Here at the Hothouse we get a lot of requests to look at independent short films. We are always keen to encourage young filmmaking talent from outside of the studio system so keep them coming, I say.
Jeremiah Kipp is an American director and film journalist, who has been working in film production since 1998. The underlying theme of the three shorts Jeremiah has sent us seems to be a sensual eroticism, but in both Contact and Crestfallen this is subverted by some pretty nasty and gruesome events later, whether they be imagined or real.
Contact came with a warning from Jeremiah about drugs, nudity, gore and psychotronic violence. As if we needed any further encouragement.
The film opens with a obsessive-compulsive table laying sequence at the parental home, which doesn’t give a clue towards the body morphing horror which is to follow when a young couple buy an unknown drug to pep up their lovemaking. The short is beautifully shot in monochrome by Dominick Sivilli, rendering the gruesome conjoining of the sex and drugs freak-out all the more chilling when counter-pointed with erotic charge of the scene’s opening. An electronic score by Tom Burns adds to the effectiveness of the sequence.
In Crestfallen, a young woman attempts to slash her wrists in the bath on discovering her partner’s infidelity. The backstory, revealed through film sequences and photographs is edited into what first appears to be an ‘attractive blond strips off for a bath’ bit of soft porn.
The dreamy idyll of submerging into the tub is effectively destroyed when the knife comes out. The bath sequence is beautifully lit and shot, so it’s all the more disturbing when the knife comes out. The score, an incredibly important part of a five-minute short, is by Harry “Friday the 13th” Manfredini.
Drool features two naked actors writhing around in slime to a score that sounds like one of those synthesized segues between the gut busting rockers on an early Hawkwind album.
I’m not knocking it, the black and white photography is gorgeous, the actors beautiful and their writhing and drooling somehow deeply disturbingly erotic. Not really a horror short though.
For more information on Jeremiah Kipp check out his website.
Review by Simon Ball
Connect with Simon: @RealShipsCook or here