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STUDIO: Wicked Pixel Cinema
RUNNING TIME: 87 min
• 2 Introductions to The Severed Head Network
• Behind the Scenes featurettes
• Gallery of Abstraction
Experimental shorts with dark, disturbing sequences? You came to the right place!
Eric Stanze, Tommy Biondo, Jason Christ
We get many shorts from the members of Wicked Pixel Cinema. The entire purpose is to show their talent on experimental shorts and music videos. This DVD includes eight of those shorts.
When I put in the DVD I get a screen of a completely nude woman (I’m talking NC-17 nude) walking downstairs and looking around. It keeps repeating and looping until it shows a crazy looking woman appearing under the shadows of the stairs and coming out after the girl. It is shot in black and white with a very grainy texture. From this image you pretty much know what kind of short films you are going to be seeing on this DVD.
I’ll just go into each short one by one.
1. Vomire (directed by Chad Eivins) – The first short is an experimental film with very strange and disturbing sequences overlaid with an annoying electronic music score. We get various symbols or religious iconography intercut with a couple having sexual intercourse, what can only be described as the view from inside the vagina, and two scenes that offended me to the point of not even mentioning them here. I have to say that this short makes me not want to even continue watching this DVD.
2. Faith in Nothing (directed by Eric Stanze) – This is a music video edited together to a musical track by Analogue Satellite. Stanze has won some awards in B-Movie film festivals for some of his work after this. This music video is about 7 minutes long and is shot in a way that looks almost like porn. We get our first batch of nudity here as much of the video is the actress dancing in various states of undress with various camera lenses and effects spread throughout. I’ll be honest, I’ve seen this kind of video before on a Jenna Jameson DVD and it was better there.
3. Satisfaction (directed by Tommy Biondo) – The longest short so far, Satisfaction checks in at 21 minutes. Biondo worked with Eric Stanze on both Savage Harvest and their B-Movie award winner Scrapbook. This is another experimental short, with more nudity (both male and female) and semi-hardcore pornographic sex. It is slightly strange watching the sex scene knowing that actor in the sex scene (director Biondo) died before this DVD was released in a film-related accident at the age of 29. The film looks nice enough, but after about fourteen minutes you get a little bored with the sex and wonder why they keep flashing to a black and white scene of the girl with some other guy. I’ll give you a hint – It’s a rape/revenge fantasy.
4. Unwanted (directed by Todd Tevlin) – Another music video. This video works very well with the music as we see random images fly by at a machine gun pace. Throughout the images we follow the path of a young man who is both on the run from something as well as attacking something. It is a pretty slick little video with a nice story that pays off at the end. This one was actually pretty good.
5. Victim (directed by Jason Christ) – This seems to be a basic slasher flick, but starts after most of the kids have already been killed. We open with a girl, scared to death and trying to run from whatever killed her friends. A newcomer shows up and walks into the horrific situation with no idea what he is in store for. The short is shot in a monotone that looks pretty good, even though the acting is wooden. The entire set up for this short relies on the twist end and I thought it was interesting but nothing that great.
6. Sedgewick (directed by Stephen M. Lashley and Quinn M. Botthof) – This is another long one, clocking in at 22 minutes. This is a very interesting film as we follow an elderly man throughout a day where he seems to simply daydream many disturbing and unusual situations. Everything from 70s style exploitation confrontations, to killer clowns, to a deer that turns the tables and hunts the butcher is witnessed by the old man as he moves through his day. A radio show is playing throughout the short talking about the elderly and their eventual cases of dementia. Things twist around during the short as it turns out that some of his daydreams seem to affect his actions in reality. This short is the best thing about this entire DVD. The acting is very good, the music is great and the fantasy images are all well done. You should search out this short and watch it.
7. Liontown (directed by Aaron Crozier) – This is a musical where everyone is walking around with different animal heads on. It is quite humorous, although is it very dark. Basically, all the animals are invited to live in Liontown where it advertised as a wonderful place to live. Why would various animals be invited to live in liontown? That is where the twist lies that the amusing musical numbers leads to.
8. Curveball: Pile of Junk (directed by Jason Christ) – We finish off with a “music film” by Jason Christ. After about two minutes of electronic noise we get a metal band’s music video as an angry young man rages. It is just a music video and, although there are some nice shots, it is really nothing special.
The music videos are alright, but they are not anything special that you can’t see better elsewhere. Sedgewick is a great short film and is well worth seeking out – if you can find it somewhere other than here. Liontown is amusing, but really not anything to go out of your way to see. Vomire is vile and disgusting and I would not wish it on anyone. Overall, this DVD is not worth anyone’s time.
You get the choice of either play all the shorts or play them individually one at a time. Everything looks like video and is shown in an 4X3 aspect ratio. The sound is alright, although it comes and goes through various shorts.
In the realm of Special Features you get a couple of introductions to The Severed Head Network. The first is a heavy metal music video with a very hot naked girl in various states of duress. The second intercuts a romantic couple with scenes of various disasters including the girl’s severed head. Next up, we get the “Gallery of Abstraction.” Here we get various abstract sequences by the many directors of this compilation. You get behind the scenes videos for Faith in Nothing, Satisfaction and the two introductions. It seems like these guys know what they are doing, which makes the final results very disappointing. These videos are better than almost anything else on the DVD. Various trailers for Wicked Pixel films round out the disc.
2.7 out of 10