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Saturday's Explosion of Awesome SHORTS

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s kick ass screening here at your very own Aint It Cool Shorts. My name is Muldoon and I will be moderating today’s festival of badassitude. Below you’ll find that I’ve programmed six incredibly interesting shorts for your viewing pleasures. While I typically try to program a mixed bag, this week I decided to go with a more blatant horror/sci-fi vibe, so fair warning – if you’re faint of heart, you might not want to continue from here… If however you are a connoisseur of unique genre films, you are in for a real treat. If by chance you don’t like a short in particular, please refrain from screaming at the screen or going out of your way to be ugly in the TalkBacks below – you never know who’s in the audience. That said, this theater that you’re now sitting in is a celebration of how incredibly badass the movie world is, how each person who’s made a short film has their own personal view and has busted their ass to make something cool. I’m a fan of every single filmmaker and short I’ve had the privilege of screening here for you guys.

Without further ado, let the games begin:


Up first we have a twisted little film written and directed by Stephen Reedy. At only two minutes long, it’s insanely disturbing and twistingly enjoyable. I implore you, once you hit play, to see the full thing through. If you by chance stop watching 90% of the way, you’ll be left an upset and frustrated moviegoer… “When's the one time it's ok to stalk pretty girls & break into their bedrooms?” Let’s check out the short to find out:

So yeah, if you’re planning any mischievousness this next year, you may want to reconsider. You’d hate to be on the Winter Stalker’s naughty list. Check out Stephen’s website here and Zero Friends Films here.


Our next twisted tale of the show is brought to us by longtime reader Adam Kargman and might have you rethinking the next time you go in for surgery… “A woman's failed anesthetic during heart surgery leaves her fully conscious and able to feel all pain--but paralyzed and unable to warn anyone.” While on the surface you might write ANESTHESIA as a knock off of the Hayden Christiansen film AWAKE and boy would you be wrong. Not only was this completed before that film, but it kicks the crap out of it in the best way possible. Hit the play button below for “The scariest six minutes of film you will ever see.”

ANESTHESIA from Roundhay Garden Films on Vimeo.

What a twisted little bit of “Oh God, fuck that” Kargman’s created. While I do find hospitals intrinsically disturbing (aside from obviously saving people’s lives…), this sick little gem might indeed make me slightly more nervous the next time I end up one. In case it’s not apparent, I loved the hell out of ANESTHESIA and might get a nightmare or two out of it, so thanks Adam.  Check out Adam’s vimeo page here.


Whew, so after that last short I kind of need some air, unfortunately our next bit of fun takes place in space, so I’m kind of screwed there. (Bam! a joke). Up next is a break from the horror world and a offers us a glimpse into the future of space travel. Director Jamie Surgener made this scifi short called AVABOT in his senior year at the College for Creative Studies and I personally think knocked it out of the park (or is solar system better?) Anyways, the film feels like a love letter to 2001 and MOON, but those are just my two cents. Here’s the synopsis Jamie shot at me:

“An astral salvager and his automaton delve into the deep reaches of space in search of a legendary starship that has been missing for over a century. Their quest takes them on a perilous journey where they learn a lesson of mortality, selflessness, and what it is to be human.”

Wow, what a kickass robot. Jamie, I really feel like you’ve got a feature hidden somewhere that you want to make, (Maybe not hidden) but seriously count me in man. In an age where audiences are becoming more and more cynical at CG vs. practical, I think this short and the fact that you were able to make it while in college kind of says something. I’m sure that’s blasphemous and I’m by no means hating on practical, but you were able to build an entire world inside of a computer and give us an interesting short – I think that’s just a testament of creativity and think it’s cool that technology has afforded us the opportunity to make stuff like this.

UPDATE: Check out the cool making of AVABOT here.


Okay, I’ll step down from my CG loving soapbox to bring us back to Earth, back to THE DEVIL’S TOY. Alex Lugones has created a uniquely disturbing look into the origins of a peculiar jack-in-the-box. “Two young boys are about to discover the mystery behind a jack-in-the-box recovered 65 years ago from a Nazi concentration camp.”

The Devil's Toy - Short Film from Alex Lugones on Vimeo.

Jack-in-the-boxes have never really seemed like a real toy to me, rather than a sporadic monster looking to poke you in the eye whenever it has a chance. Then again I’m sure two or three year old Muldoon might disagree (though he ought to be out catching raptors, am I right? No? Okay…) Seriously, maybe it’s because I’ve seen too many TWILIGHT ZONE episodes or because I think the tacos at Jack In The Box are a disturbing mystery in themselves, but the box full of Jack has always seemed like it needed a backstory and now thanks to Alex, we have one.


Speaking of surprises, director Ross Peacock has a fun little story for us with his film, ANIMAL. It’s absolutely at home here in AICN Shorts territory as it hands down harkens back to a familiar tone John Landis helped sculpt with his best film in my opinion… I’ll try to be vague as to which one exactly, but watch the video and I think it’s kind of obvious. In fact, straight from Peacock’s email to me: “I wrote it whilst working for John Landis and attribute my choice of tone to various conversations with him!” Yeah Ross, I’m there with you on that one my friend, it really is a kickass short.

“A man is on his way home from work late one night when he is set upon by two vicious thugs, but as the moon rises in the sky it becomes clear that this man may be more than he seems...”

While being accosted by random thugs isn’t a daily concern of mine, if and when the next time that does happen, being able to Hulk out on them with werewolf powers definitely would be the a plus. ANIMAL beautifully showcases why you should never fuck with people, you never know what you might be getting into… Check out the short’s IMDB page here.


Man, that last short certainly howled at the moon and while I wouldn’t normally double up on shorts about werewolves, director Paul Williams’s short, THE FURRED MAN, is too cool not to include this week. “A bruised and battered Max sits in an interrogation room dressed in a ghoulish costume caked in dried blood. With his alibi littered with two corpses, blood-curdling screams and a tale of "the beast", this furry man swears he can explain...” When I first saw the short it had me wondering “WTF is next?” and honestly combined two things I very much dig, weird creatures and a fun mystery.  Without more delay, check it out!

What a well contained mini epic and the creature design was gorgeous, the stuff ninos have nightmares about. Seriously, what a fun twisted little HANGOVER of a horror film. Well done man, bloody (literally…) well done! Check out Paul’s Evil Hypnotist Productions Ltd’s website here.

Sadly folks, that’s the last film of the day. I know, I know, I wish I could keep you here for a few more hours to check out some more kickass shorts, but hey there’s always next week. Speaking of next week, I feel like we’re due for some comedies… As always, if you’ve submitted a short whether it be a month ago or yesterday, fear not – it very well could be playing next week, so no need to send multiple submissions in. I am after all one man, (though incredibly dashing and awesome) but I watch every short submitted and really do my best to showcase some of the cream of the crop. Of course my picks are just that, my picks, and if you don’t care for a certain one in particular – that’s absolutely okay, just don’t be a jerk about in the comments section below (I don’t want to be a buzzkill, but I won’t allow hateful comments in this column – unless they’re directed at me, in which case… meh…)


So after watching these fun shorts are you sitting there like “Hey, I’ve got a damn awesome short!” If so:


Shoot me an email at ""

In the subject line include:

“SHORTS” + “Your film’s name” + “The film’s genre”

Then, in the body of the email, please include a synopsis of the film and any contact information you might think I need [EX: the film’s website or a funny story involved with getting the film made…]


So that’s all folks. As you exit the theater, please pick up whatever trash you might have dropped up and make sure to come see us again next week, same time, same place.



-Mike McCutchen



Care for more badass shorts? Check out older columns below!




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