It was a dark and warm-y night at Phoenix ComiCon 2015 and time for the late (way past pumpkin time for this guy) Horror Short Film Festival.
While the program said 10:30, we had to wait until 11:00 due to a scheduling error, and in a different room.
As soon as the short started I was immediately intrigued. I was always a fan of the old black and white horror films from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I stayed up one too many Saturday nights watching Mezzepa’s Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting on channel 8, but I digress. Forgive me. What intrigued me specifically was the post-production addition of artifacts and scratches on the “film,” as if it had been shown a few too many times at midnight as part of the monster movie of the week. The use of odd camera angles, filming at the Weldon-Glasson House (built in 1880) in San Diego’s Logan neighborhood (although the modern deadbolt as well as the contemporary guitar case, were a little obvious), and the set decorating (which, as I understand, some of the props necessary were already present in the home) was a real treat and showed the attention to detail in this short. The period costumes, as well as the over the top performance of Rebecca Sausedo as the hoodoo witch, Louisa Sampson, was delightful as it harkened back to the actors of that time in film history. Merrick McCartha’s portrayal of Deke Williams, the former blues musician trying to regain his “muse” was, shall we say, equally delightful for his even and somewhat subdued manner. The performances of the two actors really gave a sense of the dichotomy between good (somewhat) and evil.The scoring and performance of the music were right out of a 1930’s horror flick and set the tone complimented by the classic opening title sequence.
All in all I very much liked the film. The only real issue I had with this wonderful short was that it was too short. I would love to have seen a little more exposition on the plot and history of the case. I believe it could have been expanded to 30 minutes, but I do understand the filmmakers were probably under a specific set of constraints; time being one, to be eligible for certain film festivals.
If you would like to know more about the short film “The Case of Evil” you can view the trailer, that gives a great introduction (which I wish had been shown) here:
Or, you can go to www.the case of evil.com, where you will find a gallery with a plethora of photos from the shoot, awards the short has received, as well as information on the cast and crew.
Thank you to Neal and Jana Hallford for a treat that ended a long Friday at Phoenix ComiCon 2015. Thank you also to Bill Hensley (Neal’s cousin), whom I have known since the 5th grade, for alerting us to this delightful short film.