Short S(hit) List: Triple Shot to the Face “South Mill District” (2018), “Teratomorph” (2019), and “Variant” (2020)

Ten years after the “Alien Wars”, Eon Corp is experimenting with splicing human with alien DNA, and we all know when it comes to B movies that isn’t a good thing to do, things go wrong. And they go disastrously wrong in this series of short films from Joe Meredith. I get the feeling Joe is a metal head who wanted to make his own films, sink or swim, so he grabbed a digital camera and with some friends from the local community college who are trying to major in special effects made these short films, the longest short film of this series being forty minutes.

With his limited resources he creates a apocalyptic future that is really believable. With its “Cinema Verite” filming style, scummy surroundings and angels with broken faces type amateur actors (most of which are Joe’s family and friends) it reminded me a lot of “Gummo”mixed with “Alien”. He has made something unique here, all of these films are fast watches and their at the right running time. Some film makers don’t know when to stop, Joe knows his world works better when it gives short and powerful jabs instead of long and hard (hee hee I typed long and hard) punches. For the budget, time and materials he created some pretty bad ass monsters and aliens.

If you cum in your pants every time you see stop motion like me, then these films will have your pants sticky in no time. Not many film makers, mainstream or independent, use stop motion anymore. Joe isn’t afraid to and in fact said in a interview he was a fan of Eric Brummer who did the stop motion short classics like “Electric Flesh” and “Anna Died and Went to Hell” (all of which I have reviewed on my blog). Seeing any type of practical effects in modern movies makes me very happy.

“South Mills District”, the first short film in this series, follows two homeless guys trapped in a quarantine zone due to a man made alien virus, one of the homeless guys is an ex soldier who fought in the war. Tentacled monsters and corpses abound, this is around 25 minutes long and it packs a lot of power in that short time. “South Mills District” got me hooked and wanting more. That is where the “Teratomorph”, the second short film, came in.

“Teratomorph” clocks in at around 33 minutes and starts off with a kid poking a melted corpse near a river. It seems the alien virus has spread outside the “South Mill District”. The kid’s parents are nowhere to be found (probably eaten by aliens or taken over by the virus). The kid is all alone, eating junk food, living in a abandoned room in an abandoned school, and nails the doors and windows shut. He leaves occasionally to find food and other things, in his searches for food he comes to a weird house full of old Victorian pictures, a short circuiting android head, and a alien with three skulls for a head in a Victorian dress with tentacles which attacks him…well I will leave it there, don’t want to ruin it all for you.

This brings us to the third short film “Variant” which is 40 minutes long and shows the alien virus spreading through the whole country. There is a tentacle rape scene, a pissed off hillbilly saying he is gonna shoot all the medical tyrants at EonCorp, Fulci like zombies eating people, industrial plants on fire etc. Again Meredith films a bleak and destroyed world, the locations he picks to film are abandoned places and buildings. 

 There is not one lick of CGI in this whole thing which makes me so god damn fucking happy. All of it is beautiful, I can smell the corn syrup blood, latex and rubber. I really dig this stuff and if your a fan of any type of practical effects this will be right up your alley.

This stuff was birthed into existence from the ground up with very little money and bare hands, that isn’t done too often these days and when I see that it gives me hope that there can be a future for cinema. My oft repeated and old man opinion is that CGI should be a tool to use when there is no other option, too many films pour on the CGI and to me its a weakness and path of least resistance. Just pour on shitty computer graphics that everybody can tell are fake and you will pull in audiences.

You can easily watch all three of these short films back to back and have a full feature, not a three hour snooze-a-thon but a quick and awesome hour and forty minutes. So dive into the “shot on digital” apocalyptic world of Joe Meredith. I hope Joe has more up the sleeve of that band shirt of his, I’ll be snapping those up when they come out.

So your asking me where can I watch this? On youtube? Your bitchute channel? Nope you can go give Joe some greenbacks and support him and his mission to bring further madness and art to the world by going to: