3 Dead Girls
Chris Broadstone recently edited together a collection of some of his short films, 3 Dead Girls. Overall, these three short films are some of the best micro budgeted shorts I have seen, and that opinion holds strong after screening many short film festivals over the years.
One of the limitation of short films is trying to squeeze an entire story within a very short period of time. With the 2000 short film, Scream For Me, it is readily apparent. We’re given much of the backstory through an extensive and well performed monologue by Gabriel Sigal until Tony Simmons steals the show with his Madman character. Because there was a lot of back story to quickly digest through narration, it may easily slip by how Broadstone perfectly paralleled the beginning scene between Gabriel Sigal and his victim and later when Simmons victimizes Sigal. However, there was no shortage of perversity, sadism, and industrial music to hold our attention for the ride. There were some bonus features which illuminated the behind the scenes fun. Apparently, many out-takes were due to Simmon’s inability to know how to use Duct tape, and I quite enjoyed watching him make the tape completely unusable while never missing a cue or a line.
My Skin is another collaboration between Tony Simmons and Chris Broadstone as well as the final entry, Human No More. Tony Simmon’s transforms from his Madman trucker persona to a pale skinned figure of death incarnate. This story functions more of a final act to a New England Gothic story, as we come upon Death finally having revenge on a killer who keeps messing up his Date of Death ledger. Broadstone, with a micro budget, used the mise-en-scene combined with Simmons performance to create an unsettling sense. However, with such a short story I was kept wanting. I also couldn’t help but think that this incarnation of Death was a precursor to Broadstone’s Puzzleman novel which explores this creepy atmosphere in much more depth and detail.
Human No More is a confessional from a burnt out homicide detective. Broadstone zooms in on the final moments before the detective relinquishes his soul in order to carry on the good fight against evil. This story is very much about surrendering morals. If given a proper amount of time and budget, it’s easy seeing this unfolding into a mashup between Exorcist III and Fallen. Once again, it’s amazing how much insight Chris is able to reveal in such a limited budget and schedule. Despite setting up time, it’s a wonder how he was able to envision these creative and stylized shots. Although the monologue focuses solely on Tony Simmon’s character, he still manages to set up multiple points of view and even one that is presumably of the detective’s inner demon.
3 Dead Girls is a fun compilation of short horror movies. Along with the films, this release also comes with enough extra content such as behind the scenes footage, interviews, and commentaries to justify picking it up. I, for example, enjoyed listening to the banter between Broadstone and Simmons. Also, despite the packaging and name, these horrors don’t fall on the extreme/snuff side of the genre, so there’s no reason to be timid to show these among a diverse crowd of friends. These gothic films are perfect for a fright night party.