Hellarious (2019)

In this anthology, seven short films are gathered together to create a fun, humorous, and bloody collection. The short films included here are Killer Kart by James Feeney, Horrific by Robert Boocheck, ‘Till Death by Jason Tostevin, Death Metal by Chris McInroy, Bitten by Sarah K Reimers, Born Again by Jason Tostevin, and Lunch Ladies by Clarissa Jacobson.

The films included here are all high production values short films with some hitting better than others. Of course, as they are festival circuit darlings, some of them have already been reviewed at Cinema Crazed. So let’s start with those and their previous reviews.

In Chris McInroy’s short Death Metal (USA) (2016), a metal musician who sucks at this art is given a guitar that will help him but it comes with a few stipulations.  Death Metal is a funny, gory, and awesome horror-comedy short that is soaked in blood.  So much so that it has more blood gags than your average horror feature with no one safe from the massacre.  The special effects done under the supervision of Eric Zapata and with assistants Erin Einbender and Sarah Danki are what makes this short so kick-ass.  The original music by Andrew Hoke and featuring Matt Miklaw is properly metal and fits the film and its crazy insane amounts of blood.  Lead actor Kirk Johnson, who looks to be sporting a wig, gives a good performance in all the mayhem.  This short film clocks in at 4 minutes and 45 seconds (including credits) and it packs quite the punch in its short time, being one of the most fun shorts this year.  It would pair great with [2015’s] Deathgasm.

In Lunch Ladies (2019), two lunch ladies lose it a bit and feed their high school students something a touch different while day-dreaming of cooking for their beloved Johnny Depp. Lunch Ladies is a horror-comedy short that packs a punch. It’s one of those that is easily watched and for which is humor works and so does the gross-out factor. Giving great performance as Seretta and LouAnne are Donna Pieroni and Mary Manofsky who are the perfect team here, giving their characters conviction and moving the story forward with a great sense of timing and a passion that shows through the screen. Lunch Ladies is an effective horror-comedy with two leads that perfect together and that bring both the fun and the horror with a dash or two of crazy. It’s a short that is worth checking out more than once and should be seen on the big screen should the opportunity arise.

In Killer Kart (2012), after closing time, the carts get their revenge! In this short, shopping carts become sentient and start attacking store employees and eating them. Written and directed by James Feeney, this is a short film with plenty of humor and some interesting levels of blood. The leads give fun performances and do not break the seriousness of their parts, giving the film a tone that really works with the ridiculous set up. The central idea is great and the film makes the most out of it. The fact that the film doesn’t take itself seriously but also doesn’t try too hard to be funny makes the premise and situations work very well. The fun starts pretty early, the gore is great, and the film is one sweet short.

In ‘Til Death (2013), four friends agree to kill each other’s wives and find that things didn’t go as plan the next morning. Written by Randall Greenland, Jason Tostevin and directed by Tostevin, this horror comedy is one that explores married life and why some people may consider getting rid of their spouse permanently. Here the whole thing is approached with humor and a little bit more gore than in other films covering the subject. This short is fun with great special effects by Shane Howard are great and really add to the fun of the film. The performances are strong and the direction has a clear goal. This is a masterful short film worth checking out the whole anthology for.

In Horrific (2014), a man living in a trailer is attacked by an invisible presence. As he fights it, things become clearly more than he expected. This is a funny take on an invader of the animal sort with a fun little battle in a kitchen that gets as much if not more damage than the lead. Written and directed by Robert Boocheck, this is a fun film with an all-out battle in a limited space. Actor Mike C Nelson does great work here being on his own and fighting an enemy that is not seen at first. His work sells the premise and the whole film.  This is a short film full of mayhem and that is entertaining in how it does so.

In Born Again (2016), a group of Satanists await the birth of the anti-Christ during one of their rituals; of course, things do not go as planned. Written by Randall Greenland and Jason Tostevin with Tostevin directing, this short is a funny take on rituals and how they could go wrong. The performances really bring it all home with a cast that is having fun yet staying in character. This is one of those with a surprise ending, so the less said the better.

In Bitten (2018), a woman living alone with her dog finds a naked man in her apartment after yet another bad date. After a night with this stranger, she finds herself in a new predicament. From director Sarah K Reimers, this short film stars Francine Torres and Michael Curran as well as one charming dog. The short is filled with humor and is a bit different from the others while still feeling like it belongs. This one is played less humoristic yet still funny. The story develops in a way that you can’t really expect from the get-go and it’s what makes it all the more entertaining. This short has a lot of heart and humor.

This short film anthology gathers festival favorites from a variety of directors with the distinction of being one of the strongest, most even quality grouping of shorts in a long while. In terms of horror, it’s a bit light in some spots, but the humor in on point while the quality of each short remains high. It’s a must-see for a fun bit of entertainment.

You can order Hellarious here.