The next edition of Little Terrors is right around the corner. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this incredibly fun monthly series of short horror films, do not wait another month! The press release is below:
Toronto genre fans looking for a little bit of Holiday‐themed mayhem should visit THE PROJECTION BOOTH (1035 Gerrard Street East) on Tuesday, December 13th. On the docket: a double shot of terror for one ticket price! First up, Rue Morgue & Unstable Ground’s monthly short film series, “Little Terrors”, returns for it’s sixth month, starting at 8pm. Then, at 10:30pm, catch director Lewis Jackson’s cult‐classic horror film “Christmas Evil” on the big screen!
Editor’s note: Last month my doctor told me that I had a serious case of the shivers and creeps, as a result he restricted my film diet to Hollywood fare like 2011’s The Thing and Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, you know, movies that aren’t all that scary. Unfortunately, this means that I am unable to watch the terrifying shorts at Little Terrors, the monthly horror short film festival in Toronto. I sent horror correspondent Phil Graves in my place last time, and considering his sometimes less than tactful manner I expected some angry e-mails from sensitive readers. I only received one comment, a letter sitting on my desk:
Dear Entertainment Maven,
I really dug the coverage of Little Terrors by the despicably talented Phil Graves. You should really give him a raise, buy him a new shovel, and send him to cover a Toronto After Dark film.
Phil Bill Traves
Thanks for your comments Bill. I’ve decided to let Phil return today with coverage of Little Terrors Volume 4. As you already seem to know, I will be covering every Toronto After Dark Film, and tickets are still available to many shows, but going fast. I will consider your idea of sending Phil to cover one of the films, but don’t get your hopes up.
Readers, for the second time, I give you Phil Graves. God help us all.
The 6th Annual Toronto After Dark Film Festival, 8 Nights of Horror, Sci-Fi, Action, and Cult Movies runs Oct 20-27, 2011 at the Toronto Underground Cinema. For complete festival info visit www.torontoafterdark.com
These miserable economic times are really starting to bring me down. Just last night I had to make my dreaded stew with some of the scrawniest rats I’ve ever seen, the fat ones must have moved on to the swanky cemetery on the rich side of town. I even tried hosting a singles night at the cemetery to scare up some extra cash, but two-for-one burials in the same casket didn’t seem to grab people’s attention. Only one chap showed up. He was fairly insistent on waiting for a pretty lady to join him, but it was getting late so I buried him for half the price. He tried to argue for a later burial date, but I couldn’t do him wrong. I’m an honest business man.
As I was saying, times are tough, but luckily eight bucks still gets you into Little Terrors, the monthly horror short film festival at The Projection Booth in Toronto. Little Terrors is presented by the nameless amorphous creature that Rue Morgue keeps behind lock and key in their basement, and the insane film-making scientists at Unstable Ground. It should be noted that grotesque creation Justin McConnell has been stitching together some of the most frightening shorts out there, with the result being two-hour sojourns into madness.
Little Terrors Volume 4 was by far the most unsettling night yet. The haunting Danse Macabre, the unfathomable employment depicted in Tea Break, and the descent into zombie mayhem aptly titled Axed, caused me to miss a fair bit of shuteye later that night. In fact, I had to sleep with my cemetery issued night light on, specifically reserved for these type of episodes. I may be a sick bastard, but I’m still human, kind of.
The creators of animated shorts Raven’s Hollow and Scayrecrow also managed to make my heart skip a beat. And here I thought animated movies were for kiddies. Finally, the Lovecraft inspired Black Goat gave the audience a glimpse of eldritch horrors. With a feature length film potentially looming on the horizon, this could be one to keep an eye on.
The next installment of Little Terrors will be shown on Tuesday, November 22nd at 8pm. Join the Facebook page for unseemly updates. Remember dear readers, if I don’t see you at Little Terrors, but see you somewhere else instead, you had better hope that I don’t have my shovel with me, and a soft patch of dirt nearby.
Editor’s note: It’s difficult to find guest bloggers that will work for free, that’s why I had to settle for Phil. Please don’t be too upset by his manner, he really is quite a nice fellow. Regardless, I should still take the time to apologize in advance, before I get a slew of angry e-mails.
Horror correspondent Phil Graves, at your service. It seems that the last night of Little Terrors, back in August, was too much for the cowardly Entertainment Maven. Daily sessions with a psychiatrist and a few bottles of pills a week helped the Maven reduce his relentless nightmares, induced by the last evening of Little Terrors, to basic insomnia. However, he didn’t think his constitution was strong enough for another round, so he sent me in his place to attend Little Terrors Volume 3 at The Projection Booth in Toronto. For those of you who have been hesitant to come out and slay with us, Little Terrors is a deliciously terrifying evening of short horror films presented by the crawling cadavers over at Rue Morgue, and the unbalanced psychopaths at Unstable Ground. In fact, lead corpse Justin McConnell has been doing such a bang up programming job that he will likely be institutionalized in the near future, due to the reels of depravity and mayhem that his now brittle sanity has had to endure.
