Mirage ★★★★

The neighborhood kids and I make horror shorts for fun, just run-and-gun little throwaways we usually write on the spot and shoot on my phone. It’s real guerilla stuff, full of sketchy sound, whatever light is available, and cliché beats. But you know what? Damn, do we have a good time. And what makes it all worthwhile is the blast we have screening it for friends and family. I used to think if I can’t do it like I want, then I don’t want to make a film, but these kids are teaching me that letting go of my Kubrickian-level OCD, and just creating something on the quick that we can laugh at and share with others over root beer and pizza, can be a surprisingly fulfilling experience.

This is how I felt watching Mirage, like Bill Crain was just doing what he could, with what was available to him, to make a film about something he was passionate about. But this is no throwaway. Sure, it would’ve been amazing if he’d had access to someone like... oh, I don’t know, Linda Fiorentino; and can you imagine a young Nic Cage as the killer (who B.G. Steers is clearly channeling... though before a time that was something one could channel!). Bill took what he could get. And I’m sure he was frustrated with some of the performances (just like I am when my nine-year old blows a take), and it probably didn’t match the exact vision he had going into the project, but through some miracle he’d been given a chance to make his astral plane slasher, and by god, he took that chance and ran with it! 

I don’t get this vibe from every low budget movie I watch. This felt special. This felt like it was made with love. If I’d made this and screened it for the neighborhood on the outdoor projector with all the couches and the fire pit - just like we did for the last short - the gang would’ve lost their damn fool minds! 

I’m shocked this thing doesn’t have more of a following. Hell, it never even made the jump from VHS! Where you at Code Red? Vinegar Syndrome? Arrow?! Let’s get this party started!

Watched as part of Edith Wharton's Collab!

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