Having created quite an obsession in my mind with Neil Blomkamp after the release of District 9 which sits firmly amongst my favourite movies of all time, when I first heard of Oats Studio’s Volume One Series directed by Blomkamp then I’ll admit I was taken right away and I had to watch. Missing the opportunity to review the first release Rakka, a post-apocalyptic film starring Sigourney Weaver, I thought I’d start with the second of four short films in the series, Firebase.
Firebase is a mix of horror, sci-fi and gore, bringing together almost all aspects and techniques used in both these genres from found footage to physical horror and CGI. After surviving a massacre, Sgt. Hines is drawn to destroy an extra-terrestrial force as both American soldiers and the Viet Minh find themselves finding a new kind of enemy that neither of them were prepared for.
Blomkamp risks putting too much into the basket in Firebase, and I’m left unsure whether or not he succeeded. Firebase had me until its final moments and CGI is introduced with an alien sequence based in Russia. Following from a storyline based on an attack by a man known as ‘the river god’ who has the power to control people and make himself invisible it seemed odd and out of place, not helped by unconvincing effects. Nonetheless Firebase is well-paced and entertaining and is a thought provoking film with all the interest and commentary that Blomkamp brought to District 9.
Despite no standout stars following Weavers appearance in Rakka, the case of Firebase give a good account for themselves and the team that brought together the gory and horrific River God have created something both disturbing and beautiful.
It’s hard to judge Firebase alone without the final two films, but it is well worth a watch and has kept me interested to see the rest of what volume One has in store.
Firebase is available on YouTube now.
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