Written by David Strege
Brought To Us by Cheevies Films director Derek Braasch before I delve into reviewing his film Murder by Pleasure I decided to check out his earlier short films on up to his newest since I have already reviewed his film The Icing which was also distributed buy a Legless Corpse Films at one point in time.I’m not going to go into any particular order like I sometimes do but I shall try to describe these films the best that I can and if I have no opinion about them I will give it.
The first film that I am introducing you all to is called The Lazy Werewolf from 2016. the beginning of the film we see a man growling behind a werewolf mask… There’s really not a lot that I can say about this film except that it is filmed in black and white, I’m not even sure if I can say that it was really any good but it was a little humorous Where we had a not so skinny man in the mask running around and scaring families and people who had food so that he could just eat their things, running into McDonald’s only to growl at people. I guess you could say that this was also a play on Rocky a love for the Fighting Champion played by Sylvester Stallone For there was a moment where it seemed the wolf was attempting to train himself to The Eye of the Tiger.
I found the film to be very corny but I think that this was made as a joke or at least on a personal note to the director made for humorous reasons since this was a mask you could probably pick up in the dollar store and it was plastic so it’s not like there was any effort put into at least finding a mask that was more wolf-like and scary but for some odd reason I enjoyed it. if you enjoy this kind of a film then definitely seek it out if you can.
Starring in The Lazy Werewolf: Mike Miller as Lazy Werewolf, Nina Trader as Adrian, Anthony Michael Pellizzeri as Mickey, Jimmy Shay as Paulie, Henry Frias Leon as Guy with Cookie / camaraman, Ian Ogdon as SMan eating chips / interviwer, Anthony Cooney as Guy outside bar, John Guy as Guy outside bar, Adam Mantoan as Guy Outside Bar, Kandace McVickar as Girl on park bench, David Meyers as Father, Hannah Meyers as Daughter, Robert Meyers as Son, Samantha Meyers as Mother, Mike Miller as The Lazy Werewolf, Sara Jane Sliazas as Shopper.
The second film is called Killer Claus where we have a rent-a-Santa getting a blowjob by a minor and then fired on his way home acute younger chick just laughed at his hat so once this Santa played by John Guy got home he started to talk to himself and concocted an idea that Santa was going to go around and kill people. so he did and choked the life out of a couple giving each other presents, sacked a father on his way to giving a present probably to a child, and even choked grandma… and caned a woman in the shower. At the end of the night when you are the man in red you really don’t know who else might hate you…
Where I felt some of the humor was somewhat lacking in the lazy werewolf I think and feel that the humor was stepped up in here just for the fact that in a short span you got to see quite a few people killed on his spray that’s right Santa Claus cracked. This was a delightfully acted film definitely was filmed on crazy and is entertaining to watch. It was actually really believable too. The acting of the main character I believe was definitely spot on for the type of character that he had to play. If you enjoy this kind of a film then you should definitely seek the film out and enjoy it for yourself. I know this will certainly be one of my favorite shorts from Cheevies Films besides Leaf Blower Massacre.
Starring in Killer Claus: John Guy as Santa, Jessica Rabid as Santa’s little Helper, Helmuth Cote as Bartender, Jamie Cote as Hot girl in car, Emilie Rose Danno as Girlfriend, Mark Yacullo as Boyfriend, Sara Jane Sliazas as Girl in Car, Julie Braasch as Woman Making Cookies, Kandace McVickar as Girl in shower, Mike Vanderbilt as Guy in elevator.
The third film is called Eyes of Deception This was a 48 Hour film project that was filmed in 2017. Ryan Hammersmith played by Anthony Cooney is a man who works a dead-end job for a pest control company. His wife and himself are obviously having problems, and when he comes home from work one night with photos of him with another woman she believes that he has cheated on her. Ryan backtracks and explain to her that it is not what it seems that it wasn’t packed him meeting a travel agent for a trip to Italy for themselves.
As Ryan gives his wife a hug we are witness to a barrage of images where it seems that there is a friend of the wife’s that is sitting in the same bar that her husband went to meet this woman, But we watch what looks like Ryan kissing this woman and even further taking her to a bedroom and making love to her almost like he’s having another relationship entirely… but it’s that image that you see mirrored in his eyes as he hugs his wife the brings about the title of this film.
