Film RadarFilm Radar


advertise with Film Radar
Horror Film Blog
Jonathan Weichsel Written by Jonathan Weichsel
Aug. 12, 2012 | 3:30 PM

Email Print

HollyShorts Sci-Fi and VFX Program

By Jonathan Weichsel

The Hollyshorts Sci Fi and VFX program was an amazing block of films, featuring state of the art visual effects and truly heartfelt storytelling.  Every single one of the nine films in the program was a winner.  What follows are my top four favorites, in no particular order.


8.31, direct by Noah Harald, is a heartfelt exploration of life and love at the end of the world. The title refers to the amount of time it takes light from the sun to reach earth, 8.31 minutes. The film takes place during the last day before the sun goes out, and is about a woman who goes into labor, and her husband’s quest to get her to a hospital so she can give birth before the world ends.

8.31 features amazing visual effects depicting future technology and gadgets, as well as a world on the brink of destruction, but what makes the film work is its emotionally grounded story and its serious exploration of the value of life.  It is very rare for a short film to make you choke up, but you’d need a heart of stone to not be effected by this one. 8.31 hits you with an emotional punch. 

All I Think of is You:

All I Think of is You, directed by Shad Clark, is about a man who dies in a car crash and has a copy of his consciousness uploaded into the body of a deceased African American man who had donated his body to science.  The man returns to his wife and is able to convince her that he is who he says he is, but she rejects him anyway because he is just a copy, not the real thing.

All I Think of is You is a serious exploration of what defines who we are. Philosophical and human at the same time, it’s a film that makes you think and feel.


Most of the films in the Sci Fi program were serious, meditative and dark. Standing out in a good way was Liberator, directed by Aaron Pope, a camp superhero film doubling as a TV pilot.  Liberator features an amazing cast, headlined by Lou Ferrigno, Peta Wilson, Michael Dorn, Don “the dragon” Wilson, Ed Asner, and Tara Cardinal.

If Liberator becomes a TV show, and it should, it would bring a level of bubblegum pop fun to TV that hasn’t been seen since the days of ummm, not to be too obvious, but well, La Femme Nikita and The Incredible Hulk.

Liberator is a standard Super Hero on the run story, but it has a terrific cast that is obviously having a lot of fun with the material, and that kind of fun is infectious.  As far as the cast goes, my one wish is to see more of Tara Cardinal. She is one of the most exciting up and coming actresses working right now, she was the reason I checked out this program of films, and, damn it, I wanted more of her!

Liberator is a throwback to the 80’s and 90’s, and is like nothing else being made today for the big screen or the small, and that is a good thing. If Liberator becomes a TV show, it will be a hit because there is a real hunger right now for this kind of pop fun. 

THE END - Trailer from Ted Marcus on Vimeo.

The End:

The End, directed by Ted Marcus, is about a London teenager whose parents won’t let him out on a school night to see a girl. He drugs his parents and sneaks out, only to find himself in the middle of an apocalyptic giant monster attack.  The girl dies, and he must make his way back to his drugged parents. The End has a twist that makes you question the reality of what is going on, but at its core it is a film about rebellion and the guilt it causes. The monster effects are amazing, but The End also features heartfelt, authentic writing and the best performance of the sci fi program from the teenager who sneaks out of his home.  The End manages to be funny and poignant at the same time. 

The Hollyshorts Sci Fi and VFX program was a real winner. Hollyshorts features short films from Hollywood’s future leaders, and if this is the future of Hollywood Sci fi, then it is one I look forward to.


3 comment(s) | Leave a Comment


raymac Written by raymac
Aug. 9, 2012 | 8:51 PM

Email Print


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

MAD MONSTER and Chinese 6 Theatres presents “A Nightmare on Elm St. 3: Dream Warriors” 25th Anniversary Screening at: the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, Monday August 13th, at 9:30 pm! Featuring Special Guests and prize giveaways from your fiends at London 1888, Retro Outlaw Studios, Days of the Dead LA, Monsterpalooza, Evil Puppets, WerePups,, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and MORE! There will also be a costume contest. The theme? Dream Warriors, of course! The first 200 people to buy tickets will win a limited edition Christopher Ott event poster (pictured above), so don’t wait!

Purchase tickets here…

Leave a Comment


raymac Written by raymac
Aug. 5, 2012 | 12:27 PM

Email Print

See The World Premiere of THE LIBERATOR at the 8th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

See the birth of a new superhero, this Saturday, August 11th at 6:30pm during the Sci-Fi/FX program at the 8th Annual HollyShorts Film Festival. FilmRadar readers can purchase tickets for only $8.00 when they enter “Radar12” (case-sensitive) during check-out.

Ed Migliocetti (Lou Ferrigno, The Incredible Hulk) has served his country. When the endless war began, he put aside his football career to sign up for the military. And when the powers-that-be drafted him into the Enhanced Abilities Initiative, he became known as The Liberator.  Teamed with a group of “supers” – Sidewinder (Don the Dragon), Gaia (Tara Cardinal) and Volt – Liberator represented the best of America.  Or so he thought.  He soon found himself doing the government’s dirty work – assassinations, regime change, infrastructure sabotage.  Through it all, Ed followed orders.  He was a good soldier.

But when a black op went horribly wrong, Ed was thrown under the bus – the fall guy.  In the blink of an eye, the Liberator literally went from hero to zero.  After serving a decade in federal prison, he emerged a pariah. In the eyes of the public, he was a traitor.  That, quite, frankly, he could take.  What he couldn’t take was his own daughter Sonya (Jessica Jade Andres) hating him.

Determined to set the record straight and win her back, Ed pens a tell-all book that draws the ire of his former chief, General Augustus Pollard (Michael Dorn, Star Trek: The Next Generation).  Pollard dispenses CIA spook Marla Criswell (Peta Wilson, La Femme Nikita) to investigate.  When they realize that Ed plans to blow the whistle after all these years, they have no choice but to take him out.  After Ed battles his way out of a US military contractor’s compound, President Whitlock (Ed Asner, Up) declares the Liberator Public Enemy Number One – and sends Ed’s old teammates (Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Tara Cardinal) to bring him down by any means necessary.  But this time, the Liberator is not going down without a fight.


2 comment(s) | Leave a Comment