Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 19th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Various
DVD released: July 25th, 2006
Approximate running time: 180 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Various
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Small gauge Trauma is a collection of thirteen of the best short films to ever appear at Fantasia Film Festival.
Sister Lulu (Directed by Philip John) – Is a brief short about a disenchanted nun who is desperate to leave the monastery. She gets another nun Sister Lulu to help by faking her own death. Later that evening she is still trapped in the coffin waiting for her accomplice to dig her up and free her.
This short is beautifully photographed in Black & White. Its premise and conclusion are devilishly prophetic.
Miss Greeny (Directed by Tenkwaku Naniwa) – is the shortest film included on this set with its running time which runs about thirty seconds. To describe the action would give away too much when there is not much to it overall.
Tea Break (Directed by Sam Walker) – A man works on an assembly line at a factory in which he chops off human heads at the end of a conveyor belt. When it comes time for him to take his tea break he stops everything he is doing with the utmost precision. When his break is over he jumps right back into his gruesome work.
This is one of the more entertaining shorts included for this collection. It darks subject matter is told is such a baroque way that it is easy to forget the victims and replace them with animals who are slaughtered on a daily basis. The blood shed is high is this short which also ponders the question about slaughter houses.
Love from Mother Only (Directed by Dennison Ramalho) – A man is forced to hide his secret affair from his overbearing mother. His lover feed up with how things are going gives him an ultimatum in which he must finally make the choice between her or his mother.
This perverse tale about forbidden love and voodoo is the most disturbing out the thirteen included with this collection.
Chambre Jaune (Directed by Helene Cattet and Brunco Forzani) – A man accidentally witnesses his neighbor being murder.
This effective tribute to the giallo genre mixes S&M with stylized violence at the crossroads of depravity.
Flat-N-Fluffy (Directed by Benoit Boucher) – Is an animation about to stoned hippies who try to cover up the accidental death of the neighbors’ dog after they accidentally killed the dog when their gun misfired in the wrong direction.
This is a whacked out little ditty which despite its disturbing subject matter it does provides a lot of laughs.
I’ll See You in My Dreams (Directed by Miguel Vivas) – Ever since the death of his wife at the hands of Zombies Lucio has been roaming the Earth exterminating them.
Even if you have seen just about every Zombie film this one still has enough going for it to keep even the most faithful gore hounds entertained. Of note not only is the lead character named Lucio (Fulci ?) and the bartenders name is Dario (Argento ?). This film was shot in glorious cinemascope and it is one of the best shorts from this collection.
Abuelitos (Directed by Paco Plaza) – Strange things are a foot in a old folks home where young children are brought in for more then visiting the elderly people.
This one is filled with foreboding mood and breath taking photography. Many things are never fully explained in this one which only helps the imagination run wild on what is really going on at this place.
The Separation (Directed by Robert Morgan) – Is a stop motion animation about conjoined twins that has strong similarities to David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers.
Ruta Destroy! (Directed by Diego Abad) – Is bizarre musical in which the various characters spend their night and days trying to score drugs.
This is the most delirious short included on this collection as the various cast members just burst into song at any moment without any rhyme or reason.
Gorgonas (Directed by Salvador Sanz) – Is a tale about three sisters (Triplets) who become international pop stars. As their popularity grew their appearance started to change. At their farewell concert they revealed to the world that they had become Gorgons and that anyone who gazed into their eyes would be turned to stoned.
This visually stunning animation is one of the most compelling stories on this collection.
Infini (Directed by Guillaume Fortin) – Is a tale about a man who pieces together 8mm home movie footage of a recently deceased junkie who overdosed.
This is the most experimental and hardest short in the collection to appreciate. Its avant-garde style may be a little to artsy so most viewers.
L’ilya (39 minutes, Directed by Tomoya Sato) – Is a tale about a woman who photographs suicides and sells the footage to trendy night clubs who then project for entertainment.
This is the longest short included and at times it tends to drag. The story is an interesting premise and the visuals are brutally stark in their realism.
All thirteen short films contained in the Small Gauge Trauma collection are presented in their original aspect ratios. The transfers for the thirteen shorts included on this DVD look anywhere from good to exceptional in their overall quality. There are no problems with compression, artifacts or edge enhancement.
All the shorts are also presented in their original native languages and English subtitles have been included for shorts no in English. The audio sources all sound clean and they are free of any sound defects.
Extras for this release include a brief greeting/into from Jose Mojica Marins (Coffin Joe), Mitch Davis gives an overall of the shorts, television spots for the 2005 Fantasia film festival, a trailer for the Small Gauge Trauma collection and a segment titled “What is Fantasia?” which includes clips from television coverage of the festival.
Other extras which can be accessed if you select each short film separately include director/production company text bios, audio commentaries for all of the shorts except for Grandfathers, Gorgons, I’ll See You in My Dreams, L’ilya and Miss Greeny. Rounding out the extras is a production featurette for Gorgon’s, a music video for I’ll See You in My Dreams and a deleted scene for The Separation. This release also comes with a DVD insert which includes synopsis for each short and liner notes written by Mitch Davis. Overall Synapse Films have another great release with their excellent short film collection Small gauge Trauma.