Take two severed but still fully functional heads and put them in an icebox in the basement of a psychotic barber’s shop that they share with a dismembered hand, and you have the kick-off to Mark Brocking’s blood-spattered horror comedy short The Barber’s Cut (U.K., 2015). As the heads communicate and come to grips with their dire situation, they keep their senses of humor about them and play upon the absurdity regarding their predicament.
A young woman (Alisa Arnah) and man (Lewis Georgeson) wake to find that they have been decapitated by a barber (David Whitford) whose talents lie beyond cutting hair and murdering clients. He also has a talent for reanimating severed limbs. Our two pun-slinging protagonists try to hatch a successful escape plan when they see him go to town on a fresh victim (Nathaniel Martello-White).
Alisa Arnah and Lewis Georgeson have solid chemistry between them, exhibiting spot-on comic timing. They are given fun material with which to work courtesy of writer/director Mark Brocking, whose screenplay is matched by his keen eye for well-framed shots and his sense of visual storytelling.
The Barber’s Cut looks impressive and the visual effects and makeup are all wonderfully rendered. Mark Brocking and his crew use a mix of practical and CGI effects, and the results are an appealing blend that had me smiling throughout the short. Props builder and art director credits go to James Innes 21 Films, and a terrific job was done there because the barber’s gruesome basement is an impressive feat. Director of photography Malcolm Hadley shows some fine work, lingering on suspenseful shots while taking a fast-moving approach to the more lighthearted moments. Music composer and sound designer Cliff Rossiter provides an amusing score that ideally matches the proceedings.
The Barber’s Cut is currently on the film festival circuit, where it has been picking up multiple awards. I first heard about the short after it won the Bloody Judge’s Award (Guest Judge Award) at the Portland (Oregon) Horror Film Festival in June. Check for future screening dates on the film’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thebarberscut/.
The Barber’s Cut: (4.5 / 5)