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Fantasia Film Festival 2017: ‘Breaker’ and 3 More Short Films

A quick look at 4 short films premiering at the Fantasia Festival.

As our coverage of this year’s Fantasia International Film Festival continues, let’s take a break from the feature length movies and shine a light on 4 short films that deserve attention.

Breaker (2017)

Director/Writer: Philippe McKie

Cast: Arisa Hanzawa, Kazuya Shimizu, Yuka Tomatsu

SUMMARY: In tomorrow’s Tokyo, the technologically-enhanced body of a young mercenary hacker is overrun by a sentient data weapon. Wanted, the parasitic A.I becomes her only ally as she is chased across the city by those seeking to salvage it.

Colorful, electric, creepy underground, pumping music and a future world that technology is so advanced that your brain is the main computer via a chip. Breaker shows what it is like to be hacked. Curiosity killed the cat or in this case, leads this breaker into a danger as she is hacked in a chase. With likes of upcoming games of Observer releasing with what seems like a similar idea and Illuminae and the idea that technology really has no borders, but is that a good or a bad thing? Breaker is eleven minutes of chase that somehow manages to use that short screen time to show us this future and successfully engage us into the A.I. and the hacker’s relationship for the few minutes that is reliant on an instant trust to hopefully make their escape.

One of the earlier short films to screen before Vampire Cleanup Department and it works so well to create a quirky yet intense and engaging chase that takes a few minutes to make us question the A.I.’s intentions and how it will all end.

For a Good Time, Call… (2017)

Director: Izzy Lee

Cast: Sean Carmichael, Diana Porter, Tristan Risk

SUMMARY: A man who uploads a homemade sex video taken in secret gets more than he bargained for when he makes a pit stop.

For A Good Time, Call… is an interesting short film. Running at 11 minutes, the short takes us into a place that we know our main character here is a scumbag. Maybe a lot of people do shoot homemade sex videos for fun however he did do it without consent and this causes a fallout with the girl unsurprisingly who wishes him to have something bad. Suffice to say that, as he walks into a bathroom at his pit stop, we can wonder whether he is high and imagining things or if there is something that is there. Here’s where the film picks up its pace with creepy noises and a secluded feeling as wonder what will happen. There’s something more this man and he’s definitely not a good person but what is lurking in the bathroom and what does it want from him? For a Good Time, Call… has its creepy moments and much of it happens off screen as we always see the reaction first before the actual thing, utilizing the fact that our imagination is always more powerful than what the object of fear usually is.

Sleazy Pete (2017)

Director/Writer: Frank Appache

SUMMARY: A proto-apocalyptic tale where crime, sleaze and violence are king: we spend a night with sleazy Pete, and his new sidekick.

There aren’t really lot of words to describe Sleazy Pete. For those that love 80s gory horror, this one is definitely for you. There’s a deliberate feel to every action, some cheesy fakeness to the practical effects and oh so much blood. In fact, in the eleven minutes of runtime, it’s said that they used 55 gallons of fake blood. In true 80’s B-movie, this one ticks all the boxes you love. As well as a character like Sleazy Pete who is a priest that twists the meaning of “Love Thy Neighbor” a little and in turns uses this as a means to kill the homeless while having a lot of other acts that fit right in with this new world that is full of crime, sleaze and violence. Sleazy Pete is one to check out for a quick 80’s B-horror fun time.

The Naughty List (2016)

Director/Writer: Paul Campion

Cast: Mac Elsey, Sebastian Knapp, Vincenzo Nicoli

SUMMARY: On Christmas Eve, two American mobsters come face to face with Santa Claus, and discover what it really takes to get on the Naughty or Nice list.

Paired perfectly with Better Watch Out, The Naughty List is a Christmas short film where two mobsters are in hiding. One believes in Santa and one doesn’t. When Santa shows up, the question is whether this man in a furry red and white suit is the real deal. The Naughty List is a really great time. It’s all about laughs from the moment we see these silly mobsters ’till Santa shows up, from how he does to the entire conversation. Everything is comedic and done so well. Laugh-out-loud, this has plenty of fun.

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