"The Collective Vol. I: The Meat Eaters" is an award winning horror anthology of ten short films from ten different directors featuring the same simple synopsis. Since each director can take liberty with the story as it revolves around this simple subject matter there are myriad horrific ways to tell a story. This is a brilliant challenge and concept that can only be appreciated by horror fans around the world. Short films from some of the newest and brightest upcoming filmmakers in the genre are featured on the collections. Vol. I features ten twisted tales for sure and is the brilliant design of Jabb Pictures who posed this challenge to various filmmakers to give us some truly dark tales of demented madness sometimes humorous, but always devilish.
The first tale of terror is "The Cult Of Moi and Voius". The story takes place way in the future- like 25 million years in the future with a sinister vegetarian, a small boy holding the hope of mankind's future, and giant costume monsters. A true nod to B-movie glory days as well as other genres while giving total props to our beloved horror gatekeepers, the Horror Host. There are cult classic shout outs from the sci-fi to the exploitation wrapped in cult classic scenes. Not to mention the cast is full of today's most colorful horror movie hosts. "The Cult Of Moi and Voius" is a hilariously woven tale of delightfully twisted fun.
The second tale takes us into the world of rednecks on a quest to capture a Sasquatch beast. It is a funny tongue-in-cheek short film shot in the found footage perspective. The cast of characters are crazy as hell, the dialogue is hilarious and the ambiance is voyeuristic. The best line in this short is "damn sure don't like a bunch of idiots runnin' 'round out here with guns, ain't no good to come of it." A hilarious statement from an extremely comical character. "Meat Eater" is a fun tale with a sinister end.
Now "Whistling Past The Graveyard" explores the concept of 'meat eaters' with darker vision. Focusing on a superstition driven story this is a classic witty tale where a superstitious community cross paths with a cannibal psycho killer. The gags hit the mark and the gore is prevalent. This is one of the best shorts on Vol. I. I love it when directors explore creative ways to get the gore on limited resources. Such a classic tale.
The fourth story is a more sadistic short that pushes the theme into the crotch by introducing urban legend into the bedroom. There is a witch who manipulates locals to get their "mandangle" in order to feed it to her cat. A true consequence and retribution tale both devilish and funny.
"Snow Angel" at first feels slow and needless as you watch this fifth installment that is more artistic in vision. At least that is what you think, however it is a brilliant twisted joint that will prove first impressions wrong. From a visual point of view this one of the best dark shorts on the Vol. I set. It is smart, sinister, and poignant.
"Graveyard Blues" is a Gothic blend of vampirical beauty and film noir. It is a dark and mournful tale reminiscent of black&white European Gothic story telling. A haunting retrospective of death and loss told in a visually delightful way.
"The Meat Eater" by Jason Hoover is a cannibal corpse driven last man standing tale both epic and deep. An ominous short film that finds a sole survivor about to face the zombie stalking his place of refuge. A great story with tight dialogue shot beautifully. An awesomely twisted story indeed.
Now Mike "The Meat" Eader is a classic cult of personality styled short film. A brutal break by text message, no less sends a scorned lover to call a late night radio disc jockey who has the ability to manipulate his listeners. It is a story of clear revenge that has at one time or another pulsed through all of us at some point in a break up. A devilishly clever tale.
"Corn-fed" is a dark, dark story story about a deranged killer going from town to town killing and eating victims then writing in a food journal how well they tasted! More of a nod to Hannibal Lecter than crazed mutant cannibals it is a short and savory walk into the day of a lunatic chef.
The last short film in this series is called "A Mark Of Wholesome Meat". It is a film worthy of institutionalization. The almost stepford-gone- haywire film cuts between Early American propaganda videos and skipped voice overdubs are dark and entertaining. It is like waking up inside the mind of a true lunatic. The film almost plays like a PETA ad. I might switch to vegetarianism after seeing this!
What does all this mean? Well it should be simple. Just like Jason Schneeberger of BeyndTheRealm says "If you can't find something to love about this set of short films then you might as well quit watching movies." It is a true statement to make. There was not one of these shorts that I did not find witty and entertaining. Some more than others really stood out but all are worthy of praise. "The Collective Vol. I : The Meat Eaters" is a must have for any horror anthology collection and more to the point any horror fan. An honest independent collection of twisted brilliance.
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