The overly wacky tone leaves little room for anything else
Gordon doesn't have much going for him, but he is determined to get a date with Wendy, who works at the Laundromat. When Wendy finally agrees (on the condition he never ask her ever again), Gordon gets some advice from the janitor – take her deep into the woods, where mutant kids called Melon Heads are supposedly murdering people, get her scared witless and soon enough she'll be wetter than the otter's proverbial pocket.
This short opens with a nice tracking shot of a mop sweeping across the floor, taking us to our shirtless lead character; it is a sequence that made me think of Tim Burton's weirdly Gothic comedies (Bettlejuice) and it is a touchstone that the film itself is clearly going for. While we have absurdly unusual characters, they still have human hearts, but at the same time there is a constant sense of the odd to the place, characters, and story. I must say that technically the film is impressive, not only in the production values, but also in the way it is able to produce its target tone so consistently across different scenes. This is a positive for the film but not so much for me personally because I didn't care for what it did.
As a declaration, I would say I was quite ill and tired when I watched this short, so maybe was not in the mood for this type of overly absurd comedy, but for me it didn't work. It wasn't that the film itself wasn't occasionally funny, it was just that there was nothing else to it apart from this overly wacky tone – it had no base or foundation outside of this. I read on the blog where I saw this film, that the goal is to develop a feature from this – maybe that feature will take the time to bed in around this sense of humor, however in this short it doesn't – very much throwing you in to either get it immediately, or be mostly left on the outside looking in for the rest.
The cast throw themselves into this approach – in particular Spencer plays his oddball at full speed, although this is actually part of the problem with the short, since he gives the viewer no gradual onboarding with his character. There is a better film in here than the short gives us; one that weaves the oddity and horror into the film rather than just dumping it all in our laps from the getgo and having nowhere to go from there.
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