Underground Film Journal

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Short Film: Help Wanted

By Mike Everleth ⋅ May 25, 2011

Unsettling. Sickening. Revolting. And that’s just to describe the make-up used on an actor in the first scene! Help Wanted is another thoroughly demented short film by master of the macabre, Waylon Bacon. James (Justin Lamb) is a fresh faced young kid looking to land a good job. Unfortunately, he interviews to work in the most vile warehouse on Earth. Yes, Help Wanted is creepy, gross and ghoulish — but it’s also absolutely hilarious.

This is Bacon’s most epic undertaking yet, in terms of scope, concept and execution. In his previous, shorter films such as Poster Boy and My Worst Nightmare, he’s always been great at combining the grotesque and absurd, then presenting those elements in an uncomfortable, deadpan style to create extremely original, humorous visions.

Corpse prostitute bleeding out of her mouth

But, it’s nice to see the filmmaker push himself to see if that vision can sustain a much more complex scenario, such as an abominable warehouse that processes dead bodies. Bacon builds the elements of Help Wanted‘s world very slowly. We know from the first scene that something isn’t quite right about this warehouse, but the full extent of of the evil goings-on is added piece-by-piece, from the warnings that employees load up on anti-psychotic medication, to shots of bone fragments dug into the ground outside to the full-on scene of hit men actually delivering bodies that need to be processed.

Bacon’s deadpan style makes this outrageous, implausible “business” seem completely believable. Thus, we go along with Jim as he’s asked to do things no normal man would ever do. He’s eager to please and just wants to work.

Hey, who doesn’t in this economy?

Please visit the filmmaker’s official website.

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