I thought that this film was brilliant, that brings a very tough subject to the table about the lies that a husband sometimes keeps. I feel like I’ve known a lot of people who have been cheated on myself and sometimes these people that I have known have brought about and done some other things but this film Made it seem like it could go both ways that maybe indeed that he was actually telling the truth, or he was just trying to cover up the truth and continue to have both relationships. I also think possibly that may be the point of the film is how long could a man keep up the lies if there are any. I like the film because it was real and it could really possibly happen. If this sounds like something that you would probably enjoy watching then I would definitely seek this out if you can. I will have to say that this is my third favorite film from Cheevies.
Starring in Eyes of Deception: Nina Trader as Wife, Anthony Cooney as Ryan Hammersmith, Tina Boivin as Mistress, Amber Hajkowicz as Wife’s Friend, Dan Menotti as Bar Patron.
The fourth film that I have here to talk about it’s called T is for Tentacles from 2011 which was originally sent into the ABCs of Death Anthology but was rejected but from that rejection eventually ended up in another anthology called World of Death series put together by Tony Wash which hasn’t quite been released to the public yet.
The film begins with a girl laying on the couch and reading a book and shortly thereafter she is playing with herself in the tub. later as she is laying down in the bed that she sleeps in the camera goes below the bed and we see an octopus in CGI but above the bed we see creature effects of like three or four tentacles that’s strain to reach and grab at her, In a sense the tentacles pin her down and raped her while filling her cavities with white cum-like liquid…
I felt this was exploitation as well as a monster kind of a film, I do give a lot of credit of Derek to use An actress that doesn’t fit the Hollywood Norm where she isn’t exactly a skinny mini which means that he’s not entirely a picky director.
though the tentacles looked fake as all hell I got a kick out of the fact that the chick was actually seeming like she was enjoying the active rape that was going on even though I know that rape is in itself a very tough subject this was definitely intended to be over the top and b-ish. This film had no intention of being serious whatsoever and I think that it was purposely meant to be a what the fuck moment. I enjoyed the film and when it comes out on physical media I will definitely pick it up but it was certainly entertaining to watch it before hand. if this sounds like something that you would definitely watch then I would say Seek it out if you can it was definitely a fun and entertaining short film that you should definitely be on the lookout for I’d recommend it.
Starring in T Is For Tentacles: Caitlin McScandal as The Girl.
The fifth film that I’m going to talk about is called Hernandez filmed in 2012. Leo Trejo stars as Hernandez a man who will work and do anything that means go out to a specific parking lot and wait for a job and it could be anything from going out to the fields to construction work or making a drug deal. on this particular job a man picks him up to take him back to a home and break down all the furniture and all of the toys in a son’s room. the wife of this man is crying and arguing all the time while Hernandez is breaking down the crib Which having the wife in the background sobbing because she didn’t want to get rid of any of this stuff…
when Hernandez stopped and gave the wife a stuffed animal from the box that he was carrying down this was a very emotional moment. after the man and Hernandez finished loading the boxes in the car the man took him back to the parking lot and gave him a stack of bills but then asked if he wanted to make some extra cash and then put his hand on his leg, Hernandez pulled the same knife that he had cut the box to get the stuffed animal from out and slashed the guy and ran from the car…
You know I almost wonder if this film was based on a true story the director and the company Cheevies is from Chicago and there are probably very much still places that do this kind of random job stuff where you just go out stand with a group of men or women and just get picked up by any vehicle to go do any kind of work it doesn’t matter just so long as you get picked And this is quite possibly the first real reality that the director has filmed which kind of surprised me. the directors later films are more towards the horror genre and not as dramatic as you would anticipate. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised But so far I have enjoyed the short films. That have more of a drama going on by Braasch just as much as the horror short films of his that I have been watching. I enjoyed the story behind this and if you enjoy this kind of film then I would definitely say go and seek this out. I found the I paid more attention to the reality of the situation.
Starring in Hernandez: Nick Bender as John, Nina Trader as Claudette, Leo Trejo as Hernandez, Mike Vanderbilt as Chewy, Patrick O’Sullivan as Laborer, Kevin Braasch as Laborer, Mark Sartain as Laborer, Chris Pasco Jr. as Laborer, Caitlin McScandal as Laborer, Teri Xex as Laborer, Jacob Baxter as Baby boy.
