Directed by: Zach Zeman
Written by: #ZachZeman
A movie about movies, short indie film Meltozoid: The Remake from filmmaker Zach Zeman is a filibuster of film industry damnation.
The sacrilege of movie remakes gets given a taste of its own foul medicine when the director of a 1960s B-Movie nightmarishly returns to protect his film from a would-be remaker.
Erich Rausch plays Dick Linksman, an unscrupulous movie producer who hopes to package and present a remake of an old horror film called Meltozoid, with added sex scenes (because that's what the audiences of today like). Fortunately, the film's original director returns in ghastly form in order to intervene and wreak havoc on the rascal.
Told in black and white and a boxy aspect ratio, Meltozoid: The Remake is a scruffy love letter to cinema. One part nostalgia mixed with two parts fury at the way things are now, Zeman seems intent on discussing the shameless antics which are fuelling the industry, whilst offering the audience a smorgasbord of strange and weird scenes. Hats off to the special makeup effects of Chelsea Nowak, which were utterly disturbing and arresting.
The performances are great, with an array of eclectic characters, actors, #filmmakers etc. Rausch is particularly great at playing the scoundrel producer whose Ebenezer Scrooge style experience still isn't able to fully shake his villainy. There is too much chaos to fully appreciate the roles and turns on offer, and the viewer is expected to tolerate the confusion as part of the wider thematic point of the piece.
It was a film that reminded me of other cinematic outings that attempt to at least send up the art of #filmmaking. From Jay and Silent Bob's raucous road trip movie to even something as mainstream as Deadpool, the idea of turning the camera on the industry and having a good hard stare at its flaws and foibles is an enjoyable endeavour. Sadly the lack of narrative and the eschewing of any aesthetically pleasing aspects keep the movie stranded in the forgettable category.
By making a movie about how depressing remakes are, Meltozoid: The Remake becomes almost self referential, not quite breaking the fourth wall but certainly making points in a meta style. Overall the experience is too noisy and raw to feel coherent, and the dedication to B-Movie aesthetics feels cumbersome rather than coherent or compelling. There are some nice motifs about artistic control and the evilness that can arise when money is involved, however, these are sidelined for a more anarchic atmosphere of ghoulish revenge and theatrics.
Watch the short film trailer below.