This is my personal thoughts, opinions and musings place. I will also rant about things, especially politically-correct things that irritate me. And sci-fi. Did I mention sci-fi? There'll be lots of sci-fi stuff here. And movies, too. Mmmmm... Movies

Monday, June 13, 2005

Canadian movie shorts

One of the distinguishing features of a significant portion of Canadian moviemaking is the atrocious acting and a visual style that resembles nothing more than being shot with a handheld digital minicam. I don't know why, but Canadian movies look like they've been shot with an incorrect lighting setup. If you want an example of what Canadian movies look like, check out the Season IV openner episode of Andromeda called “Answers given to questions never asked”. (Yes, I know it's sad I can quote episode names, but let's push on, shell we?) There's a scene in that episode when the crew meets the Avatar of the Abyss and the whole bridge lights up. That's what Canadian movies usually look like: overlit with very sharp shadows.

Which is why I so enjoy watching Canadian movie shorts that TV stations here sometimes play. Yes, they're often hokey, but they're usually made on a tiny budget and are often surprisingly good, and especially funny. I saw two such yesterday.
One was about a young Grim Reaper making a housecall. The family in question stabbed him, shot him, hit him upside the head, their Goth-wannabe daughter kept trying to mate with him and made him chase them all throughout the house. Needless to say, he wasn't in the best of moods when he finally cornered all four of them in their bathroom. So it is perhaps for the best that it was at that moment that the answering machine came on and the Reaper realized that after all that, he's been terrorizing the wrong family. The guy who needed reaping lived in the house across the street, and not being a particularly pleasant guy, he didn't get a pleasant send-off from the now seriously pissed-off Reaper.
Another one was about a woman who for a lack of a better word I suppose we could a call a 'spinster', except that she was relatively young and actually pretty decent-looking. She tends her garden and curls up at night a romance novel. She doesn't lead what one might call a very exciting life, until one day when she pulls a weird root out of the ground. She doesn't know what it is, so like a good gardener(I guess) she places it in a container full of water. Overnight it turns into a weird scaly-type creature. At first, the woman's afraid of it and attacks it with a frying pan(Heh! Only in the movies!), but quickly realizes that the poor thing looks more afraid of her than she is of it.

Anyway, she keeps the little thing, and it seems quite content to be cuddled by her like a baby, and it responds by attaching a stranger sucker right to her forehead. Here we go, I thought, no good deed goes unpunished. But no, with the sucker the little creature is able to create whole worlds in the woman's mind and place her at the heart of the action, usually in the middle of a trashy romance with over-muscled gents. It doesn't really hurt the woman, makes her feel like she has a life, and is sort of a 'Thank you' from the little creature for the care the woman's giving it.

It's at this point that it starts getting weird. A pushy and abnoxious vacuum salesman comes through the door(actually pushes his way in), and starts whining and bitching about no one will give him a chance to make his spiel. It's at this juncture in his otherwise drab life, that the little weird creature eats him. Literally. In fact, the little beast reminded me a little of Nibbler on Futurama. It's the perfect crime; there's no evidence the man was even there, it eats him all up. Next thing you know, the woman's house is full of stuff: encyclopedias, food processors, etc.

In the final act, just as she has attached the little sucker to her forehead again to enjoy a quite night with a hunk, the doorbell rings and she goes to answer it. The screen goes blank, and all you hear is the following exchange:

Female stranger: “Have you ever thought about the afterlife?”
Woman: “Please, do come in.”
Another short that I remember(I'm not sure this one's Canadian, though) is about a man who had his arms replaced with more impressive arms. They weren't android arms, they were real, just better than his original parts. Or they would've been, if he'd actually be able to use them. One time, in a public bathroom, he was flat on his back with some hot babe riding him for all she was worth, yelling, “Grab my tits, grab my tits!”, and was getting upset with him that he wouldn't. He wished he could, but he couldn't make them work; they just dangled at his side, useless.

So, he decided to go back to the doctor who gave him the new arms, and complained. The doctor, of course, couldn't figure out what was wrong with them, but after making much oooh and aaah over how good they looked, convinced him to get a new chest to go with his new arms. When he told the doctor he wanted his old arms back, he was told they weren't available, they were sold to someone else. The last you saw of him, somebody else was trying to convince him to get a new brain!


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