Artwork by Daryl Shaw
For the 2015 Christmas season, I finally got the chance to see my first Little Terrors Short Film Festival. Programmed by Justin McConnell, an indie producer/director/writer dynamo and CEO of Unstable Ground based in Toronto, and co-presented with Rue Morgue Magazine, these are monthly screenings of the best international and domestic short horror films you can find. I’d heard about the festival and was never able to go due to a terrible work schedule, or the fact that I was just tired of going to horror events on my own. This time around, I had the company of the best horror boyfriend a gal could ask for and delicious snicker doodles, made by said horror boyfriend. During this special Santa Claws Xmas Edition, we saw a fun selection of holiday-themed horror shorts ranging from a horrific kidney stone to a Santa kidnapping gone wrong.
Mineral: When a man thinks he passes a painful kidney stone, what he expels turns out to be monstrous. Director Michael J. Marino threw in all the leg crossing footage of real births you could, or maybe would never, ask for, and a grimy, gritty production value.
Hungry: A Christmas shopping creep checks out a thrift shop. When he finds an expensive jacket for a too-good-to-be-true price, he realizes he’s found a thrift shop from Hell. Unfortunately, there is no trailer available right now, but go see it if you can find it at local festivals. Director John Montana gets you in the end with something that’s weirdly cute.
Then there was the Astron-6 insanity. The production company that brought us such greats as The Editor, Father’s Day, and Manborg, also had some Christmas contributions as well. From Breaking Santa, where, in an insanely funny ride, Santa gets seduced and kidnapped, to Kris Miss, an infomercial for your everyday mail order Christmas bride, their brand of humour, horror and weirdness just can’t be matched.
The crowning glory of the night was the 2008 award-winning masterpiece, Treevenge. Directed by Hobo with a Shotgun‘s Jason Eisener, this short is a cautionary tale for all of those real tree purists. Part environmental message and part horror, it’s a zany, over the top film that will definitely keep you shrieking with laughter and cheering for Christmas trees everywhere. For all you Trailer Park Boys fans, Jonathan Torrens a.k.a J-Roc and Sarah Dunsworth get trounced by their tree in this clip.
Little Terrors has their own YouTube playlist, and check them out for the next night of horror shorts if you live in Toronto or the G.T.A.
We had a great time, and it complimented the holiday horror movie fun that we look forward to every year. For those of us who are having a great holiday, or those folks who have a hard time during the Christmas season, I wish you all the best, along with a little, actually, a lot of peace, love and happiness for the new year! Thanks for reading!