Friday, September 11, 2020

Short Film: A Prayer for the Undead

This short film was released in 2015 and directed by Ruben Rodriguez, coming in at just under the 13-minute mark.

What I am conscious of trying to do when looking at small films, is give you a taster of what the filmmakers are doing but not so far as to spoil the ending – after all these are much more succinct, by the nature of their length, than a feature. This becomes somewhat difficult to do when the story is very simple and when, as occurs in this film, the opening scene is essentially the ending.

So what we have, as things open, is Jessica (Amy Rutledge) led on the floor looking worse for wear. Blood is at her mouth, her clothes dirtied and we can see she has fangs. Over her is John (Matthew Tarricone), emotion getting the better of him as he looks down. She is begging him to help, her voice almost lost in the blood bubbling up into her mouth, she can’t do it herself. He prays over her as his hand lifts the stake from her chest…

Jessica and John

Cutting backwards in time we see Jessica in a bar. The barman (Ian Kurtz) asks if she is alone and she says she is with her boyfriend; he should be there soon. John comes in and orders a drink, sitting with her and he gives her a St Michael’s pendant that was his grandmothers. It is clear that the relationship is new but they are smitten with each other.

Jenny seems hostile

They do not notice the goth looking girl (Natalie Pitcairn, Theresa and Allison) come in. The bartender goes to her and she seems just a tad hostile. He recognises her as Jenny, a girl that hasn’t been in for a year and whom they thought had gone missing. He mentions a special on Long Island Iced Teas but she clearly has another liquid in mind and as he walks down the bar, she looks at John and Jessica and her eyes flash.


So, I’ll stop there, preserving the mystery of just exactly how Jenny and Jessica will interact and how John comes to be the one holding the stake. Part of that will remain a mystery, even after you’ve watched the short (embedded below) as there is a jump in time frame but the short works, even though some of the narrative process is bypassed.

The imdb page is here.

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