First and foremost THANK YOU to everyone who submitted their short films for our consideration! We received a great number of short film and microfilm submissions, and as one of 3 jury members (with August Aguilar, and Mark Kelly) I must say, IT WAS NO EASY TASK!
For those filmmakers whose films were not selected at this time, KEEP AT IT!! The fact you you completed a film project, and submitted it to a film festival is an AWESOME accomplishment! And we hope to hear from you again at one of our other film festivals down the road.
For the dozen films that we have the selected for the first ever SUDS & CINEMA – Knoxville: We’re honored to be showcasing your film at our event!!
Hunted – 0:52
Cheetos – 0:41
Tennis – 3:00
Don’t Die – 3:19
Drop Frame – 6:58
Foreword – 7:53
Back to the Drawing board – 11:18
Voice in the Radio – 9:24
I will not Disappear – 9:20
Papa – 14:37
The Workout – 3:10
Self Checkout – 4:00
Congratulations to all of the Official Film Selections!
Join us at Brickyard Bar & BBQ in Knoxville, TN on Saturday, Sept 28th to check out these films on the big screen– grab a craft beer, check out some live music, and stick around to the end of this FREE event to see what films win the official festival film awards!
Bailiwick is the story of John, a lonely and quiet man, who is ignored by his co-workers, and bullied by his boss. One night he is given a magical gift that changes his life and the lives of everyone he encounters…
See the CinemaSlice Reel Review of Bailiwick HERE.
Gary Cowden (Mike Neider), AKA: The Bicuspid Killer, is the next subject examined in the hit crime series Investigation: Death. In this episode, titled I Dated a Serial Killer, they look into Gary’s techniques as a murderer. He enjoys luring women on dating websites in order to meet with them. Meetings in which Gary has murderous intent. On one date he meets Karen Davies (Dawn Marie Hughes), a woman whom Gary plans to take home. He has noticed that Karen has beautiful teeth. Gary soon finds out, however, that Karen Davies isn’t like his other victims. In fact Karen may be much more disturbed than even Gary himself.
Written and directed by Jeremy Allen, Investigation: Death is a short horror/dark comedy. Leaning into both genres, Investigation: Death will have the viewer grimacing one minute and chuckling with laughter the next. Switching genres is also Investigation: Deaths strongest element. It subverts the audiences expectations of what they are watching, moving from genre to genre with an exceptional directorial hand. The writing is well done with the comedic bits being a highlight. The acting is also noteworthy and the entire cast does an exceptional job. Mike Neider is outstanding as Gary Cowden, a creepy villain that will stick with the viewer long after watching.
Not many criticisms come to mind as I had an entertaining time with this film. With such a creative team it would be interesting, however, to see this idea revisited with a larger budget. This may not be possible, but it would be neat to see Investigation: Death with an overall polish that a larger budget could bring.
Overall Investigation: Death was an awesome watch. Both deeply disturbing and funny it hit all the notes of a good short. Although a little rough around the edges, it was fantastic in terms of direction, writing, and acting. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys serial killer horror and hilarious dark comedy.
A portrait handed down through the generations. A portrait of a doctor who is widely known across the globe. A doctor obsessed with giving life to his own creation. His name was Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his family tree has grown large. His legacy has spidered along the branches of this tree with certain family members continuing his vile experiments. Each believes they have perfected the techniques of the past. However, can the perfect solution be found to a question that was never intended to be asked?
Directed by Donald F. Glut, Tales of Frankenstein is a collection of four short horror tales. Done in the style of great anthologies such as Creepshow and V.H.S., Tales of Frankenstein connects each tale with a through line. All of the stories were interesting, because each was done in a unique style that represented the location and time period where the short takes place. The through line is the weakest element of Tales of Frankenstein, but I’ll get to that later. First we’ll visit each story and I’ll give my reaction to each.
First is My Creation, My Beloved which tells how Dr. Gregore Frankenstein (Buddy Daniels Friedman) attempts to bring back his former love, Irma. With Irma’s brain and the additional help of local morgue worker Herr Hussman (Tad Atkinson) and prostitute Helga (Lilian Lev), Gregore hopes to carry out this task. I felt like this was the weakest story of the four tales. It wasn’t as unique as the others and seemed to stick to a more traditional storytelling approach. It was well done technically, however, with good direction and great gore effects. Also I felt this had the strongest acting ensemble, with a very creepy performance by Tad Atkinson as Herr Hussman.
Second is Crawler from the Grave where Vincent (John Blyth Barrymore) becomes obsessed with his neighbors, Lenore Frankenstein (Tatiana DeKhtyar) and Helmut Frankenstein (Len Wein). Vincent’s obsession stems from his love of precious and rare gems. A recently deceased Helmut owned such a gem, which he wore on his finger. Vincent then proceeds with a grave robbing plot that may give him problems due to Helmut’s experiments. Experiments intended to give himself everlasting life. With a strong story, awesome special effects, and very creepy visuals this was my favorite of the anthology. No criticism for Crawler from the Grave as it was solid from start to finish.
