Dir: Angus Swantee
Starring: Craig Gunn, Kevin Kincaid, Francine Deschepper
Today‘s award-winning and critically-acclaimed short, Torturous, is the first time I’ve offered you all a little black humour with your blood, bones and boo-scares.
Directed and co-written by the supremely talented Angus Swantee and starring the short’s other writer, Craig Gunn, Torturous has received plenty of accolades, including a Canadian Comedy Award!
Well done fellas!
SUMMARY: Once again, this is a short, so I don’t want to spoil too much of the film’s surprises.
Suffice it to say that when employment counsellor Greg (Craig Gunn) is abducted and tied to a chair in a dimly-lit Hostel-style dungeon, things are not looking too great for him.
But when the leather-aproned, drill-operating torturer (Kevin Kincaid) starts talking to him, very few could predict the route this gruesomely funny short will take…
WHY IT WORKS: First, this film is very well-made, shot on 35mm film and looking every bit as good as a big budget, big studio horror flick. The attention to detail is really rather excellent and it is all too easy for anyone familiar with the likes of Hostel and its torture-p0rn brethren to work out exactly where the story is heading.
And it is by subverting those very expectations that the short works so perfectly! The humour from taking such a familiar (dare I say, overly so) premise — SPOILERS TO FOLLOW — then taking us behind the curtain to yet another humdrum workplace filled with petty politics, mind-numbing boredom, unfulfilled ambition and daily breaches of etiquette — SPOILERS OVER — is genuinely hilarious.
It plays out very much like the bastard lovechild of The Office and the Hostel franchise.
Finally the key cast members handle their roles beautifully in what is essentially a two-man production in a single location. Both Gunn and Kincaid have great moments, capturing the desperation of the situation, then breaking the tension with perfectly delivered and timed laugh-out-loud lines.
There’s even a surprisingly gruesome, practical-effects gore moment that may cause some grimacing winces tucked in among the belly laughs.
I cannot praise this fantastically funny short highly enough and cannot wait to see what these talented film-makers have lined up for us next.
SO WHERE’S IT AT? Well the lazy among you can watch it right here!
However, please do head over to the short’s Facebook page and like the living hell out of it. The film is also available to watch on Swantee’s Vimeo channel.
There are also plenty of opportunities to catch the short on the film festival circuit (it’s still touring and gathering rave reviews), so if you get the chance to see it up on the big screen, go for it!
10 WORD WRAP UP: Fiendishly funny and well-made take on torture p0rn flicks
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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.