Directed by: Shane Ryan
Written by: #ShaneRyan
Short film Guerrilla successfully pays homage to the late 80’s, bringing the audience back to a simpler world filled with video games, roller blades and VHS tapes. Oh! With the addition of apocalyptic wastelands, zombies and a deadly virus outbreak thrown in the mix as well (just to make it that much simpler).
Controversial director Shane Ryan produces an unusual combination of simplicity, connected to raw and candid filmmaking, combined with hyperbolic images of horror and blood, making for an almost comical short piece.
The story is set on July 4th 1989, the date a rocket is launched from a US military base. The rocket explodes soon after take-off which causes a deadly virus outbreak causing the town to turn on each other, killing and feasting on those in the cruellest of ways. The audience focus on one young boy, characterised as the town’s saviour due to his immunity and powerful willingness to fight back against this deadly virus.
It became very difficult to fault the #cinematography, it was beautifully shot and the use of a hand held camera really captured the splendour of the locations, and added a natural receptiveness to the actors. The audience are able to view everything from in a fresh outlook, completely unhindered by artificialness or overdone editing techniques. This film really did make you think, feel and breathe in all of what nature has to offer, and I for one applaud Shane Ryan for taking advantage of using the landscape as a stage in itself. It was enjoyable to watch how effortlessly the shots were filmed, you’ve got this beautiful scenery and this golden sunlight falling so perfectly over the land making everything just come to life and appear so vivid, with locations such as that why spoil it!
With absolutely no dialogue, Guerrilla did rely heavily on the music. This made it difficult to follow the story at times, however, it wasn’t complicated enough to completely lose your way. To improve, the film may have benefitted from a small explanation as to how this virus outbreak occurred. A majority of the non-diegetic sound was 80’s synth and could have been perceived as out of place in certain areas. For example, the audience are watching blood and guts fly all over the shop but are strangely enticed and are almost encouraged to bob along to the edgy sounds of 80’s pop. Bit of a mismatch? Perhaps. But this may have been Ryan’s objective. It would have been interesting to see a bit more 80’s props being used. There is only a brief moment where the audience are certain that the film is set during that period, with the brief flashes of VHS tapes and retro video games. However, it would have been interesting to see a bit of nostalgia shine through in order to really get a sense of the 80’s vibe.
This was an enjoyable watch and I do recommend, although may seem odd in places and granted the #zombies, blood and gore is not to everyone’s taste but this short piece can be admired purely for its aesthetics, very pleasing to the eye. A bit of a curious storyline to say the least, however, if you’re into the strange and eccentric then this is well worth a watch.