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agentorange [Celluloid 03.17.08] movie review short

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Year: 2006
Director: Ewan Telford
Writers: Joseph Conrad/L. Frank Baum/John Milius/Ewan Telford/Noel Langley/Michael Herr/Edgar Allan Woolf/Florence Ryerson
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

When I first stumbled across this kinetic punk-rock gem of a short film, the name Apocalypse Oz actually sounded ominous to me like maybe Ewan Telford was putting together some twisted apocalyptic fever dream of a movie and was merely using the Oz moniker to imply a tone of surreality. Well as it turns out, I was half right. While a twisted fever dream of a film it surely is, Apocalypse Oz is actually literally what the title says it is; it's Apocalypse Now meets The Wizard of Oz. In fact, as the DVD cover exclaims in bold neon yellow, this film "features 0% original dialog" and instead cobbles lines from the screenplays of both films to make one brilliantly executed mash-up.






But let's not beat around the bush on this one m'kay? Apocalypse Oz had every opportunity to be a royal pain in my butt. And in this day in age, it absolutely wouldn't have surprised me if Telford had the notion to slap together some ironic piss-take on these two films and be done with it. But luckily, Apocalypse Oz is not a farce, spoof, or satire. It is something entirely new; an experiment that not only taps the current zeitgeist for its love affair with music and trailer mash-ups, but attempts to explore new ways of telling stories.

Whether it succeeds in discovering a new formula is, of course, debatable and questions linger as to whether this idea could translate into the feature length Apocalypse Oz outing that Telford is currently working on. Call me a modernist if you want (or just old fashioned), but I like a bit of edification from my cinema and not just pastiche (and yes I get the irony of that statement considering how much I loved Neil Marshall's great pastiche piece Doomsday, but I'd argue that this is a beast of a different color).





But Apocalypse Oz also exposes a fresh talent in Telford who, as a director at least, seems brimming with ideas and the technical knowhow to pull off scenes that, to someone less adventurous, might seem outside the constraints of the film's low budget. Between the gleefully retro opening credits, some great photography and loads of nifty car chases, this film is certainly a feast for the senses even if it doesn't offer much food for thought.



Trivia Alert: That's LOST's M.C. Gainey (aka. "Mr. Friendly") as The Wizard.

Our previous post on Apocalypse Oz

Apocalypse Oz official website



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quietearth (6 years ago) Reply

I loved the girl in this.. I hope she stars in the feature.


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