Electro-Cute (2012) – By Duane L. Martin

I very rarely do this, but I think in this case I will. When I watch films to review, I watch the films and take notes while I’m watching it. Then I come back and write the review later, as it gives me time to mentally digest the film. In this case however, this is such a strange film, I figured I’d just include the two paragraphs of notes as I typed them as I was watching the film. These aren’t edited in any way. They’re exactly how I typed them. So if there are any typos or other weirdness, that’s just me watching a film and taking notes. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe some of the notes I take and some of the things I say in them.

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A girl receives an Electro-Cute as a present from her mom. It was developed by MIT scientists in Nepal combining a bunch of weird crap with electostatic energy enhances the users aura and helps them to attract friends and draw people to them. She uses it. Then she goes into the bathroom to see if it worked and the sink starts talking to her and telling her how great her aura looks. All kinds of inanimate objects start talking to her. She freaks out and finds a number on the package and desperately calls it. She’s on hold. She looks in the booklet and finds a big warning that says, "Do not use on the third Wednesday following a full moon in the month of Foctober" She looks at the calendar and sure enough, that’s what day it is.

The calculator starts saying the winning lottery numbers. She doesn’t realize what they are until she turns on the radio and hears them called out. She grabs the calc and tries to get next week’s numbers, but everyone stops talking. There’s a really fun commercial for a place called Taser Town. Girl runs to her closet and grabs her taser. A walrus statue told her she needed a static charge. She hits herself in the neck with it. Now she’s seeing pink unicorns n’ shit. Now she’s at the library with a lot of unicorns. It was a hallucination when she passed out. Now she’s in all kinds of weird scenes.

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The girl in the film is played by the exact same girl who wrote and directed it, Taryn Hough. (Hi Taryn!) This is a silly film by design, and it does something which I wish more indie films did. It incorporates fun animations into the film itself. I’ve seen films with great animations during the credits and stuff like that, but it’s rare to see an indie film that actually intersperses fun animations throughout the film. The animations themselves are really cute and give a certain specific character to the film that makes it fun. The film is a short and very bizarre. I particularly liked the commercial for Taser Town. I had originally thought it was going to be kind of stupid, but it actually turned out to be hilarious.

From a film making persepective, the film is generally well made. The pacing is good and the editing was generally very good, but the lighting was a bit lacking in some shots and the white balance needed to be set on the camera in certain shots, as they came out with a pinkish hue to them.

All in all, this movie was very clever and fun, and not only the real acting, but the voice acting on the animations was really entertaining. Fun is the key word here, because that’s exactly what it is, and it’s the best reason to make it a point to see it.

The film is currently making the rounds at various film festivals. To find out more about the film and to stay updated on where it’ll be appearing, you can check out the chainsmokingmonkey.com website. I’m really looking forward to seeing more from Taryn and the gang in the future.