On Friday, October 31, 2014 Sam Kench released his latest independent short film on Youtube. “Til Death” follows the mentally unstable Mrs. Crowley as she plots to murder her husband but the unforeseen guilt that chokes her mind drives her to her breaking point.
The movie stars Danbury, NH residents, Cathy Nolan Vinčević and her husband Seval Vinčević , and was filmed in various locations around New Hampshire. The natural beauty of the area plays a sharp contrast to the hauntingly dark nature of the film. This frightening psychological thriller/horror short film was written and directed by local film maker, Sam Kench.
“Til Death” premiered at The Purple Pit Coffee Lounge in Bristol, NH on October 17, 2014. The movie was shown again during the opening night reception of Sam’s art show at The Gordon-Nash Library in New Hampton, NH. Following each showing the director and actors held lively Q & A session with audience members who asked questions about special effects, motivation, and how different shots were done. Most viewers said they would never look at Cathy (who is the director of the Gordon-Nash Library), the same way again.
So, what’s up next from the creative mind of Sam Kench? He’s working on writing and filming a project called “Tales from the Wasteland”. It’s a feature length film, set in post apocalyptic New Hampshire, comprised of a series of vignettes. If you’d like to be involved and help give this project wings, follow this link https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tales-from-the-wasteland to support the Indiegogo campaign.
On Friday, October 17, 2014 The Purple Pit Coffee Lounge in Bristol, NH will host the movie premier of “Til Death”. This frightening psychological thriller/horror short film was written and directed by local film maker, Sam Kench.
“Til Death” follows the mentally unstable Mrs. Crowley as she plots to murder her husband but the unforeseen guilt that chokes her mind drives her to her breaking point. The movie stars Danbury, NH residents, Cathy Nolan Vinčević and her husband Seval Vinčević , and was filmed in various locations around New Hampshire. The natural beauty of the area plays a sharp contrast to the hauntingly dark nature of the film.
I recently released my western short film on youtube titled “The Soon to be Deceased” I wrote, directed, edited, and acted in the short. The other actors in the short are Shaun Hathaway, Andrew Fortier, and Emmett Morrill.
Here’s a little written behind the scenes.
The Soon to be Deceased was filmed in one day and we actually shot this and then went to a different location and filmed “Max Payne: A Reason to Live” in the same day. Emmet who played Pete in The Soon to be Deceased went on to play Max Payne and Andrew and myself played henchmen in Max Payne. Shaun didn’t come with us, but we were joined by Logan Frye and Eli Redcloud at the Gordon Nash library where the other short was shot.
The guns in the video have a variety of different backgrounds. None of the guns are real. The double barrel shotgun is a knockoff Nerf gun. The brand is called Airblast, and is actually better because they look more realistic. I hand painted the gun myself and gave it a rusty look on the barrels by using metallic gold paint and then stripping it off with electrical tape. The shotgun shells in the gun were however real. The shotgun shells were real, but were empty, and instead filled with little magnet balls to give them a little extra weight.
There are 3 other shotguns in the video, but there were only 2 other prop guns. two of the shotguns you saw in the video are actually the same prop being used by both actors, and cut together to make it look like two separate guns. This shotgun cost 5 dollars and was meant to fire little suction cup darts, and after I painted it, it was ready for filming.
The remaining shotgun was a malfunctioning Airsoft gun with the stock removed and the orange tip painted black.
The revolver is a a plastic replica that I’ve had since I was a little kid. It’s actually one of my favorite prop guns to use because it looks realistic and has a really nice feel so it’s easy to work with. Plus you can do all the cool western spinning.
Both Emmett and Andrew each play two parts in the video, it’s pretty easy to tell if you know the people.
The rain featured in one quick part of the video was real. It spontaneously started to rain out of nowhere, we kept filming and got that shot done, then it stopped. The rain only lasted for a few minutes and then it was sunny again. We didn’t plan on this but it ended up adding a nice little something to the video.
The Soon to be Deceased was filmed at Shaun Hathaway’s house and the barn and horses in the video are his.
My pick for best of fest. The director of this film was the one I spent the most time talking to. Stop is a very interesting story about a scientific experiment that has something to do with a tower in Massachusetts and time. I won’t say too much because there is a very good twist.
The story is gripping and will keep you completely invested in it until the credits. The music and camera work all go together so well that it really makes the film feel epic. I would give it a ten except for the fact that I wish it was longer. The short is only 8 minutes, for such a compelling story I feel it needed to be fleshed more in at least 20 minutes.
Thief: Rating 7/10
Thief is a short that really takes it’s time. Long silent shots, work perfectly for the tone of the movie. Thief is about Mehdi a man struggling to stay alive in Afghanistan in 2003. He gets a visitor and then there is a long flashback to his childhood where a stranger robs him of his optimistic outlook on people as a whole. The visitor was the same person. He struggles about whether to kill the man or not. He ends up not doing it because it would make him just as bad as the other guy. I didn’t realize till the credits that the thief was Saddam Hussein.
