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|SCREAM FOR ME
Produced by Sebastian Alan
Written, Directed, and Edited by Christopher Alan Broadstone
Director of Photography - Stewart M. Eastman
Garrott - Gabriel Sigal
Madman - Tony Simmons
Irene - Lora Cunninghan
SCREAM FOR ME is included as an extra on CHRISTOPHER ALAN BROADSTONE's dvd release of MY SKIN, an exceptional short film in its own right, but sadly lacks the emotional brutality of Broadstone's earlier effort. Never have I been grabbed by the seat of my pants so quickly in a movie as I was with SCREAM FOR ME, it's sick, twisted, and brutal....all in the first 10 seconds.
For those who haven't heard of Broadstone yet, give it time. You will. Recently he's won awards in almost all of the major horror film festivals. Working in various media, Broadstone has won awards for his short films as well as his screenplays, and his novel PUZZELMAN was simply the best written book I read in 2004. It's safe to say that Broadstone is quickly becoming the next Clive Barker.
The 22 minutes of disturbing hell that is SCREAM FOR ME opens with a killer doing his business in tight close up as he monologues. The effect is both jarring and economical. Screenwriting 101 tells you to get right to the point of every scene, and Broadstone wastes no time. What's surprising is that Broadstone maintains that level of rage for all 22 minutes, and one wonders if he's exercising his own demons with his art. Surely, no man can make a film this insane and be completely well adjusted.
The killer in question is Garrott, a weak-willed psychopath driven by his sexual dysfunction. He's met his match when he crosses paths with Madman, a domineering bear of a sociopath. Tony Simmons' Madman is a nitro-laced can of psychotic wupass exploding across every frame. From his entrance to the end credits, he barrels through every scene forcing Garrott into the role of submissive victim.
Broadstone has done his research and knows that all serial killers are compelled by sexual dysfunction, and he layers his film with abundant sexual subtext: the knife as phallus; the phallus as power: turgid equals strength while flaccid equals weakness, murder as masturbation, etc.... As it unfolds, SCREAM FOR ME becomes a document on two sides of the same coin, the quest for fulfilment through violent acts, and while Garrott and Madman survive in the same darkness, they're about as heads and tails as it gets. For Garrott, the violence is orgasm, for Madman it's foreplay.
I can easily see SCREAM FOR ME being expanded into a feature length work, but I wonder if it would loose any of its power. Its quickness is its punch. Many young filmmakers jump directly into features without taking the time to hone their skills, and the resulting films are often bogged down by padding. The short teaches moviemakers brevity and economy with their scenes and structure. SCREAM FOR ME works because it doesn't allow the audience to catch their breath. It's a movie of perfect length that exemplifies the effectiveness of a short film.
Now Broadstone has another plaque to line his wall, B-INDEPENDENT.COM'S UNDERGROUND SHORT FILM OF 2004.