As part of his final psychotherapy treatment, a mental patient is allowed to return to the basement of his deserted childhood home, so he can finally face his fears involving the death of his younger brother.
Currently making the rounds at film festivals across the country, Writer/Director Christopher G. Moore’s latest short film is entitled Knob Goblins, and it’s subject matter is exactly what you think it is. Mental patient R.J. (Michael Ray Williams) gets a temporary leave from the facility he’s been undergoing therapy at to return to his long deserted childhood home. He’s escorted by Dr. Blair (Yale Giffin), and a trio of men, Snake (Jaysen P. Buterin), Burton (Christopher Houldsworth) and Ron (Tom Gore), who are there to make sure that Ron behaves himself. The purpose of the visit is to allow Ron to face his fears, and renounce his belief in what he claims he saw seven years earlier, when he found his younger brother dead in the basement of their family home. Poor R.J. was so consumed with guilt over his brother’s death that he fell into a yearlong catatonic state afterwards, unable to speak for an entire year.
Doctor Blair explains to the others that R.J.’s brother bled to death, but not from a bullet or stab wound, someone cut off the poor kid’s genitals! To make matters worse, neither the perpetrator or the genitalia were ever found, which only made R.J. more paranoid. Blair also relates a quick story on how R.J.’s parents were very religious, and looked down on “Playing with yourself“. They claimed that if someone masturbated, the Knob Goblin would get them. So R.J. is brought back to the home to go back into the basement, and get some “closure for his psyche” as Dr. Blair puts it. And to finally accept that there are no such things as Knob Goblins.
But if there aren’t any such things as Knob Goblins, what tore off his brother’s snickerdoodle?
Running at just over 7 1/2 minutes, Knob Goblins smartly does pretty much everything a short fright film is supposed to do. Moore’s script is short, silly, creepy & succinct. It doesn’t waste any time getting to the good stuff, and it smartly allows Dr. Blair to recite all of the exposition necessary to know what’s going on as R.J. simultaneously investigates the basement. And while there aren’t any films that Knob Goblins tries to emulate, take a listen to all of the characters names and try to figure out what film is being referenced. Everyone here plays their roles as straight faced as possible, never hinting at any of the inherent humor of the story, which makes the story that much funnier. Although the film takes place in one setting, the cinematography (by Ismail Abdelkhalek) is crisp and clear, with some effectively eerie purple lighting inside the basement. Rob Gokee’s score is minimal, yet it adds a genuine sense of dread and mirth at the same time. It all ends with a nice dollop of gore, and a terrific final shot that cheekily frames the surviving characters and what’s left of poor R.J.
But in the end, it’s the Knob Goblin that steals the show, and designer Bill Mulligan has created something that looks like a long parasitic spermatozoa with teeth that slithers around and feeds on only one thing. Affectionately referred to as “Knobby” since the film debuted last year, the Knob Goblin has become extremely popular as Moore has taken him to festivals across the country to greet his fans. And Knobby has a lot of fans! Apparently most people don’t mind taking pictures with something that only wants to ingest their genitalia, most men anyway.
Knob Goblins is a hell of a good time that wants nothing more than to entertain, and at 7 1/2 minutes it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The growing popularity Knobby and his little film are experiencing is proof of that. Christopher G. Moore has crafted a fun and fantastic film that proves he’s growing as a film maker to be reckoned with (watch some of his other shorts like Disengaged and Foodie for proof of that), and personally I cannot wait for his next film. He’s also mulling over another short featuring Knobby, and I’ll be first in line for that one as well. I’ll make sure to wear a iron codpiece though, ya never know what might be slithering around a darkened theater floor…
Knob Goblins – 4.5 shrouds.
For all of you on Twitter/Instagram/Vine/Snapchat, you can get more information on Christopher G. Moore and his films if you look up ilikefilms on those various social media platforms. He can also be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/filmmakerchristophergmoore.
And you’ll soon be able to purchase items like DVD’s, digital copies, crocheted Knobby’s, condoms, drink coasters, posters and a slew of other Knob Goblins merchandise. To get more information, go to www.facebook.com/KnobGoblinsfilm, and get a gander at Knobby and his fans.