The Black Ghiandola

The Black Ghiandola ★★★

You could do worse than to spend 15 minutes on Halloween watching a Horror film made as the dying wish of a Make-A-Wish kid.

The sheer number and scale of talented people involved in this is insane, from the directors to the composers to the actors and all through. The script was originated by the cancer-afflicted teen himself, Anthony Conti, who is also basically the star here. It's clear he's not a professional actor, but I've honestly seen worse in plenty of Horror films. His script is also a pastiche of a lot of scenarios we've seen in other Horror movies before, but again...I've honestly seen far worse in movies that WEREN'T greenlit through the Make-A-Film Foundation. What's THEIR excuse?

This is honestly a fun little short that moves quickly and has good moments. It's unavoidable that you'll spend much of the time playing "spot the cameo" rather than just sinking in to the story, but there's nothing wrong with that. J.K. Simmons rocks it in this, and there are cool gore effects. Plus, the whole thing can be watched for free here:

If you go in not expecting much, it's a fun watch and I think Anthony might've had an indie film career ahead of him. The only disappointing thing for me actually was Johnny Depp. I know a lot of people were drawn to this when they heard he was in it, but he seems completely plastered the whole time, particularly if you see the outtakes. I know he's an alcoholic who was having lines fed to him through an earpiece for most of his films at this point, but you would've hoped he could be on his A-game for the dying wish of a kid? Well, Anthony seemed to have fun anyway, so I guess no harm no foul.

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