What the fuck did you do to me, bitch?
Director : Eric Dapkewicz
Cast : Keith Bennett, Tess McVicker and Julie M. Gowan
So, for those that haven’t read this site before, I am transgender and currently in the process of changing from male to female, but growing up I was keen to take in any media relating to changing gender whenever I could. During that period I discovered a minor film studio called Mako, who specialise in making short films about changing gender….and one feature length.
So as I’m struggling to find horror films that I want to review for the second ever “Season of Horror”, I figure I might as well review the short film “Eleven”, something that I have watched enough times to be able to do the review without watching it again.
If you are (for some reason) interested in reading about my transition by the way, I talk about it in my personal blog on a semi(ish)-regular basis – From The Mind of Kate
So here we go….
Two friends go on holiday to Pleasure Island and have the time of their lives, but little do they know that their respective rooms are bugged and the company that run it hear about their plans to ditch without, which will seemingly be made easier by the fact that they gave false names. Peter (Bennett) returns to his room and receives a visit from Ms. Stevenson (Gowan). She offers Peter a bottle of scotch and informs him that he can get a special type of room service by looking in the bedside cabinet.
Peter swigs the bottle whilst he inspects the catalogue of available women. He eventually decides on a blonde Australian and inputs the code into the phone. All of a sudden an electrical signal shoots into his ear. Mild discomfort soon escalates his skin starts turning into a strange sap. Breasts soon sprout from his chest and his stomach shrinks. Gradually the rest of his body transforms into that of a woman. When the transformation finishes Peter is horrified at the results and Ms. Stevenson re-enters the room, renaming Peter to Nikki, and informs him of his fate of now being an escort for men around the site.
So another worthwhile short?
Let’s start with the positives and arguably the biggest drawing factor for me. I’ve seen a lot of films that have a portion in which a character transforms from one thing to another, including my favourite film (Willow, for the record), but none have ever been as well executed in my opinion as the transformation in “Eleven”.
Arguably the most high profile transformation in recent years was in the last “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie in which Bebop and Rocksteady are transformed from humans into a rhino and warthog respectively, and yet neither seems to experience any pain during their respective transformations. If your body is being changed then it’s going to hurt, and that is such a subtle, yet very important part of making the scene somewhat realistic.
It is the little touches here and there that make the transformation great, including when it is over and Peter can no longer walk without support because the weight distribution has changed.
For a short that only lasts around 25 minutes from when the opening credits start and the end ones begin, there is quite a lot that can go unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention. For example, when Peter thinks he is ordering an escort, he is actually unwittingly choosing which woman he will become once he makes the phone call. One of the more interesting aspects of the transformation is when mid-transition it focuses on an image of promotional material for the camp, including several of the women, and it makes you realise that there is a good chance that every woman you’re seeing there and then used to be men that were also transformed against their will.
That being said, outside of that time period of a few minutes there are quite a few flaws. Visually the film is not very pleasant with a green filter applied throughout, it’s not even slightly subtle. The acting also leaves a lot to be desired in places.
I’m going to leave it there because I don’t want to put people off watching this that were considering it.
“Eleven” is one of those short films that is genuinely creepy in the sense that there is quite a lot going on for such a small runtime. At just 25 minutes before the end credits come on they sure packed in a lot.
It’s not a perfect film, but it has one of the best transformation sequences in film, which is a true credit given the low budget and limitations.
Give it a chance.