“Drool” (2011) from Jeremiah Kipp, in collaboration with Mandragoras Art Space, is an absorbing four minutes that is always evocative and atmospheric–alternating between disturbing moments, tenderness, and eroticism. Experimental in its storytelling, the short is dialogue free and bathed in mystery–and its leads in the “drool” of the title–a slimy substance of unknown origin. The audience is left to draw its own conclusions in terms of meaning. Placental/amniotic fluid at birth (with an actor nude and in the fetal position at start and finish), a body/life consumed by an addictive substance, bodily fluids exchanged during intimacy/disease transmission, and control/possession are all possible interpretations. Visually compelling, “Drool” is stark, yet stylish; using potent black and white imagery to lend a music video level of stylishness to abstract narrative. Director of Photography Salinoch and editor Scott W. Perry have created a sleek, flowing look appropriate to the title. Featuring expressive physical performances from actors Laura Lona (also serving as producer) and Brian Uhrich , a neutral space location, fog/smoke, and a haunting melodic score, “Drool” will linger in the memory.
“Drool” can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/33438309
There are several notable strengths on display in Kipp’s shorts. A sleek, fluid look adds much to both the feel and production value. CONTACT uses a stark black and white look to great effect, while “Crestfallen” utilizes a lush, dark color palette. There is skillful use of light and shadow. Cinematographer/editor Dominick Sivilli deserves commendation. Much is able to be conveyed without dialogue in these pieces, a testament to strong performances, writing, and editing. Narrative is shown through gesture, flashes from memory, and photographs. Well chosen settings are able to contribute a distinct sense of place. A haunting ominousness can be felt throughout, even in tender moments. Music is effectively chosen and adds much to mood. Both shorts feature nudity from their female protagonists, which rather than feeling gratuitous, adds to characterization, with characters being emotionally (and literally) exposed, stripped-down, and vulnerable. And CONTACT features a very effective bit of makeup and gore FX that is jarring and well-executed.
While any film featuring Savini is worth checking out for curiosity alone, I am especially intrigued about The Sadist. Given the strength of these shorts, I am looking forward to seeing what a feature from Kipp would hold in store. The new film features Tom Savini as a combat veteran with serious psychological damage who stalks campers and hunters in the woods . Currently in post-production, I would suggest keeping an eye out for further updates on both The Sadist and filmmaker Jeremiah Kipp.—-Cory Graham