Hola, amigos. Welcome back to the World of Death with a trio of new films! I know it’s been a while since I rapped at ya, for a minute there I thought society was going to collapse and Chicago was going to go full Hell Comes to Frogtown. Thankfully, 2021 has proven to be only slightly akin to A Boy and His Dog. More good news on the horizon; this week we have three short films! Can you believe that?! And February’s the shortest month of the year too!
First, we got Mannequins, written and directed by British filmmaker David Malcolm. Contrary to what the title may suggest, Mannequins is not a gritty reboot of Andrew McCarthy/William Ragsdale’s franchise (RIP Meshach Taylor), oh no, this is a horse of a different feather. Not one to give too much away, let’s just say if you’ve ever made a movie and said, “You know what, this job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking actors,” then man, oh man, is Mannequins something that’ll have you scratching your chin with delight. This film may be England’s greatest contribution to American culture since The Kinks, and the sex scene is un-fucking-believable.
Next up is Playtime’s Over, directed by Tony Reames and written by the film’s star Haley Leary. What begins as a relatively by-the-numbers tale of a young girl stuck babysitting quickly morphs into a story that pays homage to so many great horror movie franchises. If anything, it’s equal parts short film and drinking game.
Rounding out this triple-sized episode is The Itch, directed by Connor O. McIntyre and written and produced by Ethan Walden. The Itch is a body horror film that’s as suggestive and cerebral as it is nauseating and unsettling. Take notes kiddos, this is how to effectively convey dread and disgust whilst using all the tools in your filmmaking toolbox. It’s inspiring to say the very least.
That’s all out of me this month. Come back in March where we’ll either be fighting over toilet paper in the streets or getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Rock over London, Rock on Chicago!
– Pat O’Sullivan