The Short Films of Jim Van Bebber

My Sweet Satan, Roadkill-Last Days Of John Martin and Doper Shorts

Directed by Jim Van Bebber, Directors of Doper: Marcelo Games and Mike King 1994, USA

Starring: Jim Van Bebber, Mike Moore, Terek Puckett, Mark Gillespie

Dayton Ohio's favorite filmmaker has a collection of two short films displaying his early talents. The first two: My Sweet Satan and Roadkill are the best as they come off being extremely disturbing, gritty and just plain ol' nasty, a feeling Bebber always seems to capture in his work. His first full feature Deadbeat At Dawn is a shitkicking example of Bebber intense style, it is one hell of a low budget action flick.

Like with Deadbeat At Dawn Bebber takes the lead role in My Sweet Satan, he plays a fucked up druggie named Ricky. Ricky is known as "The Acid King" (guess why), an individual who spends his days tripping, getting high and hanging with his freak friends, he also spends time sacrificing animals to Satan (pretty standard guy if you ask me). The shit hits the fan when one of Ricky's junkie friends rip him off. This short is one hell of a dirty ride with some great evil and depressing music not to mention Bebber's performance as a grade A wacko. The feeling captured is like one of having rocks in your head and being heavily sedated, it just gnaws at you (ughh well its not that bad, its only a movie remember). It also features one fucking brutal death where a guy's head is repeatedly stamped into a bloody pile of mush.

The second short Roadkill: The Last Days Of John Martin showcases the daily practice of one crazy ass serial killer. This one is anything but high spirit material with some menacing music and a mean atmosphere. It has a wee bit of plot and a little dialogue, most of the focus is put on showing the surroundings of Martin and his insane ramblings. John Martin lives in a dreary hole (looks more like a torture chamber with the wide assortment of human remains and twisted souvenirs) where he spends his days drinking lots of beer, screaming at the TV and eating raw human guts (as opposed to cooked human guts). John eventually goes out on a road-trip and lures in a couple whose car broke down. He takes them home and.....well you know what happens.

The final short is not nearly as good as the first two due to the fact that its not directed by Bebber its quite tiresome to sit through. It's called Doper and appropriately so since the guys featured are bowl pack'in hillbillies. It's actually a documentary on the lives of some guys who make marijuana a part of their daily lives. The reason why the short lacks compared to the rest is the simple fact there are a lot of people out there like this, who wants to watch some losers smoke weed and talk, go out and smoke a couple joints yourself, you'll probably have more fun. All in all you should definitely give this a look, have an original for a pretty low price to my knowledge. Bebber's next film Charlie's Family will be one to keep an eye out for.



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