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South Mill District - Joe Meredith Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Review of South Mill District on Severed Cinema

Directed by: Joe Meredith
Written by: Joe Meredith
Produced by: Joe Meredith
Cinematography by: Joe Meredith
Editing by: Joe Meredith
Music by: Joe Meredith
Special Effects by: James Bell, Joe Meredith, Toby Johansen
Cast: Joe Meredith, Cidney Meredith, Toby Johansen.
Year: 2018.
Country: USA
Language: English
Runtime: 25min

Official Facebook Page: South Mill District

The first thing which hits you about Joe Meredith's South Mill District short movie is the empty hollow grim atmosphere. That's a good thing because it is a void simply breathing oncoming doom. Long shots of derelict buildings to finish upon a sign on a chain link fence which mentions an 'alien war'.

You weirdly know that a lot of lifeforms have died. A gnarled doll lays on the ground. A rotting hand is covered by a multitude of busy ants. There's simply no movement other than the insects until a person comes into view wearing a dust mask.

“ day, the bombs just stopped falling. But the alien infestation was never completely eradicated...” Ten years have passed and a battle has become something more. The enemy lives inside the bodies of some survivors – in their blood, “...waiting.” Our fella crouches and slowly hacks the cranium off a green putrid cadaver. Wrapping it up, we see a lengthy train pass by. Ah, so the world still turns somehow. Basically our central character is a carrier of whatever the aliens implanted inside some. He waits for it to happen, not knowing exactly what will happen.

Cue a stop motion (a crude one) sequence as a spider alien puppet does its thing to half of a human head – which appears inspired in shape to the first shot victim in Peter Jackson's Bad Taste! So, our chap, Drennan, takes some of his own blood into a syringe and injects the green corpse head. The bloody thing starts moving as red shit wriggles out of its stump.

The viewing of a transmission from late 2018, reveals to us the story behind, Project Cerebra which thus created a “half alien hybrid” and so we understand more about the Havoc Virus. Then later, the whole truth about Drennan.

Meeting our other character, Luci, I get the feeling that Joe has watched a fair bit of Jörg Buttgereit material. Am I wrong? The deep long shots ala Der Todesking, and now a lady lying in bed with a corpse. Yeah, coincidence? Joe Meredith, I love ya, buddy, if you're a Jörg fan. Luci is alone like Drennan. She's sick and pregnant with... something. Best believe, you haven't seen anything like this birth! Trust me!

I love long shots! I simply fucking love them when they're backed by creepy scenery and great electronic music. Far too many films use the three to four second edits – or less if it's a blockbusting soul destroyer. Used correctly, long static shoots can sometimes generate a build-up of tenseness.

Accompany this orchestra with a host of practical effects and model work via James (Tantrum 2: Phantom of the Demon) Bell, Toby (Backyard Vampire, Lycanimator) Johansen and Joe himself, you have a fun throwback. The amount of colourful and juicy images on show throughout are worth the price of admission alone. It's like walking into a freak show tent especially watching the alien parasite spiders labouring away in stop motion. Plus some of the critters look like they're birthed from the old classic, Deadly Spawn. What more can I say? Oh yeah, there's a gruesome vomit moment to rival Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead. The point to all of this? I’m not telling. Some may not realise who the characters are and what they are doing – mainly, Drennan. But it all kind of makes sense.

South Mill District lives in a zone inhabited by other recent underground hit, Elliot (see review) and the zone is named Intelligent Science Fiction on a Limited Budget. This particular dreadfest reveals how a one-man-army exists – a fella called Joe Meredith. Fuck me! Writing the above credits felt like I was chanting his bloody name. In fact, I found relief just to type up two other names on the Special Effects credit. Man, this guy must sleep well if he gets a chance to sleep, that is.

My one quibble which loses the film a star in my rating – breaking the 4th wall!!! Why stare into the fucking camera???!!! That serves no fucking use!! It ruined Goodfellas, 2001 Maniacs, and many more! Only Oliver Hardy and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air could get away with it!!! Damn! Fucking hell!!!! Rant over.

South Mill District is a tense and gritty bite size chunk of morbid and intelligent underground magic which crams so much into such a short running time. It feels like The Omega Man in some moments and that alone wins a Creepy high five!




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