Thursday, January 22, 2009

AM 1200-review by cyberhal

AM 1200 is not your average low budget short. First off, I'm guessing that David Prior pulled in a ton of favors from his Industry mates to ensure this 40 minute flick enjoys a look every bit as professional as a multimillion dollar production. The story is a treat. We start off with Harry Jones (Ray Wise, it's great to watch his face) giving Sam Larson (Eric Lange, also strong) some worldly and drunken advice on how to cheat their uncaring financial firm out of a big chunk of change. It seems that they follow through on the plan but it ends badly as shortly after, Harry blows his own brains out and Sam drives out of town fast, and he's so scared of the cops that he pukes when he spots a patrol vehicle.

As night closes in on Sam, he happens on a weird call for help from God Squad radio station on AM 1200. Outside the station, which looks deserted, his car dies and he enters. Who knew that religion could be so dangerous? Well most of us really, but whatever. BTW, the sound FX in this short are amazing and really help amp up the fear. Overly loud footsteps and breathing, night insects that start and stop, the electric crackle as the station kicks in and out of broadcast, and a background noise that sounds like a cross between flies buzzing and power generators. Plus the odd sampling of Omen-style chanting. Most of the scenes are night interiors and reaction shots figure high.

I can't reveal why someone is insane enough to rip the skin off their hand to escape their handcuffs, but it's definitely worth seeing. Perhaps if I was a DJ stuck in a religious radio station I would do the same. Anyhow, David Prior has done a whole pile of Industry type video documentaries with famous types, but on this project he's let he's own creativity run free. He should do it more often because this is really a very cool film indeed. Loved the crazy ending, loved the saw. Next time you listen to that stuff on am talk radio, I strongly advise you not to because just look what can happen.

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