Monday, January 17, 2011

Night of the Punks (2010)

Small town punk rockers The Brain Deads have their first out of town gig. But there are a few problems: The venue is totally deserted, the promoter is a creep, their bass player has gone missing, and the only kids in the audience are bloodthirsty monsters from hell. It’s gonna take a lot more than a few power chords and teenage angst to survive this night.

Night of the Punks is a sweet little slice of short film heaven packed full of gore, goo and groovy tunes! This is one of the most fun short films I’ve seen recently and it is a really fun throwback to films like Return of the Living Dead and Night of the Demons. It has such a manic, gleeful tone and perfectly balances horror and comedy. With a run-time under 20 minutes, the only flaw of this film is that it is not feature-length, because I would have loved to see the cast of lovable losers face off against more demons while trading witty lines.

Everything about this film was enjoyable, from the energetic punk soundtrack to the colorful characters to the direction to the gory effects to the overall high production value!! Director Dan Riesser (who also produced, edited and co-wrote the film) has created an instant cult classic with Night of the Punks. His direction really brought the story, written by himself and Mike L. Kinshella (who plays the lead singer “Spike” in the short and in real life is the singer for the horror punk band Murderland), to raucous life.

The cast also does a wonderful job with their characters and there wasn’t a bad performance in the bunch! I especially enjoyed Nick Mundy, who plays “Hooch”, the drummer, Luke Edwards as “Kenny” the guitarist and our underdog hero, and Aubrey Wood, who plays the band’s merch girl “Sarah”. Everyone else was wonderful as well, from the sleazy promoter played by Dominic Deleo to the band’s lead singer (Mike L. Kinshella) and bassist (John Bobek) to the actors that portrayed the gooey demons.

The gore displayed was also impressive, with the special effects and makeup design being done by Dizzworks Designs. You get your usual blood and guts, but there is also a gruesome face peel that was extremely well done! I also liked the demons’ makeup design, which makes them look like they’ve got a gangrenous skin condition. And their gooey green bodily fluids were pretty icky as well (I mean that as a complement, ya hear?).

Plus, the script is peppered with hilarious lines riffing on everything from the music industry to horror. Quips come fast and furious, and it’s worth a re-watch just to chuckle over the hilarious one-liners, such as:

Hooch: How do you stop a f*cking demon?
Sarah: I dunno Hooch, you’re the one who listens to Misfits!

Night of the Punks is an ode to ‘80s horror films filled with musical mayhem, demonic punks, gooey gore, colorful dialogue – all happening at a fast and furious pace. If there is one short film you see this year, make it Night of the Punks!

P.S. Word on the street is that the filmmakers are attempting to make a feature-length version of this film. My fingers are crossed that this happens!

Check out the film’s official site!

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