Next up is Madhouse of Death. Private Detective Jack Anvil (Jamisin Matthews) takes shelter at an old house when his car breaks down right before an approaching storm. It’s there that he meets Dr. Mortality (Mel Novak) and his butler, Mogambo (T.J. Storm). Dr. Mortality has a plan for Jack, a plan that may involve Jack losing his mind. The most funny and absurd of the four shorts. It was a delight watching as the characters came out, each more odd and eccentric than the last. The serious noire style really worked and was a great juxtaposition to the craziness. The mixing of crazy characters and different genres won’t be for everyone, but was very effective nonetheless.
Lastly is Dr. Karnstein’s Creation in which Dr. Heinrich Karnstein (Jim Tavare) recruits local bar fly Carl (Justin Hoffmeister). Carl needs money and will do anything for Dr. Heinrich. Even if that involves creating a bloodthirsty unstoppable super soldier. Like the last three tales Dr. Karnstein’s Creation is a quality short in all departments. What makes this one stand out, however, is the ending. For all the creature lovers out there this short is for you. The abomination at the end is a sight to behold.
As mentioned earlier, my biggest criticism with this anthology is the lack of a more substantial through line. Essentially the Frankenstein family lineage and the handed down portrait are all we get. While this is in no way a deal breaker it was a bit of a letdown. Each short was really good though, with a great mixture of different genres and film styles. I love a good anthology and I believe this one stands right along with all the classics.
Molly has a very curious hobby. She obsesses over everything Bigfoot. News clippings, video sightings and first hand accounts swirl around her brain. When she hears that Blue Ridge Adventures is sponsoring a contest in her area, she jumps at the opportunity. Ten thousand dollars to anyone who can find proof that Bigfoot exists. So Molly grabs her somewhat skeptical friend, Devon, and they begin their journey. A journey that will show Molly to always follow her dreams, despite the pitfalls that may occur.
Big and Tall is a heartwarming comedy/adventure short directed by Clint Till. Emi Otsuki plays the smart and spunky Molly. Emi does an outstanding job in playing Molly as an instantly likable character. Emis portrayal would make any girl watching Big and Tall be drawn to Molly’s adventurous spirit. Devin McCracklin also does a fantastic job in a supporting role as Molly’s friend Devon. A good script and a nice comedic performance by Devin develops Devon’s character nicely. He has his own unique personality while also not overshadowing Molly.
The directing is another standout in Big and Tall. Clint Till gets performances from Emi and Devin that, in my opinion, rival other famous films with child actors. IT: Chapter 1 and Stand by Me come to mind. Every shot is purposeful and every scene helped to forward the story in a meaningful way. My only criticism is that it was too short. I realize it’s a short film, but I feel this could be made into a full length feature.
I thought Big and Tall was a great film. A fantastic script delivered by amazing child actors shot by a director that respects his audiences time. It’s comedy and adventure mixed together with a little suspense added in. I recommend this to anyone that enjoys feel good, well made movies.
Zach Evans is attending a panel at the 2019 Festival of Play. The topic of discussion is Ziggo Mania 5, a video game that Zach adores. One of the panelists is Jesse Blackwell, who is the lead programmer on the project. Once Zach gets a chance to ask some questions he finds out from Jesse some unfortunate news about Ziggo Mania. News that will light a spark within Zach and lead to a series of sinister events. Jesse is now in danger and will have to use all his unique skills to save himself.
From Mania to Obsession is a short suspense/thriller directed by Andrew Brantley and Kevin Shirka. It stars Kevin Shirka as Zach Evans and Randall Williams as Jesse Blackwell. From Mania to Obsession is a very enjoyable film on multiple levels. One thing that stood out for me was the overall concept of the movie. Another was this concepts execution in terms of the escalating suspense. Similar to Stephen KingsMisery, this film tells of one individuals demented fixation on an individual. In this case, Zach Evans compulsion for Jesse Blackwell. Unique to From Mania to Obsession is the use of modern technologies, which makes the story more relatable. Kevin Shirka does a great job in taking this concept and applying it to the actions and mannerisms of Zach. It’s very entertaining watching Zach steadily descend into madness throughout the film.
A criticism I have with From Mania to Obsession is with using Ziggo Mania 5 throughout the short. Although it was creative using a video game that appears exclusively made for the film, Ziggo Mania 5s quality didn’t fit with the story. Ziggo Mania 5 looks like a mobile game, something that would appeal to younger children. As a gamer I have to admit this threw me off a bit. A non-gamer, however, probably wouldn’t notice. I feel this could have been fixed by providing a more realistic motivation for Zach’s anger. One suggestion could be that Ziggo Mania 5 is now introducing micro transactions. Another could be that the game has taken a dramatically deep dip in quality.
