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August 18, 2009 5:48 AM   Subscribe

The Road to Moloch. A short film. Will the genre of rag-tag band of (battle-hardened soldiers/sex-crazy students/escaped convicts) stumbles upon (cave in the desert/cabin in the woods/house on the hill) and unearths (unspeakable zombie terror/undead apocalypse/soul stealing demons) ever get old?
posted by jadayne (13 comments total)
Having watched the first disc of Generation Kill yesterday, that was pretty surreal. They're practically identical until the zombies come in... except there was a girl. And they didn't call in before going exploring. And they didn't talk about assholes and being gay, which seems to be most of what Marines talk about according to GK.
posted by Huck500 at 6:36 AM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, I got about 6 minutes in and got pretty bored watching cliché after cliché being trotted-out. So, I guess to answer the question...Yeah, the genre has gotten very, very old.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:51 AM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the whole point of the zombie genre for me is the utter hopelessness of the situation; even though the zombies are fairly easy to kill and can barely get around, they're going to take over the world and there's nothing you can do about it.

This short had one devil (based on the skeleton in the coffin) taking over one person at a time, and he seems to be limited to his hosts abilities... it's not much of a problem.
posted by Huck500 at 7:06 AM on August 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

dito Thorzad. And the cliché per minute ratio is even higher than in your usual hollywood zombie-flick. They had only 16 minutes to squeeze all of them in.

Don't you usually make a short if you have a good, original idea that would work better than in a feature-length film, and not a list of tiresome old clichés to check off?
Really, what was their point in making this? They were just going through the motions.
posted by kolophon at 7:28 AM on August 18, 2009

When I was young—I dunno, eight?—I used to like to write Applesoft programs that were extremely pointless variations on a bouncing ball or guess-the-number games. Simple stuff, but toiling away at them until they were finished was a big deal to young fleacircus. (Though some may not have been beta-ready, I'll admit. Such as the one that required the user to enter a random number because I didn't know how to generate one in software.)

Then I'd get a wild hair and decide to play-publish one of these "games", so I'd pick out my best looking floppy disk and copy the program onto it. Then I'd grab some magic markers and try to create the most goddamn professional-looking 5.25" floppy disk label there ever was. So many choices to make! Do I use the labels that came with the disk, or ones from another brand, or generic mailing labels? I made up the company names. I had an imaginary OS called "Applesauce" (of which there were "Applesauce Core" install disks, blank of course). I reverently made up version numbers that didn't mean anything. Later I took to buying extravagantly expensive color floppies with my allowance, then I'd cut the corners off turning them into octagons and marking directly on them with Sharpies and paint pens. What was on the disks didn't even matter; it was fun to indulge the fantasy of having made something that was actually real.

This is like that.
posted by fleacircus at 7:33 AM on August 18, 2009 [3 favorites]

Really, what was their point in making this? They were just going through the motions.

As a step to making a cliché-filled horror feature?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:38 AM on August 18, 2009


You know, it's bad enough when jaded Hollywood insiders end up churning out this brand of straight to DVD studio horror. They probably at least drifted along into that position off the back of some sort-of-fun work earlier in their career. But jesus, to start out aspiring to end up in that gutter...
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:27 AM on August 18, 2009

From the film's IMDb, where it presently retains a star rating of 9.9...

Road to Moloch is perhaps the best short film I've ever seen. It tells the story of three American soldiers in Iraq searching for missing brethren. They find a half-crazy Iraqi who leads them to a cave where they find something more horrifying than anything they could have imagined.

Fuck you, internet age, and all your cursed progeny.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:33 AM on August 18, 2009

posted by jeffamaphone at 8:40 AM on August 18, 2009

Not *THE* Manny Montana!?!
posted by humboldt32 at 8:48 AM on August 18, 2009

Really, what was their point in making this?

What is the point of a bunch of hollywood outsiders making a film which is shot with fairly good filming techniques, makeup effects, screenplay, acting, all packed into a trope-filled fifteen minute short which may be derivative but nonetheless shows that the people involved have talent and know what they're doing?

Gee, I can't imagine what the point might be.
posted by hippybear at 8:55 AM on August 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm a bigger fan of this road to Moloch.
posted by katillathehun at 9:12 AM on August 18, 2009

I reverently made up version numbers that didn't mean anything.

Ha! I used to do the same stuff, except with QBasic. I wonder how many of these stories are common with people who started programming young. I don't even remember the company name I came up with, which is really unfortunate.

I hope this derail continues...
posted by spiderskull at 9:15 AM on August 18, 2009

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