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Night of The Hell Hamsters (2007)
13th May 07
Never ever play with an Ouija board when babysitting a house that has hamsters as pets! If you do, then expect the furry little mites to start chuckling like Gremlins on speed and take to noshing on the contents of your fella’s underpants. Welcome to Night of the Hell Hamsters. Like it’s furry villains it’s short, speedy and occasionally a hoot!
Budgeted at a teeny weenie ten thousand quid co-writer / director Paul Campion’s fifteen minute short bristles with an affection for the genre and displays enough invention of its own to feel both familiar and fresh at the same time.
Campion, who also appears in the movie as ‘Giant Zombie Rabbit’ and can be seen in the extras plonking gore on actor Pete Connell, started out as a horror illustrator before working on as a texture painter on the likes of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the forthcoming Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and the vampire yarn 30 Days of Night.
His pacing of Night of the Hell Hamsters ensures that Paul O’Neill’s (as Karl) dodgy acting doesn’t linger too long on the screen and his framing and lighting are inspired - take a look at the scene when Julie (Stephanie Ratcliff) pops outside the house to a sea of mad hamsters and a colour scheme that would make Argento blush.
The black and white movie playing out on TV in the background as babysitter Julie and her boyfriend Karl’s evening unfolds, featuring zombie rabbits, is nicely done. Check out the making of this movie within the movie on the disc, it’s worth a browse. Sure you can see the strings on the hamsters but so what. It just adds to the charm.
Campion is currently in New Zealand working on several horror feature film projects of which no further details are presently forthcoming. If he can find actors to match his visual flair and deliver the tongue-in-cheek dialogue then there’s no reason why his next feature shouldn’t push him into the spotlight proper.