The Sideling Hill

The Sideling Hill

Murder Made Easy

Murder Made Easy



What you sow, you shall reap...


Blaze of Gory (2017)

Blaze of Gory (2017) by From The Shadows

Runtime: 1.50.15 [ IMDBFacebook ] “1 Twisted mind, 9 Nightmare Visions”

Out of the UK we have this short film compilation comprised of 9 segments, all of which were based on short stories written by Blaize-Alix Szanto (who I am unfamiliar with) and directed by a group of different indie filmmakers from across the United Kingdom.


I – The Beer Cellar

Low budget looking right from the start. Camera angles that look in some spots like they had one camera and had to place it down on something to get the shot because there were only one or two people on set. Lighting has a “whatever we can find around the flat” aesthetic to it. The accents make the “I Love NY” shirt the one woman has on somewhat amusing. I suppose this couple is supposed to be crazy and horrifying or something, but really they’re just tedious and boring. Not much music or audio work to speak of apart from some background noise in a pub scene or two. The gore effects weren’t completely terrible, but the story had me so bored it was hard to care. Got eight more segments to go after this one apparently … joy.

II – If You Were Here

More terrible lighting. I get that they likely didn’t have any money for something fancy, I really do … but this looks like they took the cone off a cheap desk lamp and someone is just standing off camera holding it. The effect is quite jarring and makes the other parts of the screen look that much darker. Again, nothing in the way of music or background ambient noises for the most part so when there’s no dialog things get really quiet … almost uncomfortably so. Coolest thing about this so far was the appearance of a VCR. Strangely, the movie she watches on the VCR has music to it … but when we cut back to her waking up on the couch we go right back to nothing. Wow. The actress in this segment actually does a pretty good job considering what she’s given to work with.

III – Sick Little Boy

There’s at least music in this segment, but the dialog is really hard to hear as the one character mumbles a great deal and the audio seems lower in general than the other segments. Some cheesy cam-girl nudity, but even with that I’m having a hard time paying attention. As rough a watch as this is, you can see in some ways what they were aiming for and the attempt at building a sense of the character battling himself doesn’t miss completely. With some more technical skill, a better camera, and some semblance of a budget I could see this segment at least having some potential as a short film.

IV – Young and Naive

Another story of a “hot” girl kidnapped by an obsessed psycho with a video camera. Yawn. Audio back up to normal levels however.

V – Abort

Oh geez, I wonder what this one is about? Think I recognize some people from the previous short … but could be wrong. I suppose they were trying to be extreme with this but it just doesn’t work in my opinion. The ending reached for something they weren’t even close to pulling off.

VI – Snow

Wow. There’s a shot almost right off the bat where there’s a woman holding what appears to be a wine glass. In said wine glass is very clearly visible the person holding the camera. There’s no way you can miss it, so how it wound up in the final edit of the film is beyond me (actually, having sat through the previous five segments I shouldn’t actually be surprised). The underlying idea to this segment isn’t awful in and of itself, but the script and execution are pretty rough and as a result fall well short of hitting the mark.

VII – Masque of the Red Rape

Someone needs to take away the close-up feature from whoever shot this. Most of this is in little segments, some as short as a few seconds, and every time the scene changes you get a beeping sound. Worst of the bunch so far, by far. Best thing about it is that it’s quite short. Also … there’s no rape.

VIII – Monster

This one at least looks better, and there appears to have been much more work done on the audio side of things as well. All around technically better than the previous shorts, and there’s some attempt to tie it into some of the others as well. One note however; last time I checked the keyholes for jail cell doors were NOT on the inside of the door … maybe they do things differently in the UK. Definitely the high point of this so far … unlike the others this one is actually enjoyable from end to end minus that one issue with the keyhole.

IX – Precious

This is supposed to be a possession themed thing but it’s mining all the same tropes we’ve seen used countless times before. Gore effects in this one aren’t too bad, but the ending of the segment is … well, it’s not good. Not the worst of the bunch for sure but it gets a bit silly at the end.

As you can likely tell, I did not care for the majority of the segments in Blaze Of Gory. I will however give credit to everyone involved for putting in the work and making it happen, because most of us never manage to actually produce anything. You could tell that their hearts were in the right place, but the lack of budget and a need to refine technical skills really hampered things. If you can look past some of the obvious flaws you might find something here you can enjoy, but myself I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this any time soon.

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