Saturday, December 01, 2018

Honourable Mentions: 60 Seconds to Die

If I were reviewing this, rather than offering an honourable mention, I would have caveated this article with a “contains spoilers” warning, and in some respects how could it not spoil the story when you are considering microshorts? Taking one of the conceits behind the ABCs of Death, this is a 2017 collection of short films all around the 60 second mark.

If the ABCs were a mixed bag then this is an absolute smorgasbord of quality. The art of the short is not easy, to be able to cram an interesting story within a tiny timeframe, to offer narrative, plot, character and twist against the clock (and do so with filmmaking panache) is difficult in the extreme. To cut this time down to 60 seconds increases that challenge, making the short absolutely reliant on trope, stereotype and often cliché. Within the collection are two vampire related shorts.

bats in the eyes
From director Evan Makrogiannis comes in Flesh and Spirit. Based on a comic series by Baron Misuraca, an alternative model, writer and musician who stars in this as the vampire. A woman (Rachel Rose Gilmour) feels the draw of the vampire. We see his eyes imposed across the landscape – the use of hand-drawn eyes kind of works as the superimposed image is so merged into the background and is so fleeting. The pupils are bats. She enters a church, we see a goblet of blood, the vampire gesticulating and then he bites. Fin.

The second segment is directed by Eric Alfonsi and entitled Ravages. A woman (Sylvia Stazzi) crosses a graveyard as a vampire (Florian Tessandier) attacks her. Hitting him, more by accident than design it appears, she gets away but finds that two zombies (Franck Junca & Cassie) start attacking her too. Her escape is aided with the vampire and zombies attacking each other (green foam at the vampire’s mouth when he bites a zombie), I won’t insult your intelligence by suggesting she survives – the anthology is called 60 seconds to die – but will leave it a mystery as to what kills her.

Flesh and Spirit
And that’s it. The entire thing is quick fire, as you would expect, and the two vampire shorts are not the greatest shorts I’ve ever seen. Flesh and Spirit is essentially a vampire bite – possibly more useful as a bridge to the comic, as there isn’t anything of a story there. Ravages has a story, as brief as it is, but suffers from the photography appearing washed out and for its length (as a lot of these do). That’s not to say they’re terrible either and they do fit within the remit of the anthology.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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