Stay Dead and Behind the Werewolf (uPressPlay V.1) Reviewed by Brian Kirst
These two horror based shorts are featured on Chicago’s uPressPlay V.1 DVD. Each, comically, tackles a different genre – the first, zombies and the second, obviously, werewolves. Both are entertaining and full of some interesting twists. The inventive Behind the Werewolf, though, charms above and beyond with its zany creativity and passionately frivolous wit.
“Hell, she might even let you give her the Charlton Heston” – Laura, Stay Dead
Three friends traveling through Pigsknuckle, IL discover that the little explosion originating from the local GlobalChem plant has reduced the area to a zombie playground. Do they flee or fight? Only the final moments will tell!
Directors Thomas Doyle Piwnicki and Joe Elsey make great use of their budget (if they had any) and with the help of Editor Matthew Jones make an impressively polished looking feature. They also stage some amusing kung-fu style shakedowns and the moment when the hero plucks out a rampaging zombie’s eye and then steals his cigarettes is the definite comic highlight – not only of this film – but of the last handful I have seen.
Still, the script (credited to a Parker T. Penguin) delves into backwoods Southern stereotypes without the originality or affection needed to make the humor truly fly. The performances of Brandon Tesar (as heroic Jack), Jack Hames (as sarcastic Russell) and David Lawrence (as the more-intelligent-than-he seems Refus) for the most part rescue this misfire, though, and the competency on hand throughout seems to strike a pose for bigger and better things for everyone involved.
Behind the Werewolf.
“Like a delicious pot of mom’s spaghetti, questions kept bubbling to the service” – Tyler, Behind the Werewolf
There have been mysterious, rampant killings by a werewolf, of late, in Behind the Werewolf, but thankfully writer, director and supernatural investigative journalist Tyler Clapp is on the case.
In doing so, Clapp uncovers a brand new web savvy, werewolf mythology. Clapp’s script contains creatures that are genetically engineered and produced in a tube. And, more dog-like than anything else, they definitely have a thing for sticks and mailmen. With the help of hunter-for-hire Nick Greiner (also played by an actor with the same name), Clapp plans to discover the werewolves’ whereabouts and bring about their bloody destruction.
Clapp, as both writer and director, revels in his modest budget and video arcade effects. His sense of humor is acute – whether producing an inventive way to destroy his main werewolf nemesis (the delightfully biting Sarah Belcarz) or hysterically and unexpectedly blowing up a duo of trespassing neighborhood children.
Acting-wise, Clapp and Greiner also connect with a low key charm and their enjoyment in producing such crazily rambunctious fun is contagious. This is no budget filmmaking as it always should be.