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Portal to Hell!!! (2015)

by on 2015/09/13

PortaltoHell!!!2015“Butter it.”

* * * *

Sweet Shub-Niggurath and Zoth-Ommog, just how cool was this short film?

Dark rites summoning Lovecraftian Cthulhus in dank basements? Sinister demon-worshippers in their underpants? Thrashing synth metal? Rowdy Roddy Piper?

The movie had us at hell.

When we heard about this film, way back in the heady days of late 2014, I was we were just a smidgen broke from Christmas excess and extended bouts of intermittent unemployment. We invested in the Indiegogo campaign – cobbling together lint, buttons and nickels from our dusty pockets. Me, still lost and reeling from the cancellation of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil and huge fan of Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays, Hacker Renders, a big fan and long-time friend of Matt Watts, the film’s writer.

We were in.

A leap through a blue flickering hell portal of mundane workday life later, we weren’t disappointed by the TIFF premiere last night. Hacker bedecked in the Shirty Shirt perk crew shirt – me with my fan-girl Sharpie and fat stack of tickets. Nous ne regrettons rien. It was awesome.

Rowdy Roddy Piper gave his wrestling superstar, Prairie-boy all to this role as Jack, the superintendent of a red-brick gothic tenement, its every dilapidated cranny filled with a quirky, hilarious cast of needy tenants. Funny and commanding in his role as humanity’s savior, Roddy was all in – evident by his willingness to splash toilet water all over his face in one scene.

That’s commitment, kids. The man was and is a legend.

Part of the round-up of film shorts at the Short Cuts Programme at TIFF, it was the perfect anchor leg in the line up other films. Its fast, fun and funny action coming in percussive bursts, super-charged by the Steve Greene Voyag3er soundtrack – which delivered Kung Fury/John Carpenter-style beats.

Moodily-shot scenes, crammed with funny one-liners, deftly executed character moments, and dramatically camp performances, the short’s compact 11 minutes left us itching for more.

It was also fearlessly, hilariously gross, with shocks that came out of nowhere – like a folding chair to the face. (Spoiler Alert: Remember the scene in From Dusk Till Dawn when child actor Brandon Soo Hoo’s character was killed off? That).

With Vivieno Caldinelli in the director’s chair and Matt Watts supplying the script, no comic-horror punches were pulled.

I can’t imagine a cooler send off for a legend. Rowdy Roddy Piper left the ring on top, wielding some tentacle-busting justice.

Like the man said, “When Roddy Piper’s good, he’s doggone good. When he’s bad, he’s better.”

* * * *

11 minutes

Rated 14A

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