Written by: Ron Cotton on February 1st, 2006
Directors: Chad Eivins, Eric Stanze, Tommy Biondo, Todd Tevlin, Jason Christ, Steven M. Lashly, Quinn M. Bottof, Arron Crozier
Writers: Chris A. Guiney, Tommy Biondo, Steven M. Lashly, Quinn M. Botthof, Aaron Crozier, Anthony Sa, Matt Sinopole
Cast: Jamie Ebert, Ryan Hudson, Charles Spencer, Eric Shobe, Eli Russell, DJ Vivona, Tommy Biondo, Chris Grega, Robert Daley, Barbara Barrett, Sean Sanders, William Hyde, Caroline Langer, Wayman Branham, Paul Black, Micah Battson, Jana Thomas, Anne Freivogel
DVD released: July 22nd, 2003
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Sound
DVD Release: Sub Rosa Studios
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99
The Severed Head Network begins with the strange title Vomire or How my Cunt Discharged your Morals and Started Believing in Unicorns. Vomire is an experimental film that intermeshed several disturbing subjects allowing the viewer to create his own interconnections and draw his own opinions. This film includes shots of a pope, unicorns, family film, mirror images, bovine slaughter, consensual sex in blood and a man humping a cross. This blunt shock video is the most disturbing short in the entire collection.
The Faith in Nothing music video has soft lighting with slow motion scenes. Rhythmic goth dancing while raising the question, “Have you ever felt that way about me?” When the music hits full force, the female dancer goes further into a state of undress. The most memorable scene is when the actress was a color negative of herself as she caresses the color picture of her love in a frame.
Satisfaction enters with poetic narration of two newly acquainted lovers slowly falling into passionate love. Where does the thrill come from? Is it the surface level sex or is it all the questions that become answered during the heat of the moment? Unfortunately, the artwork draped over her bed was a large green light of whats to happen next. Reliving the past, the abused becomes the abuser in the finale.
Purple Screwdriver: Unwanted is a short music video of a violent teen with uncontrolled psychological rage rampages against unseen forces. Many inter cuts of industrial areas and movement culminating into an ending truly worth waiting for. Victim is a black and white film beginning with a death lit by a campfire with a hapless female witness seeking solace from Paul to take her away from the bloodshed. A twisted ending that wasn’t entirely unexpected, Victim presents itself as a worthwhile drama.
Sedgewick is a bewildered elder living between two worlds: Reality and his very own dreamworld. His presence switches between the two uncontrollably. Humorous falling into many different genera with signatures of other films. Very unique within it’s own right. Quickly goes from a somewhat normal film to the totally bizarre. LionTown is a humorous musical about everyone tired of the same old routine and ready to move on to greener pastures at any price. This humorous dark musical has a lighthearted side with wide appeal. Curveball: Pile of Junk is the music video which is a winner of many prestigious awards which stars director Eric Stanze. Riveting, vivid colorings, great visuals, and inventive camera work.
Personally, the shorts in The Severed Head Network after Satisfaction were enjoyable in every sense of the word. Ponders the notion if the selections of shorts by Wicked Pixel was truly intentional on their part or if these films are growing on me. For the most part, Wicked Pixel’s roots are based around horror and yet Severed Head Network is made up of three Music Videos and one Musical. Not a criticism but not what I expected from this release. LionTown and Sedgewich were outlandish entries, unexpected in this collection and much appreciated. The shorts take up a total of approximately 82 minutes.
Wicked Pixel doesn’t fall short on bonus features that true DVD collectors demand. The Original Open Title Sequences of the prior released volume 1 and volume 2. Behind the Scenes Stills has production shots from Curveball: Pile of Junk, Faith in Nothing, and Victim. My favorite production still is Jason Christ holding his Emmy in disbelief. Behind the Scenes Video includes Faith in Nothing (11 Minutes), Satisfaction (3 Minutes), Open Title Sequence Volume 1 (5 Minutes), and Open Title Sequence Volume 2 (6 Minutes). Trailers of Scrapbook, Ice from the Sun, Savage Harvest, China White Serpentine. The trailers have interesting set pieces and draw attention to the unique catalog of films that Wicked Pixel offers.
The video varies from depending on the short’s source. Some were filmed while others with video. Tape rolls can be seen at times but doesn’t disrupt as most televisions over scan compensates for that issue. In whole, the video quality of the mastered DVD is consistent with no digital breakup. The clarity of the DVD can be seen in the Jason Christ’s Curveball and Victims which are perhaps the most beautiful, in part being sourced on film stock.
The DVD Menu provided is difficult to navigate hiding most of it’s options in the background until the item is selected. Unsure if this was some scheme for hiding DVD easter eggs. This release also lacked audio commentary. Beyond these two gripes, The Severed Head Network is solid.
The Severed Head Network has hidden gems that must be watched at least once. Wicked Pixel is not only counterculture to Hollywood’s big budget machine but also delivers brave unique content in all realms of horror. With all the hype and murmurs about J-Horror, Severed Head Network is refreshingly different and is artistic horror it’s own right.
For more information about The Severed Head Network and other titles released by Wicked Pixel visit their website.