|This poster is gorgeous and I want it.|
End of the Road (2015)
You might have been able to guess by now that I have a soft spot for all things lycanthropic. It’s true, I love a good bit of wolfy terror and am always on the lookout for new takes on those who howl at the moon.
Short film End of the Road, funded by Kickstarter and filmed over an intense three day shoot by writer-director J. Spencer, is about a small town waitress Betsy who offers a warm meal to a drifter, unaware that she is unleashing a werewolf on her co-workers and regular customers.
Short films, particularly short horror films, are a challenge. You have a limited amount of time tell a story and make something creepy and effective. Whilst End of the Road isn’t big on scares, it’s enjoyable with energy, gore, a little bit of tension, and good pacing, along with a nice little side helping of ridiculous. The set-up is so simple; werewolf in a diner with the cast of soon to be werewolf chow characters. You got the weird over made-up old lady sucking a cherry with disturbing attention (why did I get the feeling I was looking at my own future?), a couple of lost vacant valley girl types, the obligatory trucker with his cup of coffee, and of course the nightmare co-worker. Betsy herself is pretty cool, love the little punk riding hood look she has going on, and is your typical frustrated at life type. In a feature I’d be looking for a bit more than brief stock characters, but in an eleven minute short the broad strokes are fine and they serve their purpose, which is of course to be splattered across the walls. The film relishes in the goo it throws around, which I greatly enjoyed.
|Who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?|
The film also never tries to stretch itself, this is a low budget film and it knows its limitations. As such the way the werewolf is shot, only brief glances and isolated parts, really works and I love the physical look to it. Practical effects always get extra points with me. Always.
As I said the premise is very simple, so simple in fact that I think this is one of the few short horror films that could work as a full-length feature. With a bigger budget they’d be able to do a little more with the monster effects, while still keeping it practical of course, and develop it into more of a story. The band of survivors in a remote location is a classic for a reason and this one I think would have potential to be something messy with a lot of personality.
The production company, Unmanned Media, is currently working on their first full-length feature, also written by J. Spencer. It’s a zombies and werewolves creature feature called Bad Meat, which their website describes as “WORLD WAR Z and UNDERWORLD meets MAD MAX: FURY ROAD” and if that doesn’t at least get you curious, I fear you might be a zombie already. Either way I will definitely be on the look-out for that after seeing what the group were capable of here.
The verdict: End of the Road proves to be a nice little bite-sized chunk (haha) of werewolf mayhem and gets 3 gooey chunks of trucker flesh out of 5
Will you be checking out this indie horror?