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Friday, June 23, 2023

Palm Springs Short Fest 2023: Late Night

By Jonathan Bilski

Directors and actor from Late Night Screening

Those who ventured out of LA or are about to, you have some shorts to see. Palm Springs Short Fest is taking place right now and ends this weekend. We had the chance to cover the Late Night block of shorts. Late Night, oddly starting at 5pm, on a Thursday, usually showcases the stuff past certain people's bed times. And, some of these films needed to be.

Spoilers ahead

Let's just get to the zombie dong.

D.O.D. from director Paul Davis, shares the private parts of certain zombies. D.O.D. as you might have guessed stands for Dong of the Dead. Something you don't discover till the end of the film. It's a zombie apocalypse and two men find a zombie with a huge schlong and can't stop laughing at it. It's a totally stupid concept shot well enough it could have been a good episode of The Walking Dead if they did dick jokes.

Filmed on what I guessed, and was proven right, Universal Studios' airplane crash outdoor set you get to wander through during Horror Nights.

Turns out the director won another film festival to film there, but could only do so if no one rents it out at the time he wants to use it. Too bad for him, Top Gun Maverick needed it for a month, so it f-d up his schedule. He reset and was able to give us all some giant zombie dong.

What to go to next, there's another zombie film about a Japanese pop idol or the one about transforming into a vibrator?

Vibrator Girl is more of a satirical medical drama. Or really, it's a horror movie about a woman transforming into a vibrator. Getting there, we see a woman who might have some issues masturbating, but, those issues are all resolved when she ceases to be human or possibly on our plane of existence.

The creepy vagina class scene really gets into nightmare territory.

Some nice gross out humor with a vagina going away and mouth goo coating you into a plastic vibrating wand.

For a very predictable, yet still enticing Japanese zombie short we have Soon-To-Be a Zombie. It might drag on like the zombies in the film, but I have to praise the zombie idol look. The costume designer for Japanese zombie pop idol Remi's brain hat at her final performance and her cut-too-short zombie song were just perfect. Getting there was a slog, it shows how much someone might go for stardom, even if their dying, of a zombie virus.

Near zombies is just plain death like in Death and Ramen. This comedy really just made me hungry for Kimchi Ramen. The comedy aspects didn't really make me laugh and even with Bobby Lee starring as a suicidal chef who meets death, I mainly just got hungry from it.

The two funniest films of the night were Claudio's Song and Pennies From Heaven. Claudio's Song was the shortest film of the night, but the silliest turn. An influencer is at the end of his scroll as he angered the local mafia. He's told how people used to be remembered by song, not what you find on your phone. With his dying breath he sings his own song to be remembered as he's literally put on ice. As we end up some time in the far future we see his song still being sung with some sort of gross biological instrument  and some future people. Claudio you are remembered.

Pennies from Heaven from director Sandy Honig just made me laugh as you are just immediately captivated by two ridiculous twins working at a convenience store. After a failed robbery the two gals have enough pennies to do whatever they want. They go on a surreal cartoony journey that I was more than happy to join them for it. And a lot of the comedy was in the complete nonsense they spouted.

Sandy, the director, divulged at the Q&A that a bank will only give you so many pennies, so she had to rent bags of them from someone on Craigslist. That and dealing with twins who want to be called "The something twins" does make them a little creepy. Oh, and we're not talking about the stars, there's a few more twins showing up in this one.

Ah, it was my favorite, check it out below.

Watch Pennies from Heaven online.

A weird display of films that could have been shown later at night, it wasn't even the latest block that night.