Review: The Code (Splatterfest Winner)

Apologies for the silence lately, but we’re back with an new review of an interesting film. We were contacted by Taylor Brandt, one of this short film’s actors/crewman, and asked to review it. I did as such. The film is called The Code and is a short six-minute comedy-horror piece, perhaps parody is the best genre. It played for the Splatterfest Festival in Houston where it won eleven awards including Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Editing, Best Kill, Best Splatter. It’s basically the Return of the King of the Houston Splatterfest competition field. The filmmakers went on to post the short film to Funny Or Die, where it’s been viewed over 11,000 times and holds a 93% Funny rating. This is where HTTP’s journey begins.

The Code is short, sweet, and simple, which is exactly as it should be and is the reason it succeeds. A couple is spending a lovely evening in the middle of a park, maybe not the best date location, when zombies attack. I’d rather not spoil the entire plot because you can watch it yourself in six minutes, but Freddy Krueger (copyright-free version), a vampire and Bigfoot also make appearances. It’s one of those “what if…all of these different film monsters existed in the same universe” plot premises. Except director Mark Blitch (Brandt plays Shaun the Zombie) doesn’t try to be dramatic or serious or even scary about it. He laughs about it, considering how weird it would be if these different characters were to not only live together but attempt to co-exist.

What can I say? I watched the entire thing and I even watched it and second and third time both because I enjoyed it and because I wanted to get my facts straight for this write up. It’s a low budget (as in I would imagine no-budget, but something probably went into the makeup and character effects) film where much of the crew are also the actors. Simple lighting, simple camerawork. Clever camerawork on the kills so there’s enough blood to make it comedically realistic but not to the point of requiring high-level special effects work. I’ve got to say, I enjoyed it. The writing was quick and humorous and played with the concepts really well, and you can tell everyone enjoyed the material and was having a good time making it come to life.

I haven’t seen any of the other Houston Splatterfest nominees from this year, so there’s only so much I can say. But, speaking from the perspective of someone who also wants to move into the film industry and knows that creating actual product is the way to do so, I will say this. The Code is a solid, finished product that everyone involved can show off. Hell, it has an IMDB page, which by itself it awesome. Beyond that, this crew made something they could enjoy and the Houston crowd rewarded them for doing so. Mr. Brandt sarcastically remarked that we could, by all means, turn it off early if we hated it. I could have, but I didn’t. I watched it and I watched it again and I had a fun six minutes doing so.

I would highly encourage all of you to do the same. Enjoy it, and maybe, for those of you also wanting to make your own short films, you can take something away from it. No doubt making The Code was not easy but it is definitely feasible and fun. I, for one, am inspired. Check it out in the link below, and comment so Taylor and company can see your love (and hate, if you so wish).


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