My Skin! / Scream For Me Double Feature DVD Review

Written by Neon Maniac

DVD released by Black Cab Productions

My Skin!

Written and directed by Christopher Alan Broadstone
2002, Region 0 (NTSC), 13 minutes, Not rated

Starring:
Tony Simmons
Lisa Montague
Rick Wildridge

Scream For Me

Written and directed by Christopher Alan Broadstone
2000, Region 0 (NTSC), 22 minutes, Not rated

Starring:
Tony Simmons
Gabriel Sigal
Lora Cunningham

Human No More

Written and directed by Christopher Alan Broadstone
2004, Region 0 (NTSC), 17 minutes, Not rated

Starring:
Tony Simmons

Movie:

This double feature disc is actually a triple feature; it now includes a bonus disc of Human No More, along with the main features My Skin! and Scream For Me.

Skin1 Skin2

Skin shows us Death getting his revenge against a murderer when he is forced to collect the soul of a woman killed before her time.

Scream is a truly disturbing tale of what happens when two psychotic men cross paths because of their desire for the same woman.

In Human, a private detective who lost his family to a killer finds himself caught between Heaven and Hell and gives up the one thing that matters.

Scream1 Scream2

Review:

Both Skin and Scream have won multiple awards at various film festivals across the country, and once you watch them you will understand why. Short films are an art form; you have a very small amount of time to tell a story that engages the audience. With these three films, Broadstone demonstrates over and over again that not only does he understand it, he is coming close to mastering it. It is obvious that a lot of effort and attention to detail is put into these shorts. The acting, sets, cinematography and production values are closer to a feature film than they are to the average independent short film.

Tony Simmons, the star of all three films, has a certain type of kinetic, intense, energy that few actors can muster. Simmons carries all of the films and you never see him blink. He is raw, he is subtle, he is over the top; he is whatever is required of him in the three very different characters he plays. Gabriel Sigal, Simmons' co-star in Scream is equally intense, and they play off each other very well.

Scream is easily the best of the three. Intense, disturbing, and highly entertaining only begin to describe it. The main character, Madman, begs to be explored and expanded upon. You get the feeling that rape, murder and torture are a way of life for him, while at the same time he reminds you of your half crazy redneck cousin that drinks a bit to much at family gatherings and always has interesting stories to tell.

Skin and Human are more psychological and thought provoking. Both have a nice noir style and are carried by a demanding dialogue delivered realistically by Simmons.

These films are a pleasure and pain to watch, in a good way. These are a must see for fans of short films, horror, and independent cinema. Hopefully we will see more of the same coming from Broadstone and Black Cab Productions in the near future. Hopefully they will continue to star Simmons.

Human1 Human2

Video and Audio:

The DVDs are non-anamorphic, but otherwise the picture quality is fine. Somewhat grainy, it adds to the grittiness of these shorts.

Skin3 Scream7

Using an ECM stereo soundtrack, the audio quality for these shorts is excellent. It is very clear, very loud, and no audio detail is lost. Broadstone effectively uses original music to enhance the mood of the shorts, something that can be hard to pull off. In Skin and Scream especially, the score conveys attitude and a sense of place.

Human3 Skin4
Scream10 Scream12

Special Features:

Trailers and photo galleries are included for both Skin and Scream. There is also a seven minute blooper/gag reel for Scream. Human has no additional material, but since it is a bonus disc it could be considered an extra all on its own.

Human5 Scream13
Skin5 Skin6

Grades:

Movie: Fivestars
Video: Fourstars
Audio: Fourstars
Features: Threestars
Overall: Fourstars

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