Tag Archives: Scott Bateman


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Audio only link (Soundcloud download)

Quick links/Discussed in this episode:

5000 Space Aliens (2021): Scott Bateman interview begins. Read Giles Edwards’ review. 5000 one-second animated portraits (the “aliens”), scored to a relentless thumping beat. Arriving on VOD on Nov. 21. 5000 Space Aliens official homepage.

Black God, White Devil (1964): Discussion begins. Class struggle, evil preachers, infanticide, and mystical visions populate this little-seen Brazilian classic which is something like an art-house proto-Spaghetti Western. Restored and rereleased by Janus, which means its a good bet for a Criterion Collection release in 2024; screening in New York City this week, L.A. the following week, and elsewhere… maybe. Black God, White Devil from Janus Films.

Color out of Space (2019): Discussion begins. Read Gregory J. Smalley’s review. One of a brace of gonzo features coming out in 4K UHD Steelbook editions from Image Entertainment this week. Buy Color out of Space.

Computer Chess (2013): Discussion begins. Read Ryan Aarset’s review. This 10th anniversary release marks the surreal comedy on the timely topic of artificial intelligence’s first time on Blu-ray; lots of intriguing special features, including a an A.I.-generated trailer for a (presumably fake) sequel and a commentary track “by an enthusiastic stoner.” Buy Computer Chess.

“Disney Legacy Animated Film Collection”: Discussion begins. 100 Blu-ray set from Disney containing almost every movie (no Song of the South, naturally, but movies of interest to us like Fantasia, Fantasia 2000, Alice in Wonderland, and The Nightmare Before Christmas) plus tchotchkes like a crystal Mickey Mouse hat. Supposedly available at Walmart for around $1500, but the last we looked the pre-order link had been removed, so who knows? Full list of titles at Variety.

Do Not Disturb (2023): Discussion begins. A married couple go through a difficult period in their relationship, as they eat peyote buttons and experiment with cannibalism. In limited release this week; on VOD next week, when we’ll have a review for you. Director John Ainslie’s blog has more.

Dr. Caligari (1989): Discussion begins. Read the Canonically Weird entry! In 2019 we feared this erotic camp sci-fi New Wave cult film would never get a decent DVD release; four years later it’s coming out on 4K UHD!  Buy Dr. Caligari.

“Scott Pilgrim Takes Off”: Discussion begins. Netflix’s highly anticipated anime-style adaptation of the Canonically weird movie (well, of the underlying graphic novel) drops this Friday. Most (all?) of the movie’s cast came back to voice their original characters. “Scott Pilgrim Takes Off” on Netflix.

Spirited Away: Live on Stage (2022): Discussion begins. Two filmed performances of the Tokyo stage play version of ‘s canonically weird fantasy, with two different leads. It was broadcast to theaters early this year, now it’s on two Blu-rays. Buy Spirited Away: Live on Stage.

Sympathy for the Devil (2023): Discussion begins. Read Giles Edwards review. This two-hander thriller, with Cage as a demented red-haired kidnapper, is the second half of Image’s Cage 4KUHD Steelbook pair. Buy Sympathy for the Devil.


Next week is Thanksgiving, so we will take our first ever vacation from Pod 366. We’ll be back the following week with to talk about his upcoming feature, The Dark Sisters. In written reviews, Gregory J. Smalley handles Screwdriver (2023), Giles Edwards feasts on Do Not Disturb (see above), and Shane Wilson gets into the Thanksgiving spirit with coverage of ‘s Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006). Onward and weirdward!


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DIRECTED BY: Scott Bateman

FEATURING: 5,000 individuals, new and old

PLOT: None.

COMMENTS: Before diving into a brief review, let me say that this is one of the coolest things I’ve seen this year.


Now, removing my fanboy hat, let me don my critical reviewer cap. Expanding on his 600 Space Aliens short from 2016, Scott Batemen enters “feature length” territory with this barrage of rotoscoped, scrapbooked, distorted, pigmented, animated images of 5,000 individuals[efn_note]If he keeps up this pace, I look forward to 40000 Space Aliens in about five years’ time.[/efn_note]. According to the brief introduction, all entities on display have been determined to be “space aliens” according to the “Space Alien Commission” (which receives a special thank-you in the closing credits). Bateman advises us to “[w]atch carefully. Memorize all 5000 space aliens. After viewing, please dispose of this film by eating it.”

The introduction’s playful tone is maintained throughout the eighty-three-and-a-half minute run-time. (For our “physical and mental safety, each alien is shown for only one second.”) Each clip is altered in one way or another, sometimes simply (blurry black-and-white), sometimes elaborately (intricate underlays behind a stylized rotoscoping of the “alien” in the foreground). Random textual blurbs are scattered throughout in the form of three-to-six word phrases cropping up somewhere on the screen (a couple of my favorites being, “give thanks to our fetishes” and “science brain parts”).  A pulsing, power-pop synth score composed by the filmmaker drives the whole shebang, making 5000 Space Aliens an absolute must for your post-COVID art-dance house party.

Of the dozens (hundreds?) of word blasts, the most pertinent may be “text book on embalming.” I feel it distills the nature of this smilingly cryptic project. The torrent of humanity and movement Bateman captured is hypnotic; it isn’t often that I happily sit through over an hour of random images. The effect was pleasantly disorienting, so much so that when an un-doctored image of a young woman appeared, I was seriously thrown for a loop. (Mind you, the solid blocks of vermilion red streaming up from her coffee mug were probably added in post-production).

And on the topic of post-production, I shudder to think how long that took Scott (mind if I call you “Scott”?) to compile this. Every single second is bursting with life from his augmentations, be it kinetic line-o-grams or the overtly -esque animations utilizing black-and-white photographs of older “space aliens.” The second thank-you in the credits went to his cowdfunding backers, and with my brain joyfully glazed over by his efforts, I wish I could have helped him out myself. When you next have five-thousand seconds to kill, I advise you take up the challenge of observing and memorizing this barrage of human space-alien cinematographical wonderment.


5,000 Space Aliens – Official website providing plenty of  information (screening times, contact links, “About the Filmmakers”, etc.) as well as a sample from the soundtrack