[NIGHTSTREAM] BUFF SHORTS – TRIGGER WARNING

Lifelike
Directed & Written by Jay Reid
Starring: Richard Jutras, Paula Davis, Tobie Pelletier

A man sits in a hotel room. A figure is covered on the bed. Two others observe his behavior and what comes next. 

This short made me profoundly uncomfortable, but that’s a good thing. With a title like “Lifelike” happens, I always assume it’s a sex doll. Don’t you? However, with this short, I fucking blown by what happens. It’s almost a shame to give away the reveal, but it’s worth discussing.

The figure underneath the bed is a doll, but it’s a child doll. The man is a pedophile, a part of his rehabilitation when he’s just released from prison. There are weirdly three sides to this argument. One is the therapist. She says that this is an experiment, and she needs to know if this works. The other is from the doll maker. He needs to know if this works because he wants dudes like this off the streets. Then that of the pedo, who doesn’t have a side and wants his “desires” fulfilled. (So grossed out typing that.)

It presents a moral question of what we should do with pedophile’s straight out of prison. How should society/therapists/people handle pedophiles? What work is there that needs to be done? The questions remind me of the moral questions asked at the end of Gone Baby Gone, and it really sticks with you.

SCORE: 8/10


Life Is A Burger
Director: Patrick Sean O’Brien
Starring: Femme Brulée, Patrick Sean O’ Brien

Patrick, who has ALS, dreams of sex and burgers. 

I went down a bit of a rabbit hole after watching this short to find out more about Patrick Sean O’ Brien cause this short was so fucking fantastic. The message is clear, with it being the suppression of the things that he can’t have anymore because of the ALS. The editing is fantastic, and the beats are sick. Femme Brulée is magnetic as she does a great burger burlesque routine. With this short being under 5 minutes, it’s something truly remarkable. It’s clever, crazy, and cool.

SCORE: 10/10


Uplift 
Directed & Written by A.K Prasad and Rebecca Kahn
Starring: James Action, Soli Jay, Freya Joy, Marc Gammal

A man loses his son, and things seem to be on the up & up for him. 

Oh man, this short had my mouth drop completely when the credits started to roll. You think you’re just getting a tale of a man admiring a dude who gathered balloons and uplifted his house, right? Nope! Uplift is a somber short film because the main character lost his child and his wife. The foundation that he created is destroyed, and there’s no way he could go on. It’s a devastating short because it’s almost the calm before the storm in a lot of ways before you get to that finale. A.K Prasad and Rebecca Kahn created something that had my jaw to the floor.

SCORE: 9/10


Karaoke Night
Director: Francisco Lacenda
Written by: Francisco Lacenda & Amarino França
Starring: Rita Borges, Francisco Lopes, Fernando Alle, Eliezer Pereina, André Torres

Two tourists think they’ll score with the hot karaoke singer, but she has other plans for them in mind.

Karaoke Night was not only weird, but it was b-movie goodness that I need more of in my life. It has an otherworldly Twin Peak-esque vibe to it while still being space monster fun. I love the overall short because it was so in a world that says, “Yeah, this happens a lot,” and so few people can get away with that, but this makes you also feel like you’re in with the world as well. Also, Francisco Lacerda, PLEASE send me the song! The song playing in this short, ‘Karaoke Night’ sounds like a friggin’ dream.

SCORE: 10/10
SONG: 100/10


Changeling
Directed & Written by Faye Jackson
Starring: Lara Belmont, Archibald Burt

A tired mother starts to notice strange occurrences surrounding her newborn baby.

So, in my understanding of a changeling, it’s a kidnapped person, and a fairy assumes the kidnapped person’s identity. According to Sady Doyle’s book, Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers, “fairies also stole adult women from time to time, especially pretty ones or nursing mothers.” I loved this short for simply teaching me new folklore I did not even know, but also, it’s so properly well done to fit what I now know about the legend.

The little things that kept culminating at this woman’s baby’s presence were already alarming, but being kidnapped and replaced with a creature who wants to take care of your baby? The fuck. Changeling was shot beautifully but still creepy enough to make you squirm.

SCORE: 8/10


Catatonic
Directed & Written by Brian Zahn
Starring: Tommy Ramone, Glen

A cat dad mourns the disappearance of his runaway cat because of that damn bird. 

Okay, hear me out, I liked Catatonic, but it felt too much for me to steady keep my focus on. I mean that this short has everything, a devoted cat dad, some gross antics, some poo in a diaper, a lost cat found, but I sat in my chair like, what was the point? As a cat owner myself, I absolutely get the devastation of losing a cat, but this short felt so over the top that I needed to look away at times (the diaper part was that for me), but also couldn’t look away because I wanted to know what was going to happen with the cat dad and if his beloved was coming back to him.

SCORE: 5/10
GLEN: 10/10


Santa Sangria
Directed & Written by: Baptiste Grandin & Rosen Tanenbaum
Starring: Sara Fougénes, Oscar Castellet, Jules Maingault

Three men come to a restaurant and order two beers, but the third man orders a sangria and something extra. 

I LOVED THIS. It was a great short, sweet, and to the point type of revenge story. If you’re wondering what the dude ordered, he orders a sangria and a blowjob. When the waitress goes into the back, she pulls out her DivaCup and mixes the Sangria with the period blood. It’s wild, but not out of the realm of imagination for anyone (especially a server) who gets harassed daily. Just *chef’s kiss*.

SCORE: 10/10


Gacha Gacha
Director: Dave Jackson

A gacha collector spends their day trying to collect the latest releases, but there’s a rival that wants it just as bad.

This was an interesting and cool one. I really wanted to know more about this world, so I kind of wish it was a little longer. I’ve seen the gacha vending machines but didn’t know that people were such avid collectors. I also wish they explained a little bit more about the weird looking Gacha that she got because that thing was bleeding and she didn’t notice…yet. Even without the many questions I seem to have. I still found this so much fun and captivating. I’m honestly ready to learn more.

SCORE: 7/10