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Vimeo Short Film Of The Week: ‘Death Metal’

Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s we’re taking a weekly look at some of some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Chris McInroy’s horrific and hilarious Death Metal.

The Plot: A would-be metalhead ups his metal game with a little help from a new guitar … and Satan, of course.

The Film:

Well, another spooky season has officially come and gone. While it may be time to put away your costumes and fake blood, that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop watching scary movies. The good news is that you really don’t have to. And you can temper your 31 Days Of Horror hangover with Chris McInroy’s bloody, hard-rockin’ shocker Death Metal.

Want a little more good news? You won’t have to waste much time or brain power to keep the madness going. Not that Death Metal isn’t a smart film. It’s actually quite clever. But Chris McInroy is a filmmaker who understands that movies – horror or otherwise – are most effective when a character’s motivations are kept simple. And the motivation of the wanna-be rocker – cheekily named Lars – at the center of Death Metal‘s narrative could not be simpler. So what’s his motivation? He just wants to rock harder than anyone else on Earth. The film turns on just how far Lars is willing to go to rock the hardest.

Yes, it’s an absurdly simple setup. So absurdly simple that it’s almost logical when Satan – or rather a guitar touched by the darkest of dark lords himself – makes an appearance. Even more so that Lars would jump at the chance put its evil powers to use … and that he’d run off with the unholy instrument before his father can tell him the rules for using it. Once Lars starts to shred out in the world, well, things get a little crazy. Without spoiling any of the mirthful mayhem that follows, we’ll just say that there’s a lot of blood (and we mean a lot of blood) involved.

That means there’s also some unthinkably brutal violence in the film’s final two-minutes. But McInroy keeps the mood light through every grisly moment by escalating each lurid act to levels beyond the absurd, then pushing them a little bit further. Behind that strategy – and some positively inspired practical effects work – the laughs flow through Death Metal as easily as the blood does. And McInroy’s film becomes the horrifying, Satanic rock comedy we never knew we wanted … with or without the whammy bar.

Meet The Crew:

Written & Directed by: Chris McInroy Starring: Kirk Johnson, Michael Dalmon and Will Elliott Cinematography by: E.J. Enriquez  Special Effects Supervisor: Caleb Sawyer Edited by: Gavin Tatro Music by: Andrew Hoke

We hope you enjoy Death Metal as much as we did. This one would have been worth a look for the brilliant practical effects alone. That McInroy and his team have so much fun with the absurdist premise is a welcome bonus. One that landed Death Metal a spot in pretty much every horror movie festival in the past year – including Fantasia Fest, Fantastic Fest and Frightfest UK. McInroy has wasted little time putting future projects together on the heals of Death Metal‘s success. He’s got another short currently making festival rounds in We Summoned A Demon, and he’s already shooting another titled Scare Package. You can catch the teaser for We Summoned A Demon – along with some of McIroy’s previous work – over at his Vimeo page.

While you’re kicking about, be sure to check out some of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – team Vimeo has curated for your viewing pleasure (via desktop ormobile device … SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting, and you may just stumble across your new favorite filmmaker.

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Patrick Phillips is a Staff Writer for CutPrintFilm, looper.com and geekinsider.com. He reads a lot, drinks too much coffee, buys too many records and loves writing about movies. Find him on Twitter at @savagedetectiv. Follow his movie tastes right here - https://www.taste.io/users/patphiltaste/ratings.

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