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Written and Directed by Christopher Alan Broadstone.

Working for the third time in the short film format, MY SKIN and SCREAM FOR ME director Christopher Alan Broadstone applies his considerable talents for another upsetting meditation on the pain of living and the anguish of dying. At only 17 minutes, HUMAN NO MORE makes the most of the format, expressing itself through a cluster of moods, textures and dark images, to make a searing reflection of spiritual agony.

Descending a graffiti-strewn, lightning-lit stairwell, hard-boiled Detective Nemo (Tony Simmons) makes his way to a dank basement adorned with gruesome crime scene photographs and pictures of the Virgin Mary. Sodden with rain, he takes off his coat and hat, has a few drinks, and then listens to the recording of a police interrogation that ends in disaster when the scrutinised killer grabs a gun and kills himself.

Watched by an invisible creature drawn like a magnet to his pain, Nemo assembles a video camera onto a tripod and proceeds to record himself. In monologue form, he reveals that his wife and baby were the ones murdered, shot to death in a shopping centre. Without his loved ones, and unable to forge his own vengeance (since the killer is already dead), he renounces his faith in God and concludes that his life is not worth living.

Instead of taking the easy way out and killing himself, Nemo chooses another uncompromising path, and puts himself through a brutal trial that will cause him to be “human no more”…

A unique film experience, HUMAN NO MORE uses a range of stylistic approaches to unnerve the viewer. Opening in an atmospheric CANDYMAN style stairwell thick with graffiti, Broadstone promptly takes us into one man’s personal hell, represented by the basement covered with gory photographs of his dead child and wife – stylishly lit in orange and pink – that is overlooked by the demon. Switching perspectives very early, we are forced to watch the through the eyes of this supernatural creature.

This “devil cam” approach is a touch of inspiration. Craning up and down, it is a distorted, wonky viewpoint – almost as if through a bubble – that causes us to be privy to the demon feeding off Nemo’s pain. Despite being a very short film, there is a huge amount of activity that goes on, as we not only see through the eyes of a greedy spirit, but also follow discourses such as Nemo’s monologue, and the tape recorder that reveal a great deal of back story information.

An economical filmmaker, Broadstone is able to juggle different perspectives. He and his crew present some remarkable images, most notably the gruelling climax, which uses oblique framing to enhance the agony on Simmons’ muscular and expressive face. Seen via the camera assembled by Nemo, his face is framed in the corner of the screen, focusing on the contortions of his mouth wide in agony. Sound is also exceptional; as the guttural howls and bleak score heighten the last moment of pain he may ever feel.

Like MY SKIN and SCREAM FOR ME, HUMAN NO MORE is preoccupied by death. The former film featured Simmons as a ghastly, cadaverous death as its protagonist, while the latter focused on a disturbed young man called Garrott Druck who, after the deaths of his parents, strangles his sister. His motive is to hear her scream, allowing him to exert control over death, but she dies before she can flex her vocal cords. Soon after, Druck becomes both the victim and spectator of his own demise, courtesy of ‘The Madman’ (Simmons again), before he shoots off into the dark oblivion that he fears the most.

If the main character of HUMAN NO MORE seems suicidal, talking about how his life is no longer worth living, the route he takes is far more interesting. Killing himself would lead to “losing my mind and my soul”, so instead he performs a bizarre act of self-mutilation. Although not realistic (he shouldn’t still be alive!), it is perfectly acceptable in the space of this film, which is a metaphysical space. It is a multicoloured battleground of the spirit, torn between “Heaven, Hell and humanity” that refuses to compromise. A remarkable film, HNM will rip your heart and your soul apart.

This outstanding film is cleanly presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, and can be purchased as part of a special edition DVD that includes the striking MY SKIN and the brilliant SCREAM FOR ME, and at $16.99 is a bargain.

(Ed...there is also a 'Making Of', 'Blooper Reel' and 'Interview' currently in Post - BUT IS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE right check out the Black CAB website to find out more about future releases...)

Official Website:

Special features:

Promotional Trailers
“In The Moonlight” Photo Gallery
”World Scream” Photo Gallery
“A Tragic Comedy Of Errors”, A Behind The Scenes Look At The Film
Bonus DVD: HUMAN NO MORE Short feature

Reviewed by Matthew Sanderson