4 Shorts from Devi Snively!!

Indie horror filmmaker Devi Snively.

Recently indie horror filmmaker Devi Snively mailed me four of her short horror films.  Including these four I’ve seen six of her horror shorts (the others are DEATH IN CHARGE and I SPIT ON ELI ROTH).  You’d think after six short films there’d be at least one in the batch that was a stinker.  I mean come on; statistically there should be one or two that just absolutely suck out loud.  Well I’m happy to say that my celluloid love affair with Ms. Snively is stronger than ever.  Time and again Snively proves herself a thoughtful, intelligent, and plain old fun filmmaker.

The first short I watched was RAVEN GETS A LIFE (2006; 9mins).  The story concerns a 150 year old vampire trapped in the body of a 12-year-old girl.  It seems the years have weighed down on poor Raven (played by the excellent and convincing child actress Amber Burke-McDonald), forcing her to seek out the help of therapist Dr. Aspirin (Steve Christopher).  Very quickly you realize Snively has some less than kind things to say about American’s love affair with prescription drugs.  Dr. Aspirin diagnoses Raven as manic depressive and gives her some pills.  A few days pass and she returns to the doctor complaining that she doesn’t like the way the pills make her feel.  So what does he do; prescribe her more drugs to off-set the side effects of the original pills of course.

Young actress Amber Burke-McDonald as the 150 year old vampire Raven.

Besides this critique of our Pill Nation, Snively goes on to explore the value of life.  Now I may be overstating things here, but that’s what I got out of this.  Towards the end of the short Raven encounters a junkie and Death in an alley and Death helps her realize that even though she’s undead, she has more life in her than the junkie.  As Death tells her, “You have to have a life to have an afterlife.”  Its then that Raven realizes she’s been focusing on the negatives of being an immortal in the body of a 12-year-old.  But the fact is she can still laugh and feel and that’s more than the junkie in the alley can say.  Its a pretty damn smart message with some great writing.

RAVEN GETS A LIFE is a fantastic little short that packs a lot into it’s meager 9 minute runtime.  Snively gets great performances out of her cast, especially the young Burke-McDonald, and keeps everything light and fun.  Even more fun is that fans of Todd Browning’s 1931 DRACULA will appreciate Snively’s homage.

The next short I watched was TEENAGE BIKINI VAMPIRE (2004; 7mins).  TEENAGE lacks the social subtext as RAVEN GETS A LIFE, but this one is a whole lot of fun.  Sadie (played by Ashley Fox) is a normal teenage girl.  All she wants to do is hang out on the beach, dance, and “go steady” with the cute surfer boy she keeps running into.  One thing stands in her way though; she’s a vampire and her family (also vampires) expect her to behave as one and help them in their nightly hunts for food.  Sadie tries everything to be normal, including wearing SPF 5000 to the beach one day.  But deep down Sadie knows what she is.  This one’s a lot of fun to see how it unfolds and whether or not Sadie will get her surfer guy.

Once again Snively keeps everything moving at a quick pace and never takes her material too seriously.  Its a fun short and that’s how she approaches it.  In one scene Sadie’s younger brother is wearing a t-shirt that says, “Buffy Sucks.”  Fun stuff.  On an interesting note, Sadie has a younger sister who’s about 12-years-old named Raven (Nikki Taylor Melton).  Might this be the same “Raven” that pops up two years later in Snively’s short RAVEN GETS A LIFE?  Seems a little too coincidental!!

That’s one helluva meatloaf!!

The next short, MEAT IS MURDER (2009; 9mins) might be the most bizarre short Snively ever made.  As the tagline reads, “What happens when good meat goes bad?”  The story revolves around Luke and Sylvie (Ken Dusek Jr and Molly Emmons); a very laid back and apathetic couple who find an old, throbbing green meatloaf in the freezer.  As they are trying to figure out where it came from it emits some kind of noxious gas, Luke and Sylvie pass out only to wake up to find a dead body in their kitchen.  And believe me, the story only gets more bizarre from this point.

