Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Hangman (2019) and Hangman II (2019) - Short Horror Film/Music Video Review

It seems like it has been quite a prolific year for composer/producer John Whitaker (1i2c) whose previous videos include Bed of Nails, and Zombie, as he is back once again with a third video based on his new album Special X, which features tracks inspired by the titles of Michael Slade novels. I received news of Hangman at the start of last month, then before I was able to put up a review I was contacted again to say a sequel to this short was in the process of being created. A few weeks later and that sequel is also out there, so this shall be a double review of both his new shorts/music videos. First is Hangman that was co-written by Whitaker and Richard Markworth, and filmed by Graham Bedford and Whitaker.

This is Western themed and Whitaker describes it as his first black humour horror comedy. In this one three cowboys walk through hostile terrain. One by one they start to be picked off by an unseen assailant, who hooks a hangman's rope around their necks. Just who could be responsible for this?

As always this is set to an instrumental track of electronic music. The usual urgent sounding beats as always compliment the characters walking around on screen, and this urgency adds to the growing paranoia of the three men. There are often filters used to make these videos stand out, and this time there is a sepia style contrast, complete with artificial film grain.

Hangman II is a direct sequel and with the killer revealed the story here now becomes much more violent. A game of cards turns deadly when the hangman makes his intentions clear. I found this one to be more enjoyable due to an increase with action over people walking around. I particularly liked a scene where the killer somehow shoots out ropes from both of his hands to ensnare his prey, and the amount of times characters stumble off their rock stools was amusing. There were some more interesting camera shots here also, such as the opener of a revolving shot from a drone as it slowly comes down over the men playing cards.

These shorts always have a unique style to them, and with Hangman and Hangman II this is no different. A great location, and music that lends itself so well to these types of films means these are again enjoyable to watch. Both Hangman and Hangman II can be seen on YouTube.


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