After seeing the five short horror films director Armando D. Muñoz made between the years 2000 and 2008, I can’t imagine why no one has thrown money at him to do a full-length feature. Perhaps he’ll make one for his recent horror novel, Hoarder. And no, it has no connection to the movie The Hoarder starring Mischa Barton. So let me touch upon his novel before I get to his short films.
Hoarder was born (from a sick mind!) to be a repulsive exploitation slasher flick. It throws us to the trash right from the very beginning. A group of friends breaks into the house of the local hoarder—a huge, disgusting woman infamous for building her collections by stealing from others. They are on the hunt for a stolen bicycle and a kidnapped cat. No sooner do the kids discover the nauseating circumstances under which the hoarder chooses to live, including rotten food covered in bugs, dead or near-dead animals, and bodily fluids and excrement everywhere (this novel is not for the squeamish), than she returns home. You could easily read this one in a single sitting, for the action, horror, brutality, and suspense come nonstop as the kids try to dig their way out of the heinous world the hoarder has built. But she plans to drag them deeper into it, and she has home advantage in a sea of unthinkable substances and life forms….
In his short films, Muñoz delves into the sexually perverse and the disgusting—think Frank Henenlotter movies like Bad Biology and Brain Damage if they were even more twisted. However, although the situations in Muñoz’s movies are over-the-top with plenty of campy humor and elements of schlock cinema, he manages to make them feel like genuine horror movies. Absurdly deviant killers, instead of being as strictly ridiculous as they sound, are presented so effectively from a horror perspective that they are simultaneously creepy and disturbing.
Muñoz knows horror and understands how to use each aspect of it—visuals, sound, concept. Watching his films, it’s obvious that he has paid attention to what makes the best films in the genre so effective. So many indie directors these days want to make a horror movie like the directors they idolize, but instead of crafting a horror film, they simply film a horror plot. There’s a huge difference. For instance, Muñoz will make a sleazy, satirical stalker film about an obsessed killer rambling about panties, yet still deliver a sense of the horror the main character in the film is experiencing. Many horror directors releasing films today attempt to capture the spirit of the movies they loved growing up, but with his 10 to 20 minutes films, Muñoz puts most of those self-proclaimed throwback films to shame.
Here’s a brief rundown of his five short films, complete with some freaky and explicit stills.
THE KILLER KRAPPER (2000)
The Killer Krapper is the most blatantly tasteless of Muñoz’s films and doesn’t take itself seriously (not surprising, considering the title). A young woman flushes her tampon down the toilet. But this is one killer krapper that prefers to earn its red wings without any help. So it chases her through her house, attempting to eat her!
Pervula is a trippy melding of black and white silent film and trashy exploitation. A pervert in a mask terrorizes a woman, and many of his actions involve anal situations, from sticking a candle up his ass to sending a fricking stop motion pile of poo to get her.
And yet, there are many notable nods to eerie horror films of the black and white era, particularly Nosferatu.
The score, as is the case with all Muñoz’s films, sets a perfect horror tone, and the footage of the killer is so chilling that he’d be the stuff of nightmares if taken out of the context of this film.
MIME AFTER MIDNIGHT (2003)
Damn. This is the one in which Muñoz doesn’t mess around. I could see Mime After Midnight being a full-length slasher, but that might actually water down its effectiveness.
A woman misses her bus at night on a deserted road, and the next thing you know, a mime appears. The woman is relieved at first not to be alone, but when the mime doesn’t drop the act and talk to her, she gets annoyed and begins mocking him. The actress absolutely rules here, and the silent exchange had me laughing out loud.
But then shit gets real. When the mime “mock” slashes her with a knife, she actually gets cut. Cue chase scene and fuck me with a candle, because at one point, it looks like the damn mime is floating after her. There’s suspense, grisly gore (that’s not CGI), and brutal attacks, plus that fricking mime sets a wickedly unnerving tone. This is really a mini masterpiece to me.
THE TERRIBLE OLD TRAN (2006)
This is a devilishly good time with a great 80s Stuart Gordon horror vibe. Three young guys decide to take a trip to the house of an old man rumored to have a big tentacle for a dick. They wear masks to sneak onto the property, and before long they’re falling victim to “something” that most definitely has a long appendage….
Sex and sexuality play an important part in this one. The homophobic dude in the group whips out his dick—complete with a Prince Albert—to take a piss in a fish pond, and it gets fondled by a tentacle.
He then has a nasty confrontation with some sex toys in the house (Muñoz’s gross sense of humor comes on full force) before finally meeting…the terrible old tran. Love this one.
PANTY KILL (2008)
A fun, obscene spoof of slasher films—now that’s my kind of movie. This one even begins with a “panty-panty-panty, kill-kill-kill” mocking of Jason’s famous “kill-kill-kill, her-her-her.”
A woman waiting for her man to arrive for some sexy times is terrorized by “Crotchless Panty Face.” He peeps in her window. He whisper-hisses like an obscene phone caller (remember them from the good old days?). He wants her panties, and he wants them crotchless. He wants all panties crotchless. He will cut out the crotches of your panties while you’re still wearing them. Oh yes. This one gets repulsive. Crotchless Panty Face even has a pussy puppet Ed Gein would, well, kill for.
Hell, Crotchless Panty Face wouldn’t have to tell me twice to slip into crotchless panties, because he is one studly psycho….
To learn more about Armando’s work, check out his website, Eek! Entertainment.
And finally, just when you thought Armando couldn’t get any cuter…baby pic!