“An impressive degree of suspense…Oliver is the real deal”
Horror 101 with Dr. AC
This pairing of rising Midwestern filmmaker Oliver’s short subjects makes for a terrific double header, as both feature blue-collar male protagonists wrestling with older pieces of machinery with tense and terrifying results. The first, Restoration, sees muscular gearhead Brant McCrea picking up a rusted-out 1950 Fleetline Deluxe from its rustic resting place in the country, ignoring former owner William J. Norris’ veiled warnings about its dark history. Upon its arrival at McCrea’s Chicago garage, the murderous spirit of a young girl connected to the vehicle makes her presence known, with greasy, gory results. The cinematography by Marcel Morin is absolutely stunning; ditto Gregor Mortis’ witty, gritty sound design. But it is Oliver’s overall aesthetic that truly demands attention, combining graphic gore (courtesy of Cirque FX) and elegiac slow-motion shots within a testosterone-laced, beer-and-sweat-soaked atmosphere. Similarly, Air Conditions places gruff workaday hero John Fenner Mays atop a high rise apartment to repair a faulty A/C unit, only to have his hand trapped by a puddle of mysterious goo. This simplistic set-up earns an impressive degree of suspense – think 127 Hours by way of The Collector and you’re on the right track – capped by a hilariously sinister WTF reveal. Oliver is the real deal, and I’m stoked to see what else his twisted artistry has in store.