RADIO MECHANICS -
APOCALYPSE OF THE DIAL
STARRING: Patrick Murphy, Doug
Pelton, Mike Anderton, Karen Russell
2004, 18 Minutes, Directed by: Jonathan Johnson & Preston Herrick
Late-night radio talk show host Nigel Starr (Doug Pelton) is used to getting
outlandish and bizarre phone calls. But a call from Stillman (Patrick Murphy), a
frayed research scientist, proves to be the strangest one yet. Armed with only
theories about an alien plot to take over the world, Stillman must fight to
convince Nigel that his broadcast is the "kingpin to our very existence" -
before it's too late . . .
In this 18 minute-long short
film doing the film festival rounds in the States, a caller to a late-night talk
radio station warns that not only do aliens know how to move from one alternate
reality to the next, but that they are also about to invade ours.
Apparently an advertisement of
the call show’s corporate sponsor will somehow trigger this impending apocalypse
(confirming something we all had long suspected of corporate sponsorships
by the way).
Is the caller a crank? Onto
something? Or is this just a ruse to boost listener ratings?
Anyway, as you might have
gathered Radio Mechanics – Apocalypse of the Dial isn’t an instructional
video on radio equipment as the title might suggest, but instead plays like an
Outer Limits or Twilight Zone segment.
"Quite impressive for this type of production . . ."
Now let’s be honest here: short
films such as this, made by non-professionals (lead actor Patrick Murphy “works
full-time for the U.S. Forest Service” according to the official web site),
serve only as showpieces. They exist to illustrate to investors that the team
involved knows where to point a camera and get them to invest in longer and more
can say with confidence that the team behind Radio Mechanics does indeed know
where to point the camera. Technically the film is quite impressive for this
type of production: the special effects, sets, sound, music, camera work and
editing are all top notch while no doubt done on a shoestring budget. The next
time a Hollywood mega-budget production runs into problems, these will be the
guys to call!
Unfortunately the story suffers
from two major short-comings: the acting is wooden and the script is too talky
(and not as clever as it would like to believe). However, I can tell any future
investors here that with a good script and some professional actors I’m sure
that the Radio Mechanics crew will one day deliver a potential Cube or
Primer. Your money will be well spent on these promising film-makers. I’d love
to see any of their future efforts. Give these folks some money here!
In the meantime you can support
them by buying the short on DVD when it becomes available on their
official web site.
(Now if they’re looking for
scripts, I know that Nathan Shumate whose Cold Fusion Video Reviews host
this site has a few scripts lying around.
No, I don’t get paid any commission fees for this . . .)