Reviewed by: Chris

Sometimes I want a nice warm story with an undercurrent of horror.

Other days I want a Mumbler.

Copy picture

Think Blue Velvet without all the nice romance. Let’s get down to stomach-churning nastiness. Stuff to freak me out, if you please. I can think of no better commendation for Mumbler than that given by two ladies on the way out of the screening. “That was really horrible!” They didn’t like it. I did. I must be one sick puppy.

There’s a bit of story. But as Mumbler edges on surrealism you can add several explanations later. Just enjoy it. Watch this middle-aged pleasant looking man with a bald patch. His overbearing mother reminds me of an overweight transvestite. He has either a speech or a brain impediment, I can't decide which. But I can't take my eyes off him.

The film opens with middle-aged mumbler man warbling incoherently into a tape recorder. Then he plays it back to himself appreciatively. Mummy lets him go out to ‘play’ in the woods and countryside round about. He hits things with his stick or pokes them (if they’re covered with maggots, for instance). Full of the mucous laden joys of a leaden spring, he prances in the trash as a woman’s dead body lies face down somewhere less interesting. A dappled cow looks like it was abandoned from an Atom Heart Mother set.

Let me emphasise that Mumbler is posh stuff. Beethoven’s 7th and 9th blare ominously (remember the music of the head-gouging trip from hell in Irreversible?) Not to mention a bit of Die Walkurie or Mozart’s D minor Requiem. This elevates things nicely, thank you. We don’t want you getting the wrong idea. As we dwell on a child’s blood-stained playsuit or a tasty chunk of cow poo.

Somewhere an apparently normal guide is giving a countryside lecture to a group of people. They stand with their mouths open as you hope that their mindless intentions are not too harmful. But such a rapt audience can throw the most intrepid speakers off-balance, and this one soon goes rampaging in the woods.

Mr Mumbler sensibly hides in the bushes as speaker-man starts stripping off and cooing, “Come to Daddy!” I won’t spoil the next bit – it is tooooooooooooo good!

The Mindless Ones (yeah, more mindless than Mumbler) see the nice baldy-head man as a sort of saviour maybe. Sod that. He deserts them to their own bloody end.

If you are sick to the teeth of cutesy little ‘horror’ films where the monster has an E.T. makeover and turns out to be a lovable 12-year-old all along, pine in your deserted dumptruck of a rat-infested geek-room no longer. Mumbler will hit all the right nasty notes for you. And if a blood-stained disembodied head whispers in your dreams, “Can Daddy have a kiss?” you’ll know what to do. Take a plastic bag and don’t use it to upchuck.

This is an outstanding short film. Fantastic timing, creative use of low-budget special effects, brilliantly playing on subconscious fears. The low-key performances are spot-on. Lighting and sets flawless in creating an atmosphere quickly and effectively. Inventive and fearless.

P.S. To all the friends of these filmmakers – can someone please give them enough money to make a feature? Soon. Before Daddy gets you.

Reviewed on: 26 Jun 2008
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Blaring and showy horror flick goes for the throat.

Read more Mumbler reviews:

Amber Wilkinson **1/2

Director: Wim Reygaert, Marc Roels

Writer: Wim Reygaert, Marc Roels

Starring: Serge Buyse, Jan Coemelck, Piet De Praitere, Gunter Lamoot

Year: 2007

Runtime: 20 minutes

Country: Belgium


London 2008

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