DVD REVIEW: THEATRE OF DERANGED II / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: VARIOUS / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: ERI AKITA, AMANDA BLACK, JODY BARTON, OLIVIA BLAKE / RELEASE DATE: TBC
A second anthology of five short horror films not quite up to par with ABCs of Death, which we also know isn't A to Z of enthralling plots or A-list acting. But that is the whole point of a short film, isn't it?
Theatre Of The Deranged II allows us to delve into next-to-nothing budget horror films. It’s all about originality for these films. Yes, there are many moments to judge here, depending on your horror tastebuds, but cliché characters and the obnoxiously naïve attempts to throw sex and misogyny into the plot doesn't win originality at all, which sadly is the case with most of these shorts. However, all is not lost as you may find one or two gems amongst the gravel; there is something worth raving about after all.
Directors James Cullen Bressak and Dustin Mills are by far the two filmmakers that stand out the most, with Bressak creating a unique idea with the third short Unmimely Demise. The whole idea behind iist what if a real mime artist could actually create real objects out of thin air. Sounds fun? It is fun! Bressak puts a twisted spanner in the works with his murderous mime. It’s a new take on the killer clown but you don't even need props because it's all pretend.
Mills, on the other hand, is using a well-known story with new dynamics and an artful style in the final short PlateFace. The acting is played out in movement and actions rather than dialogue, and there’s a good choice of the crisp monochrome style as it sets the tone straight away. The visuals in this one are by far the best, and it doesn't need dialogue to enhance the story.
It is this kind of originality and thoughtfulness that make these anthologies worth watching and important for new filmmakers to present their work loud and proud, even if it stinks. All these shorts are tied together with segments from host Damien Shadows, who brings in a little fun and reminds us that this isn't taking itself too seriously. For a straight up horror buff who wants to find something really different, you are likely to find it here.
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