Return to Mayhem more teaser than short film

One of two animation shorts I saw at the Arizona Underground Film Festival was The Villikon Chronicles: Return to Mayhem. The three minute short, written by Bryan Kinnaird and directed by Rebecca Friedman, is just a very small segment in The Villikon Chronicles series created by Kinnaird.

This particle piece is inspired by the upcoming live-action movie, The Villikon Chronicles: Genesis of Evil. The characters are based off those from the graphic novels and the original trilogy of screenplays written by Kinnaird.

It’s really hard to say anything about this short because it actually seemed to be more of a teaser trailer for fans of the series. We don’t learn anything about the characters nor do we know why they’re in the situation they’re in and nothing really happens to them. Granted, it’s hard to tell much of a story in three minutes, however, it is possible. Unfortunately, that simply was not the case for Return to Mayhem.

With that being said, I think this piece of animation wasn’t really supposed to have much of a story. It seemed to be something just made for fans of the series to give them something before the live-action film is released. Perhaps, if I were more familiar with the universe Kinnaird has created, I would have taken more away from this short than I did.

As far as the quality of the animation goes, it wasn’t the best and in fact, subpar may be a better way to describe it. It felt as if it were rushed just to get something out there. Had the animation been of better quality, this may have been something I could have enjoyed despite the lack of any real story.

Based on what I saw here, this isn’t really a series I’d want to get involved and caught up with, however, I am a tad bit curious to see what they are able to do with the live-action film when that times rolls around.

For more information on The Villikon Chronicles visit

Chris Coffel

My name is Chris Coffel from Phoenix, Arizona. I love film and the Phoenix Suns. I write movie reviews for Trashwire and write about the Phoenix Suns for Downtown Phoenix Journal. I’m also the co-host of a movie podcast focusing on fringe cinema, the Dark of the Matinee. Please subscribe to my show on iTunes.

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1 Response

  1. Give the franchise universe a chance by exploring the primary website and its networks at Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter, IMdB, and the character’s section on the universe tab at the primary website for a better understanding of the depth of this material. The original 3-volume graphic novel series was adapted from an original screenplay, which has two sequels and a prequel screen story attached. A forthcoming live action $5 million short film, GENESIS OF EVIL, itself is a preamble to the story told in the graphic novels, and serves as a pitch to studios for a film trilogy. The website hosts an online anthology mini-graphic series leading up to the film. Please contact the series creator, Bryan J. Kinnaird (resides in Phoenix, AZ) for more information or for potential subject matter for a news article or continuing series regarding making such an ambitious film.

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