Many, Many Movies

August 31, 2007 at 4:47 am Leave a comment

Look out, citizens! Here arrives now the movie reviews I promised several days ago, of the various short films I saw last Friday. By this point I’ve probably forgotten everything important about all of them, so it may be best to run on the assumption that everything I am about to say is entirely inaccurate. Also run on the assumption that this will interest absolutely no one but myself.

First up, the films of Matthew Kennedy and Conor Sweeney!

I list it like this because, even though the two are evidently partners, the Winnipeg Film Group listed the event solely as being the works of Kennedy. That’s the kind of shit that can end friendships right there.

Anyway! I actually quit my job when I did to go to the screening, because I thought it looked cool. I wanted to tell Kennedy this when he was hanging around after the show, but I didn’t want to brag. Still, it sounds pretty hardcore, right? “I quit my job to come to your show”.

But I digress. The theatre was pretty sparsely populated; most of the people there were people who were in the films. And of those who DID show up, some didn’t want to be there; a group of older women came in thinking it was another movie and left around the time a man has sex with his brother’s wife’s brother (who is dressed as “Sexybot 3000”). The life of a struggling filmmaker is, as I’ve mentioned before, utterly devoid of glamour. It must be fairly disheartening to have a show like this and have so few people show up.

But I digress again. Without further adieu, the actual films:

A Romantic Comedy: A fake trailer, also referred to as “I Love You: The Movie”. It begins as a parody of a fairly generic romantic comedy, and for a minute I was slightly disappointed as the parody itself seemed formulaic. However, things take a bizarre and thrilling turn as it is revealed the female lead is actually Joseph Mengele after extensive reconstructive surgery, and the whole thing veers into the realm of spy thriller.

I liked this one a lot. Things get so weird so fast that you really have no choice but to laugh and go along with it. Then the whole thing gets even stranger when it becomes a romantic comedy trailer again at the end. The idea that “love conquers all” to the point where the male lead is willing to shrug off dating Joseph Mengele is one of the greatest things I’ve seen, especially since we’ve grown to accept shit of this magnitude from movie studios by now.

TL;DR: A little slow to start, but becomes a fantastic parody in the stretch.

Yogen Frooze: The tale of a man who loves frozen yogurt and loves to steal, but must come to terms with the fact he is lactose intolerant. Maybe the best short of the show; certainly among the top two. This is also the short that features “Sexybot 3000”, and therefore caused three old ladies to flee the theater in indignity.

Frooze had a really neat style, which features choppy edits and heavy use of voice overs. The cinematography and audio work really do a lot to help capture a man’s fall into despair, while the dialogue makes the entire journey hilarious. Consider, for example, the main character detailing a list of things he’s stolen. Easily the best part is when he tries get around his problem with a brand of soy ice cream called “So Good”, only to groan out “Not…. So Good!”. The delivery there is fantastic.

TL;DR: One of the most hilarious short films I’ve ever seen, with a distinctive style to boot.

Ena Lake Blues: Ena Lake Blues starts as a parody of old, silent comedies. Like “A Romantic Comedy”, it suffers in that the early parts of the parody come off as fairly stale. Unfortunately, these stale parts last much longer.

The movie gets much better when it becomes a bizarre silent slasher film, filled with debauchery. There’s a great sequence where one of the characters starts drinking, accompanied by a title card giving a dictionary definition of alcohol. This quickly escalates to the character doing every hard drug you can think of, each accompanied by the same type of deadpan, matter-of-fact title card. The expressions, and the fact that it just keeps going long past a regular man would have died, is hilarious. The entire second half of the film is pretty great, and does a lot to make up for the first half.

TL;DR: Uneven but ultimately satisfying, like some kind of bizarre tilted cake.

The Truth About Sasquatch: A man falls in love with Sasquatch, seeks psychiatric help, and discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

Sounds great, no? Unfortunately, the synopsis is better than the film itself. The movie has a lot of great gags, but they’re evened out by equal amounts of nothing. The story is meandering, scenes drag on too long (such as the opening sequence, or the “breakdown” scene), and the movie inexplicably switches main characters halfway through.

Like most of the films, it’s fairly random. Where it’s different from the others is that it has no real internal logic; when “Ena Lake Blues” becomes a slasher film it’s still parodying silent comedies, and “Yogen Frooze” has a coherent subject matter despite it’s strangeness, but “Sasquatch” never really seems to go anywhere or do anything. Something like this can sometimes work, if the jokes are consistently hilarious, but here the hit/miss ratio is too big.

TL;DR: This film is like most Family Guy episodes in that it’s a bunch of jokes stitched together without any regard for plot or internal logic. If you’re a fan of Family Guy, you’ll probably like “Sasquatch”. If not, you probably won’t.

Street Racer: Teenage angst. High school drama. Foot races as the foundation of social standing. This is the world of… “Street Racer”.

Street Racer is easily the most restrained of any of the films shown. Though still in many ways a parody , it’s unique in being played in a dry, tongue-in-cheek manner. It’s also the longest of any of the films, clocking in at around 30 minutes (compared to 2-10 minutes for the rest).

I really liked Street Racer. It’s up there with “Yogen Frooze” contending for “Best of Show”, though it’s entirely different in tone. You actually give a damn about the characters and what happens to them, and there’s just the right balance of humour and drama for what it is. The script could have stood a little rewriting; though many lines were intentionally corny, there were a few that came across as unintentionally so. Other than that, I can’t really think of anything wrong with it.

But then, I’m a sucker for a good race scene. And these were good race scenes; besides the story, “Street Racer” was also excellent on a technical level. Nice cinematography and tight editing, much better than what you’d normally expect from a student project.

TL;DR: Shockingly poignant compared to the rest of the films, with a perfect blend of comedy. Watch it.


After the Matt Kennedy films rolled, I went out and bought another ticket, this time for Creature from the Black Lagoon. But before it rolled, we were treated to a 13 minutes short by another film group member, which was the most awesome thing I’ve seen in quite some time.

Red Men Rising: Toxic waste causes communist zombies to rise from the grave and attempt revolution. Led by Zombie Trotsky, they devour the rich and then redistribute their goods to the poor.

Traditional weapons prove useless against those “Commie Bastards”.

Zombie Trotsky fights Zombie Stalin.


“What happens when they run out of rich people to eat?”. Good question, Living Communist, good question.

I can’t describe how incredible that movie was. One million stars.

Editor’s Note: Sometimes I am terribly embarrassed by my own writing style. Just ignore the first few paragraphs, please.


Entry filed under: review. Tags: , .

Creature from the Black Lagoon! Yes, that is a Futurama Reference

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