Last Stop Station is one of two no-budget shorts films that recently appeared on my doorstep. Shot for around $1,000, Last Stop Station tells the story of a pair of tabloid photographers, three other-worldly creatures, and the chance meeting of a lifetime.
As part of a horror anthology film titled MONSTERDOTCOM, it’s no surprise that Last Stop Station reminded me of both Tales From the Crypt and Creepshow style short stories. Like those, and even the Twilight Zone before it, Last Stop Station is a “punch-line” short. You know, like the guy who gets his wish to live forever and then gets a life sentence without parole? Or the last man alive on Earth who hears a knock at the door? Similar to those, even though you have a fairly good idea of what’s going to happen, the ending still packs a surprise that pays itself off with a good laugh.
The weakest link in the chain is the acting. As the main actor throughout the film (Andy Kumpon) also wrote, directed, and edited it, I’m sure his appearance comes out of necessity rather than a love of acting. Trust me, coming from a guy who has been forced to sing on his own songs more than once, I understand the dilemna. Speaking of singing, Kumpon is also responsible for the film’s eerie soundtrack.
And while Last Stop Station may not win Kumpon any acting awards, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were able to land a directing or editing job by passing the tape around Hollywood. Despite the film’s almost non-existant budget, Kumpon and company are able to pull off some pretty professional looking shots, complete with some surprisingly effective special effects that show the guys certainly know how to get the most for their dollar. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the guys who worked on this film working in the industry within the next few years.
Last Stop Station ends with the following note in the credits: “This project was made for less than $1000, shot on video, and edited with scotch tape, so what’s your excuse? Don’t let a million dollar budget get in your way.” You can’t argue with that. Using a budget any of us could scrape up, a video camera not unlike the ones most of us own, and their own time and imagination, the guys behind Last Stop Station have produced an eerie and suspenseful short film that showcases their talents and does a decent job of combining horror and humor. And in doing so, they’ve managed to set the bar for “no budget” horror films pretty damn high.