Artie Saves the Hood (2005) – By Duane L. Martin

Artie Saves the Hood is without a doubt one of the most slickly produced indie films I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s also very stupid and very damn funny.

The story is basically about these stormtroopers from another dimension who are chasing down this girl who only speaks gibberish because they want the stone she’s carrying that allows her to travel between dimensions. She only speaks gibberish because she’s from another dimension and that’s what they speak there. That’s what the stormtroopers speak as well, but fortunately, there’s subtitles sometimes so you can keep up with what’s going on.

So Artie’s walking upstairs one day and trips and busts a hole in the wall. inside the hole is a green stone that he constantly refers to as soap. If you get it wet, it activates and you can travel between gateways in the dimensions. Long story short, the stormtroopers start coming after him to get his stone, and he and his buddy Mason grab some guns and fight back.

Just so you know what kind of characters you’re dealing with here, I’ll give you a little synopsis of each.

Artie Guy: He’s kind of a redneck slacker kind of a guy who’s pretty good at kicking stormtrooper ass. Nothing really phases him. Not even finding a rock that lets him travel between dimensions. At one point, he finds his friend manny dead, and that didn’t even seem to bother him. He just lifted Manny’s wallet and pulled the cash out.

Mason Crown: Arties friend and fellow ass kicker, Mason is an online video game addict who pays the bills by working as a phone sex operator. If anything, he’s even less phased by this stuff than Artie is.

Fry McFry: This is Artie’s other friend. He doesn’t have much of a part in the movie other than being a dullard. He’s addicted to porn and phone sex, and everything that happens seems to remind him of some porn movie he saw.

Manny: Manny is a friend of Artie’s that he goes to for advice just because he’s old. Actually, he looks like he’s in his late 30’s maybe, but he’s older than Artie, and that’s all that matters.

Artie’s Mexican Neighbor: This guy hates Artie, and the feeling is mutual. He’s a pissy bastard who sits around eating mayonnaise out of a jar when he’s not outside bitching at Artie in Spanish. Artie don’t know what the hell he’s saying, but hates him anyway.

Anyway, you get the idea.

The visual effects are what really make this movie stand out. They’re incredibly well done and a fine example of what you can do as an indie filmmaker on a budget if you just have the right software, the right talent, and the right sense of imagination. I’d really like to see more movies taking advantage of the effects that are possible using home editing equipment and computers nowadays, because movies like this one shouldn’t be so rare.

The sound, music and editing were all good and all suited the film perfectly. Everything moved along quickly and was well paced, showing that you don’t have to stretch a 33 minute story out into 90 minutes just for the sake of making it longer for no reason other than to…well…make it longer. They accomplished everything they needed to in a 33 minute short film and when it was over I not only felt satisfied by what I had just seen, but I wanted to see more. I’d love to see a sequel to this, or even a new original story based around some of the same characters.

The DVD is very slickly produced, and includes three animated shorts also created by Ed Radmanich III, a trailer for the film, and another action short film called A.D.D. Bad Night that comes in at under two minutes.

If you’re a fan of stupid humor and great visual effects, then I can’t recommend this movie enough. If you’d like to find out more about the film, you can check out out on the film’s website by heading over to http://www.artiesavesthehood.com.