Few actors and directors are talented at multiple genres. Michael Bay, for example, is known for directing explosive action films that lately have not been very good; conversely, James Cameron was as skilled at the character-driven science fiction of Terminator 2 as he was the sappy romance of Titanic.
For this reason and others, it is often effective for a person or team to choose a speciality to focus on and master, building a reputation for quality in their chosen field. But from a creative perspective, such dedication can be boring, and the temptation to flex one's artistic muscles is ever-present. Still, I never expected the creators of the ludicrously funny Star Wars satire series Chad Vader to investigate the horror genre, resulting in the excellent Life and Death of a Pumpkin:
This film won multiple awards at the Chicago Horror Film Festival in October 2006, a timeline that places the short's airing at around the same time Chad Vader made his own debut. I'm guessing Blame Society Productions, the team behind both shows, was at the time experimenting to find their niche and eventually settled on the comedic styles of the imperial day shift manager. But the above short demonstrates their talent at a diverse range of cinematic stylings. The macabre perspective, tremulous voice, and bittersweet climax remind me of another award-winning horror short, Unloved, which has also been featured here on Showbits. Among those qualities is the occasional effort at injecting Blame Society's trademark humor into the pumpkin's monologue, suggesting that the film is not meant to be taken seriously — yet it works whether you view it as as genuine and satirical horror.
Who are some of the actors or directors that you have found to be as effective as Blame Society at crossing genres?
1 thought on “Summer Shorts: The Life and Death of a Pumpkin”
Now I'm going to feel guilty about pumpkins…
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