“Conductor”(De dirigent) is an Ultra-bloody Short About a Killer Drum Machine

The Conductor (De Dirigent) is the first feature length film created entirely by the artist Jeremy Mann. It is a story told through a dreamscape metaphor of the eternal artistic struggle. Please read Jeremy Mann’s announcement below, to properly understand his vision for the film!

In De Dirigent, by Maria Peters, Antonia Brico is the woman that is all about. She is the first female conductor in the twenties of the last century. On the eye an interesting story for a film, but according to reviewers, the director continues in her love for the story.

It’s not often that I review short films outside of reviewing an entire block from a film festival. With that said, there are those rare occasions when you see one specific short film that deserves to be praised. That’s the case with Alex Noyer’s fantastic Conductor.

First of all, for an independent production, The Conductor has a movie theater picture quality; in that it looks so good, it could screen in movie theaters across the country if it was a feature length movie.

The acting, of course, is beyond average and award winning in itself, but it’s every other aspect of behind-the-scenes work that makes The Conductor such a contender at every festival it’s about to show in.

In the beginning, it’s got some 80’s themed scores that will grab the audience by the balls before transitioning to a more modern sound. The script is unsuspecting and catches you off guard. You know something bad is going to happen, I mean, this is a horror short, but when the trap drops, the gore is out of this world bloody and flawless; also one of the most polished aspects of the movie.

The turn table/beat maker, the audience, the quarter piece of the mall floor…I’m blown away that director/producer Alex Noyer and producer Hannu Aukia were able to accomplish this level of professionalism and wonder without breaking the bank. Everything is crazy good. Holy crap. The music, the gore, the art of dance…It all blends together and catapults The Conductor to become one of my favorite short films of 2018 so far.

Yet The Conductor is also so ying-yang that it’s crazy that it was so successful with its cohesiveness.

The magic of self expression and vibe counters the thought of torture and death. The eternal need to dance matches our inner desire to watch something disturbing. The Conductor is friendly and nurturing, yet evil at its core. It’s a beautiful, thought provoking script, and I take away something new every time I think about this review. It features cinematography from Kyle Smolic and editing from Mohamed El Manasterly & Hannu Aukia.

The perfect run time, the person script, the perfect acting…Honestly, that’s the only word I can use to describe The Conductor. “Perfect.” Don’t walk, RUN to film festivals if you see The Conductor screening near you. The promotional media behind this one is a little “eh,” but don’t be fooled! A beast, a sleeper hit, an invigorating piece of cinema is waiting for you. Damnit. I loved this. Let me stop raving now.

Josh (Michael Maclane) is wannabe musician competing in drum machine competition at his local mall. With a crowd of onlookers, many of whom are waiting for their crack at the machine, and his jerk friend on hand recording the whole event, Josh struggles to program a simple beat.

Josh nervously fumbles through the keys, unable to get anything on beat.

As the crowd begins to become more hostile towards Josh, a ray of sunshine appears in the form of Alexis (Kelli Jordan), a skilled sound engineer. Alexis is able to help Josh calm down and walks him through creating a beat. Turn on the metronome, relax and listen to the clicks. Feel the rhythm.

It works. Not only is Josh able to get his act together, but it’s good enough for him to win the competition. As Josh celebrates with everyone on hand, Alexis pops her headphones on and dances off. That’s when we realize that this little drum machine is connected to a deadly contraption with one unfortunate victim (Jukka Hilden) strapped in. As the beat plays on the contraption kicks into high gear and the results are a bloody nightmare.

I absolutely love Conductor. It’s hard to go into too much detail without spoiling things, especially given that it is a short film, but this is a film very much in the realm of things like Saw and Cube. And the reveal comes out of left field.

The majority of the film is this humorous look at someone trying to play a drum machine and then before you can say Korg in turns into a gore fest of epic proportions.

And the gore is fantastic and brutal, thanks to some gnarly practical effects from Robert Bravo.

This is Noyer’s first film as director, but he’s been a producer previously, most notably on the documentary 808. 808 is the story of the Roland TR-808 drum machine and the birth of electronic music, so it’s no surprise that Noyer used electronic music as the basis for his directorial debut. From just a technical standpoint, Conductor is one of the best put together short films I have seen in recent memory, showcasing great skill from Noyer.

One has to wonder what Noyer will do next. Will Conductor eventually become a feature film like great horror shorts of the past? There does seem to be some potential there, but if not I’d love to see a feature film from Noyer that further bridges electronic music and horror while upping the stakes with even more practical effects. Whatever route he chooses to take, I’m convinced that Noyer has a great horror feature in his future.

Conductor has screened at a handful of film festivals so far and I have to imagine more are on the horizon. Check the schedule for all horror film festivals playing near you and if you see Conductor on the lineup, get yourself a ticket. In the meantime, enjoy this teaser that offers up a little taste of what to expect.


Rating: NR
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Maria Peters
Stars: Christanne de Bruijn, Benjamin Wainwright, Scott Turner Schofield
Filming Locations: NuBoyana Film Studios
Runtime: 137 minutes
Studio: Shooting Star Filmcompany BV

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