“Treevenge” (2008) is a festive award-winning short from Jason Eisener of Hobo with a Shotgun (our review here). More info on the short film and its accolades are available at the official Treevenge site. Official summary:
Treevenge details the experiences and horrifying reality of the lives of Christmas trees. Clearly, for trees, Christmas isn’t the exciting “peace on earth” that is experienced by most. After being hacked down, and shipped away from their homes, they quickly become strung up, screwed into an upright position for all to see, exposed in a humiliation of garish decorations. But this Christmas will be different, this Christmas the trees have had enough, this Christmas the trees will fight back. Treevenge could be a short film about the end of days for Christmas trees, or perhaps, the end of humanity?
While “Treevenge” is only a short, it manages to cover pretty much the entire history of the slasher and rape/revenge genres within its 16 minutes. As the lovely JennyD puts it, “‘Treevenge’ is the I Spit on Your Grave of Christmas trees.” That sounds crazy, but it’s actually pretty accurate, though played out for laughs. The lumberjacks in charge of the trees are wildly evil, laughing maliciously as they chop down every tree in sight, talking about which one is the prettiest one, which one has the best branches…well, you get the idea. The trees grab each other and try to keep from being separated, begging for mercy in their tree language, a direct homage to films like Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes (even newer fare like Hostel). Those with soft hearts and those who anthropomorphize plant-life, you may want to skip straight to the “venge” part of “Treevenge” (the last 5 minutes). This opening, while completely over the top and full of scenery chomping, is actually kind of sad, with trees of all sizes (including the little “saplings”) being abused. But don’t worry friends, once we hit Christmas morning, our mistreated trees go to town, exacting bloody revenge on the families enslaving them – and anyone else in their way.
You can tell that the film makers love the horror genre, especially the films of the 70s and 80s, because the homages are frequent and brilliant without being too forced. I found myself playing “guess that scene reference” throughout the short. I don’t want to give away all the goods by naming too much here (it is only 16 minutes people), but there’s definitely more homages than you can count on both hands. Normally that would piss me off, but because they are all used in such a clever way it works well.
This short is well worth your time. Check it out, laugh at all the carnage, then check it out again for all the references. And maybe think about a fake tree this year.
Jenny Dreadful adds: “Treevenge” is brief and freely available online. We see no reason not to embed this brilliant bit of Christmas chaos right here. Fans of 70s exploitation and 80s slashers, enjoy! (PS: Gore and strong language alert. Obviously, right?)