The Turtle Terminator short film


Directed by C.J. Lazaretti

Starring John Wilde

Short Film Review by Michael Fiott


The Turtle Terminator is a short film that would make any previous victims of a turtle related incident feel very wary about their future relationships. The nameless narrator begins by explaining how he was bitten on the ring finger by a turtle when he was young when reaching for a toy. Growing up, he then used the leftover scar to attract potential mates, as they would have to touch his hand to take a closer look, he would also explain to them that he made a few comic strips of an imaginary character called ‘The Turtle Terminator’ after his harrowing experience. You then have to suspend your disbelief as it is revealed that this story is a genuine deciding factor for his future happiness with women.

Generally there isn’t much to feast your eyes on in this film in terms of cinematography, but it does have some very interesting ideas, such as the completely white background that flashes back to him as a child and the seemingly expertly drawn animation segments of his childhood comic. These do help to pad out what is otherwise a rather blandly shot and edited film, but ultimately do not serve for anything more than a welcome input of imagination.

Another element that does enhance its viewing is its use of music to guide us through, swapping from music that would otherwise be used in a whimsical sitcom to an awfully serious and slow piano piece that wouldn’t be out of place in Beethoven’s back catalogue. Although the biggest problem The Turtle Terminator has is its seeming lack of direction or meaning to the plot; the audience for the most part is held at ransom with their own need to understand it and genuinely leaves us disappointed and jaded at the entire concept.

Whilst there is still a comic and light-hearted tone infused in its almost three minute run time, we are still left confused as to why such a serious route was taken for its ending. The audience would be able to appreciate the humorous irony and exaggeration that being bit on the hand by a turtle would be the deciding factor for the majority of your life as you know it, but unfortunately I am not completely sure that this was the impression the filmmaker was hoping for when setting out to produce it.

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