Writer-director Neill Blomkamp (who brought us 2009’s “District 9” and who wanted to bring us a fifth “Alien” installment) is currently releasing a series of sci-fi short films via his “Oats Studios” channel on Youtube. There have been four released so far, with a fifth, “ZYGOTE,” scheduled for release today.
The two to which I’ve linked below, “Firebase” and “Rakka,” are fantastic. They’re both military science fiction, they’ve both got lots of gore and great special effects, and they both show Blomkamp’s trademark predilection for body horror.
They’re both incredibly dark stories, too. “Firebase” is disturbing; “Rakka” is downright horrifying. (The Eiffel Tower scene … yeesh.) It might make you smile, though, to see none other than Sigourney Weaver fighting alien invaders.
If “Firebase” doesn’t make much sense to you, try not to let it hamper your enjoyment of it. (The short’s reveal shows us that many of these disparate story elements actually aren’t supposed to make much logical sense, considering their cause.) And you should know ahead of time that both of these short films should serve as prologues for sequels or longer tales. (Maybe Blomkamp is planning their denouements in subsequent shorts?)
I was so befuddled by “Firebase” at first that I wound up turning it off and then returning to it later. I still think that its writing could be cleaned up a bit. It’s definitely out there, and strays from science fiction into fantasy and … maybe even theology. It was “Firebase,” however, that stayed with me and really got under my skin — much more than the more straightforward invasion horror story, “Rakka.”