Two Short Nights Collaborations: Olivia Leonard On Satanic Panic

Published February 17, 2021

This year, Two Short Nights Film Festival has had the privilege of working with a number of creative collaborators.

Here festival collaborator, Olivia Leonard, takes a close look at Bryon M. Ferguson’s new short film, which has an askew perspective on the mundane.

Satanic Panic'87: A Would-Be Cult Classic

There’s a special place in hell reserved for fitness videos. In this instance, that metaphor most certainly applies. Metalheads Pike and Koda, are in deep real deep. A satanic, scavenger-hunt is underway. Following the guidance of Amber, ‘the demon airhead,’ the two have previously carried out, unseen evil acts, to gain entry (at) the gates of hell. Their distressed Grandmother, calling through the walls, regarding the whereabouts of her cat, Mormo, brings this to our attention.

Director Bryan M. Ferguson weaves an amusing, unspoken commentary of the mundane throughout the film. He contrasts humour and underground subculture, with the grotesque and horrible, to highlight the everyday horror that can be found in a meaningless existence. Playful with both humour and violence Ferguson, reiterates this message throughout. Most notably, this occurs when the two pause mid-way through a blood bath, to fan the smoke alarm with a tea towel.

Although we know these two are destined to commit unspeakable acts, their edgy attire distracts us.   As with Micky and Mallory, during the opening scene of Oliver Stone’s ‘Natural Born Killers,’ we remark upon the understated cool of their personal style first and their violent intentions second.

Cut to Pike wearing a black leather jacket with long jet black hair, in a smoke filled room with the words ‘Aerobicise for Satan’ sprayed across the wall and Koda washing the blood from her hands.  We can draw our own conclusions thus far.

Hearing word from the glitch-ridden VHS, Amber assures them hell is not far away. The question is, what’s next?

This beautifully condensed, would-be cult classic, provides light relief for anyone on their third ‘keep fit’ attempt with Joe Wicks this lockdown. Or for those who have ever wondered whether hell itself, can be found inside an armchair.

Satanic Panic '87, Dir Bryan M. Ferguson can be viewed between 18 - 26 Feb as part of Two Short Nights #4: Second Chances screening. Find out more at

Published Wed 17 Feb 2021