Neill Blomkamp has released three more 'Cooking With Bill' shorts from his experimental film house, Oats Studios. The project, which is meant to return the auteur to his indie roots, has been steadily rolling out new work since May: First, with a string of bizarre but expansive teasers, then with an official, lizard-ridden short titled Rakka, and again with the gruesome war film Firebase just last month.
Thus far, they've all stuck primarily to his already established wheelhouse. He's best known for sci-fi features like CHAPPiE, District 9, and Elysium, and Oats Studios has similarly covered dystopias where otherworldly creatures run amok. But 'Cooking With Bill', which Oats first introduced in June, boasts a fresh direction for Blomkamp.
The series, which now totals four videos, is set like an 80s infomercial with a kitchen show and a studio audience. Each segment introduces an absurd-looking appliance meant to make cooking easier, but quickly turns things gruesome. In the first, Bill used a contraption called the Damasu 500 — essentially a chainsaw with knives — to slice up cheese and turkey but ended up severly lacerating his hand. And though it seems he's since healed in the new clips, they do follow a similar premise.
Bill uses various gadgets advertised to do things like make at-home sushi, blend smoothies, and create newfangled vegetarian dishes, but with stomach-churning results: the sushi is laced with an unknown person's hair, the smoothies contain what looks like worms or eels, and the zucchini patties come out as decaying organs.
When Blomkamp described the idea behind Oats to The Verge in June, he called it a "playground for creativity," and it seems he's using it as an outlet to road test material both in and outside of his comfort zone. Firebase and Rakka were dramatic and large in scope, while 'Cooking With Bill' is campy and horrific (though they're all notably gory).
His next effort, the upcoming Zygote seems like it will follow suit with the former, and that may be the right move for Blomkamp where his audience is concerned. The 'Cooking With Bill' videos all have over a hundred thousand views, but Firebase and Rakka are well into the millions, even though they're much longer, so it's fair to say that's what people are responding to the most. Still, it's nice to see Blomkamp venture into new territory, and it shows he's got plenty up his sleeve for the future of Oats Studios.
Source: Oats Studios