Tuesday, 2 December 2014


There have been a few very cool moments since I started this blog. The first time one of my reviews made it onto a horror film’s facebook page; the first time a filmmaker contacted me asking if I could review his new film; the first time an actor I’d praised for his performance contacted me to say thanks; even the time that one director praised my review of his film so highly that he said reading it ‘makes it all worth it’.
These all made me glad I’d given it a crack — but very few things can compete with the time I received a Facebook friend request from a genuine horror villain. No, not the actor, the actual character!
Joseph Klagger, malevolent spirit and damned soul… is now friends with Hickey!
Of course after this happened I had to catch the big guy in action, and after some Facebook chats with old Joe I soon found myself settling down with a DVD of his exploits. Read on...

Klagger (2010)

Dir: Casey Crow
Starring: Matthew Aycock, Matt Willis

SPEEDY SYNOPSIS: I’ll try not to spoil too much here as Klagger is a short, but read on at your own risk.

Deep in the heart of Texas, Perry (Aycock) is sent to inspect a factory that has fallen into disuse and disrepair. The employee of an industrial salvage company, Perry arrives at the dusty, imposing site and heads inside for what he thinks will be just another working day.
He is wrong.
As he moves throughout the dark and foreboding factory interior, Perry comes to realise that he is not alone. Somebody — or something — is watching him. Something that can never rest, never forget and never ever stop…

BEST BITS (mild spoiler warning): 
Wow, where to start here? First the cinematography and the location itself combine to make the factory the third character in this 12 minute horror throwback. The derelict Anderson Feed Mill in which the film was shot adds a kind of gritty, industrial realism to the proceedings that even the best dressed of sets could never hope to convey. Cinematographer Anthony Gutierrez shoots the interior, plus the dusty Texan landscape with a brilliant eye, turning the whole thing into a nightmarish hell on earth long before the titular tormented soul makes his otherworldly presence felt.
Aycock is great in the role as a normal man, full of himself to start with but slowly coming to grips with the fact that he is out of his depth. As his situation becomes more dire you can’t help but feel for him and root for him to escape the grips of Willis’s terrifying Klagger.
Aided by a fantastic makeup job plus pyro and technical effects, Willis exudes menace. Joseph Klagger (my Facebook buddy!) feels every bit like a properly iconic horror monster. I’d go so far as to say that if I’d seen this short before writing my recent feature on 13 Great Horror Villains of the Last Decade, Klagger would certainly take a place on the list.
While the visuals are brilliant throughout, the sound work is perhaps even more worthy of praise. With a soundtrack composed by the clearly very talented Gene Crow, it combines metallic booming industrial sounds with ethereal, otherworldy peaceful lulls. Kudos are also due for the particularly haunting use of the little know country and western ditty, Tomorrow I’ll Know by Pat Murphy and the Cimmarron Cowboys. As a theme for Klagger it works perfectly. This will certainly feature in a future Music of the Macabre piece here at Hickey’s House of Horrors!
Finally, it can be quite difficult to fit a full backstory into such a short run time. And when the supernatural goings-on commence, you may well wonder what is going on… but by the time the short is over, everything makes sense. The backstory is filled in through some clever sound cues and a chilling final shot that makes everything clear. Excellent work guys!

WORST BITS (mild spoiler warning): 
There’s not much here at all, this short was a quality effort!
I suppose my biggest complaint is the film’s scant runtime. Twelve minutes just is not enough! As such the finale felt a little rushed — I really could have done with a longer chase/escape sequence. Luckily, the Crows have already stated that Klagger is set to become a full-length feature film, so happy days! 
Some viewers may feel a little let down by the short amount of screen time that Klagger himself has. He is often obscured in shadows so it can be a little tough to see that sterling make-up work at times, but by adding more mystery to his appearanceI personally think they just strengthen the mystique surrounding the character.

VERDICT: This is one of the easiest recommendations I’ve made yet.
Part haunted house flick, part slasher, Klagger is a brilliant love letter to some of horror cinema’s finest. It is so much more atmospheric than a lot of the films that float my way and the Klagger character instantly feels like an iconic horror boogeyman. Great performances, fantastically shot, a justifiably award-winning soundtrack and so much more make this short a real must-see. 
The feature film cannot come soon enough, but until it does get hold of the short on DVD (it may be a little tough to get hold of but copies are out there on Amazon), head over to the official Facebook page and get Liking to show some support to the guys and prepare for one hell of a good time.

Oh, and if anymore movie monsters out there want to add me as a Facebook friend, count me in!

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

No comments:

Post a Comment