Reviewed by Serena Whitney
Starring L.J. Benet, Seán Cullen, Rick Miller, Kailey Swanson, Michael Cheyovich, Joe Caprielian, Dylan Boyack, Megan Lee
Directed by Jerome Sable
Distributed by Sable and Batalion
Since its quick yet attention-grabbing trailer debut in June, The Legend of Beaver Dam has quietly been creating enough buzz to garner interest from the most inquisitive horror aficionados everywhere. The twelve-minute horror rock musical (filmed by critically acclaimed playwright duo Sable and Batalion) has also managed to grab the attention of prestigious film festivals and will be the only short premiering during the Toronto International Film Festival’s much talked about Midnight Madness programme this year. So is it worth taking a trip down to Beaver Dam? The answer is a rock and rolling hell yeah!
Jerome Sable and Eli Batalion take their love for musicals and bloodlust to an extreme level with their film debut of one of the most inventive and ground-breaking horror shorts ever to be produced. For the uninitiated, The Legend of Beaver Dam follows Danny Zigwitz (L.J Benet), a geeky camper who is often the focal point of ridicule by his fellow campers and crude camp counselor (played hilariously by Canadian comedian Seán Cullen). When the camp counselor unknowingly summons a malicious one-armed monster known as “Stumpy Sam” (Rick Miller) through a campfire sing-a-long, Danny must muster up the guts to take on the killer before his fellow campers’ guts are scattered over the campground.
The Legend of Beaver Dam will hit viewers with pangs of nostalgia, well executed jumpers and great inappropriate laughs. In its brief runtime of twelve minutes, this Canadian horror short is jam-packed with explicit yet cheer-inducing gore as well as catchy tunes that are far more memorable than songs in more recent full-length horror musicals like Repo! The Genetic Opera or the Canadian vampire musical Suck. The short will bring hard-core horror fans back to the days when it was cool to see kids be worthy protagonists like they were in beloved horror gems like The Gate and The Monster Squad.
One should not be surprised if this future festival hit is just a prelude to an eventual horror franchise full of far more blood-shedding choruses and verses to come. (Stumpy Sam is a villain that deserves a full-length feature!)
Once more with screaming, make sure to catch Sable and Batalion’s guaranteed crowd-pleaser The Legend of Beaver Dam at this year’s upcoming Toronto International Film Festival!
4 out of 5
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