Award winning independent filmmaker Christopher G. Moore returns with Knob Goblins, his latest horror/comedy short film in association with Cinema Fuel Productions.
With several award-winning and exceptional short films already on his resume, particularly 2012’s Foodie (which was one of this writer’s “5 Best Short Films You’ve probably Never Seen“) and 2014’s Disengaged, there was certainly a very high standard already in place and a lot to live up to for Moore. So how did this latest effort measure up?
Read on to find out for yourselves!
Knob Goblins tells the story of R.J. (played by Michael Ray Williams of Between Hell and a Hard Place) a deeply disturbed young man, who has been committed to a psychiatric hospital after his brother was brutally murdered by an unknown assailant that was never apprehended several years prior. As part of his rehabilitation, R.J. is brought back to his childhood home by his doctor (Yale Giffin) to finally face his fears head-on as the final step of his recovery. What he ends up finding in the basement is a gruesome, retch-inducing creature that will surely leave every viewer of a certain endowment crossing their legs in discomfort.
As is the case with many of Moore‘s films, the camerawork and cinematography are top notch here, with a well-fitting score and high quality editing. This is a major plus for any film, but particualrly so for an indie release. Technial quality is absolutely not sacrificed here despite the low budget, which really helps viewers to get into it. Way too often, low budget films like these end up looking more like something that was shot on an old camcorder and/or a soap opera playing on a TV that was left in “demo mode” than an actual movie, but that is absolutely not the case here.
But what really shines in this one are the special effects. F/X artist Bill Mulligan does an asbolutely stellar job of bringing the titular creature (and its subsequent handywork) to life with outantading practical effects that have already earned this film a couple awards, including “Best Effects/Makeup” at the 2016 Killuride Film Festival.
That said, the film is not without its flaws. The exceptionally short runtime of just over 7 minutes really takes away from the overall story, not leaving room for any real character development, proper tension-building, or enough time to explore the backstory. It’s got a very “wham bam thank you ma’am” sort of “here it is and there you go” feel to it, which does tend to hurt the overall product for the viewer. Even so, the cast and crew do a great job with the short time they’re given, particularly Williams who continues to show why he’s one of the best actors on the independent level today and the film takes itself just seriously enough to really cash in on the fairly ridiculous concept, making it a very effective horror/comedy without relying too much on the typical horror/comedy stuff.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Knob Goblins is an exceptionally well-made bite-size bit of cinematic fun. It’s a quick romp through an amusing story with a great crew behind it – particularly Mulligan who turns the special effects quality up to 11 here. While not quite Moore‘s best film, and not really long enough to make a huge impact, it’s still a fun little gruesome quickie that requires very little commitment from its audience, and definitely shows why Moore is one of the better indie filmmakers in the game today. – 7.0/10
Editor/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
Wow, thank you so much for the kind words! The effectiveness of the practical effects is something that must be shared by a number of people, including Tom Gore for his knob wrangling…ok, that sounds bad. Ismail Abdelkhalek’s cinematography was perfect–you are absolutely correct about how important that is and had the model been photographed poorly it would have looked every bit the wad of hot glued latex and cotton that it was. Michael Ray Williams can sell even the most ludicrous situation and Christopher Moore is one of those very few directors who knows that less is more when it comes to effects. Hold onto an effect scene just a little too long and it fails utterly.
This short was one of the very best examples I’ve ever worked on of how a good team of people can make something come together, each one making an essential contribution.
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Thanks for reading and very happy that you enjoyed the review. Please keep us posted on any/all future projects of yours! We’re always happy to review stuff! =)