I have a feeling I will be spending a decent amount of time in the near future watching short films from Filmiracle Productions. Per their website, “Filmiracle Productions specializes in low-budget short films inspired by the cinema of yesteryear. It is our goal to provide fans of the world with refreshing and original movies that don’t follow the trends of today.” Based on the first film from them I’ve had the pleasure of watching, Phantoms of the Fog, I’d say they are executing their vision superbly.
Phantoms of the Fog is an Italian horror-inspired short film set during the Vietnam War. It’s main protagonist, a soldier, finds himself wandering aimlessly through the jungle. Eventually he stumbles upon something absolutely terrifying.
Director Chris Milewski does an incredible job recreating that classic style of Italian horror filmmaking. The visual similarities between Phantoms and other horror classics like the 1981 favorite Burial Ground are plainly obvious. The cinematography, lighting, and mood are expertly utilized to bring about the style that makes the Italian horror film one of the most popular subgenres.
The element of Phantoms that truly solidifies its interpretation as a Fulci tribute is it’s soundrack. The original score by Luca Coscarella sounded like it could’ve been lifted from work done by Goblin or Fabio Frizzi. Haunting synthesizer licks create an atmosphere of terror and tension that you don’t often see in a low budget, independent film. As if this movie needed any further validation, the director of the global phenomenon (and Bryan Enright’s favorite flick) Zombie 5: The Killing Birds, Claudio Lattanzi, simply said of Milewski’s effort; “It is Italian horror.”
If you’re into films like Tombs of the Blind Dead, Burial Ground, Zombi 2, or the like, this is a must watch. Milewski’s maggot-filled homage does not disappoint in any fashion. The thing I didn’t like about it was that it wasn’t longer. I’m not aware of the library of Italian horror inspired indie films that may or may not exist out there, but I’d love to see one that nails the concept this well made into a full length feature. I suspect there may be a subgenre of independent horror I am missing out on. In any case, I’ll definitely be making my way through the Filmiracle Productions catalog.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the best thing about Phantoms of the Fog is that it is available on YouTube. For free. So be sure and check out the video at the end of this article and enjoy the movie for yourself!