Reviews | Written by Martin Unsworth 27/08/2017

BLOOD SHED (Short – FrightFest)

After a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, and coming off the back of co-writer Cat Davies’ previous festival hit, the psychotic puppet comedy Connie, Blood Shed has a lot to prove. Fortunately, Davies and her partner-in-cinematic-crime James Moran have a perfect handle on what makes an entertaining and memorable short.

Jack (Dooley) is a handyman, but he’s a bit of a cheapskate. Unbeknownst to his barely tolerant wife Helen (Phillips), his latest accomplishment - a rather grand garden shed - has been made with cast-off parts that previously belonged to serial killers. Components that have inherited their previous owner’s murderous instincts. Anyone who dares ventures into the cursed outhouse meets a bloody and gruesome death.

With his deft comedic timing and love of the genre, Moran manages to make this into a thirteen-minute slice of genius. Helped by the brilliant cast and some startlingly stylish visual flourishes, it uses the short format perfectly and packs enough gags and gore to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Blood Shed is created with a distinct look; it’s as though it’s come from an anthology movie - it even uses several stylised lifts from Creepshow - which is really astute as many shorts now find their way onto portmanteau releases once they have completed their festival run. Moran’s brilliant directorial debut Crazy For You appeared on the anthology release Minutes Past Midnight, so he clearly knows what he’s doing. While these releases often fall under the radar for many, it’s still a great way for fans to be able to see some shorts they may have missed or re-watch those they loved. Blood Shed is purpose-built for such a venture, but with one drawback - it’ll make the other films featured look lame by comparison. Catch it if you can.

BLOOD SHED / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: JAMES MORAN / SCREENPLAY: JAMES MORAN, CAT DAVIES / STARRING: SALLY PHILLIPS, SHAUN DOOLEY / RELEASE DATE: TBC

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