Hi-Death is one of those movies that reminds one of how much fun the process of filmmaking can be if you possess a certain amount of creativity and pluck. The general atmosphere permeating all of the five shorts that make up the gleefully gory Hi-Death is akin to school kids at recess, despite the abundance of blood and guts. Filmed across several cities with five separate directors, the five vignettes plus linking story that make up this shamelessly low-budget anthology serve up effectively enough “ooohhh, gross!” moments to make Hi-Death a morbidly good time…if that’s your thing.
The movie’s connecting story is a rather clever and contemporarily-minded string from which to hang the segments and speaks directly to the QR code scanning demographic to which the film is targeted. Jordan (Kristen Adams) and Lexi (Kate Durocher) are two fresh-faced teens from Whereeversville who are spending some girl time in LA. We know they’re naïve ingénue-types because we’re introduced to them walking down Hollywood Boulevard, all starry-eyed and flagrantly pointing out the sights like the tourists they are.
“…a rather clever and contemporarily-minded string from which to hang the segments and speaks directly to the QR code scanning demographic…”
Jordan is intrigued by a leaflet some dude hands to her, which asks her to scan a QR code, after which she will watch a short movie and then be given directions to the next stop on a sightseeing Terror Tour. Lexi, on the other hand, is disinterested in this weird game – she’d rather, not unreasonably, see some sights then head back to the hotel for happy hour. But she goes along with her friend, and we’re off — cue segment one.
Death Has A Conscience is a fairly pedestrian but very well acted (especially by segment lead Jensen Jacobs) tale of a junkie held captive in her cheap motel by a wimpishly self-reflective Grim Reaper. Jacobs transcends the material and acts her role with much more gravitas than the short really deserves. While this section isn’t particularly gory (just a little gross) and the Grim Reaper’s auto-tuned affectation is difficult to understand, the short is worth watching for Jacobs alone and nonetheless serves as a good primer for the remaining four stories.