El Gigante (2015) & Slit (2015)

Shorts Gigante posterHorror shorts don’t get much more fun than EL GIGANTE. This short film, which clocked in just under fourteen minutes, took the fun of the masked Mexican wrestling genre and threw in some torture porn and gore. I know, right!! In EL GIGANTE, Armando (Edwin Perez) only had enough money to pay a smuggler to get his wife and kid into America. So Armando tried to illegally cross the border and failed. A stranger who was there and saw him fail gave Armando some water, he passed out, and when he gained consciousness he found himself in a homemade wrestling ring with a mask sewn to his face.  In the audience sat a bat-shit crazy, sadistic family that looked as though they were waiting for some event. 

They were.

Enter El Gigante (David Forts)! This hulking, monster of a guy, named Gigante, entered the ring and immediately started to lay the smack down on Armando. Armando’s only chance for survival rested on whether he could survive a wrestling match with Gigante. (Spoiler Alert: No fucking way!!).

Shorts Gigante3I really loved this short. It was fast-paced with great acting and had a really fun story. But what I loved the most, and what I know you blood-seekers reading this will love, is the gore. In just thirteen minutes and forty-two seconds, EL GIGANTE managed to put more gore in this short than most films put in an entire feature length film. We don’t just get quantity, we get quality. The gore was really well done and it was done practically. But EL GIGANTE was more than just a vehicle for great gore. The story was engaging and hooked me immediately (I won’t mention the cannibalism). I wanted to learn more about that psycho family and especially El Gigante. Even though this short was almost fourteen minutes, I watched it like it was a teaser trailer. There was a lot more story to tell here and I hope that writers-directors Luke Bramley and Gigi Saul Guerrero (who were also the editors) make a feature film on this story.

EL GIGANTE was also a very slick looking film. It had great editing, the aforementioned great gore, and looked extremely polished for an indie production on a limited budget. EL GIGANTE is currently on the film festival circuit but I’ve stayed in touch with the filmmakers so I can share it with you as soon as it comes off the circuit. I loved this short!!

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My Summary for EL GIGANTE:

Directors: Luke Bramley & Gigi Saul Guerrero

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars

Gore: 8 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

Shorts Slit posterThe next short film I watched, SLIT, was another hugely entertaining film. Even shorter than the previous film, SLIT clocked in at around eleven minutes and filled every second with tension, suspense, and murder. In this short we followed two young women (Lillian Lamour and Miranda Cox) as they left the bars and headed home. Back at their apartment they engaged in a little amorous activity. Were they girlfriends? Were they just experimenting? We don’t know, but we got an eye full of some steamy sex. After the sex scene, a gloved killer entered the apartment and proceeded to stalk and kill the two girls. This was where SLIT shined. Writer-director Colin Clarke captured the Italian giallo genre perfectly here. Clarke didn’t miss a detail and for the later part of the film I reminded myself that I wasn’t watching an early Dario Argento, Mario Bava, or Sergio Martino giallo flick.

On a second viewing I noticed there was a mysterious figure who followed the girls home. Was it a jealous boyfriend? Ex-boyfriend? Some guy in the bar the girls shot down? Again, we never found out. This wasn’t Clarke’s intention to present the viewer with a fleshed out story that explained everything. Clarke, here, was going for style and he nailed it. We got a lot of primary colors in every shot. There was lots of blues, greens, and yellows in every scene. And the killer was perfectly dressed and looked like he was plucked right from any of the classic giallo films of the 1970s. The killer wore black leather gloves and used a straight-edged razor and scissors as his weapons of choice.

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SLIT (ya just can’t help but think there was a double entendre intended with the title) was a fun film that took me back to the good old days of the giallo film. You don’t want to miss this one, and now you don’t have to! SLIT is streaming for free on YouTube, so I’m bringing this one to you. Check it out and let me know what you think.

My Summary for SLIT:

Director: Colin Clarke

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars

Gore: 6.5 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains

EL GIGANTE & SLIT were reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay bloody!!!

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