Friday, March 15, 2019

Short Film: The Alpha Omega Man

You might remember me looking at the short, no-budget effort Dracula AD 2015? This is another gentle, no-budget spoof/homage to a classic film by director Joshua Kennedy, which was released in 2017 and looks lovingly back through cinematic time to the Omega Man; thanks to Holly who mentioned this to me recently.

It starts with Neville (Joshua Kennedy, Dracula AD 2015) cruising the streets but, rather than in a car he is on a pushbike and this begins an absurdist element to this that works really rather nicely. He stops to shoot at a figure moving through a building and we see the “gun” is a crossbow but post-production effects make it spit bullets as though a gun (similarly handguns are repurposed from other props). It almost makes it that it is a film of someone role-playing the Omega Man.

Neville watches Neville
That could still be the case when he goes a film archive, of course, but there is also a gloriously-post-modern element. Whilst it seems that he watches Woodstock (1970), we suddenly realise that he is actually watching the Omega Man and the scene where Neville watches Woodstock. We get Neville (from this film) voicing the dialogue from Woodstock as voiced by Neville (from the original film). There is the phone ringing moment and the sun is setting but we miss the moment from the original film of the garage attack (the budget probably wouldn’t cut it).

Heston pic
Continuing the post-modern moment, instead of the bust of Caesar wearing his military cap, as his chess adversary, it is a picture of Charlton Heston with the cap placed above the frame. The Family is changed slightly by having Matthias (Kat Kennedy, also Dracula AD 2015) gender swapped, though Brother Zachary (Dexter John Scott) still talks about the “honky paradise” of Neville’s apartment. One difference was making the infected have green blood.

Laura Laureano as Lisa
The character of Lisa (Laura Laureano) is still in place but the other unturned younger characters are not. So Lisa’s character covers all of them and it is her character that has to be cured. In a much more vampiric twist, a family member biting an unturned (or uninfected) person will immediately turn them. The cure, likewise, is an infusion of Neville’s blood rather than a serum made from it.

the family
Probably the must amusing moment in the low budget stakes was the escape from the Family, after Neville is captured. He and Lisa race around the abandoned building except… well they have to pass a canteen, which is in use (I assume it’s a college building and so being used by students). The cast ignore the sudden influx of people into the empty city and we just chuckle, knowing that it has been left in because of the joke (perhaps even deliberately shot that way).

This is a labour of love and the primary cast are having a whale of a time. Plus the vampire element is beefed up by dint of a single bite. The imdb page is here.

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