Friday, August 5, 2011


SHADOWS IN THE GARDEN (2002) (short film)
Directed by Wayne Spitzer

Eric Gollinger - Cutthroat Cthulhu
Wayne Spitzer - The Monster, Sylkk

     Lieutenant Sebastion Green has gone missing, presumed the victim of lunar killer, Cutthroat Cthulhu. Cutthroat has the town of Cthulhu Gardens in terror, and with the new full moon, another killing is expected. But there is another monster who likes the full moon, too, and when he and Cutthroat cross paths, one of them isn't going to come out alive.

      As this was a short film, I'm going to keep the usual banter I put here to a minimum. See, minimum.

     So here is another indie short film. Only this time, the actors only say one word the whole run time. The problem with this is that what plot build up there is, is barely there as the camera follows Sylkk, the monster, peering through windows and petting a dog named Sylkk. While the movie hints that the monster is a dead police officer, it never truly explains if it is or isn't. What I got from the monster is that it's a pervert that likes to look into peoples windows and watch the occupants sleep. The serial killer to me was the most interesting part of the short even though his motivations are never explained except that he goes around and kills someone during the full moon.  My one real big complaint was, what was up with the random dude in a car checking his hair of which we never see again. Makes no sense what so ever.

     My main problem with this short is that while yes there is a plot, there is not much to it. Nothing is explained. Yes, I like the fact that the director Wayne Spitzer believes his audience is smart, but we are not mind readers. We don't know what is going on his head. As this is supposed to be about a creature, Sylkk, played by Spitzer himself, I should mention it. While the upper torso and head area of Sylkk is actually pretty good looking, it seems like Spitzer forgot that he was going to be setting shots up that show the whole creature. Can you say tight leggings! Very good. Another problem with the short is the shoddy camera work. I read reviews where people are praising the short. Well, I just can't. There is far to many problems with it. So save yourself the 20 minutes and instead go watch something else.

     While there is a death that happens it is poorly shot. So instead here's a picture of what I think is a neck without a head.......... I'm just not sure....... I can't tell.

     Sorry, only real line is spoken and even that wasn't a very good one.

     All the key settings are named after Lovecraftian sources, such as Cthulhu Gardens and Sarnath Botanics.

     When "Cutthroat Cthulhu" (Eric Gollinger) dies, we see him laugh unexpectedly. This was in fact a blooper, but Spitzer, thinking it added a macabre touch of humorous irony, left it in.


  1. “Well, c’mon!!” Cutthroat himself here, and yup, that’s the line.

    It’s all analogue sources dubbed into a workstation. It has that authentic 70s look. The grindhouse dune ground it up. If you’re watching it on you cell phone under bright sunlight, you’re not getting the full effect. Spitzer didn’t want to sugar coat it or dumb it down, that’s for sure. Radio voiceovers and news clippings were a bit of an afterthought. File that under “voiceover” and not dialogue per se’.
    Sylkk is a protector not a pervert, but I certainly saw the humor in how you wrote it. Sylkk is just the creature’s name. He eats whatever kind neighbors put out there for him, including Cheetos. I fund your review thoroughly entertaining, which makes you a much better writer than, Spokane film critic, Dan Webster. Thank you for that.
    I guess it’s easy to get morbid when editing sessions last until almost 3 in the morning. So, it’s implied that the guy in the car gets struck by lightning, and a very upbeat, bouncy version of ‘Mack The Knife’ could have followed Cutthroat Cthulhu’s death, blood dripping from his fingers in time to the music, very demented. I think we’re justified in using the song that we did, as there was some wrap up in the story left to go. Spitzer’s mind is hard to read, but worth a try if you like good read. If you can find a text copy of the short story “Therefore I Am Again,” let us know what you think. As for the movie, for best results, dim the lights, and watch it twice.

    But alas… “Cutthroat Cthulhu has been cut down.”

    1. Thank you for the suggestion for something to read.