Heather Mahler takes us on a fanciful journey through the campus of Snow College in Utah. Energetic, imaginative, and fun; “Wake Up” will be the highlight of your Saturday afternoon. Music by Snyder Mahler.
As uncomfortable as it is original, Unglewd will challenge your concept of music. Samples of chatter and screeching, accompanied by erratic drums, blend with a slew of distressful images to make this week’s short a bad trip you must experience.
WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Filmed by special effects maven Yoshihiro Nishimura in 2007 as an extra for the Meatball Machine DVD, Reject of Death was made without a net, and without a sense of accountability to anyone who might censor it for content, or for sense. Done in the style of a music video, it displays all the narrative rigor one expects from the form—which actually serves this material well. Add politically incorrect stereotypes to the fast-moving mix of absurdist gore, heavy metal music, and killer boobs, and you have one weird little extra.
COMMENTS: I can only imagine that the correct way to see Reject of Death is to view it before seeing Meatball Machine; not knowing the “rules” of the MM universe likely to boost the already pretty “WTF?” level into the stratosphere. The scene is set by a schoolgirl causally hacking at her arm with a razor, only to find a glowing button encased beneath her flesh. She presses the button, and heavy metal power chords assault our ears. Cut to a scene of a wigged prostitute whose trick turning is interrupted by the whir of tentacles and spray of blood that indicates infection by alien parasites. Intercut those scenes with three ethnic stereotypes—a Native America, and African, and an Asian—wandering bemused around the streets of a Japanese city. Bring all three groups together on a rooftop for a bloody battle royale which sprinkles in kung fu posturing, hermaphrodism, and a nipple that shoots barbed chains into eyeballs, and you have yourself an out-of-control featurette that will score with fans of pop-surrealism and exploitation-extremism alike. Rejects of Death utilizes the thin mythology set up in Meatball Machine, and very well may be an attempt to explain one character’s back story, but it stands apart stylistically from the feature that inspired it. Unabashedly (and gloriously) offensive, the short isn’t special enough by itself to justify a DVD purchase, but packaged together with the feature film, it may be enough to inspire fence-sitters to take a chance on a rental.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
If there’s one thing we like more than a talented, unconventional film director, it’s one who also writes extraordinary music. John R. Hand is one of these talented artists. His band, User Assumes Risk, mixes their disturbing electronic music with horrifying, gruesome images for a live performance that would make Marilyn Manson envious. CORRECTION: Although Hand is also a composer, the music in this video was actually written by Lemmie Crew.
The music video is the one form where directors can be weird and experimental without fear of being shunned by the world at large. Made for the band N.A.S.A.’s album “The Spirit of Apollo,” where the concept was to pair unlikely musicians, “Spacious Thoughts” mixes the smooth rap of Kool Keith with the grumblings of ever-weird Tom Waits. Director Fluorescent Hill animates Keith as a black sphere wearing cowboy boots who breathes out Tom as an angry cloud.
OOIOO is an all-female avant-garde music group from Japan. Their style is very hard to describe, because it varies so much. Many of their songs have a soothing, majestic feel to them, while this song is strongly tribal based. One thing is for certain, they can move a crowd. Their strong rhythm section compels their listeners to dance.
Directed by Shoji Goto, this psychedelic video focuses on the concept of communication with nature. If drum circles in the forest are your thing, you should most definitely watch this video. If they’re not… well, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
Today’s Saturday Short is a music video made by Chad Vangaalen. Chad is a musician and artist from Canada who rarely leaves his basement, where he is constantly working. Besides his passion for music and the visual arts, Chad also has a passion for skateboarding.
In the video you’ll see that Chad’s music style is a combination of indie, folk, pop, and experimental. He has created a few stop motion videos to advertise his latest album, “Soft Airplane,” but in his other videos he uses computer animation.
Originally, I wanted to use the music video to “Molten Light.” I find the animation as well as the music to be much better, but this video is a little too graphic for our site. There are sequences of strong comic violence and nudity throughout. If that content doesn’t bother you click here.
If you enjoy the music be sure to look up Chad’s alias, “Black Mold,” as well. He just released an album under the name.