From Mania to Obsession is full of great suspenseful moments. The modern take on the concept is excellent and Kevin’s portrayal of Zach is frightening. The quality of Ziggo Mania 5 is a little confusing, however, which is distracting. I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys thrillers that don’t resort to jump scares or excessive violence.
The ‘Slicer August Aguilar from Strange Films is hosting SUDS & CINEMA film festival in Knoxville, TN this September at Brickyard Bar and BBQ. In staying with the formula that makes SUDS & CINEMA awesome, CinemaSlice will be showcasing short independent films from multiple genres, while drinking craft beer!
The twist on this particular event is the inclusion of LIVE MUSIC! That’s right, Slicers! After all of the short films have shown on the big screen, you can kick back, grab a cold one, and enjoy the original musical arrangements from live bands!
If you’re an indy filmmaker with a short film that goes well beside a cold one, click the link below to submit your film for consideration.
– June 11, 2019 – Opening Submission Date – July 1, 2019 – Earlybird Deadline – July 21, 2019 – Regular Deadline – August 18, 2019 – Late Deadline – August 24, 2019 – Notification Date – September 21, 2019 – Event Date
As always, this SUDS & CINEMA event is FREE to attend– But space is limited.
A documentary about a man. A man who has learned to hate pies. Not just because he hates the taste, but because they are ruining his life. Yes, that’s right. I said pies.
Pie has a hilarious central concept used to its fullest potential. Directed by Doug Cox, the film uses a faux documentary style to carry this concept up till the end. The genius concept combined with the creative presentation result in a comedy short that I will remember for quite some time.
I give Pie 5 out of 6 reels.
Sac de Merde
Mazie can’t catch a break. All she wants is decent man who is above all else normal. Sounds simple enough but after multiple dates she continues to find quirks that only seem to escalate in weirdness, with hilarious results.
A good story, fantastic script, and an uproariously funny performance by Arielle Haller–Silverstone as Mazie are some of the keys that make Sac de Merde shine. Directed by Greg Chwerchak, Sac de Merde has amazing comedy writing that could make the story great all on its own. However, having Arielle to deliver the lines really brings everything together as she gives us an all-star comedic performance.
I give Sac de Merde 6 out of 6 reels.
Saul’s 108th Story
Saul Moroz shares his incredible story where he installs a pane of glass for a window company. “Incredible story?”, you may ask. Yes, considering it’s 1950s New York and he’s 108 floors above the ground. Don’t worry about it!
A fun short that is basically a very enjoyable story told to us by the man who lived it, Saul Moroz. Directed by Joshua Carlon, Saul’s 108th Story puts the spotlight on Saul and he is an entertaining storyteller indeed. As with any great storyteller Saul puts you in his shoes and you actually feel like you’re a glass worker in 1950s New York. The presentation and graphics around Saul as he tells his tale are also a nice touch.
I give Saul’s 108th Story 4 out of 6 reels.
After visiting a creepy fortune-teller with his buddies Ethan uncovers a dark sinister secret. A secret that may change the course of his life forever.
Smoke is a creepy tale of revenge directed by Justin Malone. The film features some great editing and skillful camerawork which helps to set up the increasingly sinister mood. Clint Abner does a fine acting job and it shows because we see Ethan’s descent clearly as the joking mood in the beginning quickly turns sour. A great entry into the thriller genre.
I give Smoke 5 out of 6 reels.
Does a mirror really show us what’s happening in reality, only in reverse? Or is only the reflection of our mind?
Directed by Massimiliano Mauceri, The Mirror is an effective horror short with a creative way of telling us its story. The Mirror lacks any dialogue, but makes up for that with amazing special effects and purposeful direction given to the actors (Carlotta Galmarini and Mattia Rigatti). Through the use of these elements we get a very nuanced horror tale that doesn’t resort to jump scares.
I give The Mirror 4 out of 6 reels.
What do the items in our house do while we go to work? More than likely they just sit there and don’t move until we get home. Then again maybe they come up with courageous escape plans that rival Escape from Alcatraz.
Done in a similar vein as Sausage Party, Toasted takes a style we usually associate with children’s films and flips it on its head. Director Chad Janusch takes a stop motion animation approach with Toasted and mixes it with vulgar adult humor. The results are astonishing because the craft and care taken to make this short is clearly evident. You can see it even in the little details, such as matching certain emotions with specific household items. Fantastically funny and full of visual eye candy.
I give Toasted 6 out of 6 reels.
A voicemail from a mother because she worries about her adult son going outside for the day. A simple action that shouldn’t be of concern.
