15 Second Horror Series | Experimental Horror Series | Grundy Center, IA

Barking Vans, best known for their works in horror including “Candlelight”, “Typo”, “Bloodbath”, and “Ready Or Not”, just to name a few, has struck a soft bone for the genre, as, in May, they released 5 15 Second Shorts for the annually held 15 Second Horror Challenge.

The first three, all of which were selected to be official competitors in this year’s festival, were released mere days apart, following a two day, three day, four day, five day between pattern. “Sleep Deprived”, “Tea Time”, and “Bloodshed” were all Written & Directed by Mike Barkhoff, who acts as half-half owner of the company, and has mastered several short films – of which many have won awards – including the aforementioned “Candlelight” and “Ready Or Not”. While two of those three were selected to compete, the forth entry, “A Seat In The Dark”, by Ashtun O’Rourke, seems to be getting the most praise, and for good reason. While all have made productive use of a tool that the other missed out on (makeup, timing, scenery, audio, etc.), “Dark”‘s predominant use of makeup effects with the bloodied reveal of O’Rourke’s character seems to be an obvious standout.

The 15 Second Horror Challenge by Barking Vans has so far opened to positive reception, and it shouldn’t be a surprise with their recent spawn of positively-reviewed releases, including “Chapters.” Season 1, which just aired it’s finale, and now focusing on more book trailers from often not-as-sought members Josey Davis (of “Locked Twist” & “TBD”) and Zach Delfs (of “Zach Attacks”), one of which, Davis’ “Asylum” has already been released to excellent reviews. However, if one were to capture the attention, it may be the fifth “entry”, pushed last, which acted simply as the “horrifyingly good news” that “INFINITE.”, the first feature film of Barking Vans’, written and directed by Barkhoff, is out on YouTube for free on September 9th. This seems like a surefire promise that the film, just like most of what is released from the team, will garner more positive reception.

In the recent days, Barking Vans has celebrated more wins for their “Into the Wild” trailer, which won “Best Small Trailer”, and for Barkhoff’s aforementioned “Candlelight”, to which his honing won him “Best Directing”. It seems like they are cementing their place in for a solid well-rounded year, with “INFINITE.” in September, “Horror Fest Volume 2” in October, and Lil Squid’s debut album, “Squid Thoughts” out in November. With next year being a yet unknown canvas (none of the enterprise’s web series’ have been renewed or cancelled yet), we should stop worrying about whether Barking Vans CAN do it, and start accepting the fact that, regardless of ANY odds facing them, they have more than likely probably found a way TO do it.

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