MUGGED: REVENGE SERVED COLD (2021)


MUGGED: REVENGE SERVED COLD (2021)

*Selected to receive the distinct honor of a Silver Bullet Virtual Screening for SHOCKFEST FILM FESTIVAL DECEMBER 2021*

*NOMINATED for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere, Independent Horror Movie Awards 2021*

‘Horror has always been queer...it’s just not how it’s been positioned or marketed necessarily’ Anna Bogutskaya

‘As I've said before it feels like a combination of Cronenberg and Lynch. Very pulpy. Really love it.’

'.....a dark experimental neo surrealist short film interlaced with abstract art culminating in a visionary horror experience’
'Campbell gives us a uniquely original perspective that is bold, arresting and chilling’
Extracts from review by Francesca de Luca of my film MUGGED (2021) in March 2021 issue of Cut Frame Magazine

'Mugged is a surrealist short that feels claustrophobic and creepingly personal, and mildly disturbing. Cleverly structured and somewhat chilling as a stand-alone piece, you leave the film feeling the cold fingers of control in the pit of your stomach. Potentially so much deeper, psychologically scarring, the piece will leave you with a feeling of sympathy for the creator (the potential serial killer or controlling entity we never see), wanting to ensure they are feeling important and loved which is a neat trick to pull off as it becomes the man we want to hate but cannot help but want to hold.'
James Clark – Lost Creatives. Feb 2021
Full review here:
https://www.lost-project.com/loststories/mugged-revenge-served-cold-a-film-by-lee-campbell

'This is so haunting, the slowing down of "i own-Lee have 👁️👁️👁️ z 4u" menacing...😱'

'It's quite unnerving and very voyeuristic and Lynchian in feel in the way you take what should be a banal detail and examine and stretch it out until it becomes something else and something disturbing! To me it most felt like the backwards talking in Twin Peaks, a simple detail that feels uncanny and quite sinister. I also admire the layering in editing and the patience you must have had for putting it all together - I think that really helps sell the tone.'

This film was made with sound and moving image recordings I made on a Sony Ericsson Cybershoot K800i mobile phone between 2005-2006, poster art (a spray-painted London Evening Standard poster in 2006), pencil drawings I made in 2010 and felt tip and pencil drawings 2019-2021, as well as moving image footage I took on an iPhone 2018-2021.
This is a film about control in gay male relationships. A discovery of betrayal leads to revenge climaxing in an attack and the avenger announcing the most controlling of statements to his lover victim in the final shot. This is a very different direction for me - it comes from a body of work about me, my partner and our dog. The dog also intrudes somehow in our relationship but performances and films I had made before Mugged: Revenge Served Cold were light-hearted, playful and not serious whereas this film... something much more sinister! I like the fact we don’t really know who is controlling who in this film.

To explain in more detail about the evolution and inspiration behind the film, many years ago when I was studying at the Slade, I began generating performative actions and recording these using my mobile phone in a similar vein to the film directors of La Nouvelle Vague; post-war French New Wave cinema, who were influenced by the concept ‘camera-stylo’ meaning using the camera like a pen. Experimenting with my mobile phone’s (the Sony Ericsson Cybershoot K800) properties/hardware/software, I prioritized its relative ease of use in terms of its stills/ video camera. Despite the phone’s minimal amount of recording features, the small, unobtrusive, easy to operate phone enabled me, as someone at the time who considered themselves not particularly ‘tech-savvy’ or au fait with complicated editing techniques, to get to grips with working with performance and performing in front of a camera for the first time. My phone camera was my audience. Shot and edited entirely on my phone, I produced numerous moving image collages which combined visual montage and sound elements. One of these works involved me recording myself in the shower and washing in front of a mirror to the soundtrack of the famous shower scene in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Around the same time in 2005/6, I made a piece of artwork called Mugged (the poster that features in the film). The pink + Mugged text was to signify the increase in attacks on gay men in London around that time and I guess was my own fear of that happening to me. Referring to my latest films as excavations of personal archaeology- many of the clips that feature within them- reuse those recordings I made all those years ago with my Sony phone. Mugged: Revenge Served Cold takes those old Slade recordings, poster artwork and creates something entirely new which my friend filmmaker Jacob Holmes-Brown described as ‘quite unnerving and very voyeuristic and Lynchian in feel in the way you take what should be a banal detail and examine and stretch it out until it becomes something else and something disturbing!’

