The Blood of the Dinosaurs (short) ★★★ 1/2 – Fantasia International Film Festival

The Blood of the Dinosaurs (short) ★★★ 1/2 – Fantasia International Film Festival

Joe Badon has chucked in a hell of a lot into such a short timeframe in his short film The Blood of the Dinosaurs that you are almost purposely overwhelmed from what you see. A wonderfully creative and disturbing short, you simply can’t stop watching.

‘The Blood of the Dinosaurs’ is an Adult Swim style surrealist Kids’ Show for deranged adults and follows a lonely Children’s Show host, Uncle Bobbo, as he teaches children where oil comes from.

If Uncle Bobbo somehow manages to get onto your screens, try your best to run as far away from the screen as possible, for he is just a touch unhinged. Joe Badon and Jason Kruppa have written a memorable enigma of a character that needs to be expanded upon. As for him, and in truth, the entire concept of the film needs to be something more than the short that we see here. Vincent Stalba gives his all into the role, toeing that difficult line between being entertaining and unnerving. It could be quite easy to fall onto one side or the other, but the sheer charisma of the character helps carry us through the rest of the absurdity on show.

You can see how Badon wears his absurdist cinema influences on his sleeve and how unafraid he is to try something and see if it sticks to the wall, even if it does for only a second. The biggest compliment you can give Badon and his film is that you can’t really describe it without getting yourself into a terrible knot. It is a short that is meant to be seen without being broken down, so expect little of that for this review; in fact, its shortness is intended to get you to see the film as soon as possible.

As such, most of The Blood of the Dinosaurs work so well, but the odd moments do not work as well. However, that is perfectly fine; if anything, not everything should work. Or they may not exactly work for you personally, but for someone else, they will. That is what makes this such a disturbing joy to watch. You know for a fact that the bits that do not work for you will for someone else. Its boldness is its strength, and it is rare to say such a thing about a film like this.

If you have not seen too much in absurdist or surrealism cinema, you may not know what to expect or think from The Blood of the Dinosaurs. Yet, it will stick in your head for a long while after, whether you want it to or not. There is even the chance that you may not remember the entire 18-minute film, but you damn well remember specific scenes from it. A short that catches you off guard from the first second.

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