20 Seconds to Live


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Twenty seconds isn’t a great deal of time. The elderly can stretch out one continuous stream of flatulence for longer and any prematurely ejaculating keen masturbators amongst us would already be on damage limitation duties by the time this particular bell has tolled. When you think of it, Sadako from Ringu was actually a rather generous incubus by affording whomever watched her VHS cassette seven days to complete their bucket lists. By comparison, twenty seconds seems downright measly. If a clock appeared in the corner of my screen denoting the final one-third of a minute of my existence then I would likely either succumb to a burst embolism or come over all Seppuku and simply end it all before death had the satisfaction of claiming me.


For as much as twenty seconds is a flash in the pan to consider your own burgeoning woe, it is also the ideal amount of time to rub your hands together with devilish glee as some poor unfortunate prepares to feel the grim reaper’s icy pinch. Enter Ben Rock and Bob DeRosa (pictured above with producer Catherine Pasciak) , who have cunningly concocted a cocktail of casualty complete with a clear commitment, that being that the curtains are going to fall on some hapless unfortunate and, one way or another, body bags are going to be necessitated. In Rock’s own words, 20 Seconds to Live is “a fun little homespun concept that we made on our own dime”. It’s something else too; living proof that 120 seconds is all you need to involve your audience, particularly when devised by two men who clearly appreciate what makes horror so appealing in the first place. We live for the kill. This fresh webseries, airing on visionary director Adam Green’s official ArieScope Pictures site, home of his very own Scary Sleepover, is about to amass something of a cult following. I’m pleased as punch to give you Grueheads the scoop on this one.


20 Seconds to Live offers one simple guarantee outside of thorough enjoyment. At some point during each of the seven episodes’ two-minute duration that pernicious timer will invariably commence its countdown. When exactly is down to Rock and series writer DeRosa and, other than that, any character depicted is fair game. Death is only ever twenty to thirty heartbeats away once the stopwatch is called into action and each vignette promises to keep us guessing as we prepare for the inevitable death rattle. Moreover, they are willing to mix things up to the hilt, with each episode entirely different from the last and no two dispatches the same.


This ingenious concept came to fruition after Rock overheard Green (Hatchet I, II, & 3, Digging Up The Marrow, Holliston) waxing lyrical with Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, Knights of Badassdom, Holliston), during their popular podcast, The Movie Crypt and one of the questions posed was whether or not Green would consider including content from other parties on the site. After confirming this to be a realistic option, Rock contacted his pal with the pitch having already shot the first five episodes and the rest, as they say, is history. Both Rock and DeRosa are highly regarded amongst their peers and already established writers and directors, both for television and theater. Their labor of love is set to become the webseries on everyone’s lips over the next seven weeks as the first of hopefully many seasons runs its course.

alien raiders

I was already sold on Rock long before hearing about 20 Seconds to Live since his delightful sci-fi sleeper hit Alien Raiders offered ample evidence of his endowments in 2008. There, he showed that even on a limited kitty, he could craft a tense tale of extraterrestrial torment with big-budget sensibilities and I would regard it as one of the top ten genre flicks to surface during that year. It’s a joy to watch him ply his trade behind the camera once more and, given my love for long-running anthologies such as Tales From The Crypt and The Twilight Zone it appeared as though he was the right man for the job.


Appearances can be very deceptive but I am thrilled to report that, this time, the face fits the crime to perfection. In addition, DeRosa’s writing is utterly on-point and the pair evidently work together like a well-oiled machine. The first episode, Anniversary, has already aired and it had me clapping like a seal by the time my two minutes were up. I shall leave a link directly to ariescope.com at the close of this article so that you can explore this delectable entrĂ©e for yourselves but I can offer something of a bona fide Keeper guarantee; you are in for one hell of a treat. I’m not mean-spirited enough to offer up synopsis on something you could watch in the time it takes a battery hen to lay its offspring. I would instead implore you to find out for yourselves as it really is something of a doozy and sets the tone exquisitely for what will soon follow.


Tomorrow the second segment, Astaroth, goes live and features the wonderful Derek Mears (Predators, Friday The 13th 2009) if you needed any further convincing to set your watches accordingly and utilize those bookmark facilities post-haste. It promises to be an event of gargantuan proportions and I’m sure that once word escapes about this classy compendium of chills, thrills, and generous spills; Rock and DeRosa will be granted the second season they already propose. This is where we come in Grueheads as it’s about to get mighty interactive. View Anniversary, nay soak it in thrice, and try telling me the pair aren’t on to a solid gold winner. As I already mentioned, horror aficionados positively live for the kill, and there exists not a shadow of doubt that we’re about to be supplied with some real beauties. Stopwatches at the ready folks; the timer is about to go off in some style.



Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,

Keeper of the Crimson Quill

Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2015



  1. I really thought I wasn’t going to like this. I was sure the ending would be gimmicky and undo any tension. The ending was surprising, but in a delightful way that I thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for sharing this!

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