Friday, March 9, 2012

Fantastic Short Film Friday - Project S.E.R.A (live-action)

And we are back with another installment in our Fantastic Short Film Friday series, as we continue to showcase films released in the "lesser" known form of cinema- the short film.

I know what many of you may be thinking, "hey didn't you showcase a zombie short last week? 2 weeks in a row? What gives?" Well last weeks short Rest was a meditative fair that was more road movie, more philosophical look at longing and love then zombie movie. This week's short is an action packed thrillfest that feels right out of a mainstream Hollywood special effects laden fare. But the honest answer is, I love zombies. Always have. So yeah, anytime I can showcase the shambling masses of the walking dead, any time a filmmaker decides to do a short about the zombie Apocalypse, I will be there. So today, here is the 12-minute short Project S.E.R.A from filmmaker Benjamin Howdeshell. Yeah it feels like a Paul WS Anderson shot short, but I don't care. I liked it.

The setup is this: a group of goons hold a man's daughter hostage as they try to figure out who he told about their bio-chemical weapon. Reminiscent of the Resident Evil series, this bio-chemical virus once injected turns the recipient into a superhuman mindless zombie. As things start to escalate, can the father and daughter be saved and reunited, or will the zombie virus infect them, urging them to tear one another apart?

Sure this kind of zombie movie has been done before, but filmmaker Benjamin Howdeshell wisely mixes a zombie tale with the hostage thriller genre. The actors and actress are good-looking and act like they're in a zombie b-movie which is a plus. Also, the splatter effects are nicely done (thankfully practical) and there's a lot of gunplay and hand to hand fighting. My only complaint is that at 11-minutes long, the short actually feels, well... short. Not much is explained, there's a lot of build-up that leads to a pretty cliched finale. But there's a lot of promise here and the action, set pieces and music add to one pulse-pounding movie.

Check this out if you like you like your splatter mixed with heart stopping action. Check this out if you want to see the start of a filmmaker that I'm sure will be making feature films in the next 5 years. Enjoy this weeks dose of short form goodness in, Project S.E.R.A.

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