Through the delivery of hearing a voicemail being played, director Kyle Solomon delivers an emotional punch. In The Voicemail we see that, for some people, everyday activities can be much different from others. A short that delivers an impact which will linger with you long after watching.
American Craft: What Beer Can Teach Us About Well-Crafted Laws
This documentary short gives us a look into the world of American craft beer. We see the ups and downs over the years as laws have shaped how we produce and distribute craft beer to the public. From its fledgling beginnings to becoming a thriving creative subculture, American craft beer is here to stay.
American Craft is an enjoyable and informative short film. Directed by Matt Wood, American Craft achieves two goals that are important to any documentary. First, it attracts newcomers to the world of craft brewing without alienating them. It’s short and stylish enough to just dip your toes into and enjoy, while not being overwhelmed by an ocean of information. Secondly, the content is entertaining and educational. Veterans of the craft brewing scene will appreciate that American Craft is not watered down in any way.
I give American Craft 6 out of 6 reels.
Happy Bath Day
Follow along as a dog takes a trip to the pet store. Once at the store she gets a little TLC with a bath given to her by her friend in the blue shoes.
Delightfully simple and full of heart Happy Bath Day, directed by Meka Butler, is a pleasure to watch. If you’re looking for an intense story with multiple plot twists, look elsewhere. If you’re a pet lover looking for a relaxing movie with an excellent acoustic soundtrack, Happy Bath Day is for you. Also, it’s worth noting that Jada the dog does an amazing acting job.
I give Happy Bath Day 3 out of 6 reels.
My Plastic Buddha
In My Plastic Buddha we get some insight into a mans ideas on the value and importance we put on specific objects in our everyday lives.
Jeff Madzia stars and directs in My Plastic Buddha, an informative short that is both emotionally moving and effective. Never resorting to sounding to preachy, Jeff weaves us a short, but effective, cautionary tale. He tells us how he has extracted meaning and worth in objects that are objectively worthless. We are then allowed to form our own opinion from his message. We can then decide what in our own life may become our own plastic Buddha.
I give My Plastic Buddha 5 out of 6 reels.
Gauntlet Run: Origins
Tied up in a warehouse, a man answers questions for an unsavory group of people while being beaten. He isn’t giving any answers and when a rival member enters the scene an unlikely partnership forms and an epic beat down commences.
Directed by Garrett Atkinson, Gauntlet Run: Origins wears its influences on its sleeve. Those influences being high-octane action films. Movies such as The Raid and John Wick come to mind and Gauntlet Run does them proud. The action is impeccable and at times you may wonder if you’re watching a professionally choreographed action spectacle. The story is generic but with action scenes like this I’ll give Gauntlet Run a pass.
I give Gauntlet Run: Origins 5 out of 6 Reels.
He is at his barber, ready to get his haircut. Or is he with his girlfriend, at a restaurant ready to order. The choices are so confusing.
Intriguing, strange, and clever. These are some terms that come to mind when viewing the comedic short Haircut. Directed by George Massimillo, Haircut appears as one of two things. First, is this is a tale about life’s endless choices and the confusion that ensues while making them? Or, secondly, is this just an absurdist alternate reality, similar to Napoleon Dynamite or similar shows on Adult Swim? Or maybe it’s a bit of both. Either way it’s definitely worth a watch.
I give Haircut 3 out of 6 reels.
A brother and sister realize that the sister, who is in a vegetative like state, that they have taken care of for years has a special talent. She can predict the outcome of future lottery draws or other gambling endeavors. Will they use this talent for good or will they let the greed wash over their lives.
Story is the shining star in Lightning Strikes, directed by Camille Calvin. A well written script that combines multiple genres along with great acting are what make the plot captivating. Some of the genres sprinkled throughout are suspense, drama, and even some comedy. Irene, played by Camille Calvin, and Betty, played by Emanda Pimentel, navigate these genres expertly and are a joy to watch. The choices dealing with mental disabilities are sometimes questionable but for the most part don’t interfere with the overall quality.
I give Lightning Strikes 4 out of 6 reels.
Jaysons life isn’t going so well. His girlfriend left him, his college grades are failing, and his dreams of becoming a local superhero always end in injury. That is until he goes back home to get his childhood toy, a Macaulay Culkin doll that brings him good luck and comfort.
Extremely funny and charming the comedy short Macocky, directed by Ivon and Eyan Wuchina, excels on multiple levels. The comedy writing is excellent, mixing jokes that are both uproariously funny as well as more subdued leading to an even tone throughout. The story is nicely paced with moments of complete absurdity complemented by more relatable human moments. Luke Enzor also does a fantastic job in playing Jayson as a unique and quirky person while also remaining realistic. All of these elements make Macocky a must see.