Firebase, the second film from Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studios has been released online, and dabbles in a few genres of science-fiction. It feels like a blend of Predator and The X-Files meets Full Metal Jacket. The first short film, Rakka, was a post-apocalyptic take on an alien invasion.
It's clear that through these short films, Blomkamp is experimenting with mixing different genres and styles of filmmaking to create stories that are unique and yet strangely familiar. Firebase follows up on the dark, gory vision of science-fiction that flowed through Rakka and definitely provides the shock factor. It's not for the faint of heart.
Firebase focuses on an American soldier pitted against mysterious forces in the Vietnamese jungle, some of which appear to be fellow soldiers but with a gruesome secret hiding beneath their skin. Once they shed their human layers, they look like a cross between the aliens from Rakka and the Prawns in District 9. Added to the found footage style of medical autopsies -- Blomkamp really coats this film in gore. And the mystery only deepens when the short introduces a hideously burnt man who claims to have witnessed a Russian invasion of American soil with futuristic weapons and vehicles. And still it gets a little more bizarre.
While there aren't any stand-out stars like Sigourney Weaver in the second film from Oats Studios, the cast is surprisingly impressive. Firebase feels like an amalgam of various science-fiction and horror movies, there's so many obvious influences that a comprehensive list could be drawn up. It boasts every genre from body horror to found-footage, and usually that wouldn't be a compliment -- but somehow, it works a gruesome treat. The only slight disappointment this time around were the CGI effects during the Russian sequence, they didn't fit in as well with the rest of the film. But for a short film with no major backing from a giant studio, it's still quite a feat.
The first trailer for the Oats Studios projects, Volume One, consists of footage from both Rakka, Firebase and the third film, titled Zygote. We now know that Zygote will be released on July 12. There'll be a fourth short film which will complete Volume One. And since Blomkamp himself has been pushing to make a profit from sales and merchandise, it's likely that this is an attempt to keep the project going further -- perhaps full-feature length films or Volume Two.
Source: Oats Studios