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Teaser, Reviews & Screenings

Nominated for Best Short, Fangoria's 2023 Chainsaw Awards!
Audience Award, Best Comedy Short, Another Hole in the Head
Abby Normal Award (exceptionally weird & disturbing), Portland Horror Film Festival
Gold Audience Award, SoHome Horror
WTF Audience Award, Sydney Underground FF
Audience Award, StokerCon's Final Frame 2022
Best Horror Comedy, Stranger Days IFF
Shawna Shea FF, Shawna Spirit Award 


South Texas Underground Film Festival - Runner Up, Best of Fest Short

Etheria Film Night - Finalist

Vancouver Badass - Best Writing

FilmQuest – Minerva Award

GenreBlast – Shorts categories: Best Midnight/WTF; Best Screenplay; Best Poster

Shawna Shea FF – Best Horror Short


"Izzy Lee's new short film, Meat Friend features a sentient pile of hamburger meat taken over by an ex-con, as it teaches after-school lessons to a child. You know, the important stuff... like 'how to make it look like an accident.' In a strange time, Lee felt 'When life gets weird, get weirder. The global pandemic only made us want to escape to a more heightened place, an alternate reality where the unreal can happen, where absurdity meets the vaguely sinister. What will happen next? No one knows. Welcome to the world of Meat Friend!'” — Angel

“…a light-hearted satire featuring a psychopathic piece of ground beef. Meat Friend might feel like quite a departure for director and co-writer Izzy Lee, but underneath the fun exterior, there’s a dark level that is far more delicious than the glob of processed meat. The opening montage features the whole production line of beef - from delightful cows grazing to the hanging carcasses, and finally, the minced meat goodness. All juxtaposed with some cheery kids’ TV-style music. The mixing of styles continues with the title character, a simple puppet with a gruff, aggressive tone but strangely endearing. Marnie McKendry does well as the youngster, a role that could easily have been annoying. She also comes out with this writer’s favourite expression since, well… anything from The Greasy Strangler, ‘More beef - less cheese!’” — Martin Unsworth, Starburst Magazine

“The wonderfully weird juxtaposition of an inanely chipper ’90s sitcom sensibility with the progressively more psychotic and troubling tutelage of Meat Friend is nothing short of brilliant. It’s absurd, off-kilter, wildly inventive, and difficult to forget. Lee proves she’s as much a master of humor as horror, and Meat Friend is as delicious as it is demented…a must-see!” — Stephanie Malone, Morbidly Beautiful


“Lee works with a bright color palette that further enhances the family television show premise while subverting that genre with images and dialogue that would never fly on such shows. The result is an outrageous horror comedy short that serves as further proof that the obviously capable Lee needs to be given the opportunity to helm a feature film project sooner rather than later.”  Joseph Perry, Gruesome Magazine

"While Izzy Lee’s latest may not be horror in the strictest sense of the word, it does start with a little girl attempting to microwave ground beef, which is automatically off-putting enough for its inclusion here. Naturally, things only get funkier from there, as the beef becomes possessed by an ex-con who proceeds to teach the little girl a variety of important life lessons, such as making a shiv, that would surely make Mr. Rogers proud. The creature design for Meat Friend is a unique combination of grotesque and endearing, which is also an apt description for the short itself. Just, get ready to get weird. Really, really weird.” — Bryan Christopher,

"Meat Friend perfectly blends dark satire with childlike whimsy. It’s the perfect short film for parents who are probably sick of being forced to watch the same children’s TV shows with their kids. Yet the dark humor and horror elements still make it enjoyable for a wider audience. Lee clearly knows what she’s doing and is able to achieve a great balance between the different themes introduced. This is a short film you will want to keep an eye out for as it makes its way through the film festival circuit.” — Molly Henery, The Blogging Banshee

“The short is incredibly funny and finds a way to make me laugh at pretty much every single line of dialogue. From the ridiculous and violent statements from Meat Friend to the deadpan delivery of Billie and her mother (played by Megan Duffy). I hope Izzy Lee makes more of Meat Friend; I need this in my life. Happy meat day everyone!” — Patrick Kelly,

“Gonzo director Izzy Lee returns with what is essentially possessed ground beef’s answer to Sesame Street, in Meat Friend, a gloriously silly, not-at-all-child-friendly mock kids show, where the eponymous Meat Friend runs us through every important lesson in the book, from 'how to make a shiv' to 'how to make it look like an accident'.” — Ben Robins,

"...eight minutes of cinematic absurdity of the highest order filled to the brim with prison shivs, blood, cocaine, heart-clogging friendship… and threats… and it is fun as all unholy hell!” DanXIII,

“Meat Friend will generate a few laughs and scar your brain with the image of what a horrible-looking meat creature born of ground beef looks like.” — Devin Marsh, Nightmarish Conjurings


Meat Friend Poster_4x6.jpg

Synopsis: An ex-con, sentient pile of hamburger meat teaches after-school lessons to a child.



