millennium sensibility. The results might be best described as the Munsters do Malibu. Sure the flick is pure camp, but compared to Charles Busch’s overtly satirical homoerotic masterpiece Psycho Beach Party, Teenage Bikini Vampire is oozing the virginal blood of youthful innocence and sweet naiveté.
The production values on this film are top notch from the lighting and cinematography to the editing and the (minimal but efficient) special effects. The whole film has a great vibe to it and the performances from the cast specifically Brian Talbot and Ean Murphy as Sadie’s put upon mom and pop add to the depth and humor of the script. A brief musical interlude and some groovy digital daydream sequences round out the film and give it a sweet surreal quality. This is exactly the type of high concept/low cost short film that speaks volumes about the talent that is drifting on the fringes of mainstream achievement. Someone needs to scoop Devi Snively up fast and set her up with a 3-picture deal before the bidding wars begin!!!
Review by Elaine Lamkin
7 out of 10
Written & Directed by: Adam Barnick
“It hurts as much as you let it.”
Clinically detached and yet as visceral and disturbing as the infamous Nine Inch Nails video “Happiness in Slavery”, director Adam Barnick’s short film, “Mainstream”, is a study in modern day apathy. The first few minutes of this approximately 9 minute film were extremely cringe-inducing as a man wakes on a gurney, bathed in a bright light and surrounded by darkness only to suddenly be strapped down to the gurney. Then silver syringes seem to come from everywhere – penetrating the man’s bare abdomen, his fingertips, the side of his neck. There is a surgeon present for the continuing procedures, as fluids are drawn from the man’s brain and four “sockets” implanted in his abdomen and replaced with different colored fluids, but this surgeon has no eyes and an umbilical-like cord protruding from the back of his scrubs. I was strongly reminded of not only the Nine Inch Nails video but Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser” and Don Coscarelli’s “Phantasm” as the special effects in this short are amazing – it’s not in-your-face gory as much as in-your-mind gruesome.
Another man shortly takes the first man’s place but he seems less disturbed to be where he is. Then we are abruptly taken to Anyhome in suburbia, where a Xanaxed-out housewife greets her husband, who turns out to be the first man. Her “How was your day, dear?” is the only line in the entire film but it speaks volumes as the man retires to his recliner while the woman goes back to the kitchen and retrieves one medicine bottle out of many from a cabinet and returns to her routine chores. Obviously, director Barnick’s depiction of Everyman and how He copes with everyday is at the crux of “Mainstream”. The first man resists and is emptied of his very essence while it could be assumed the second more willing “victim” may undergo an entirely different procedure and come out of it in a very different way.
The sound design for “Mainstream” is particularly noteworthy as a lot of it consisted of a low, organic “hum” underscoring what was going on the screen as well as screeching, metallic shocks of noise as the machines begin their work. The special effects were amazing for such a short, low-budget film and definitely got their “point” across without being over-the top, grue-wise.
I have not seen any other short films of this caliber recently but if there are any out there as powerful and disturbing as “Mainstream”, viewers will feel unsettled for quite a while afterwards.