Seeing as you'll be reading my review of Evil Aliens later this week, I figured why not stretch out the intergalactic theme and include it within this week's Eat My Shorts. I mean, who doesn't like to watch a film about aliens? They're weird, foreign and mysterious creatures that, depending upon who you ask, may or may not exist in real life. Personally, I am of the opinion that aliens are out there somewhere, waiting for just the right time to come down to earth and start their own professional ping-pong league. Heck, there's a lot of money to be made in ping-pong and I'm sure those little dudes are up there paying attention.
Life is more fun when you're a believer. If anything, one can use an alien's presence to explain missing homework, a clogged toilet or why next weekend will not be a good time for the in-laws to pay a visit. All kidding aside, we adore our aliens and love watching them up on the big screen accompanied by millions of dollars in special effects. However, aliens also play a big role in the world of short films as well. Be it animated or live-action, I'm consistently amazed by the quality of alien-related shorts online and available to watch right now ... for free.
This week, all of the following films have something do with aliens and were found rather quickly by typing in a few keywords and surfing the net. As always, if you'd like to see a particular short film featured on a future edition of Eat My Shorts, feel free to send all links, tips and suggestions to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. In the meantime, let's go watch some shorts ...
The way I see it, the majority of alien-related films are separated into three categories: The alien visit, the alien abduction and the alien invasion. With the alien visit, more often than not, one single alien winds up on Earth (most likely by accident) and must find a way back to their home planet (see: E.T.), while desperately trying to hide and escape from those human beings looking for the next great discovery. The alien abduction consists of, well, one of our own being hijacked by aliens and taken off to far off places in order to be the subject of some bizarre inter-planetary science project. And, finally, the alien invasion -- my favorite aspect of any alien-inspired flick. Heck, I can think of nothing better than to watch a slew of naughty aliens wreak havoc on our planet. Ain't it fun?
So, this week's shorts are divided into those same three categories. Enjoy!
The Alien Visit
- Directed by Chris Cunningham, Rubber Johnny is definitely a weird experience that, while fun to watch, left me wanting more from a story that never quite takes off. Pic revolves around a "hyperactive, shape-shifting mutant child" who is apparently captured and locked in a pitch-black room with only a small dog for companionship. Though the flick has a great set-up, it quickly turns experimental, blending fast-paced hypnotic music with fast cuts and bizarre visuals. Could it have been better? Yes. Is it worth watching? Hell yes.
- Imagine going about your everyday business, only to discover an alien rummaging through your kitchen. That's exactly what happens to the main character in Herd, a short film directed by Mike Mitchell. Yes, the man who brought us Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo actually helmed a pretty hilarious short about a man who must figure out what in the world a muppet-like alien is doing in his house, why it's destroying all of his property, and how, if possible, will he get rid of it.
The Alien Abduction
- Abducted is an animated short that takes the fear of an alien anal probe to a whole different level. Yes, that's correct -- I used the words 'alien anal probe.' Directed by Webster Colcord (who later went on to work on animation for films like Antz, Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ), pic was born in the mid-90s and tells the story of a poor man with stomach problems who is swiped up and taken onboard an alien ship with, um, painful consequences. (Note: This film may be NSFW.)
- In Out There, Jeff Fahey stars as a man who may or may not have been abducted by aliens. In an attempt to discover the truth, he is put under hypnosis by a psychologist (Harry Shearer) and asked to describe everything he feels has happened. However, things slowly spiral out of control and we begin to wonder whether this man was really the subject of an alien encounter or has he just simply lost his mind. Pic was directed by John Coven, who has worked as a storyboard artist on films like X-Men and Walk the Line.
The Alien Invasion
- They Came to Attack Us is the second short from writer-directors Kyle Rankin and Efram Potelle that I've decided to feature on Eat My Shorts. You may remember these boys from their appearance on the second season of Project Greenlight, where the two won a chance to direct The Battle of Shaker Heights. If you know anything about Rankin and Potelle, Heights was definitely the wrong film for two lunatics who love to blend dorky comedy with a ton of special effects. In They Came to Attack Us, some random dude wakes up one morning to his town being invaded by aliens -- in a way that very much reminded me of War of the Worlds. When a mysterious girl jumps through a portal and lands in his kitchen, she asks our hero to hold onto a magical orb, while providing him with a weapon to defend himself. Hilarity ensues.
As always, if you have any tips, links or suggestions regarding Eat My Shorts, feel free to send them to shorts AT cinematical DOT com. Cheers!