I have to be honest – I am a horror movie wimp.
Recoiling generally at the ideas of vampires, mummies, zombies – there are some notable exceptions of course such as The Walking Dead – I prefer to avoid any kind of movie that gives these characters any kind of prominence.
Not so writer/director Ben Chavda who, in lieu of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street which his classmates were watching but his parents forbade from so much at glancing at, spent his childhood most happily in the company of the terrifying denizens of the Universal Monster films (the subject of a planned revival).
“Everybody at school was growing up with Jason and Freddy, but I wasn’t allowed to watch those movies. At some point I discovered that I could pretty much get away with watching anything as long as it was black-and-white. So I grew up getting scared by older films on AMC like the Universal Monster films or Them! or The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
And now he has distilled this long standing love of these classic scare flicks into Titano!, a deeply affecting short film which io9 quite perfectly describes as a “Blending [of] Pixar’s Tone and Universal Monsters.”
From the opening and closing titles to the beyond superlative work of the late Irwin Keyes, a character actor who featured in The Jeffersons and The House of 1000 Corpses, Titano! is a brilliantly-realised homage to the films which defined Chavda’s childhood and gave so much scary pleasure to so many.
It’s great appeal lies in Keyes’ portrayal of a man who once ruled supreme as terrifying denizen of the film night, Titano!, but who is now so forgotten that he spends much of his time alone in his apartment remembering the good old days.
That is until one, quite memorable, night …
Titano! is a joy to watch – a film Chavda describes as a “a love letter to all those great character actors who’ve touched our lives” and one the most profoundly moving movies I’ve seen in quite some time (all achieved, it should be added, with no dialogue at all; that’s how good the film and lead actor Keyes are).
You can find out more about the film and Chavda’ thoughts on it as io9.