I was an instant fan of Robot Hand’s Brian Lonano. The young director’s first two films after film school, Casket Climber Insect God and Electrical Skeletal (which I’ve embedded at the end of the article for your viewing pleasure) were fantastic, award winning short films that showed someone clearly in love with the genres of horror and sci-fi. There just isn’t enough stop-motion animation in the world today, and anyone who can bring it back in an inventive way definitely deserves praise. And now he’s got his own sci-fi invasion film (of sorts), the cleverly named Attackazoids!.
There’s not much to the story. In it, an unnamed woman (Holly Lynn Ellis) runs away from the titular robots, who broadcast their message of peace through a calming megaphone voice while simultaneously ripping and blasting everyone to shreds. It’s automatically the most gory thing he’s done, and you could tell they had a lot of fun throwing all the goop around. The choice of music to end the scene (Beethoven’s Turkish March) only makes it that much sweeter and more of a hysterical contrast. The woman gets away from their initial massacre, but is the world doomed?
The fact that nothing as far as backstory is explained in the film (besides some hints in
the background- posters and newspapers along the ruined landscape) only
makes things that much better… it makes you wonder just what happened
to warrant creation of these monsters. It’s a fun and quick ride at 7 minutes.
Now, this is a low budget short, so don’t be expecting CGI or fancy effects here. Instead we have all stop-motion and miniature sets, a great throwback to the old sci-fi and horror flicks that clearly influenced the film. Even if they had the money I’m sure they would have gone this route anyway. Another trademark of his films (besides the incredibly good stop motion animation) is that both previous shorts have been music videos for hardcore songs, in a way. That doesn’t turn out to be the case here, but besides the Turkish March there’s some incredible wartime propaganda music with a nice marching beat. It’s definitely a departure for the director, though.
I’m excited to see what Brian can come up with in the future, as every
film of his has been tighter and more polished than the last, using new
techniques and experimenting more and more. Head on over to Robot Hand’s official site to check out a preview of the first minute of Attackazoids!, and hopefully you’ll be able to check it out soon at a festival near you soon. If all goes well, we’ll have more Attackazoid shorts in the future, including a prequel showing who made these metal beasts.