Here are some more shorts from the Another Hole In the Head Film Festival.

The Diamond (2022): No matter what, Stefan can’t make friends. Perhaps it’s because he tries too hard. Or maybe he’s dangerous to everyone around him. One day, he finds a diamond in the woods and yet can’t reach it. Later at the doctor’s office, he meets a miniature man and actually becomes friends with him. However, he must use him to get what he really wants, that diamond. Or maybe he can actually make a friend this time.

Director Vedran Rupic and writer Gustav Sundström have created a world where a man tries to wear fake herpes sores to try to win people over to the embrace of his friendship. And the end of this movie, the moral and the choir and the…look, don’t let me ruin it. This short is beyond perfect.

Kickstart My Heart (2022): Director and writer Kelsey Bollig survived a near-death experience to tell this story of, well, a near-death experience. Lilly (Emma Pasarow) must survive three levels of living hell to return from the near-dead which ends up looking like scenes from horror movies and Mortal Kombat, which I can totally endorse.

You have to love when someone tells an incredibly personal story and does it with fight scenes involving ninjas and demons. More people should follow the model that this film has set, but then again, this is so original and well-done, they’ll find themselves wanting in comparison.

Meat Friend (2022): When Billie (Marnie McKendry) — sorry, I mean children — microwaves raw hamburger meat, it needs no old top hat to come to life. Instead, Meat Friend (Steve Johanson, who co-wrote this with director Izzy Lee) is alive and real and wants to teach her some valuable life lessons rooted in hatred and violence, no matter what her mother (Megan Duffy) does.

“More beef! Less cheese!” goes the refrain and the faithful demand the reanimation of the meat homunculus.

This was an absolute blast of strange and exactly what I needed during the fest, something that started odd and didn’t let up.

Izzy Lee has also directed the Lovecraft film Innsmouth, the “For a Good Time, Call…” segment in Shevenge and several shorts like Consider the TitanticDisco Graveyard and Memento Mori. You can learn more about this movie — the kind of magic that has a pile of sentient 80% lean ground beef do rails of coke — right here.

Prom Car ’91 (2022): Let me fast forward this review and just say that this short is more than 100% everything I look for in movies. It’s so well shot and creative that even though you may have seen its story told before, you’ve never seen it told so well.

Carrie (McKenna Marmolejo, who owns every second she’s on screeen) and Don (Max Jablow) plan to have sex for the first time in the back of Don’s dad’s minivan on prom night. They’re invisible kids in 1991 but are the kind of geeks that rule the world today. He writes Rush-like science fiction songs about her; she watches Shaw Brothers movies. But just as they prepare to change their lives with some underage sex, they watch prom queen get slashed by two of their teachers, Mr. Little (Yuri Lowenthal, the video game voice of Spider-Man) and Ms. Cox (Jayne McLendon).

I can’t even emphasize how perfect every moment of this short is. It’s so charming, so filled with absolute joy. It made my day so much better watching it and I’m still smiling about it.

Reel Trouble (2022): Arnaut Subotica (Sam Vanivray with director and co-writer — with Attiba Royster — Brian Asman as the voice) tried to make cartoons for Whitt Dabney (Kevin Allen) and the theft of his ideas and the way Dabney treated him caused him to make a cartoon that took a decade of his life. Then he committed suicide and the cursed film was kept from the public until the Internet released every bit of lost media from their prisons. Jason (Lyndon Hoffman-Lew) and Kyle (Baker Chase Powell) are trading videos — I see the snuck in WNUF Halloween Special blu ray — and this might just be one that they should have never watched.

This was an absolute joy to watch and felt like it could have been part of the true dark lore of Disney. It’s got just the right mix of humor and horror and knows when to switch into moments of sheer terror, even if they feature giant cartoon hands.

You can learn more about Brian Asman at his official site.

This movie was part of the Another Hole in the Head film festival, which provides a unique vehicle for independent cinema. This year’s festival takes place from December 1st – December 18th, 2022. Screenings and performances will take place at the historic Roxie Cinema, 4 Star Theatre and Stage Werks in San Francisco, CA. It will also take place On Demand on Eventive and live on Zoom for those who can not attend the live screenings. You can learn more about how to attend or watch the festival live on their Eventlive site. You can also keep up with all of my AHITH film watches with this Letterboxd list.

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