Boston Underground Short Film Review: ROBO GREASER

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Written by Dakota Arseneault and Eli Gottfried, and also directed by Dakota Arseneault, ROBO GREASER follows a retro robot (Eli Gottfried) at his last shift at a closing roller rink. This bizarre horror comedy takes you through the day in the life of Robo Greaser, and his interactions with customers and employees before the roller rink comes to a close. 

To say this short is bizarre would be an understatement. I feel the storyline is a little haphazard and falls on its face due to weak humor and unusual execution, leaving me wondering a lot of things. The story is fairly basic and is definitely an interesting concept, but I don’t think it hits home the way it’s supposed to due to its comedic approach (at least not for me). This type of humor really isn’t my bag, so that definitely plays a major role in my viewing experience, but it’s definitely lacking something in several departments. All of the characters are also pretty bland, leaving you not feeling much of anything while watching this short. I guess I would have liked to see more depth, but perhaps this film isn’t supposed contain that. If the sole purpose of this project is to convey a strange comedic approach to an interesting storyline, then it has definitely succeeded. 

On the flip side of the coin, ROBO GREASER does showcase some great cinematography and has a nice look to it. The retro approach definitely adds a lot, with the use of neon pinks and blues really pulling your eye around the screen. I always have an appreciation for attention to stable camera work and production, and ROBO GREASER definitely pulls through in those departments. It also houses a nice title font and sequence, which is always a selling point for me, along with a score suitable for the concept. The gore effects are also pretty cool and what you’d expect from the low budget genre. 

Although this short didn’t fully come together for me as a whole, that shouldn’t suggest that it won’t for you. This approach and type of humor may be right up your alley, giving you exactly what you’re looking for from a short film. I think it’s just meant to be a bizarre little short set out to make you laugh and to not be taken too seriously, with some cool visuals on the side. 

ROBO GREASER was shown this past weekend at the Boston Underground Film Festival.

Abigail Braman