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[FAFF] ‘Shocking Ass Shorts: Vol. 1’ review: Straightforward scares and stylish experimentation

Shocking Ass Shorts Volume I features several films from a variety of creative minds

This year’s Frightening Ass Film Fest showcases two collections of short films. The first collection, Shocking Ass Shorts Volume I features several films from a variety of creative minds. Ranging from the darkly creepy to the sinister and strange, Volume 1 will engage and impress audiences with its humor, gore, and subtle or outlandish frights. 

Kevin Fermin’s Death Walks on Nitrate is the first film of the collection. Stylish and loud, Death Walks on Nitrate is a grindhouse film that centers around a sadistic photograph who loves to photograph human anguish. The grindhouse style features flashes of magenta with a soundtrack of amplified sounds, the tension in the film is both chaotic and gives off a nightmarish vibe. 

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Among the collection is an old fashioned ghost story. The House Guest is about Suzanne, a young woman who has recently moved into a house filled with mysterious sounds and strange phenomena. The House Guest is light-hearted and humorous. The tone of the film is mainly comedic with the arrival of an Edgar Allan Poe impersonator who also knows how to perform séance. After performing the ritual it is discovered that Suzanne is not only cohabitating with a spirit, but she is also unwanted. The light spin on the ghost story makes the film enjoyable while also promising some scares. 

The comedy continues with Quarenstein: An Exquisite Corpse Film a film produced by William and Kevin Lonano, is the creative compilation between many directors. Quarenstein, like Frankenstein’s monster, is a mash up of many ideas and styles. Beginning with montages describing the current state of our world, Dr. Quarenstein makes a monster. While the budget may be low, the amusement level is high as we see Quarenstein’s monster attend a luau, Dr. Quarenstein goes full “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and other silly ideas that blend together to exhibit a very fun creative display. 

While there are comedies, there are also some very grim shorts like Bloodshed and Seek, that work on building up suspense. Some of the films will bring laughs and some will bring screams. Shocking Ass Shorts Volume I delivers entertainment and innovative ideas and styles to the Frightening Ass Film Fest. 

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