Tag 26 (2003)

  |  Short, Drama, Sci-Fi


Twenty six days after an undescribed biological disaster, two survivors thereof are forced to live in cumbersome protective biohazard suits and scavenge for food, water and fuel in a desolate dead land.


7.4/10
136

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6 February 2006 | bob the moo
Simple but very effective short film
Biological war has broken out and we join the story as two survivors wearing heavy biological suits as their car breaks down on the road. Needing petrol they head towards a nearby farm house. To say more than this would spoil things but really there isn't a lot more plot than this. Using the "last men alive" theme really well, the film starts with a general air of foreboding that is only increased as the audience realise that death is in the air itself – not a bullet to be dodged, an explosion to escape or a man to evade but a virus that is everywhere. This aspect is helped by the silent, dark presence of the suited men.

With almost no dialogue at all the majority of the 18 minutes are silent. This means that the sound effects feel much louder, so a car horn, the rustle of papers etc all elevate the tension because they make the silence sound more silent. The air of doom and death carries this film for the majority and, although nothing really happens, I found myself quite gripped by it. When the "action" comes it is simple but emotionally quite intense due to the urgent body language of the two men in suits – I felt their fear and panic, which is not that easy to produce when wearing a black suit and mask (ask whoever the ham was inside Vader in Star Wars III). The conclusion is a simple but effective one that says a lot about humanity and, although I saw it coming a few minutes beforehand, it still worked really well and I was personally quite satisfied by it.

Overall a simple and effective short that plays on its strengths to cancel out any possible weaknesses it may have had due to the limited budget. Samland's story may have been simple but as director he really brings it alive and produces something tense, engaging and affirming and makes it look easy – which it clearly wasn't. Nothing to hype up or start running looking for but for me it was a surprising enjoyable short that made a great find on late night television.

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Short | Drama | Sci-Fi

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