Friday, October 29, 2021

Something of Mine

Something of Mine
Keith Randal Duncan

A frat founder borrows a book from a demon. When it comes time to return it to this same demon, the founder refuses but his cat wrecks his summoning circle allowing the demon to thoroughly wreck him. Sometime later, a bunch of frat pledges steal his tombstone only for the founder to rise from the grave and take body part from everyone involved. That’s it. That’s the plot.

The joy of watching shot-on-video (SOV) horror films comes from the fact that you are watching something made with passion if not necessarily money or skill. Films like Things (1989) and Black Devil Doll from Hell (1984) carry with them a charm drawn from the fact that the creators used whatever they had access to create a story. When you see something that not only is made for love but also manages to demonstrate some real competency it is even more of a treat. Something of Mine plays out like a classic EC horror comic, complete with a wisecracking walking corpse extracting revenge victim by victim.

Special Guest Star - Everyone who beat me up in junior high

Running at a mere fifty minutes, Something of Mine doesn’t have a lot of time to waste but manages to not only open with a couple faux movie trailers but also a lengthy flashback. These elements set-up Something of Mine to be more comedy than horror, so it is with some satisfaction, that the film takes its gore quite seriously. While I personally find the VHS aesthetic beautiful, it is a shame that the image is so dark because the effects are often quite good.  Eyes torn out, tongues are sliced off, and noses chopped all with the glee of a thirteen-year-old drawing splatter in their notebook.

What is less good is the acting, and while it’s never bad enough to completely brings things to a halt, none of the college kids look college age and they certainly never act like young people but more like what middle aged people thing young people would act. Far and away the best character is a put-upon demon who just wants his damn book back. He's just a floating head who seems more irritated than threading and honestly, I could have probably just watched 50 minutes of an ineffectual monster get constantly stymied by cultists, at least until a cat wrecks the whole thing for everyone.

This is the stickiest looking screen cap I've posted in a while.

Keith Randal Duncan only went on to direct one other film, which is too bad because Something of Mine was a pleasant surprise. Usually if I’m going into an SOV film I’m ready to view something unique but not necessarily easy to watch. If you are curious about SOV films or want to ease someone into this quirky corner of movies, Something of Mine is a great place to start, it’s short, it’s reasonably competent, and most importantly it’s actually pretty fun.

I just wanted to Happy Halloween from Outpost Zeta! It’s been a rough couple of years but thanks reading reviews and I hope you are finding something spooky to celebrate!

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