Short Film Review: MACHINE BABY (2014)

MACHINE BABY, directed by Sean Richard Budde, is ten minutes of pure WTFery. The film kicks off with camera flashes at a beauty pageant. It seems harmless, but after a few slow-motion seconds, we realize that something sinister is afoot when a man whispers into the winner’s ear. As if the shallowness of beauty pageants in general is not sinister enough, MACHINE BABY takes it a step further.

A photographer, intrigued by the man we saw in the beginning, follows him to his house and finds the man bringing gasoline into the house. He appears to be crafting the perfect contestant, but the methods are quite unorthodox. I have to give Sean Richard Budde some praise for originality and some gross effects that earn the film its WTF prize.

MACHINE BABY has a few rusty spots in fight choreography, acting, and editing, but the story and effects outweigh the film’s faults and make the watch worth it. Budde, who is inspired by nightmares and the film Eraserhead, portrays a dreamlike world mixed with reality. The film’s inspiration is evident and while no one can match David Lynch, it’s obvious that Budde is going to try, but with his own twist, and that makes him a filmmaker to keep an eye on.

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