Reviewbr> "Crazy bat things in the sky right above us right now" - Sonja Patel
Melbourne, Australia and the apocalypse is gaining a head of steam on the wings of rather vicious flying Bat Spider things. The suburb of Miranda Falls is under full assault by the mutated creatures, which could have resulted from the release of the M2164 virus after a meteorite impact six months previous on May 24th in Southern Australia. Naturally the media are out in force, well reporter Sonja Patel is doing a direct feed to a single camera, but hey budget cuts under Tony Abbott's junta.
Just when things are looking dicey for the local residents it gets worse when some insane chick and a dude who has listened to why too much Elvis roll up in a honking big convertible and start indiscriminately shooting up the neighbourhood. The pair have a return to sender agenda for the Bat Spiders, not going to grow tired of saying that, and believe their time has come!
Stuart Simpson you magnificent bastard, this is one of the most insane three or so minutes of film I have ever sat through. Absolutely loved it from whoa to go and just as soon as I blast off this review will be watching the short again, which will make about 10 times this morning alone. It's not often I say this, but the Director has made the perfect film. Get Simpson to Hollywood with a budget so he can show them how to make a monster movie that actually works! Pulling the buggy up to the bumper baby let's break this bad boy of a film down.
Okay so everyone has at least heard of The ABCs of Death movie right, 26 shorts by different Directors combined into a feature length examination of death via the alphabet? Sort of a Sesame Street for grow ups with depraved tastes in movies. Anyway the first ABCs must have done alright as a sequel is being made and the Producers have launched a World Wide campaign for the 26th Director to do the M word. Hence Stuart Simpson's M Is For Mutant!, check out the entry page right here and hit the Like button on that page people! I'm all up on another Downunder Director crashing the Hollywood block party and I reckon Stuart Simpson has a good chance with his outstanding short.
Been a while since we caught up with a Stuart Simpson movie, we were not impressed with The Demons Among Us (2006) Stuart's debut feature, tough love there y'all, but were impressed with the web series The Dark Psychosis. Since then Simpson has released another feature length movie, El Monstro Del Mar! (2010), which we haven't got around to catching up with yet, and is hard at work on a third film Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla. Simpson is showing a rapid improvement as a film maker and this is no where better emphasised than in the short M is for Mutant!.
The structure of this movie really shouldn't work but Simpson has it sitting up and begging for its dinner in an example of a Director making every post a winner. We are thrust head first into the action and are left picking up the shards of explanation as the apocalypse is in full string. Simpson might only have one location, what looks like an empty building block in suburban Melbourne, but he does manage to expand the horizons in stunning fashion. The movie kicks off with a nameless victim staggering along holding a portable television, playing is a panel show from the United States where members are discussing the current situation. Naturally we have the religious right proclaiming its God's wraith on humanity, some organisation hotly denying ineptitude, and enough meat on the bone to get a picture of what's gone down. Now that's concise and excellent short movie making right there. Interestingly the panel show is cut short as we cross to Sonja Patel reporting from Miranda Falls, which just happens to be where the victim has collapse. Now that's almost at the level of Harold Pinter narrative shenanigans.
Naturally come the apocalypse come the Bogans who suddenly find with society breaking down they are in their element. Elvis and his girlfriend are having a hoot shooting things, which include people walking past, and are surprisingly an effective weapon in the war against the Bat spiders. I'm going to leave it to the audience to find the love there, definitely two memorable characters, the chick has apparently never felt so alive, which calls for a gasp on her inhaler, outstanding!
Creature design was a winner for me, and two thumbs up for a twist on the Alien birth method. Okay we're talking CGI beasties but well rendered and satisfyingly cool. You could actually make a full length feature centered on these creatures that could explore life cycles etc that would be bloody entertaining. Fingers cross Stuart Simpson has that idea for sometime in the future.
Behind the camera Simpson is making some interesting decisions that are not entirely obvious in intent. While the U.S panel show is in colour the actual live action going down is in black and white, I assume this allowed for better creature integration with the frames, but could be missing a subtle reference or similar. I was also pissing myself laughing as Simpson positions a couple of Bogans in behind Sonja Patel getting their fifteen minutes. Apocalypse going down, make a dick of yourself in the background of a live news feed, only in Australia folks! Simpson has an eye for detail that makes M Is For Mutant! a memorable movie.
I had a lot of fun with this movie and am pleased to see Stuart Simpson advancing both as a movie maker and a story teller. The short has the right amount of surreal insanity to make you want to go out and have a look at what else the Director has on his resume, for sure we'll be checking out El Monstro Del Mar! before we get much older. Full recommendation kids, it's less than four minutes, rocks along like a Rockabilly album, what's not to like. Stuart Simpson has kicked a major and deserves a lot of accolades for this outstanding short.
The entire movie should be below, if wanting additional information on Stuart Simpson or the movie then check out Lost Arts official site.