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Punished Liver 4: Volume 1 Short film review


Directed by: #NebulousState

Written by: #NebulousState


First and foremost, ‘Punished Liver 4; volume 1’ cannot be heavily critiqued due to its lack of professionalism and seriousness. This film holds no standards or quality and is clearly a product of friends having fun with nothing but themselves, imagination and a camera. And yet, I cannot help but enjoy this poorly absurd creation. Due to its low standards of production this short is laughable which plays to its advantage in adding an extra sense of humour to its already funny script.

With the particular soundtracks, this short film is obviously influenced by 80’s cult classics such as Rocky, Rambo and other Grindhouse pictures enabling its viewers to tap into their adrenaline cravings. Although this type of film is often shunned by many, believe it or not some individuals such as the filmmakers of Punished Liver live for the sub-genre.

This type of short film series can be seen as a parody to the b-movies of the 80’s and comparable to the hit YouTube series ‘The Big Lez Show’. Although their styles are completely different by one being live action and the other a paint animation, the sense of humour and string of episode-to-episode narrative is very similar.

The opening epilepsy warning is definitely needed however the inclusion of strobe lighting in the cinematography is completely unwarranted. So, the decision to keep the flashing light with the admission of an epilepsy risk, to me, is bizarre. But then again, so is this entire film.

The initial location of a flat covered in litter is lazy and underwhelming and yet, other locations such as the concrete structure within the dream sequence seem unique and offer great use of on-location lighting.

An aspect of punished liver which I enjoyed was the incorporation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social effect on the public which yet again is done in a not-so-serious manner for comedic purposes. It is clear that the result coming from this segment was an insight to the filmmakers and their situation at the time of filming, suggesting that the silliness of this short film has been outstretched. This shows a sudden turn of maturity to what could be conceived as a childish film. The filmmakers question the return of octopus and Co in comparison to the end of the pandemic (whether or not the pandemic will end).

Overall, this film is utterly dreadful in many aspects. However, it still holds a strong comedic value incorporated into a dodgy backyard picture, which I for one enjoyed. An element of filmmaking could be narrowed down to individuals having fun with the prospect of making films with no real experience and ultimately entertaining an audience, no matter how niche that audience is. Despite the low rating, I hope octopus and general x return in the next instalment of the Punished live series.



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