The Code

Running time: 6 mins
Director: Mark Blitch
Starring: Tamara Voss, Taylor James Brandt, Todd Terry
Genre: Short/Comedy/Horror
Country: USA

Clearing up eleven awards at Houston’s Splatterfest like a macabre Henry Hoover is an impressive feat for any film.  Even more impressive when the film takes one fifth of the amount of time it takes to oven a pie.

While on first date a shy retiring blonde and her pornstar suitor become under siege by a horde of Zombies (and thanks to a scheduling conflict), a serial killer and more.  The premise of The Code is wonderfully conceived as all of folklore’s bumps in the night converge on two hapless victims before they argue and haggle over who’s gotten the schedule wrong… “did you check the Google calendar?!”  It feels of the glory days of ironic comedy horror and plays out on screen in the same vein as the best of Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  The pack of Zombie, led by Brandt, give off a genuine menace and are reminiscent of early Romero, credit to all involved in capturing the make-up effects.  The back and forth between Brandt and Terry (the serial killer) is delightfully clipped and beautifully bureaucratic as the pair thrash out their differences regarding the awkward double booking and is further complicated by the emergence from the shadows of a couple of our other favourite monsters as the scenario goes from awkward to Whose Line is it Anyway? level of absurd…yet it works extremely well.

Blitch’s direction is unaware yet in keeping with all the genres which The Code passes through as the camera sits lingering and longing during the romantic comedy start, low and crawling as the tension builds and then still and awkward as the comedy of administrative errors clock up all the while with a level of assurance that doesn’t have you aware of the films construction, which isn’t always achieved regardless of length or budget.

The action sequences and very well choreographed and the death and destruction is, what it should be in any short horror, ambitious.  One of the reasons I love Exploitation cinema is it’s ambition as it’s never afraid to try something, whether of not to succeeds is open to interpretation but the ambitions of Blitch, Brandt and co with The Code as the film racks up some ambitious, inventive and award winning kills.

The Code feels like the opening sequence or more to come and hopefully that is what it will become, whether it’s the opening sequence of a longer short film or feature or the opening sequence of a group of film makers who are ambitious enough to continue to try new things, either way it achieves what it sets out to do and makes a thoroughly enjoyable and funny film that's very well made and well worth watching.

The Code can be viewed by clicking [here]


Chip Lary said...

That was funny. Thanks.

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