Saturday, December 10, 2016

Honourable Mention: Monster Pool the Second Chapter

So, we recently looked at the anthology collection entitled Monster Pool, which was used to showcase shorts by Indie filmmakers from Ottawa. The guys behind the series were good enough to give me access to the second chapter, which is commercially available and was released in 2016.

The first thing that struck me is that the whole thing has a higher production value than the first outing, perhaps as one would expect. The number of shorts are fewer, the quality more consistent and the length of each is increased, but there isn’t as obvious an overarching theme – the first series of films featured a key – this is also a portmanteau film rather than a simple anthology.

fangs on show
The primary vampire section is entitled Blood in the Water and was directed by Randy Smith and Vincent Valentino. It is actually the portmanteau section and as such is primarily used to hold the sections together rather than advance its own story. It follows two jocks (Pavel Lubanski and James Raynard) visiting their new neighbours (they have just rented a house). The two hosts (Rilla O'Brien & Samantha Renaud) are definitely vamps (in the more mundane sense of the word) and lead the two into their pool as they sip red wine. It was not a shock when they were revealed at the film’s end to be vampires nor do I think it particularly a spoiler to tell you this.

revelling in pain
There is also a section that made me sit up and think entitled the Prisoner, which was directed by Vincent Valentino. In it a drunk guy (Curtis Gough) is taken hostage by a group of women and tortured (primarily by three of the four). There is a sexual element to the torture and whilst there is some physical brutality the main focus is psychological – they openly state they wish to break him that way.

There are even moments were he is allowed to attack them, but they seem to enjoy it and this causes a further breaking of his psyche. So, why did it make me sit up and pay attention? The girls look sallow of complexion and have a supernatural aspect to them, appearing around him at will it seems. One of the girls states that the crushing of a soul adds to its flavour – and so these seem to be soul eaters of some sort. Where they succubi, vampires or something else? The films don’t tell us but the portmanteau's vampire girls hint that the girls in this section are real and it is not just a story.

Monster Pool the Second Chapter is available on Blu-ray/DVD and VoD, with links at the homepage and the imdb page is here.

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