I dunno; I just do.There’s something about it that makes it, in many ways, a more complete and superior horror story than any of the like-length CryptTV videos on YouTube.I think the principal problem is that when a “horror film” goes below ~3mins, the filmmakers almost invariably seem to decide that all they can possibly do in that time is craft a jump scare.As such, the piece is inherently callous (if not outright cruel) to the viewer.It’s bullying art, art that has decided it needs (or should, or is right) to inflict itself on you.That doesn’t mean that I don’t like art that confronts you with unpleasant realities—in fact, I sorta like that art best of all—but I want for us to go to that place together (both as a person making art and a person consuming it).
But then we have something like this—or like the weird, wonderful [Adult Swim] videos I’ve linked in the past.Because these things don’t think of themselves as horror, I feel like they’re more open to creating a more nuanced kind of horror, even in a much more compressed chunk of time.
The horror in this SNL skit is in what it implies about the universe that this family lives in, all the stuff that’s outside the frame (including that escaped almost-pizza beast).And part of what makes that horror is the fact that the world we actually really livein—this world, where I am sitting and tying and you are sitting and reading—is outside that frame too, and thus is sharing space with the horrifying reality that put these characters in that room with that awful thing (brought to you by Pfizer™).
A lot of the short films Dust releases are 75% solid, then fall apart at the untangle/resolution (often by not having one at all: they have a terrific Setup, then a nice Tangle, then roll credits—grrrrrrrr). But this one holds up nicely. Give it a watch:
Tate didn’t like how the kid was acting. The teenaged male in the second-hand cruiser’s back seat—who could produce no ID, but had given the moderately improbable name of “Jamal Kartazian”—was far too compliant. As a rule, kids like this—scrawny white boys with lumpy dreadlocks and grimy hoodies—were a spewing font of the Three Bs: bravado, back-peddling, and begging.
But not this kid. Jamal Kartazian was cool and collected; he almost seemed satisfied to find himself locked in the back of a cop car. And, in contrast to every other kid Tate had ever busted in his short two-act career as first a cop and then a rent-a-cop, this kid was actually asking to be “hauled back to the station.”
He sticks his finger in his mouth, then draws the spit-slick digit out and, swift as a fencer, pushes it into my face. I instinctively rear back, as though moved by some sort of mystical energy field, perhaps one created by all living things—the sorta thing that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.
Hey gents: Ever wanted to do sex stuff to a cannibal ghost’s face? Well, guess what? NOW YOU CAN!
I don’t wanna come off as a prude or anything, but I think that there’s maybe absolutely nothing not wrong with this, from it’s name—which starts with “sexbaby“(!!!), and then somehow manages to get worse—to the use of colors and shapes, to the reviews, distressingly low price, and the fact that this is in stock and “Fulfilled by Amazon” (thus conjuring the image of untold ranks of shelves in a Tennessee warehouse, holding uncountable numbers of cartons, each containing boxes upon boxes of individually packaged artificial ghostbaby sexmaws. With teeth.)