Underground Film Journal

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Waylon Bacon: Short Films

By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 11, 2008

The occasion of this post is a screening Thursday Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. of the short films of filmmaker Waylon Bacon in San Francisco as part of the “Vive le Rock” indie music showcase at Mr. Smith’s. Bacon’s films will be showing in addition to performances by bands Gosta Berling and the Sleepover Disaster. More info on the show can be found here.

Grizzled old timer

However, if there wasn’t a screening and I had stumbled on Bacon’s shorts in some other fashion, I’d be posting them up here anyway. I’m a new fan.

Previously, Bacon’s name only pops up on the¬†Underground Film Journal as a regular at the San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival, but his stuff really needs to be seen in a wider venue than that. The above embedded film, Maggots, is just brilliant. It’s the kind of film that even though I know it has a “written by” credit for Bacon, I don’t know if the story told by this cranky Vietnam vet is true or not. Click it, watch it and stick with it. It’s one of the grossest things I’ve ever heard.

Bacon really knows the power of the payoff. “Gross” is pretty much the running theme through the three shorts of his I’ve watched so far on his website. But none of the films start off that way. They have a slow build that only exacerbates the uneasiness one feels when the disturbing parts come. These are very bold little films in kind of a subdued way.

Man with his lower jaw missing

I’m only embedding two shorts, so that this page loads faster. The short film Bob is a bit of a trifle and I can see it becoming a popular viral video if enough folks get clued into it. I recommend going to watch it, but I want to focus on Bacon’s more ambitious projects here. So, that’s why Maggots is above and Poster Boy is below.

Poster Boy is the way more ambitious film. It has a great look and a truly revolting special effect that makes the last couple minutes almost unbearable to watch. But, extremely funny and well done. And if you like these shorts, you can visit Bacon’s website to either watch more and/or check out his haunting paintings.

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