365 Days of Horror, Day 14: Brutal Relax (short) (2010)

I can now say I’ve seen a spot of cinema in which a sand-encrusted Spanish man beats up several mermen zombies with a little girls’s corpse. Brutal Relax, a 15-minute short by David Muñoz, Adrián Cardona and Rafa Dengrá, features some quite literally eye-popping special effects and a quirky soundtrack fit for summer on the beach.

brutal relax

The latter of which Mr Olivares (José María Angorrilla) is desperately craving. The minute this wordless, would-be beach bum is discharged from a facility by a suitably nervous doctor, it starts to look as if it’s not a matter of if we’ll see something peer out from his perma-smiling veneer, but when.

brutal relax

And it could have been predictable; I knew nothing going in, but I expected the idyllic beach scenes to be broken up by Olivares going on a bloody rampage, murdering everybody in sight. Not quite. Not anywhere near quite. The remaining 14 minutes present a giddy exercise in smashing mermen zombie heads as if they were (probably made out of) papier maché, and said mermen zombies literally ripping people to shreds in a gleefully OTT splatterfest.

brutal relax

Which is an understatement. I can’t stress how much blood and viscera and exposed bone there is on screen; it’s camp enough to be comical (the aforementioned child’s head lands squarely inside the head of one of the mer-zombies), and the music and breakneck pace means it doesn’t have to stray beyond a non-stop massacre on both sides.

Watch out for the end credits’ photo montage for a bit of a chuckle.

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