The Sixth film that I am going to talk about is nothing really special I mean granite it seems that a relatively overweight man is dolling up a woman everyday which means, he picks the clothes, the makeup and seems to treat her like she is just one big human doll. I mean he does go to work and he does seem to have affection for her and her to him especially when she looks down while he’s laying on her lap.
when the man goes to sleep she wakes up and then goes to the bathroom Has a cigarette and washes the makeup off and I assume that this all just happens again the next day when the man wakes up but you don’t see much after this. I feel like this film could have had more I hate to say this but I wish there was more to the story I kind of felt like I was missing something. the acting wasn’t too terrible I mean you could tell the woman was breathing but the director was definitely trying to make it look like she was in fact at a doll at least I think so I guess it was definitely amusing to see this attempted. I enjoyed the film for what it was but was kind of expecting more…
If this film is something that sounds like something that you would watch then definitely try to see the film out. I on the other hand think the film could have been or had added more humor or just something else I’m not exactly sure what but if watching this film floats your boat then have it.
Starring in She’s A Doll: Jillian Jayde Hastings as Woman, Patrick O’Sullivan as Man.
So the 7th film that I want to discuss is called The Clown Dies At Midnight filmed in 2017. In the beginning of the film we have a boy who is having a birthday party but no one is age has showed up so you feel kind of sorry for this little boy but where is a drunken clown called Marbles (DeBartolo) that has been hired to cheer him up. Now all the the Clown did was kind of show the kid how to make a dog out of a balloon I kind of liked this Clown because he wasn’t exactly political correct there were some dirty things that he said that he probably shouldn’t have said in front of the kid but ultimately it’s his advice in the end that’s trying to play through towards the end of the film. DeBartolo was great and I will remember him in the role…
So ultimately we see the kid grown up dressed like a clown, so this clown is jerking off while he is placing bids at different locations. When it’s time to pay up Two mobster factions show up on the same night and one ends up killing the other two mob guys. I like the character that the kid has grown into he’s kind of got a dirty sense of humor so when the one mob guy kills the other two mobsters, he has to still kill the Clown so he takes the clown down to a funeral home where he gets to pick out his own casket what about when the mob Hitman is about to stick him with a syringe that’ll put him out of his misery, is about when the clown escapes and uses a slingshot and marbles to get away. And just like in Killer Claus the use of a blowjob falls into play as an ice cream man and his girlfriend end up running over the clown in question…
I actually felt this film was great, personally I love clowns and for some reason this short film really resonates on a humorous level at least to me but kind of with a Goodfellas approach it’s like I was seeing Joe Pesci in a clown suit in a sense but as you can see you see Anthony Cooney the director of Leaf Blower Massacre as the funeral director guy so I don’t really think that the mob is connected with the film in general but it was definitely a comical approach And almost a Lucky Number Slevin type vibe.
I like the acting and the storyline so if I had to put any of these short films in a 1 to 10 kind of frame not that I am because I think that is degrading but I would put the film very high up there as one of my favorites. if this film sounds like something that you would enjoy watching I would definitely say Seek this film out I assume that it is getting a DVD release somewhere down the road or something to that effect but as it is relatively newer I would believe that it is still running the festival circuit. The film was entertaining and I would certainly recommend it.
Starring in The Clown Dies At Midnight: Jimmy Shay as Clown, Tony Marino as Carlo, Joe DeBartolo as Marbles, Dave Sylvester as Salvino, Mike Miller as Big Paulie, Matthew Bender as Dad, Pamela Bender as Mom, Anthony Cooney as Dennis, Christopher Ketza Coyne as Clown as Kid, Derek Braasch as Ice Cream Truck Driver, Portia Chellelynn as Hooker, Brian Broscoe as Bookie (VO).