The nice thing about Little Terrors is that it caters to an audience who are normally hard at work during the evening hours, like myself. It’s nice for these lowstanding citizens to have the opportunity to get out of the basement and hang up their knives, machetes, and axes for the evening. At $8 a ticket I was eager to put down my own shovel for two hours of vicarious chills and thrills. Volume 3’s lineup featured a balance of hackles, cackles and shackles, and would not have disappointed any true fiend. Below are some comments on the recently exhumed shorts.
Off Season – Unfortunately some of the zombies working on the TTC caused me to arrive a little late for this one. But what I saw impressed me. A man and his dog spend some quality time together, sticking their noses into some abandoned cabins, and discover something that gave me CHILLS.
Next Floor – How often are you disappointed that a buffet doesn’t have your favourite dish? Well you’ll be overjoyed to hear that this short offers up a smorgasbord of grotesque treats, and features a mixed grill comparable to the contents of Noah’s Ark, that is, if it fell into some gluttonous hands. Excellent production value, uncharacteristic of many shorts, make this one tough meal for the squeamish to stomach.
The Screaming Skull – Reminiscent of old horror computer games like The 7th Guest and Realms of Haunting, this atmospheric spooker proves that you don’t always have to understand a plot to understand fear.
The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon – I don’t know about the killer’s choice of weapon, at this rate he’ll send my business to a grinding halt, but I have to admit that I don’t think I’ll be eating a bowl of soup anytime in the near future.
The Eyes of Edward James – A murderous tale that may remind viewers of the Christopher Nolan film, Memento. However, this story also uses a very interesting setting. Time is split between a therapy session and the first-person p.o.v. reminiscences of a patient, from the night of a traumatic event.
Legend of the Seven Bloody Torturers – The seven bloody torturers have been doing their thing for a long time, after all, they are legendary. But even these hard working gentlemen have to submit to bureaucratic rules and regulations. What is a poor torturer to do?
The Familiar – A vampire’s familiar is one of the least appreciated occupations in the underworld. The hours are long and the pay is little, only the allure of becoming a fellow bloodsucker could attract a young man to this job.
Rise of the Living Corpse – Clocking in at 30 seconds, this short gets to the harsh reality of being a new member of the undead.
Dead Bones – A wild west bounty hunter tale with an early twist. Gorehounds should find this one disgusting!
The scream team of Rue Morgue and Unstable Ground, and the screen scene at The Projection Booth have proved to be a ghastly combination. If I wasn’t so busy shoveling dirt every night, I might think about making the theatre my home. Alas, more hacking and slashing will have to wait until Tuesday, October 18th at 8:00pm, when Justin McConnell stitches together the next collection of shorts that will send your mind reeling. I’ve heard murmurs that ‘Axed’, which is a Toronto premiere, is the bloodiest thing since Peter Jackson’s Braindead (Dead Alive) and Bad Taste.
Hope to see you next time at Little Terrors, or eventually, lying face up in one of my holes.
Last night I took a trip down Gerrard Street in Toronto, away from the busy downtown core. There’s not a lot to do on Gerrard and there’s not a lot to see, but if you’re patient and ride the streetcar to 1035 Gerrard St. E., you will find one of the coolest theatres in town. The Projection Booth.
The interior of the Projection Booth looks like it may have been decorated by blind ascetic monks and the theatre may be be as cold as a coffin, but don’t worry, that’s not why you’re here. You’re here for the friendly and knowledgeable staff, the $2.50 bag of popcorn, and most importantly, you are here because the Projection Booth will show films that no other theatre in town will show. For those of us that have had our fill of wand toting teenagers and superhero origin movies, this is a godsend!
On this particular night, thanks to Rue Morgue and Unstable Ground, I was able to attend an event like no other event I had ever attended before. Two hours of short horror films, up on the glorious big-screen. I wasn’t sure exactly how much to expect from a prolonged viewing of shorts, after all, I particularly enjoy getting happily lost in a feature length film for a few hours. Imagine my surprise when the evening was not only good, but excellent.
Little Terrors Volume 2 consisted of a wide variety of horror shorts of different subject matter, style, country of origin, run time (6 – 21 minutes), you name it. If you are a fan of horror then you would have had a blast. Since here at the maven I try to focus on the best of the best, I will only discuss a couple of the shorts I watched, although it should be said that the majority of them were quite enjoyable. Remember, if you find yourself watching a short that you don’t particularly like, don’t worry, it will be over soon.
For me the highlights of the program had to be Geoff Redknap’s ‘The Auburn Hills Breakdown‘ and Jerome Sable’s ‘The Legend of Beaver Dam‘. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you too much about these short, as the surprise they punch is probably why I found them so enjoyable.
I think that Auburn Hills caught the entire audience off guard. A clever script combined with the knowledge of how to make an effective film on a, presumably, very small budget must be the secret to Auburn Hills‘ success. I have to hand it to the actors as well, they did a great job.
Now on to Beaver Dam. This has to be the most innovative film, short or feature length, that I have seen in a long time. Also, if you are a fan of Sean Cullen, he is fabulous as the bullying scout leader/camp counselor character. Again, the less you know about it, the more pleasurable the experience will be, but if you need a sneak peak, check out the trailer below.