The first thing I noticed here, besides the excellent performances, is the amazing color palette.  The colors are extremely vibrant and vivid and makes the entire short feel like a comic book come to life.  According to the website, MEAT IS MURDER:

[…] takes a post-modern satirical perspective of the deluge of unnatural, processed foods and hyper-consumerism in our society.

You won’t find a more apathetic couple; I love them!!

Ok; I can buy that.  That would explain the green throbbing meatloaf killing people in the freezer.  But I also took away from this short the hypocrisy of the modern-day vegetarian.  Its never explicitly stated, but it’s hinted at that the couple are vegetarians; they won’t eat meat (“meat is murder”) but they don’t seem to have a problem with the meat killing other humans.  Towards the end Sylvie finally throws away the murderous meatloaf, and when Luke comes home and asks where it went Sylvie replies:

Sylvie:  I threw it out.

Luke:  Why?

Sylvie:  Because it stank.  And besides, it was killing people.

Love the cover of the DVD!!

This is a great short that has many touches of absurdist philosophical moments in it.  Watch this one and figure out what you’d do if you had a murderous meatloaf!!

The last short I watched was CONFEDERATE ZOMBIE MASSACRE (2005; 17mins).  This one explores the dangers of using chemical warfare in order to win a war.  No I’m serious.  Private Brian (Eric Abarbanell) makes some homemade chemical weapons to use against the Confederates.  The only problem is that the chemicals he used brings the slaughtered Confederates back from the dead.  In another storyline, battlefield nurse Mona (who is rather stacked) can’t seem to get the respect of the soldiers she’s trying to save.  Even with life-threatening wounds the soldiers seem more interested in her T&A rather than her TLC.  Will Mona ever find true love?

Like all Snively’s shorts, this one is just a fun fucking ride.  It blends comedy and horror brilliantly and also has some really fun gore effects to boot.

Snively actually made the Civil War interesting!!

Make sure to check out Devi Snively’s website http://deviantpictures.com/ and take the time to contact Devi and find out where/how you can see all her works.  You’ll have a great time and see why my love affair with Ms. Snively is stronger than ever.  Next I’ll be watching Snively’s 2009 feature film TRIPPIN’ … I’ll let you know how it is.

My Summary:

     RAVEN GETS A LIFE

Plot:  5 out of 5 stars

Gore:  0 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

     TEENAGE BIKINI VAMPIRE

Plot:  5 out of 5 stars

Gore:  2 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

Gotta love this cartoon!!

     MEAT IS MURDER

Plot:  5 out of 5 stars

Gore:  0 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  0 out of 5 brains

     CONFEDERATE ZOMBIE MASSACRE

Plot:  4 out of 5 stars

Gore:  6 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem:  3.5 out of 5 brains

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

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6 Responses to 4 Shorts from Devi Snively!!

  1. Pingback:Indie Horror Filmmaker Devi Snively is Back with the New Web Series, Martini Mom & Devil Spawn « AnythingHorror Central

  2. Marie says:

    Met Devi at the 2010 Broad Humor Fest. She’s a very chill chick and as fun and unique as her films, of which I quickly became a fan. Glad to see others agree! Two wooden stakes, wa yup!

  3. 3amfright says:

    Awesome review! Looks like I’m going to have to check Miss Devi Snively out!

    • You’ll LOVE Devi Snively’s films 3am!!! It’s so great to have such as talented, individualistic FEMALE voice in the genre that’s not simply copying someone else’s style. Snively is a huge talent and I wish someone in Hollywood would wake he hell up and fund one of her next films; I’d kill to see what she could come up with with a $5million budget (but she really doesn’t need it; her shorts are damn neat perfect without all those millions)!!

  4. Pingback:New Review & See The 1st Deviant Picture EVER! « Trippin the Movie