The 8th film that I wanted to discuss is called Mentis filmed in 2017 as well. So for some reason I really like this Chicago actor Tony Marino play the mob Hitman in The Clown Dies At Midnight short film that I had talked about previously as well as The Icing which there again he played a Hitman I believe as well either that or an FBI agent regardless I like his sense of humor. In this short film we have him playing a man by the name of Frank who waitresses at a restaurant and then one day a customer played by Ron Fitzgerald another Chicago favorite actor of mine. Who ultimately reveals himself as his Handler as Frank is given a phone that when it rings there is an automated system that says the number or code to activate something within him and what happens is because of these activations he react to situations and ends up killing his boss and a few people that evidently the agency did not intend him to kill but has landed Frank into a mental facility…
Much of the film is narrated by Tony Marino as he is relating the story so that’s what makes this short film a little bit more comical because you don’t exactly expect a Malcolm in the Middle kind of narration with kind of a Dragnet feel. I think the fact that Frank didn’t know that he was an agent in any way shape or form was actually kind of priceless. I didn’t realize that this actor Marino was really that tall at first when he was looking down at DeBartolo who played his Boss who eventually fired him that’s when I realized how tall he was. Also I like how you get to see more screen time of Ron Fitzgerald’s character often times when he has been in films in the past especially in the beginning of his career he would have roles that you could blink and his scenes would go by in a second. But this short film really showcases his professionalism and that he can act really good at least I thought that he pulled off his accent real well. If this sounds like a film that you would definitely go out and see eventually I’m sure this film will stream to the public once it goes through its Festival run and you’ll be able to see it so I would say hunted down when it becomes available to the public. I enjoyed the film it was entertaining and I like to seeing some actors that I was familiar with at least independent wise. Though I do think that Derek should try to find a new face in the future not that I’m trying to get them to stop using Marino but when you start seeing a lot of an actor you start seeing way too much of what he can do and then his acting gets a little blurred so even though I enjoy Marino’s acting he is becoming too familiar I don’t know if you know what I mean but sometimes you need to put a fresh face in even though you have a lot of go to actors you want to see more actors…
Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CszcLAZufg
Starring in Mantis: Tony Marino as Frank Anderson, Joe DeBartolo as Richard, Ron Fitzgerald as Curtis Ventura, Tina Boivin as Jane, Mike Miller as Bodyguard 1, Dan Gill as Bodyguard 2, Patrick O’Sullivan as Cop 1, Jon McLaughlin as Cop 2, Kandace McVickar as Waitress, Meli Kieff as Hostess, Joey Horist as Diner Patron, Marty Horist as Diner Patron, Rosann Pannarale Horist as Diner Patron, Mike Miller As Bodyguard 1, Justin Stroh as Diner Patron, Michelle Stroh as Diner Patron.
The ninth film that I want to talk about is a film called Mutilation Massacre filmed in 2017 as well. so we have a young woman tied to a tree at first we feel that she is the victim but as the film plays out in between while a man mutilates her body parts while he reminds her of their connection…. so apparently we see flashbacks of a family around a birthday party and how a little girl seems to remember her mother and then she is told that her mother has died and she wasn’t ready for her father to move on and then her father met someone and now she wasn’t ready she decided to get rid of her mother but she didn’t just want to stop there.
she literally took her down to the basement and cut off her limbs and did all kinds of lacerations, and then continue down the line family member to family member still no Witnesses were left at least so she thought…
You know something I really enjoyed this film as well we have a character who has no problem severing the limbs this young woman played by DeBartolo in this film he sounds like he could be your next door neighbor he doesn’t even sound creepy that’s the thing but with just his silhouette and he’s in a raincoat he pulls off the creepy rather well, not only is the level of Gore height and in this film which I think was executed professionally but it also heightened the psychological level whereas the film progresses the way that the Killer is describing The acts of violence that the young woman had committed and once he brought her to that level of realization that she had made a mistake a miscalculation which was kind of awesome because this was a revenge film that was also probably more honest it could almost be considered Law Abiding Citizen-like except violence does not beget violence it never does it feels good at the time but there is always consequences.
I will remember DeBartolo’s voice here in the end and I will also remember the flashbacks I thought that the director did a good job on executing the puzzle pieces involved with connecting all the pieces together because when you start with a victim who ends up being the Killer in the end it’s kind of like you don’t know which side to be on you’re rooting for both… or whichever feels more Justified.
I definitely enjoyed the film if this sounds like something that you would definitely watch that I would watch for it down the road I for one would like to see this get a DVD release of some sort. I think I will recommend this short film for those of you that are into short films because I really did like this I loved the dark feeling to the film and shows that Derek the director can take films to a darker level and yet as in films like Hernandez and Eyes of Deception he made films that sounded real in those two like it could actually happen this situation could actually happen…
Here is the trailer:
Also take a look at our retrospect of the first seven short films we did on YouTube 😉
Starring in Mutilation Massacre: Pamela Bender as Stephanie, Joe DeBartolo as Bruce, Sara Jane Sliazas as Stephanie, Matthew Bender as Dad, Nina Trader as Mom, Jamie Cote as Marissa Vincent, Emilie Rose Danno as Marissa’s Niece, Jimmy Shay as Marissa’s Son, Henry Frias Leon as Friend at concert, Bill H. Bailey as Marissa’s Brother, Emily Berkowitz as Stephanie at 10 years old, Elysa Zittman as Stephanie at 5 years old, Helmuth Cote as Minister, Ian Ogdon as Detective, Jerry Kavouriaris as Lead singer in band, Brian Fukala as Wedding Party, Dan Menotti as Wedding Party, Julie Braasch as Teacher, Allison Chainz as Wedding Party, Matt Berkowitz as Family member at birthday party.