Saturday, July 19, 2008

Honourable Mentions: Plasma

dvdThis was a 2002 produced short film by Shock! Horror! Probe! written by Robert Brock and directed by Tom Corrix. It is still available for free viewing over on the film’s production page.

They also produced the free shorts “An Australian Vampire in London”, “An American Vampire in Oxford” and “Fang Cams” (a series of very short films). Now, it is normal of me to honourably mention free films as a review is not particularly fair and we are not being asked to part with cash for it. In this case I wanted to do so even more so as the film, despite its indie source, has a couple of bits that other budget filmmakers could learn from. Plus I am fortunate enough to have this on DVD.

A DVD was made of the film for cast and crew and they had one copy left over. A competition was run and I was lucky enough to win it. The effort that went into the DVD, with more extras than you can shake a stick at, is astounding given that it was a limited press for those involved, never to be commercially sold, of a 10 minute short.

rock star and groupieWe start of at a gig. The lead singer (Chris Laducca) goes off stage and to his dressing room. A drug dealer (Grahame Jones) asks him if he wants some more stuff. The rock star gets home, drunk, with a groupie (Sarah Imes) and they stumble to one of his rooms – the one with the drug paraphernalia.

smoking plasmaThey start smoking a drug that, in its bag, glows. The drug, when smoked, gives of a red smoke and smells like old socks. It is known as Plasma. It is all a little too much for the groupie who stumbles off to find a bathroom in order to be sick – there is some nicely constructed Cluedo orientated dialogue here.

F*cking rocking! T*ts and fangs!In his room the rock star is astounded when two women appear, calling themselves Calpurnia (Sadie Cakes) and Titia (Jenni Acton). It is clear that the rock star believes them to be part of the trip and when Titia reveals fangs he exclaims “F*cking rocking! T*ts and fangs!” Well you would, wouldn’t you!

a feedThe vampire women crawl over to him and waste little time putting the bite on. Not that the rock star seems to mind at all. Meanwhile, of course, the groupie is in the bathroom and not very well at all. It is in the subsequent scenes that I believe budget filmmakers need to sit up and pay attention.

dust by plungerThe groupie hears a voice talking to her and suddenly Titia is there and puts the bite on. The groupie grabs the nearest implement to hand, a pump powered plunger and thrusts it against Titia’s breast, suctioning the heart out. No, that isn’t where a filmmaker should pay attention, as unusual as it is it is rather silly. However the subsequent dusting, whilst obviously of a budget, puts most other budget films (and some higher budget films) to shame.

an escaping soul perhapsThe groupie looks in the mirror and a light escapes her eyes and her reflection fades. This was brilliantly conceived, the light obviously representing the fleeing soul as the vampire infection takes hold and very well done. The groupie uses the plunger to suction her neck – okay that veered back to silly, but hey it was consistently silly.

rock 'n' rollIn the morning she finds her way back to the rock stars room and he seems dead on the bed as Calpurnia sips some wine. Suddenly he snarls and says “Join us!” The groupie grabs a guitar – we don’t see the staking, just reaction shots, but we see the aftermath and Calpurnia vanishes off. Fin

A clever little short, with some nice dialogue peppered around and some very clever moments. The folks involved in this deserve to do much more and I am honoured to have one of the DVDs.

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