  • Lee Campbell
    Director
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 23, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Frostbite International Film Fest

    February 2, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Kosice International Monthly Film Festival 2021

    Finalist
  • Cult Movies International Film Festival

    Semi Finalist
  • Independent Horror Movie Awards 2021

    May 8, 2021
    Nominated for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere
Director Biography - Lee Campbell

Dr Lee Campbell is an artist, poet experimental filmmaker, writer, Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts London, curator of regular performance poetry night POW? Play on Words in South London and founder of Homo Humour, the first of its kind project on contemporary queer male film and moving image practices that explore humour and LGBTQ+ storytelling.

Lee’s experimental performance poetry films have been selected for many international film festivals since 2019 including Queerbee LGBT Film Festival, The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, Kansas 2020 and 2021, HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels and STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA, 2020 WICKED QUEER 2021, Boston, USA, FilmPride - Brighton & Hove Pride's official LGBTQ+ film festival, Brighton, UK, Splice Film Festival 2021, Brooklyn, USA and Darkroom Festival, London

In 2022, Lee’s films have already been selected to screen in these prestigious events/festivals: Beyond Words curated by Gabriel Sosa, Fountain Street Gallery, Boston USA, Micromania Film Festival and The Football Art Prize, UK-touring exhibition to Touchstones Rochdale, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

RECENT SELECTED AWARDS:

2021 Best Psychedelic Fantasy film winner for 'See Me' (2020), Retro Avant Garde Film Festival NYC 
2021 Semi-Finalist, Serbest International Film Festival 2021
2021 Honorable Mention, Splice Film Festival, New York
2021 Nominee for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere Independent Horror Movie Awards 2021
2021 Honorable Mention Award for 'See Me' (2020), Screener Short Films 
2021 Best Kent Film nominee for ‘Peer’ (2020), Margate Bookie Film Festival
2021 Honorable Special Mention Award, Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival
2020 Semi-Finalist (3rd place winner), Splice Film Festival, New York
2019 Special Mention Award, London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I am a Londoner who makes experimental films and performance poetry about being gay and working class using barbaric wit and humour’. I create performance poetry and experimental film as a form of autoethnographic storytelling/sharing of personal narratives often raw, often painful but always generous and authentic.

I am interested how the medium of film and photography (that particularly include collage-methods) considers how male body image/self-representation particularly from a gay male perspective has been coded, performed, and socially constructed from the 1960s to the present day. Applied humour as a tactic to subvert and challenge issues of representation, my current film work presents a personal archaeology and revolves around my own autobiographical perspective, using the mechanisms of comedy and humour as an integral part of my work to engage, disarm, and highlight.

With a background in Painting and then Performance Art, my current artist moving image film practice brings together personal drawing, painting, photography and performance. Collage has become a major tool in this recent film practice, reinvigorating paintings and drawings that I produced nearly twenty years ago which are juxtaposed throughout my films with current photographic and performance for camera work. These films are often made with reusing / repurposing personal archival material and sound and moving image recordings. Things insist, in a spiral, nothing’s wasted. In this new exciting phase of my practice, I use all my capacities, from theatre to drawing to painting to language to the comic to the affective to the relational, to painting and performance and film. Excavating (fine art) work I made long ago and resuscitating it, I bring it back to life through the medium of film and moving image. Integrating my fine artwork into my film work, my films create an arresting palimpsest effect by recycling pieces from previous bodies of work and placing them within my current context to see how their meanings may now differ from when they were first conceived. Whilst what is presented through my films can be read as one person’s (my) narrative, so too can it easily be read as lots of different voices layered to talk about wider levels of experience with various references to cultural context that (any)one can relate to.