Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mock Up on Mu: Grade B


Mock Up on Mu (2008)

Stoney Burke, Damon Packard, Michelle Silva; Writer- Director Craig Baldwin

This experimental film is a collage of clips of films from the 1950’s mostly, and mostly from bad sci-fi films of that era, but also including a few good ones. Gort, the robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still appears briefly. There are also clips from dusty westerns of the period, and some dramas as well, such as Hitchcock’s North By Northwest. These hundreds, if not thousands of short clips are arranged into thirteen loose categories, such as westerns, sci-fi, scenes shot in the Sonoran desert, cave scenes, rocket launches, press conferences, and so on. Mixed in are some of live shots with about four actors in ironically bad scenes, who provide a small amount of narrative cohesion for the collages.

The result is amusing and entertaining, sort of a cross between What’s Up Tiger Lily and Mystery Science Theater 3000. I think it would be especially enjoyable if one were stoned. I watched the film twice, the second time without the sound, and I enjoyed it more the second time. With the sound on, the overall themes seem to be that humans should be mining resources, reprocessing nuclear waste, and generating energy on the moon, should not be spending tons of money developing military weapons, and finally, that L. Ron Hubbard, sci-fi writer in the 1950’s and founder of Scientology, and his closest friends, were mad and/or evil.

None of that makes much sense, and it’s not very funny, so the film is just as interesting (and a lot less noisy) with the sound off. This is a very creative effort, well edited, with some good humor. With better writing, this collage approach to film could be significant.

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