Mainstream (2005) – By Duane L. Martin

 When Adam Barnick told me about his short film Mainstream, basically he just said it was different. Boy was he right. There’s really not a lot to tell about the story, since there’s almost nothing to it. Basically ninety percent of the movie involves a guy strapped down to an operating table in a completely black room with an overhead spotlight shining down on him. A basically faceless mechanical surgeon comes out and inserts tubes into him, drills a hole in his head, etc… while robotic arms come out of nowhere and inject him with god knows what. In the end he’s left as little more than a zombie with no creativity, personality or imagination, sent home to his wife who’s the same way, living a daily grind of unimaginative nothingness.

So that’s the story. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a short film after all. Where this film really scores is in its visuals. If you can watch this without saying, "Damn, that’s cool!" then there’s something wrong with you. Visally this film is just awesome. The mechanical arms with the syringes, the faceless surgeon, the whole black room with only the operating table lit, leaving you to wonder what’s outside of that and why this guy is there in the first place… It all adds up to one really cool movie and just goes to show you why the real talent in the film industry of today is not in hollywood, it’s in the independent film community. Modern technology pretty much allows anyone with talent and imagination to make a really great looking film on a low budget, and Adam Barnick proved it with Mainstream.

Mainstream appears on the Fangoria Blood Drive II DVD along with several other really great short, independent horror films. If you’d like to check out Mainstream or find out more about Adam’s work, you can visit Adam’s website at If you’d like to pick up a copy of Fangoria’s Blood Drive II DVD, you can find it at pretty much any of the usual outlets.