Title: The Bighead

Also known as:
Edward Lee's The Bighead (Complete title)

Year: 2013

Genre: Short / Horror / Exploitation

Language: English

Runtime: 24 min

Director: Michael Ling

Writer: Michael Ling (screenplay), Edward Lee (novel)

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2405564/

Charity and Jerrica are visiting Charity's home town, and they go for a night out at the local bar. Charity brings up the myth of the Bighead when the bartender denies the myth, claiming it's actually true. Meanwhile, local boys Balls and Dicky are out for a dirty, good time. And somewhere out there, The Bighead is lusting...

Our thoughts:
After reading Edward Lee's "The Bighead" last year, and actually wrote a 5 page essay on it for an advanced English class (class was confused when I talked about all the murder, rape, nightmares of pissing nuns, the mega-sized Bighead cock, etc.), I was definitely interested in this short film when they were fundraising. Sadly I didn't have money to help at that point, but I kept the page saved to make sure I wouldn't miss it. I wasn't a huge fan of the novel, but I did enjoy some of that dark humor and intentionally over-the-top filth that goes on. It's not a novel I think badly of at all, even though I won't revisit it. However, the thought of seeing some of those things on screen had me curious. Would it even be possible to do it justice? And would it be really gritty and dark, or more Troma-esque considering the nature of the story?

This short film takes a chunk of the massive plot of the novel, and focuses on just a small snippet. It has no real beginning, and no real end. But it does introduce the main characters. Charity and Jerrica are two girls visiting Charity's home town. They didn't know each other before the trip, but there's a friendship brewing. They hit the local bar, where they realize mostly men go. They take a seat and start drinking, when Jerrica notices scribblings in the bathroom and by the bar - something about the Bighead. Charity tells Jerrica about the local myth of the Bighead, a freak out nature that parents scared their children with. But the bartender begs to differ, claiming that the Bighead is indeed real. Not only has he been seen, but they have found bodies... dismembered... brutally raped. Soon they meet a new face in town, a prist - Father Tom Alexander. He's there to rebuild the Abbey, which has a dark past that the town is desperate to forget. While the Bighead is roaming in the woods, killing and raping whatever he gets a chance to, two local boys are stirring up just as much shit. Drinking, raping and killing girls for fun, and they're soon headed to the bar that Charity and Jerrica are currently at.

This short film manages to introduce everyone really well, but it does feel more like a short film made to fund a feature. And I believe they are trying to make a feature, so it's possible. This short film is actually perfect in respect to the novel - the style, the atmosphere, the filth, it's all there (though I'm sure they wish they could've pushed it into something much more graphic, to truly respect the novel). The characters were excellent as well, I hadn't imagined any of them differently (except maybe the looks of one or two). The biggest problem here, for the watchabilty of the short, is that it seems made for people who already know the story. We're not sure why Charity and Jerrica are there, though they stumble around the subjects, and by the end of the short film we have only gotten to know the characters - not actually had a story evolve.

It's safe to say that this is a perfect short film for them to use if they are funding a feature. It shows exactly what they are capable of - the black comedy, the fucked up people, the gore, the nudity (though we're only treated to the boobs at this point), etc. I am surprised that it's as well made as it is, even the make-up on the Bighead is spot on. Though the short film ends when we've finally met all the people, I think it was a joy to watch because it stays true to the novel. The novel itself wasn't deep or meaningful, so why should the short be? They have managed to do exactly what the novel did, and I really respec that. It's rare to adapt something this well. It's a great tease for the, hopefully, upcoming feature. If they keep this up and are ready to go all the way with it, we're in for a fucked up, silly, over-the-top treat.

Positive things:
- Stays very true to the novel. It even feels like the same people.
- Great make-up on the Bighead.
- Much more well made than expected. It could easily have fallen into Troma territory, but luckily it didn't.
- Doesn't shy away from being graphic.
- They're planning a feature.
Negative things:
- The novel is even more graphic.
- As a standalone short film, ignoring the novel, it's quite weird how it has no real beginning or end.

Gore: 2.5/5
Nudity: 3/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 3.5/5
Comedy: 2/5

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