Co-Written, Produced & Directed by Izzy Lee

Co-Written, Puppeteered & Produced by: Steve Johanson

Starring: Marnie McKendry, Megan Duffy, Steve Johanson (Meat Friend voice)

Cinematography: Sophia Cacciola


Editor & VFX : Michael J. Epstein

Score: Shayne Gryn

Sound Recording & Mix: Michael J. Epstein

Assistant Camera/BTS Stills: Ryan Oksenberg

Puppet Design/Build, Additional VFX & Poster Art: Eli Dorsey

Executive Producers: Paul Furio, Mary McDonagh, Bruce Labbate, Kevin Sluder, Carter Johnson


Thank you: The McKendrys, Gary Sherman, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Jeffrey Stackhouse, Shane Brady, Ryan Lambert, GD Dearborn, Chris Walas

World Premiere

Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival

Somerville, MA


Plays w/CRABS! 

Renegade Film Festival

Marietta, GA


Finalist, Side-Splitting Horror Comedy

Boston Underground Film Festival

Cambridge, MA


Teenage Waterpolo (Comedy Block)


Porto Alegre, Brazil


International Premiere

Bonebat Comedy of Horrors Film Festival

Seattle, WA


StokerCon's Final Frame Competition

Denver, CO


Audience Award

Etheria Film Night



Chattanooga Film Festival


6/23 - 6/28/22

Oak Cliff Film Festival

Dallas, TX


Late Night Shorts

Portland Horror Film Festival

Portland, OR


Abby Normal Award (exceptionally weird & disturbing)


Montreal, QC, Canada


Plays w/Blue Sunshine

Canadian Premiere

Snake Alley Festival of Film

Burlington, IA



London, United Kingdom


International Shorts Block

European Premiere


Winchester, VA


Plays w/Gouge Away

Sydney Underground Film Festival

Sydney, Australia


WTF Block

WTF Audience Award

Shawna Shea Film Festival

Worcester, MA


Opening Night shorts block

Charlotte Film Festival


Narrative Shorts #8

Charlotte, NC

Wreak Havoc Horror Film Festival

Winston-Salem, NC

10/31 - 11/1/22

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

Brooklyn, NY


Laugh Now, Die Later block

Nightmares Film Festival

Columbus, OH


Never Play with your Food block

Vancouver Badass Film Festival

Vancouver, BC, Canada


Provoke Film Festival

Portland, Oregon



Wench Film Festival

Mumbai, India

Asian Premiere



Provo, UT


“Laugh It Up, Fuzzball” – Comedy Shorts Block #17

Anomaly Film Festival

Rochester, NY


Plays w/HeGBG4


Wilmington, NC

11/16th & 19th

Hellbender Shorts

Soho Horror Film Festival

London, United Kingdom

11/18 - 11/20/22 online

Plays w/HeGBG4

Gold Audience Award

Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


Plays with Glorious

Monster Fest

Melbourne, Australia


Trasharama Shorts


Be Afraid Fest

Gorizia, Italy


Horror Short Block II


BizarroLand Film Festival

Orlando, FL

12/2-11/22 online

Welcome to BizarroLand 2: Casual Swim block

South Texas Underground Film Festival

Corpus Christi, TX


Saturday Afternoon Shorts 

Runner Up, Best of Fest Short

Stranger Days Independent Film Festival


Charlotte, NC

Best Horror Comedy

Another Hole in the Head Film Festival

San Francisco, CA


Strictly Local 3

Audience Award, Best Comedy Short

FilmMaudit 2.0

Santa Monica, CA


Izzy Lee Retrospective

Courts Mais Trash International Film Festival

Brussels, Belgium


Final Girls Berlin Film Festival

Berlin, Germany


Panic Fest

Kansas City, MO

4/XX/23 TBA



scary little films
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