“Tampoon” (SQFFT 2016): Possessed Tampon Takes Control in Uncomfortably Fun Horror Comedy Short


Opening with close-up shots that make routines of regular female grooming seem much more squirm-inducing than usual, director Jeanne Jo’s horror-comedy short film Tampoon (U.S., 2015) goes on to provide more visuals likely to make viewers both groan and laugh uncomfortably, sometimes at the same moment. Jo has made a fun film that features a possessed tampon as one of its three characters.

Tampoon opens with Miranda (Alexandra August) getting dressed up and readying for a date, including inserting a tampon. Her suitor Sean (J.J. Dunlap) – to use the term “boyfriend” would be stretching the definition of that word, judging from his boorish behavior – shows up dressed to impress no one. He would much rather stay in and simply have sex than escort Miranda to the party to which she is looking forward. Her expressions show that she questions her choice in male companionship, especially when Sean bluntly answers a question of hers that seems to take out whatever minute degree of charm he has in him.

Alexandra August stars as Miranda, a young woman whose woes stem from a boorish date and a possessed tampon in Tampoon.

Miranda comes up with a compromise, and as she attempts to pull out her tampon, things begin to get both absurd and weird. This is when the horror comedy level escalates.

Alexandra August seems to have a menstrual period theme in her cinematic work recently, as she co-wrote and stars in Vinyasa Flow (2016), about a woman whose period starts during yoga class. In Tampoon, August shows a bubbly screen presence with a flair for comic timing. J.J. Dunlap also gives a good performance as a no-goodnik guy on the make, playing the part believably without overdoing it.

Jeanne Jo, who directs from a screenplay that she co-wrote with Nicholas Musurca, shows a strong aptitude for visuals and keeps things rolling at a steady pace, aided by Serena Kuo’s cinematography and Matt Zunich’s editing. Tommy Walter’s score sets the perfect tone for both Tampoon’s suspensful and comic moments.

Currently on the festival circuit, Tampoon is an amusing short film that shows Jeanne Jo and her cast and crew to be talents to keep an eye on for the future.

Tampoon: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Tampoon screens at Scream Queen FilmFest Tokyo (SQFFT), October 22-28, 2016.


Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.