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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Various


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What's it about
Small Gauge Trauma presents 13 short films showcasing the most original, or otherwise popular works from Montreal's yearly international film festival.
Is it good movie?
Small Gauge Trauma is a DVD that makes me feel honored to be a DVD reviewer. It's DVDs like these that make my job easy, and worthwhile. I'll run down the short films as best I can and wrap things up afterwards.

Abuelitos (Grandfathers)

Country of origin: Spain

Length: 15 minutes

This one deals with a group of old men who are living in a warehouse/factory, have a nurse who takes care of them, and eat a very bizarre substance to keep them alive. This one was creepy and atmospheric, although I didn't completely understand it.

Chambre Jaune

Country of Origin: Belgium

Length: 8 Minutes

Some of the most bizarre filmmaking i've ever seen. I didn't understand it, but it sure looked neat.


Country of Origin: Canada

Length: 7 Minutes

This isn't horror. It's crudely drawn comedy that involved strange, psychadelic imagery, but also a lot of laughs. I really got a kick out of this one, but it was also waaay 'out there.'


Country of Origin: Argentina

Length: 15 Minutes

This is a gorgeously animated tale of a world paralyzed by Gorgons (Think Medusa), turned to stone. A lot of time is spent on the backstory of how the Gorgons came about, and it's quite chilling and does not have a happy ending. The unfortunate thing about this film is that the translation and subtitles are awful.

I'll See You In My Dreams

Country of Origin: Portugal

Length: 20 minutes

One of the most expensive short films ever made, this thing rocked my ass off. It's a zombie flick set in the old days, with our hero, a zombie hunter, having to deal with the fact that his wife is a member of the living dead. Awesome effects, nods to Fulci and Argento, and a music video by Moonspell that has to be seen to be fully enjoyed, this really makes this disc stand out. Awesome stuff.


Country of Origin: Canada

Length: 9 Minutes

This one made the least sense of all. It deals with a junkie splicing together filmstrips of her own memories. It looked like a Nine Inch Nails video and I didn't get it, but it was atmospheric and fun to look at.


Country of Origin: Japan

Length: 39 minutes

I was really looking forward to this one. It's about a woman who videotapes suicides (victims consent to it) and then makes them into 'art' to play in swanky clubs. There are a few 'did that just happen or what?' moments near the end, and the idea of letting someone film you as you end your own life is very unsettling, but I found the film to be very low key and a little disappointing.

Love from Mother Only

Country of Origin: Brazil

Length: 21 minutes

This was another standout on the disc. A couple living in the jungles of brazil is facing a problem- the woman wants to leave, but will leave alone unless her man will be willing to leave his mother, who is always by his side. Soon, we find out that this woman is posessed by the black arts, and issues an ultimatum: cut out his mother's heart and bring it to her, or else. This one was nasty, raw, and believable (and actually scripted by a Mucumba priest who is incarcerated).

Miss Greeny

Country of Origin: Japan

Length: 30 seconds

I'm not going to spoil this for you. I thought it was great.

Ruta Destroy!

Country of Origin: Spain

Length: 15 minutes

A drug fueled musical that is absolutely crazy, and often times hilarious, not to mention catchy. Isn't horror themed at all, but another one of my favorites on the disc.

The Separation

Country of Origin: UK

Length: 10 Minutes

Oh, this one won plenty of awards, and I can see why. Filmed entirely in stop motion, this one deals with the separation of Conjoined Twins who miss being one. Heart wrenching, emotional, creepy, and simply gorgeous, this one speaks volumes without an word of dialogue uttered. Truly awesome.

Sister Lulu

Country of Origin: UK

Length: 5 minutes

A strange tale of a woman, nuns, and burial. This was another weird flick that I didn't really get into.

Tea Break

Country of Origin: UK

Length: 7 minutes

I couldn't decide whether I should laugh or cringe when I saw this short, but I loved it. A fellow with a gruesome job (I won't spoil it), is bored, and can't wait for his tea break. You need to seek this one out. It's great.
Video / Audio
The video varies from awesome widescreen, to muddy and grainy fullscreen, depending on the budget and quality of the short film.

Audio was a fine 5.1 mix that also varied, depending on the films themselves.
The Extras
Every short is accompanied by a text menu Director/Company Biography, each one packed with neat information and facts.

We also get Audio Commentary on 8 of the flicks, which is awesome, and informative. When people are this creative, you want to hear what they have to say, and it's worth it.

We also get a Video Introduction from someone named "Coffin Joe", which is hammy and strange, pretty much par for the course.

You want TV Spots? You get three of them. They're short, strange, and awesome, each one.

There's a short trailer for this DVD as well.

The media coverage is spliced together in "What is Fantasia", which is pretty much a lot of people complimenting the festival and its popularity (and rightfully so).

There's also introductory words from Mitch Davis , one of the festival's co-ordinators and founders. The guy's so animated, passionate and eccentric that its hard not to hang off every word he says. It's only a few minutes long, but don't skip over it.

Also, don't forget to watch the awesome music video for "I'll See You in my Dreams" by Moonspell. It's so wonderful.

Plus! A deleted scene from "Separation" is in there too.
Last Call
Small Gauge Trauma is so fantastically awesome. Not every film is great, but every single one of them is worth watching. Some are bizarre, some are terrifying, some are hilarious, but each one of them is original. Hollywood is compounded with sequels, rip-offs and remakes. It's such a breath of fresh air to see these artists getting some of the credit they deserve with their work being preserved on this DVD. I hope there are more DVDs to come from future festivals, and if you're a fan of either international, short, or horror films in general, you really should pick this up, you won't regret it.
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