I came upon the realization and the need of making a choice. After all, there was going to be a Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness this year, and it would have 2 reviews per week, which is fine, I can’t ask for more from James Rolfe, but at the same time it would be the first year without me following his choices. It hurt, but I decided to continue with my program, at least for this year. I had a hard time figuring out which films I wanted to see and to see it all destroyed because I wasn’t warned that there’d be some sort of review system implemented, I would’ve done it the way I always do. Anyway, I’m continuing, I’m pushing forward and hope you all follow me.
A short film merits a shorter review, so I can have more time to think ahead and maybe turn some work beforehand. The film follows the simple arc of wanting and receiving, a small child is sick and wants oranges, his mother can’t afford them so she sells a bunch of toys, but hey, the toys are actually alive and care about the boy, at least the dog toy, who manages to not only escape but to find an orange for the boy. The thing is that in the meantime he travels to literal hell, made out of the carcasses of dead animals and devilish things, and much like Dante he must sink so he can rise back up.
The stop motion animation is just incredible, and while it might not be as perfect as the one that could be done these days, for 1933 it’s incredibly lifelike, and one can see how the craft of Wladyslaw Starewicz has been honed since his early shorts all the way to this family short film that has more than a few grotesque moment, which guarantees its place in the horror genre. You won’t be the same once you see a toy dog being chased by the reanimated skeleton of a chicken.