Saturday, May 19, 2012

Holy Horrors! Plastic Age Productions Releases Collection of Horror Shorts.

For fans of the short horror story genre, you're in luck. This correspondent was recently lucky enough to obtain a review copy of Aegis Studios compilation DVD of short horror videos, including Asunder, Taxidermy, Event Invitation, WiddershinsCity Without Walls, and Nation Undead: Kept. All six shorts are directed by Travis Legge. The production value throughout the collection is exceedingly high, and Legge proves to be a consistently good director while working with a legion of different actors, crew members, writers, and extras, some of which have film experience, others merely showing up at the last moment. None of this chaos is evident in the final DVD. The writing is good, the acting is good, the camerawork is good, the lighting is good etc. That in itself should earn Legge, who also produces, some sort of DIY award. I'll be looking at two particular shorts from the DVD. The first is Taxidermy.

Taxidermy will be especially enjoyed by those who enjoy story-driven episodic horror shorts like The Twilight Zone or Tales From the Darkside. The second you see Andy (played by Matthew Roeling) you know this bag is up to no good and it's going to go down hard for him, but writer Sarah Scharnwebber's script doesn't give up the goods that easy. You see...


Josie (played by Tina Renee Grace) knows that Andy has been messin' (mostly because he tells her in pretty graphic detail), but instead of going all Kathy Bates she starts acting real nice. (Shudder). Anyone who's ever listened to Eddie Murphy knows when a woman gives you this look...


That's your ass. Taxidermy pays off through good acting, a deftly written story, and a genuinely spooky soundtrack written by Legge himself. The second short...


Asunder is exactly as described, "visually ambitious and darkly sensual," due in no small part to (a list is coming): Legges' script, a very believable performance by Lewis Harris II, who plays Josh, a man dissatisfied in his marriage who wanders in to a dark underworld of possibility where he discovers what can only be described as succubus who is simultaneously the answer to his wildest dreams and the realization of his worst nightmares. That succubus is played by Aley Kreinz, and all I'm legally allowed to say about that without getting a foot to the crotch is "damn." The second aspect of Asunder that makes it really just an awesome short is the combination of the set design, practical, digital, and makeup effects. A great deal of effort was put into every aspect of the effects, and it succeeds magnificently, in no small part to some digital magic by Tim Stotz, who creates some legitimate WTF did I just see moments. Asunder is a "be careful what you wish for" parable that works on many levels because Legge pays attention to the details and recruits talented crew members like Ryan Dooley and Jake Skiba, who did some atmospheric set design, and Alex Rodriguez, who worked with Legge, and Lewis Harris II to create some gruesome makeup effects. To wit...

Going down? Sorry, I just throat punched myself for that one. Let me repeat that the production value  here is really above and beyond what you'll see in most DIY and small production companies. By only reviewing two of the six shorts contained on this DVD I feel like I'm doing a disservice to a legion of talented writers, actors, and technical crew members who have participated in Plastic Age Production films. People like jason ssg who can be seen on most local film shoots holding the mic and then doing post production sound, the aforementioned Tim Stotz, who in addition to being behind the camera in many productions, is one of the Midwest's finest actors, and...


Me. In Nation Undead: Kept, as the greatest zombie of all time. So, buy Plastic Age Studios DVD collection of horror shorts


Disclaimers. I do not know actor Matthew Roeling in real life he probably isn't even a "bag." And this video collection is NOT appropriate for those under 18 years of age. Also, I left out a lot of people who worked hard, but this is really just a bare bones review. 


March 26, 2013 update: Director Travis Legge is back with his second feature film. This time shot in New York City, Dry Spell is a romantic comedy packed with laughs.










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