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Directed by Adam Mason (“Empire of Dirt”), Benjamin de Los Santos (“Awesome Runaway”), Alexandre Carrière (“Jacob’s Wrath”), Shelagh Rowan-Legg (“Flow”), Beau Fowler (“Express Delivery”), Will Gilbey (“Turncoat”), Joe Horton & Adam Mason (“Get Some”), Éric S. Boisvert (“Olga”), Daniel Bernhardt (“Fetch”)
Written by Adam Mason (“Empire of Dirt”), Benjamin de Los Santos (“Awesome Runaway”), Alexandre Carrière (“Jacob’s Wrath”), Shelagh Rowan-Legg (“Flow”), Beau Fowler (“Express Delivery”), Will Gilbey (“Turncoat”), Joe Horton & Adam Horton (“Get Some”), Éric S. Boisvert (“Olga”), Daniel Bernhardt (“Fetch”)
Find out more about this film here!

The folks who brought you LITTLE TERRORS and GALAXY OF TERRORS comes BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TERRORS – a collection of 9 short films mashes hardcore action with horror. I’m going to give a brief synopsis and opinion on each of these films and then be back at the end to talk about the film as a whole.

The first segment, “Empire of Dirt” is a HELLRAISER-esque tale of a man cursed to fight in an eternal battle for a past sin he can never make up for. A decent amount of gore effects and some rapid fire nightmarish images keep thing actioner pumping. It’s ambitious and a nice setup for what is to come, but ends all too quickly and left me wanting a bit more.

“Awesome Runaway” is a nicely choreographed story about a drugged man who believes he has powers and is fighting monsters. The dance between real life and the hallucination is interesting, even though the story itself is just too brief to give much of an impact.

“Jacob’s Wrath” packs more of an emotional and visual wallop, as a man copes with the loss of his daughter while fantasizing about having vengeance upon him in a post-apocalyptic world. While this is very short, the acting and cinematography here are very nice—especially the scenes where the fact that it isn’t the elderly man doing all of that kung fu isn’t made comical or too evident. This one ends on a powerful note and is one of the standouts of the collection.

Then comes “Flow.” Centering on two female soldiers in the middle of a warzone, “Flow” tackles the hardships female soldiers have during their menstrual cycle. Instead of getting graphic, the short leans more on the comical as the two discuss their own hurdles with “that time of the month” while doing away with an armada of invaders. It’s quick and funny and I think this film is made by a woman filmmaker…so mmmmaybe, I guess that means it’s ok to laugh about it??? Still to play it safe, don’t watch this one with your girlfriend/wife.

One of the best of the bunch is an extended fight scene between an Indian hitman named “The Postman” and an American. “Express Delivery” not only has some great fighting moves, but it also has the electric photography to match it. The camera flips and rolls in the dirt with the actors, which makes the scenes feel all the more in your face. This one feels like it is a small part of a much broader film, but the scene we see here is well produced, hard-knuckled fun.

“Turncoat” is a vague short centering on the action and less on the horror. Still there is an unknown threat in the periphery, it’s just never really resolved. There is some decent acting, a good amount of arterial spray, and some good moral challenges. But if you like stories wrapped up prettily, this one’s going to leave you disappointed.

My second favorite of the bunch is “Get Some,” starring LUTHER’s Warren Brown as a dude who loved it that the Apocalypse has arrived and is filming a reality outdoors show to celebrate it. Sure, the film riffs off of SPINAL TAP as the sound man seems to always bite the dust, but this short came with the right amount of energy, comedy, and gore at the right time. Also starring THE MUMMY’s John Hannah this is one of the best in terms of laughs, adventure, and alien zombie carnage.

“Olga” is a tale of murder and redemption as a home invasion leads to a mobster raising a young girl and training her to be the perfect assassin. It doesn’t seem like she remembers that fateful Christmas all those years ago when her parents were murdered…or does she? Predictable, but well made.

“Fetch” alludes to one of my favorite classic detective series THE ROCKFORD FILES in its opening monologue and it continues to have that kind of down on his luck detective vibe all the way through. This one finishes off the collection and I think it might have benefitted being slotted somewhere earlier in the film, possibly trading places with “Get Some” as it feel like it is less horror and more action adventure. It’s fun, just not a great way to wrap things up.

All in all, this series of shorts, for the most part, took the action part of this horror/action mashup the most seriously. Horror and action often go hand in hand, and often times as with ALIENS, NEAR DARK, PREDATOR, and more recently with DOG SOLDIERS and OVERLORD, it makes for a great mix. That said, if the filmmakers don’t pay attention to both aspects and give them their due, it doesn’t feel even. My favorites of the bunch; “Express Delivery,” “Get Some,” and “Jacob’s Wrath” mix that up effectively. The others in BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TERRORS are easily watchable, but don’t succeed as well mixing horror and action.

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