Tick-Tock Death Clock: Rating 8/10
Another film that was part of the 48 Hour Film Project. Unlike the other one I reviewed, this one is really good.
A clown scares a guy and forces him to wear a watch and promise to never take it off.
20 years later he’s a senator trying to make an anti-clown law. The clown follows him through his house and they fight and its very funny. The same director had 2 other shorts in the festival and his company Wicked Sick Films is located in New Hampshire.
I saw a total of 23 films, mostly shorts, and here are a few of my reviews.
The Other Soldier: Rating 2/10
A story that is very boring about two soldiers during world War II, one dies and the other drags the body into a field, drops a gun on him and walks away. More than half of the short is spent using first-aid on gunshot wounds. By the way they are filmed in a very weird choppy way. The film takes it too seriously like the movie thinks it’s way more epic than it really is.
Perhaps Tomorrow: Rating 6/10
About a jaded woman who keeps people and emotions away for a reason unknown till the end. Not my thing but nevertheless a good short. Very well directed and acted.
A very short film about a woman who stays at a house that has a very creepy person living in the basement. Who by the way looks like a cross-dressing Mr. Bean. The short remains creepy throughout but is also really funny.
Quick Shop: Rating 7/10
Spoiler Alert Quick Shop would be a very good short except for one major flaw. The two main actors are both terrible actors. There is an opening segment which is very awesome. During this segment a woman is being attacked by her drunk husband. She hides in the closet. He sits on the bed facing the closet then shoots himself in the head. She goes out and sits on the floor next to him. The whole time I’m thinking it would be so awesome if he just tipped the gun up and shot her. Then it actually happened and just for that I give the movie a 7/10 but the rest of the movie is full of terrible acting and the fake death gag.
The Song For The Year: Rating 1/10
This was a 60 minute movie. That should have only been 10 minutes at the absolute most. This was completely pointless and didn’t deserve the time that was put into it. A documentary about an Irish musician. Very boring and keeps dragging on.
I saw a total of 23 films, mostly shorts, and here are a few of my reviews.
Liberty: Rating 3/10
Liberty is a very weird music video with a message that is repeatedly shoved down your throat. The video feels like it came out of the 70’s and my biggest problem with it is the fact that despite the message of the video being thrown at you, I don’t think the director really cares about the message at all. I think it’s just there because he thinks that’s what it should be, and that he doesn’t really care, he just picked an overdone issue and abused it.
The Necklace: Rating 1/10
The Necklace is horrible. This won a lot of different awards at SNOB and other festivals and it does not deserve them. The plot is about a woman who becomes empowered by putting flowers on a grave and then proceeds to take her clothes off and walk away while very clichéd “happy” music plays.
Niche: Rating 4/10
A 5 minute animation with a somewhat unique art style that feels more like 15 minutes. Niche wouldn’t be have as bad if it wasn’t a blatant rip off of many other stories. It revolves around a group of people who are painted a certain color at birth, and it is about being who you really are and “showing your true colors” not really about the colors it’s too dull for that. Again only music but at least its fitting. It’s just such an old concept and they really didn’t do anything new.
No Laughing Matter: Rating 3/10
No Laughing Matter is a comedy that really is no laughing matter because it isn’t funny at all. A clown cuts both his hands off juggling a chainsaw and gets hook hands. Later he goes to audition for Peter Pan and accidentally stabs himself in the eye while washing his make-up off (somehow). The only part that is actually funny is the part where he’s going to the bathroom with his hook hands, which has been done before but was still kind of funny.
This movie should have won best comedy but sadly it lost to the sucky mockumentary. Noreen was made and takes place in Ireland. It follows two police officers who make a great comedy duo that I would like to see other movies. This is one short that I would really like to see again. They go to investigate a dead body and just keep making things worse. My favorite quote of the whole convention would probably be ”P.S. I shot the pig”. It was really the only quotable movie. I would like to see a sequel with the same characters but as a feature film.
The Eater was one of the animation films at the festival. At 3 minutes long it just feels like a surreal messed up experience. I must say the animation is not good and it could be done better by people with very little experience. A surreal soundtrack that I don’t quite want to call a song, could set a weird atmosphere, but the plain stupid plot destroys that notion. The plot is a man eats these little demon things or something like that and then goes through a very boring set of “rooms” eating people and even bullets. He then gets knocked out of a window and dies. to which the movie says FIN. The whole animation is completely pointless and is the kind of thing that is looked into as having a deeper meaning and being very artistic. But really it’s not.
An Evening With My Comatose Mother: Rating 9/10
This was one of my favorites of the festival. It aired during the grindhouse event. It is 33 minutes, not very long but longer than a lot of the other shorts. This movie had a professional special effects team, and it really shows. They have amazing effects for scenes like the ones with a very creepy Tiny Tim like thing and the comatose mother that acts like the girl from the exorcist. This is the only movie that I could say was the least bit frightening, which I expected a lot of movies to go for, but really didn’t. Even though it had scary moments, it kept a fun attitude and jokes throughout. The protagonist is the stereotypical slasher movie girl, which is used in a good way, who goes to house sit and gets haunted by everything in the house on Halloween. A very good short.
