Every horror movie fan has their favorite subgenres. You’ve got lovers of slashers, the paranormal, psychological, and even gore. One of my favorite genre topics is comedy horror. There’s just something about laughing at the most sick and twisted things imaginable that works for me. So when I was given the opportunity to review the Busting A Gut Comedy Horror Shorts Block for Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2021, I knew I had to take it.
Directed by Eve Dufaud (Montreal Dead End 2018)
Also known as Le Jet, Stream is an interesting, quite creative short about one woman’s fetish with watching men pee. A young lady sits in a public bathroom stall, eating a sandwich, waiting for the show to begin. Soon enough, men start coming in to use the urinal, and so begins a montage of majestic urination. However, what she sees in the stall next to her may change her outlook on this most private sport forever. Clever and eye-opening in a most disturbing way.
Directed by Allison Miller (13 Reasons Why TV series)
Actress Allison Miller makes her directorial debut with Final Girls Berlin Film Festival’s Growth, a short that brings up several different issues. It centers around a seemingly innocuous woman who has severe stomach pains that are only relieved when she lets her internal poison out by trolling the internet. As she goes from doctor to shrink with no diagnosis (although to the viewer, there’s obviously something wrong with her, as she has a steady stream of viscous fluid dripping from her mouth), the frustration at having something wrong with oneself and not getting any answers combines with the idea that trolls feel physical relief from taking someone else down a notch or two makes for a great short.
Directed by Thessa Meijer (The Walking Fish 2018)
Also known as Hitte, Heat is a sweet little short about an ice cream shop owner selling frozen confections during one very hot day. A young woman enters the store, but before she can pick a flavor, something off starts to happen. The SPX in this short are fantastic, especially the woman’s face at the end.
You Don’t Know Me (2019)
Directed by Isabelle Giroux (Loup-Garou 2014) and David Emond-Ferrat (who worked with Stream director Eve Dufaud on Montreal Dead End 2018)
A couple traveling in a French part of Canada stop at a gas station for gas, only to discover a dead body in one of the coolers. They’re assured by an older woman that this was not their fault, and she will help them get rid of the body. You Don’t Know Me is a fun short with a great twist. If you’re attending the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival this year, make sure you hunt this one down.
Directed by Hope Olaidé Wilson (Solace 2018)
A young man giving out samples of his homebrewed kombucha convinces a photographer to come back to his apartment to meet The Mother. No, his his mother. The Mother. This is not a good meeting, as you may have guessed. This is a tongue-in-cheek look at people who are obsessed with the fizzy fermented drink.
Make A Wish (2019)
Directed by Dinh Thai (New Amsterdam TV series)
It’s Freddy’s birthday, and his slightly manic fiancé has a surprise for him… the guy that bullied him in high school, tied up in their kitchen. He’s even wearing a bow, because he’s a gift. What’s a guy to do? I love this short! It’s my favorite of the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival Busting A Gut Comedy Horror Shorts Block. It has a great setup, twist, and two hilarious characters.
Directed by Carlyn Hudson (The Big Spoon 2016)
All poor Katie wants is a friend in Kerry… even if she has to pay her for her time. Unfortunately for her, all of those best friend feelings stop the second Kerry’s Rent-A-Friend timer goes off. But Katie isn’t willing to let the young woman leave. Waffle is quirky, fun, and socially relevant. Katie Marovich’s Katie is psychotically brilliant and awkwardly endearing. Definitely one of the better Final Girls Berlin Film Festival Bust A Gut Comedy Horror Shorts Block selections.
Directed by Suki-Rose Etter (Cooties 2014)
Lee isn’t feeling well. Maybe a visit from her friend, Heleen, will help. Then again, maybe not. Ding-Dong is a twisted, surreal offering that utilizes both color and sound to bring to mind the main character’s mentality.
The Claw (2019)
Directed by Lael Rogers (I See Through You 2018)
Clearly inspired by Green Room, The Claw follows four punk band members who are waiting to go onstage for their first big show. The tone, tension and color scheme are so on point with Jeremy Saulnier’s sleeper hit that I fell into a rhythm of thinking I knew what was going to happen. Let me just say that I did not. What a freaking awesome twist!
Directed by Nikki Chapman
Melted is the only animation in the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival Bust A Gut Comedy Horror Shorts Block, and it’s a good one. A little girl recognizes herself in her ice cream treat and becomes a mini philosopher on the meaning of life. The innocence of childhood meets existentialism. Read another PopHorror writer’s thoughts on this short here.
Your Monster (2020)
Directed by Caroline Lindy (Kindred Spirit 2019)
What kind of monster are you? When milquetoast Laura is dumped by her boyfriend, left by her mother and blown off by her friend after having cancer surgery, the monster in her closet appear to her to help make things better. Such a sweet, funny story. Plus, I LOVE the musical choices. Definitely worth the watch.
Danny’s Girl (2020)
Directed by Emily Wilson (I Adore Delores 2019)
Danny is meeting his online girlfriend, Cleo, for the first time, and he’s very nervous. So much could go wrong! What if Cleo has secrets? Guess what, Danny. She does. And it’s not the secret you think it is. Danny’s Girl is another sweet—albeit uncomfortably horrifying—submission for the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2021. Danny’s awkwardness carries the short and leads us right where Filmmaker Emily Watson wants us to go.
That wraps up our coverage of the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival 2021 Busting A Gut Comedy Horror Shorts Block. We’ll be covering other films and shorts for FGBFF 2021 this year, so keep your eyes peeled!