Happy Halloween from the NFBoo!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Seeing as how it’s snowing and blowing hard today, what better way to celebrate this chilly Halloween than with some spookerrific shorts from the National Film Board of Canada. We’ve got surrealist worlds, honking monsters, devilish visitors, chicken leg houses, and anti-smoking PSAs.

Batmilk (Brandon Blommaert, 2009)

“In this animated short, an oafish ghoul and his soft exposed brain are met with ruin when the brain is unexpectedly killed. Though paralyzed, the ghoul attains a fresh brain and is fed with new life. ” (NFB)

Ashes of Doom (Grant Munro, 1970)

“This short film was produced for The Department of National Health and Welfare to warn against the dangers of cigarette smoking. Set against the backdrop of a typical ’60s-era horror movie, a young woman is seen lighting up cigarette after cigarette. When a vampire appears at the stroke of midnight, she faints from sheer terror. But when the vampire closes in for the kill, he is hit with a nasty surprise…” (NFB)

Shyness (Les Drew, 1996)

“This animated short is a parody of the Frankenstein story. Dr. Frankenstein creates a monster only to find out that his creation is too shy to go out and frighten anyone. The good doctor and his malevolent assistant Trevor try to find ways of helping their creation overcome his condition. A film for anyone who’s ever been shy.” (NFB)

Git Gob (Phillip Eddolls, 2009)

“In this animated short from the Hothouse 5 series, two creatures wonder, What is a hole? They have different points of view. Their debate leads to an idea, an idea that changes the world. This is a story of practical magic.” (NFB)

The Wanderer (George Ungar, 1988)

“This animation short is an adaptation of Michel Tremblay’s short story ‘The Devil and the Mushroom.’ A tale of supernatural power, greed and violence, it involves a sinister stranger who single-handedly transforms a quiet village into the scene of a phantasmagoric nightmare.” (NFB)

The Visitor (David Barlow-Krelina, 2012)

“A small boy is left alone to play in a large and empty house. A dark cloud starts to seep in from behind the mail slot at the front door. As it fills the space, a monster forms. The boy runs away, but the creature is always near. The chase will not end until the boy discovers the source of his fears. The film uses a combination of 2D hand-drawn animation, 3D backgrounds and particle effects.” (NFB)

Bydlo (Patrick Bouchard, 2012)

“An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, this animated short is a tragic vision inspired by the 4th movement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Drawing on the composer’s brilliant ability to evoke work and labour in his music, animator Patrick Bouchard brings earth to life through animated clay sculptures, creating a tactile nightmare in which man is his own slave driver.” (NFB)

The Brainwashers (Patrick Bouchard, 2002)

“A man is taken to the doctor’s office, but it’s not for an ordinary checkup. A huge syringe is thrust into his head. Out of the syringe oozes a sticky yellowish liquid that magically turns into two sinister-looking men. These are the opening images of this chilling animation film, in which two chimney sweeps clear all the memories out of their victim’s brain. Fearsome puppets inhabit a world of strange objects. What goes on in a man’s head? A film without words.” (NFB)

Bone Mother (Dale Hayward and Sylvie Trouvé, 2018)

“A vain and arrogant youth dares to enter Baba Yaga’s living house of bones. What emerges will forever fill our nights with terror.” (NFB)

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