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August 23, 2012

DVD Review: The Collective Vol. 4: Emotions (2012)

If good quality short-films are something you have a taste for, then here’s a recommendation for you- Go out and get your hands on Jason Hoover and JABB Pictures latest short-film collection entitled, Emotions. It’s the work of ten indie filmmakers that most people have probably never heard of but definitely need to know about. Each short is roughly ten minutes long and unlike a lot of short films whose purpose is to tease the audience in the hopes of possibly being made into a feature, these films are all complete stories.  Ranging from disturbing, to funny, to creepy, spooky and just plain bizarre, there really is something for everybody in this DVD. Lets have a quick look at each-

1, Grief- “Frankie” By Jason Hoover & JABB Pictures, this one literally “revolves” around a couple who have been abducted and tied to a pair of chairs by two creeps seeking revenge for the death of a brother. The entire film seems to be shot in one take with the camera constantly circling around the two captives as their abductors swiftly become more and more violent towards the two.
This was one of my favorites, with stark, creepy lighting and a deliciously hopeless feel to it.

2.Regret- “Contrition” By Jim Dougherty & 3 O’Clock Productions, a female scientist has figured out a way to make werewolves by tinkering with DNA modification. Unfortunately, one of her experiments escapes and she is forced to deal with the repercussions.
This one wasn't one of my favs, but it was interesting and different.

3. Schadenfreude- “Flash of the Wire” By David Gross & Winged Dolphin Pictures. Shot in black and white, this is the story of a man who seeks the help of a doctor to understand a recurring dream. As they talk about the dream, the ultra-creepy doctor begins to reveal a bizarre story about the mans past.
Great lighting and a surreal feel to it, this one was just a fucking trip.

4. Lust- “Death do us Part” By James D. Mannan & Liberty or Death Productions. A female paranormal investigator spends the night in a house haunted by the spirit of a murdered newlywed husband killed by a crazy neighbor. It isn't long before she comes face to face with the spirit and a sexy encounter ensues between the two. This one was fun and unique, solid acting and interesting story.

5. Trust- “Epidemic” By Dustin Mills & Dustin Mills Productions. While enjoying a delicious slice of pizza, a guy turns on his TV and learns the nation is in the grips of an epidemic. He also learns the virus may come...... from eating pizza. After learning the symptoms of the virus, he soon becomes ill and fears he may be infected.  In a panic he calls the virus-hotline and tells them he needs help. Unfortunately, the help that comes isn't quite what he was expecting.
This one was pure puss-oozing, vomiting and diarrhea-filled fun. A total blast and one of the best of the bunch. Good humor and sad irony. My girlfriend and I both felt like this was one of the shorts that really stood out.

6. Fear- “Myctophobia” By Bryan Wolford & Freakwolf Productions. Struggling with her fear of the dark, a woman visits a doctor hoping for a cure.  He suggests she try gradually turning the lights out to slowly become accustomed to the darkness. Before she can rid herself of her fears though, a sudden black-out not only forces her to face the terrors of the dark but also another menace which has invaded her home. Kitsie Duncan’s acting is what made this one shine, a great ending as well.

7. Hate- “Luke 1:71“ By Dakota Meyer & Red Panic Button Films. This one is the story of a violently out of control teenager who takes great delight in tormenting his younger brother. With no parents about, they are left to their own devices which results in tragic consequences for one of them. This one I wasn't so keen on, not that the theme was bad, but just because I didn't feel like there was enough behind the characters to make me concerned for what happens to them.

8. Denial- “101 Taylor St.” By Hoover & Spiral Film Works. Made like a short documentary this is nothing more then a voice-over telling the story of a seemingly nice old lady who turns out to be a cannibalistic serial-killer. While the story is being told verbally, we are shown a montage of images pertaining to the case. My movie-watching partner, Miss. Erica & I were split on this one. She didn't much care for it but I absolutely loved it. I thought it was very creepy in a “sit around the camp-fire and tell scary stories” kind of way.  I loved that Hoover was able to tell a fascinating little story without using any actors, just visual images and a narrative voice. Good, good stuff.

9.  Envy- “Bloody Hooker Bang Bang” By David Paul Bonnell & Over Analyzed Productions. This is the story of a prostitute who’s best friend wants to be just like her. The girls envy causes her to attempt to fill in for her hooker-friend which places her in great danger at the hands of a homicidal client. Good grindhouse-style parody fun here. Its total lack of regard for realism allows you to just sit back and enjoy the ride. It was quite funny, and felt like an indulgent pleasure (like eating 3 bowls of Captain Crunch without coming up for air)

10. Rage- “Bloody Hooker Bang Bang: A Love Story” By Jakob Bilinski & Cinephreak Pictures.This one picks up right where short number 9 leaves off. Our two heroines are joined by a shotgun wielding pimp and together they must face off against the brothers of the psycho they killed in the first act. A goofy showdown ensues and things once again take a violent turn.
As much fun as Bloody Hooker Bang Bang was, this, its sequel, was actually even better, as the goofiness continues, unchecked and out of control. These last two were amung the most fun of the bunch.

Overall, The Collective Vol. 4 did nothing but make me want to go out and find volumes 1,2 and 3. The sheer diversity of stories works to its own benefit, as even if one or two of the stories doesn't grab you, its only a matter of minutes before there's something completely different being thrown at you. One or two I would rate as fair, two or three I would rate as good and the remainder were absolutely delightful and all for different reasons. This is some of the best of what today's independent  filmmakers have to offer and you will definitely be getting your moneys worth with this collection.

8 out of 10    Reviewed by KennyB

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