R You Ready? Part One of a Two Part Article on the Letter R — A to Z Short Horror Film Review Series

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The Letter R. A letter so big it will take two installments to cover the films and the luminaries that are associated with its majesty.
Well, maybe majesty is a little strong. There is a lot of ground to cover with the letter.

First, we are going to look over a group of shorts that begin with the letter R.

Recorded Live (1975)

A simple note about a fantastic recording tape lures a man into an unexpected battle with… I ain’t tellin’. Directed by S.S. Wilson, this was filmed at USC. The interesting part about this short is that it has technology that has been surpassed today. Of course, it is from 1975.
I actually saw this film from a reel-to-reel projector in a high school auditorium.

Roadkill Redemption (2013)


This animated short asks the question “What Happens to the Soul of the Creature You Hit with the Car?” Written and directed by Karl Hadrika. This film has it all: ghosts, burials, graveside services and distracted driving. Both touching and hilarious.

Ride of Passage (2012)

So, you say your tribe judges you by the size of the animal you kill. And to show your status, you wear the head of the kill on your head. Now what if you are the smallest in the tribe. Add to that you have just been befriended by the biggest monster in the jungle!
This is an adorable story, with monsters, hunters and a wild ride. From the Animation Workshop in Denmark.

Reaping for Dummies (2013)

I have covered many stories where Death really needs a holiday. In this case, a new reaper heads to the Wild West to take the soul of a tough cowboy, who is ready for him. From Norway, this is directed by Jonas Martin Larsen.

Red (2012)

An animated film from Colombia that questions who was more dangerous: Little Red Riding Hood or the Wolf? Written and directed by Carlo Guillot and Jorge Jaramillo.

I am reminded of James Thurber’s Moral to his story “The Little Girl and the Wolf”: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.

A Regular Haunt (2015)

Roommates often have issues with each other. Each has habits that annoy each other. How one handles them is a sign of maturity. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Christopher D. Grace brings a story about a story of ghosts and murder. Yes, that line is correct.

Runaway (2013)

The story of a boy and his…fridge. A case of love, fear and cold beverages, this animated story is directed and written by Emily Buchanan, Esther Parobek and Susan Yung. Oddly, it is starring Karl Hadrika, but not the same Karl Hadrika who directed “Roadkill Redemption.”

Rare Exports, Inc (2003)

The Official Rare Exports, Inc – Safety Instructions (2005)

Finishing off Part One are a pair of genuine masterpieces that, combined, have been made into a feature. I have not seen the feature, but I have doubts that it could be as good as these. From Finland, Jalmari Helander gives us the drama of the hunt and its aftermath, as well as what to do when things go horribly wrong. Should be a Christmas tradition in your home.

Rare Exports should be on every Top 10 List.

But why two parts, you may ask. Because there are two directors, whose last name begins in an “R” that bring incredible talent to the world of the short film. I’m a big fan of both and felt they deserve their own article.

Did you folks really think I didn’t plan these articles ahead of time? Am I just “winging it”?

Well, yeah…winging it a lot, actually.

Thanks again to Vimeo and YouTube, as well as IMDB. A special shout out to my man, James Thurber, who has always made me laugh. You can find “The Little Girl and the Wolf” in his book “Fables for our Time,” where you will also find that illustration at the beginning of this article.

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About Ernie Fink

Ernie Fink has been a fan of film, mainly in the genres of horror and mystery, in equal parts, for over fifty years. His love of horror in the cinema begins with "King Kong" and in literature with Edgar Allan Poe and Bernhardt J. Hurwood.  With mysteries, he skipped from the Hardy Boys right to Hercules Poirot, only to find John Rebus and Harry Hole waiting in the wings. He has been known to read subtitles extensively, and rarely leaves a theater until the lights come up.
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