Two home invaders meet a particularly gruesome fate in filmmaker Jason Kupfer's very gory and blackly comic short Invaders, which puts hundreds of gallons of fake blood to excellent use.
It features a couple of robbers deciding upon their disguises and mucking about in their car before they knock on the door of the family they're about to terrorize. Before this happens one of them accidentally stabs the other with a knife, and it's a foreshadowing of their sanguine fate to come.
It all takes place as a family are sitting down for their Thanksgiving dinner, and as such has the best use of an electric carving knife you're ever likely to see in film, short or otherwise.
The pacing is well balanced, the action comes sudden hitting you like a punchline, and the film manages to be both hilarious and ridiculously bloody.
We emailed a few questions to Kupfer to find out some more about how he shot it and what inspired it.
Smash: What were some of the inspirations behind it?
Jason Kupfer: I've just always been intrigued by faceless/emotionless antagonists in horror films (from home invasion stuff like The Strangers, You're Next, The Purge to even the creepy animals in The Wicker Man). We never get to sit in on the awkward decision making conversation that must have gone into these mask selections. That just embarrassingly humanizes the characters and then there's just no way to take these guys seriously in a grueling home invasion-type scenario.
How and why you decide upon such gruesome deaths?
The pilgrims essentially dictate their own undoing from the very beginning. The driver is clearly overly romanticizing the invasion, so it only made sense to me that his demise be as overly exaggerated and theatrical as his fantasized version of the situation is. Plus blowing out over 300 gallons of blood through someone's face just seemed like the right thing to do.
How do you go about balancing and pacing horror and dark comedy in a short film?
The film leans just a bit more toward dark comedy I think, but I definitely didn't want the horror element to feel like a weak supporting foundation to that. The element of real danger still has to exist for the relief to pay off. Regardless of the ridiculous opening exchange, we're still about to potentially witness two guys terrorize an unsuspecting family....though now we're just waiting around with them awkwardly before anyone even comes to the door. There's an unsteady footing between both genres before just diving full-on into complete ridiculousness. It was a fun trade-off of overly comedic rhythm with occasionally suspenseful pacing in edit.
And what’s next for you guys?
I'm hoping to move forward with one of the features that I've been kicking around for a bit, but most likely we'll end up running through one more short before then. We still have some of this blood left over, so we might as well use it for something.