A loud ass punk band faces off with a demonic mime intent on stopping them from finishing their music video.

“The Mages of Rage and the Desecration of the House of Mimicry” thrusts viewers into a raucous world where a punk band’s quest to shoot a music video takes a terrifying turn. Directed by Jason Sheedy, known for his works such as “Checkpoint” and “Disembodies,” this comedy-horror short promises a wild ride filled with loud music, demonic mimes, and unrelenting chaos. As the bandmates, Johnny Buzzsaw, Ripper, and Kevin, face off against an otherworldly entity hell-bent on halting their creative endeavor, viewers are in for a thrill-packed journey through the abandoned home of a punk rock legend.

With its unique blend of comedy and horror, “The Mages of Rage and the Desecration of the House of Mimicry” offers an electrifying narrative that captivates from start to finish. As the band battles against the malevolent mime armed with invisible weaponry, the stakes are raised to exhilarating heights. Join us as we delve into the behind-the-scenes of this adrenaline-fueled short film and unravel the creative vision of director Jason Sheedy and his team.

“The Mages of Rage and The Desecration of The House of Mimicry” is described as a Punk-Band Horror Comedy. What inspired you to blend these genres, and how did the idea of a demonic mime disrupting a punk band’s music video come about?

I’ve always enjoyed the marriage of punk/metal music and horror films. There’s an energy the two give to each other that just feels right. I grew up playing in bands so this became an opportunity to mix my love of music and film in a way that I hadn’t done yet. The idea itself came about pretty randomly. I was chatting with my co-writer, Brett Brooks, about doing a horror comedy and I’d mentioned that I wanted to have a punk band in a haunted house, to which he replied “What if there’s a mime?” And then we were off.

Can you discuss the creative choices behind incorporating animated elements and transitions, and how did they enhance the overall visual storytelling of the film?

The horror genre branches out into a multitude of different sub-genres, so naturally, with us already mixing comedy and horror, it felt right to find ways to explore how we might blend some different visual styles as well. I’m also fortunate that Brett Brooks (co-writer/”Ripper”) is a super-talented illustrator and graphic designer so a lot of that was just letting him do his thing. So we’d travel down a bunch of “what if” rabbit holes and look for ways that we could exploit various visual gags to help punch up the comedy and build out the world more.

Comedy plays a significant role in the film. How did you approach balancing the hilarious moments with the twisted and bizarre story, and what was the key to achieving a great pace in the narrative?

Every decision was guided by what we thought would be a memorable experience for an audience. Something great about the horror community is that they’re pretty much on board for whatever you throw at them, so we just had fun with it knowing we were making a film for an audience that would embrace the twisted and bizarre. It took us back to the style of films we all made as kids and that was pretty liberating.

The film is evidently your most ambitious short to date. Can you share some of the challenges and rewards of undertaking such an ambitious project, and how did it differ from your previous works, such as “Checkpoint,” “Disembodies,” and “Fenestra”?

Yeah, this was certainly more of an undertaking than our previous efforts. The big challenge for me personally was deciding to act in it (if you can call that acting), and do make-up effects alongside my directorial duties. Matthew Noonan (DP/”Kevin”) was also acting in it alongside cinematographer duties. So that was a fun process to figure out but also a valuable learning experience. Brett was also assisting our Production Designer, Kim Blaurock, who was gracious enough to let us use her home for filming and lend her talent to elevate the look of the film. I’m grateful to have a solid team to support me and everyone helped keep the train moving so that we could get what we needed each day. As far as rewards, the biggest reward for me is always getting to see an audience react to it in the way you’d hoped, whether that’s at an in-person screening, or through comments online. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see all of that effort pay off.

The punk band faces off with a demonic mime. How did you work with the actors to capture the intensity of this confrontation, and what comedic elements did you intentionally emphasize to keep the audience engaged?

Some of the references I gave Chris Mayers, who does an incredible job playing our villainous mime, were old black and white cartoons like the St. James Infirmary Blues scene from “Betty Boop in Snow White.” The movements are captivating, yet unsettling, and that was the goal in crafting his character. We wanted him to have a presence that you couldn’t look away from but made you feel uneasy all the same. We did several make-up tests and costume variations to land on what we all felt was right to complement that balance of fun and fright. All credit to Chris though – he really shaped that character’s wild-eyed and chaotic personality and I couldn’t be happier with the end result. There’s so much that he conveys without saying anything, and it was a genuine pleasure watching him just turn it on for every take.

The film features great acting. Can you discuss the casting process and how the actors contributed to bringing the characters to life, especially in a horror comedy with a punk-rock edge?

Brett Brooks (co-writer/”Ripper”), Matthew Noonan (DP/”Kevin”), and I have done a few films together at this point, and we wanted to try something where we could all act together, so naturally, we became the band in the film. Since we’re friends outside of the film work we do, there’s already a natural chemistry there which certainly helps too. Brett and I had pretty good ideas for how these characters would interact but we all contributed to our individual characters’ costume design to further explore their personalities. Brett brings a lot of ideas to the table and goes all in. It was a lot of fun putting him and Matt in a room and just watching them play off of each other. Speaking of Matt, I was super impressed with how he took what we’d written on the page and made it his own. Everyone loves Kevin.

“The Mages of Rage” is a horror comedy that seems to defy genre conventions. Were there specific influences or inspirations that guided your vision for this film, and how did you aim to create a unique viewing experience for the audience?

I wanted something that felt tonally in line with the campy horror films of the 80s, taking inspiration from films like Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and Return of the Living Dead, but with a more modern comedic style and quicker pacing. We were pitching it to people as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World meets A Nightmare on Elm Street. I also grew up on the Evil Dead films so there’s always a bit of that influencing my work. But, generally speaking, we all had different ideas that we brought to the table for jokes, scenes, lighting, effects – whatever – so we threw all of that into a blender just to see what we’d end up with and build off of that.

What do you hope audiences take away from “The Mages of Rage and The Desecration of The House of Mimicry,” both in terms of its entertainment value and any underlying themes or messages embedded in the twisted and comedic storyline?

The initial drive to make this film came after Brett, Matt, and I were at a midnight madness screening at this amazing film festival called FilmQuest. We were sucked in by the large and riotous crowd as we sat through a barrage of incredible shorts that pushed the boundaries of horror and hilarity and came out inspired to make our own story that would fit into that world. So I hope audiences can have a good time with the film, and I hope it encourages and inspires others to get out there and make their movie in the same way that screening inspired us. There’s a lot of pressure in making anything, and so much of this was us trying to take a step back into the mindset we had as young filmmakers where it was all about getting some friends together and making something. Don’t let anything stop you, not even a killer mime.

Can you tell us which are your favorite short films?

I’ve had the opportunity to go to several film festivals, and between all of those and an endless collection of content online, I’ve seen so many wonderful short films that it’s tough to narrow it down, but some horror-specific favorites off the top of my head are Mama, Ignore It, Lights Out, The Sky, and Don’t Move (Watch on FS).