Falling Overnight:Rating 9/10
This was another feature-length movie, about twenty-something Elliot Carson, and chronicles the night before he has surgery to remove a brain tumor, which he may or may not survive. I am not the target demographic for this movie, seeing as it’s a romantic dramedy, but it was an extremely well made movie. The writing was excellent. All of the dialogue was extremely well done and it all sounded like something someone would actually say. In fact none of the jokes seem staged they all just come about like friends hanging out just talking and it is all handled very well. I think it’s the type of comedy that is the hardest to pull off. The acting was great, it surpassed my expectations. To go along with the great dialogue, the actors have great delivery, all seeming very natural and real. One character seems like he’s trying to impersonate Seth Rogen though.
The Houseplants Picnic:Rating 6/10
This is a short 2 minute stop motion film about houseplant’s that drive a car to a park, play cards, and have a cook-out. It’s funny because of the charm it has and the music fits it so well.
Just Remember That They’re Dead:Rating 1/10
this Is a mockumentary made for the 48 hour film project. The 7 minute plot consists of a family in which the father has kept the re-animate corpse of his friend as a sort of pet. All of the acting was terrible especially the zombie whose make up only covered half his face leaving his neck, arms hand’s, everything uncovered. This short was not funny at all. All of the jokes failed because of horrible acting and the fact that all the jokes had already been done before but a lot better. The worst part about it is that it won an award. My rating 1/10
I saw a total of 23 films, mostly shorts, and would like to share my reviews of them over a few blog posts.
29 Reasons To Run is a comedy about 2 guys who go cross country for a few different reasons (there aren’t 29), meet with friends along the way, and get into various comedic situations.
A simple formula that’s been done before and 29 reasons to run doesn’t really bring anything new to the sub-genre. Even though the actors are only in their 30’s the movie can be boiled down into a mid-life crises movie. The characters experience events such losing their jobs, being framed for embezzlement, a cheating girlfriend, and other events that send them on their journey.
At one point they find themselves at the Grand Canyon when their mini-van breaks down. They have a deep philosophical talk about life, but the whole time I just kept wondering whether they were actually there or if they were just on some rocks and used some establishing shots.
The movie was funny at times and was never really boring, but some lines and jokes felt really forced. One of the main characters seems like he’s trying to impersonate Adam Sandler. The actor overall was nothing great, but not bad except for sometimes seeming really unnatural. I couldn’t really see this movie playing in theatres but I can definitely see it playing on TV. Near the end there are some lame plot twists and an extremely built up joke that falls flat.
Alter Ego is about a man in world that has super humans and he kills them for a really vague reason. The movie likes to pretend it is led by a strong narrative but really it just comes off as convoluted and doesn’t make a whole of sense. He is basically a serial killer, who’s target is super humans.
The superhuman concept is completely pointless, it could have been replaced by any other group or minority. (He kills a man who can breath underwater, by drowning him. How does that work?) even though its only 15 minutes long, it feels like half an hour of a very boring confusing mess, centered around a very lacking protagonist who’s main target looks like three different people and I couldn’t tell who was who, but that was most likely because I didn’t care enough to really pay attention to the names. That is a sign that your movie has failed
This is the type of movie that gives independent films its bad reputation. The stereotype that this movie gives off is what you see when someone is making fun of an art house film. No sound just music over the visuals, which can be done well, just not here.
The movie is 5 minutes long and consists of a model being followed around by these people with pig masks on. I understand it is to represent her “cravings” and how she runs away from them because she’s a model, but that doesn’t really matter. Just having symbolism doesn’t make it a good movie. That’s all it is a woman getting followed around by pig people, nothing else to it. The director should be ashamed for confirming a bad stereotype.
This is an example of how you make a movie that’s sound track is only music and have it be really good. At 8 minutes long it doesn’t really have any down time, but manages to not feel rushed, which is an important but difficult task for a short film.
The plot is simply a man wants to ask a woman to the “the dance” who works in the cubicle on the other side of the room from him. It goes through about a week overall. Each day he does and wears something to get her to realize they have something in common. For instance one day she wears a dress that has cupcakes on it. The next day he wears a cup cake suit and tie and makes her a tin of cupcakes. Unfortunately, the cupcakes get eaten by another co-working.
The entire short is very funny and has a nice ending, where he stops trying to impress her and just acts like himself. He is wearing a puzzle piece shirt with a piece missing. She happens to be wearing a shirt that has the missing puzzle piece on it. This is the day after the dance, so they end up dancing in the office, and it turns out, she liked him all along. Very funny and has good energy to it while pulling off the music only style.