Two Sunday Shorts: Gory and Quirky Comedy

Never Tear Us Apart (2015)


Colin and James are scared in NEVER TEAR US APART – image source: ChicArt PR

This short is writer-director Sid Zanforlin‘s proof-of-concept for a feature film in development. Clocking in at almost six-and-a-half minutes, it’s the story of two friends, James (Matt Keyes) and Colin (Alex Weiner). They go to visit some of James’ relatives who live in an isolated, run-down cabin in the woods. Zanforlin cites Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) as one of his influences. This horror cult classic’s impact on the short comes through loud and clear, as does Zanforlin’s interest in dark humor. There’s a particularly innovative bit of gore masterminded by Justin Tripp. The ending sets up a more complicated storyline that could lead into deeper horror-comedy in a feature-length version.


Never Tear Us Apart will screen Wednesday, July 19, at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. It will go on to Screamfest in Hollywood in October. The short had its world premiere at Morbido in Mexico. It will be one of the shorts on the portmanteau DVD Minutes Past Midnight, which Indiecan will release in October.

Never Tear Us Apart – Teaser from Sid Zanforlin on Vimeo.

Linda LeThorn and the Music Box (2012)


Linda LeThorn and her music box – image source: Timothy J. Cox

Writer-director Meg Skaff‘s joint about Linda (Aundrea Fares), a dysfunctional pet sitter who is brought to the edge of sanity by a haunted music box that she inherits from her Aunt Lucinda (Susan Kirby), also mixes horror elements with comedy. It’s more quirky and experimental than Zanforlin’s short. It’s also less dependent on horror tropes and more interested in social satire. The “skin picking club,” a kind of Meetup for Brooklyn women with hidden skin lesions, is particularly funny in a gross-out sort of way.


The film also highlights both the horror and the comedy of family social obligations. It presents a ménage a trois from Hell that illustrates the hold that family members can have over us even after they have died. Ashley Peoples is Geraldine, a friend and would-be lover who must compete with Aunt Lucinda for Linda’s attention. Timothy J. Cox plays the most annoying pet-sitting client ever, Mr. Purple Green.