Plot-Jason Hoover and the Collective are at it again with 10 more shorts, and this time they all seem to revolve around a small plain cardboard box. You know there is going to be some fucking creativity in this… when does Jabb Pictures let us down??
Review-A few months ago, I reviewed the first Collective project and I said, ” I would love to see them do more with this concept”. Well, my prayers come true as Jason and his crew of merry film makers have created Volume II. Well, I decided to break it down and review each short seperately, the average running time is around 10:23, and while last time the concept was meat eaters, this time it is about a small plain cardboard box. These shorts range from the bizarre to the fucking bizarre. Enjoy
Fertility 2.0-This is a black and white shot little story about a couple who cannot conceive a child. The wife would do anything to have a kid, and the husband sees this ad on the internet for Fertility 2.0, and a free trial kit. Well, this is not what they expect at all, and soon the cyber egg crawls inside our willing lady. This little short is fucking bizarre, not so much a gore fest or even a bloody film. Think more of the early 60’s and the sci fi that was really cheesy but you could not turn away. I thought it was harmless, not the best or the worst..just a little too tame for my taste in certain elements of this film that I had hoped they would go into darker territory and go all out. But, again..it was ok.
7 out of 10
Illusion-This one has Hoover in a co starring role. This is about a disillusioned woman and her downward spiral. She sees this box everywhere she goes, so much so it really starts to take over her life and you get to watch her crack. This one I felt was too much of a good thing. I loved the flow of the film, but it tried so hard to pack that punch into 10 minutes that I felt the film should have been given a little more time to develop and build. This was a good little fun story, but I wish it would have been a little bit longer cause the story really put all its eggs in one basket and rushed thru them so fast that you just are left with a huh…This film needed a slower pace and more storytelling to get us to that finale. But, the concept and Collective label, I understand what they tried to do..this film needed to breathe.
7 out of 10
This next one I am not sure of the title it is either Love or Snapcase. This is hands down the best of all the Collective shorts to date. ( sorry Thomas Berdinski) Mason gets this box in the mail, and the box triggers this personality that mild manor man becomes a out of control serial killer. First he knocks off his nagging girlfriend/wife. Which is always a good thing, I guess. Mason then creates this death list on people who have it coming, but guess what Marilyn who is on his list attempts to turn the tables on him. This is just an all out nod to the old school with a new school wink to keep it in check. This was funny, brutal and quite possibly the best sales pitch to buy this dvd. This is just a fucking balls out fun fest. A must
9.5 out of 10
It Crawls Back-Again, another home run. As I loved Snapcase, I will say this was easily number two. Not so much for what it gives the viewer but for just how fucking odd it was. This film was very odd and so fucking creative, that this as a major motion picture…would work. A man digs up a box out of the ground, inside this box is an eyeball. This eyeball is almost a gateway to some sick reality or dream which thank god they never give us too much info about, and keeps us guessing. The man sees images of a hooded man, and a sacrifice this guy is doing. Each time he approachs the man in his dreams or reality, something stops him. Then, he sees this image again in a different setting. I want to talk more about it, but it will spoil it. This film is what Time Crimes tried to be. Just a bizarre trip into some outer twilight zone. This film will have you talking afterward, but not so much if it was bad or good, but how fucking odd it was. This was a headtrip…sanity has definately left the building on this short. And, watch it with someone else, and see if you come up with the same conclusing or see this ending coming. Impressive.
8.5 out of 10
We will call this one A Child cause there was no title for this one–A child who is being bullied on the basketball court by a older kid, goes home and digs up a box. That is all the plot I can say, cause the rest of it would ruin what this film offers. This film caught me on surprise. I know Jason Hoover last time, gave us a fear of eating meat, but this time, he created a alternate reality with this story that at first you will not get a clue about but at the end of the film, you will feel good about what you just watched. Did I say feel good and Jason in the same sentance, yes. This made me relive my childhood again. It was innocent and so genius that I cannot deny Hoover has talent. This film will awaken the inner child in all of us and bring us back to our childhood. Very genius short by a very talented film maker.
8 out of 10
Boundary-this time the box holds a written threat. This explores the paranoia of a serial killer. That someone is on the run and he is in fear now that someone knows who he is and what he has done, or that maybe another serial killer is out there looking for him. This was ok to a point, but it felt so heavy handed and tried so hard to try to out clever itself, that the story felt like…ummmm ok. That for 10 minutes it felt like something we have seen so many times that it really just felt more of a copy of so many other films that were longer and much better. It was not horribly bad, it just felt like a wasted opportunity, but you know what it went by so fast and I did not mind it, but it was hardly something I would rush to watch again.
5 out of 10
Keepsake-This tackles a hot topic right now. Driving and texting. So many states are passing all these laws now and it is becoming more of a common thing than most expect, that people care more about the cell phone then the road. This film explores, a guy texting and killing a little girl. Boy does that just sound like a feel good film eh. And in this box he receives, is a doll head and that doll head conjures up the little girl’s spirit to take her revenge. This was a fun little ghost story. It felt like a extra scene out of The Others. It was a good attempt to at least address a ongoing issue in America, but this film for its time length was so story heavy that when it came to the payoff, you almost wanted it to at least give you 5 to 10 extra minutes to make it mean so much more than it did. I understand the short theory. Build a story, create suspense or horror, and then pay off as quick and easy as possible. But, for 10 minutes this story just needed more of a payoff.
5 out of 10
Exile-focuses on a homicidal mental patient isolated in a disgustingly filthy bathroom with crayon and colored pencil drawings hanging from the walls. A female doctor comes in with a box, seeking to get behind the cause of his madness. This was another hit. I had fun with this one a lot. From start to finish this is another one of those the less you say, the better it is for those who need to witness this. What a fun ride.
9 out of 10
2 Guys and 1 Box-This one is about these two nut jobs who kidnap a hooker and in exchange for her, they get this box they use for some fucked up ritual. This is the one for you gorehounds. This has some decent blood and gore moments. Some are off screen, but the payoff in the end is sort of worth the time. The problem I had with this, was that the characters were so boring and one sided, that you wanted them to die and this film to end sooner. This 9 minutes plus felt like 1 hour. Though in the end, the last few seconds saved it from being a total waste. Again, I understand the route this film is going on, but why tip toe thru it..either go hardcore or just find another road less traveled to give your message.
2.5 out of 10
And last but not least….Pulse…This is my take on what I just witnessed. It felt like a college professor telling me about timelines and wormholes. In almost a nod to Twilight Zone and Pi..this professor uses the box to create wormholes and shows us with a car battery wiring it to the box, giving him some ability to move different positions in time and space. Me being a die hard numbers and physics fanatic, I was trying to formulate what he was trying to accomplish and see if it has any merit. Anyway, this is by far the weirdest ending, even more weird than Hoover’s fuck you on The Meat Eater to us meat eaters.
7.5 out of 10
Conclusion–But, as strange as the ending of this dvd with Pulse was..it sums up this dvd in the best possible way. This is a trip to the other side of your brain, where film hardly takes you..whether good or bad, these ten are watchable and the focus is on some of our up and coming/ future talents. And Hoover and his crew has yet again, created another fun batch of shorts. While I was more of a fan of the first one, this was in ways an equal but in other ways less than. If you are a fan of the Collective, short films and fucking indie cinema…this is knocking on your door and you should have this in your collection
As a whole…7.5 out of 10