Eating just before watching the mind-blowing horror short Mashed Potato Face is not recommended. Many readers can probably relate to the feeling of taking another bite of mashed potatoes when you’re already stuffed, and the queasy feeling that can accompany that decision. Well, that’s nothing compared to how viewers will feel while watching this short, and I mean that in the best possible way.
Daddy (Holiday Mahlow), his wife Alice (Jennifer Rogers), and their daughter (Jacqueline Cepeda) are having a normal, everyday, pre-dinner family argument about what’s about to be served as Alice lovingly peels some nice-looking spuds. Suddenly, their home is invaded by the titular villain (Lynn Miller Jr.) and the family is forced to sit down and consume mashed potatoes. The daughter has an aversion to them, though, and a defensive attempt on Daddy’s part leads to a sequence that will set jaws dropping and stomachs churning.
Writer/director/editor Joseph Graham — who also composed and performed the perfectly fitting synth score — has concocted a wickedly weird horror short with some decidedly dark humor. There’s a retro Eurohorror vibe — with an emphasis on Italian fright fare and lighting to match — and an aesthetic reminiscent of 1970s and 1980s horror cinema. The cast is great, with Rogers as the mother trying to hold it together and Cepeda as the terrified daughter giving standout performances.
The practical effects and gore gags from Special Effects Makeup Artist Rob Zambrano and Special Effects Designer Michael Comeaux are terrific. No spoilers here, but suffice it to say that potatoes aren’t the only thing on the menu in this outré outing.
Mashed Potato Face screens in the September 26th “Rude, Crude, and Occasionally nude” shorts block of Mr. HoleHead’s Warped Dimension, an online only film festival that runs September 24th–29th. For more information, visit https://www.ahith.com/.(4 / 5)