Runtime: 86 mins
Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby
Synopsis: As an orphan living with his abusive grandfather, life sucks for Stan. But he’s got it better than his best friend Donmer who regularly needs defending against the school bullies. When Stan discovers a murderous creature has taken refuge inside his tool shed, he tries to battle the demon alone until Donmer comes up with a far more sinister plan.
Grimmfest say: This first film in our Saturday night double bill of retro-styled horror is one that we’ve taken to calling “Salem’s Shed” around the office. Which should give you some idea of what to expect. Writer-Director Frank Sabatella takes the bare bones of Stephen King’s classic tale of vampire infestation in smalltown America, and confines the action to in and around a toolshed. The premise sounds altogether ridiculous, but Sabatella’s mischievous, genre-savvy movie uses it almost as a McGuffin, a very concrete metaphor – something nasty in the woodshed. The focus is less on the trapped vampire than on what is to be done about it and the various dark possibilities it presents. The end result is a droll and sympathetic study of an alienated teenager, coping with all of the usual petty high school peer pressures, who suddenly finds he has something rather more serious to deal with. Which might at the same time be the answer to all of his problems….
What I'm Expecting: Creature Feature! Who doesn't love a good retro-styled creature feature? I certainly do, which might be why this one is so high on my list. The nickname "Salem's Shed" used by the Grimmfest team intrigues me. I can't quite imagine how a film influenced by Salem's Lot would work around the confines of a tool shed. But the vampire infestation in smalltown America is a classic set-up that deserves to be revisited. Most intriguing of all, however, is this suggestion of the boys "sinister plan". When I was younger, I remember a film about a bullied boy in an American high school. And in this film, there was a monster (turned out it was the janitor) which killed the boy's bullies. I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, or even if it was a feature-length or a short from the Twilight Zone or something similar. But yeah, I'd like something like that, please!