MUGGED: REVENGE SERVED COLD (2021)

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

'.....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

Recent audience comments:

'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.'

A gay horror comedy super short by UK experimental filmmaker Lee Campbell

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.

Mugged: Revenge Served Cold (2021) 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 trained in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2005 and received his doctorate in 2016. His recent experimental performance poetry films have been selected for many international queer film festivals including Queerbee LGBT Film Festival, The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, Kansas 2020, HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels and STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA, WICKED QUEER 202,Boston, USA, 2021 Film Vault Presents, Manchester, UK, 2021 FilmPride Brighton & Hove Pride's official LGBTQ+ film festival, Brighton, UK,Splice Film Festival 2021, Brooklyn, USA Festival ECRÃ Edition 5, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, SPHERE Festival, and Queer Life, EdgeZones, Miami, USA 2021.
He has a solo exhibition of his film work at The Sidewalk Video Gallery, Fountain Street, Boston USA in late 2021. His films have been selected for prestigious awards/nominations including:

2021 Nominee for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere Independent Horror Movie Awards
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

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Director Statement

This is 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 it is a lighthearted and not serious whereas this film... something much more sinister!