Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SDAFF ’11: Bloodtraffick (short)

Two of the hottest topics in fiction ostensibly written for teens but really read by adults are angels and vampires. Ava Chen is neither, but she is only too aware they both exist in Jennifer Thym’s sleek action-horror short film Bloodtraffick (trailer here), which screens at the 2011 San Diego Asian Film Festival.

According to Bloodtraffick’s mythology, angels took human form to wage an earthly battle against the vampires. Unfortunately, the latter rather logically proved to be much more effective hunters, taking the war to the angels instead. Chen’s two sisters are angels, but she is human—another race known for producing killers. Following the trail of her long missing-in-action siblings, Chen comes face-to-face with a sadistic vampire. There will be carnage.

Clearly intended as a prologue to a forthcoming franchise, Bloodtraffick efficiently establishes its Underworld-esque backstory, while announcing the arrival of an intense new vampire slayer. Soon to be seen with Russell Crowe in RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists, Grace Huang has far more action cred than Buffy or Kate Beckinsale, and is considerably more photogenic than either. Frankly, the prospective of watching her mow down the undead looks pretty bullet proof.

Thym’s execution in Bloodtraffick is also quite strong. Deftly capitalizing on the creepy burnt-out industrial setting, she keeps the action gritty and the adrenaline pumping, but also invests the film with some pretty heavy archetypal imagery. Without question, this is professional grade filmmaking.

After watching Bloodtraffick, viewers will definitely want to see a full feature outing for Chen, which is really the best recommendation for a film like this. Combining stylish action, an intriguing premise, and a fanboy pleasing heroine, it certainly has all the elements. Definitely recommended, Bloodtraffick screens with Sion Sono’s Cold Fish this Friday (10/21) and the Friday following (10/28) at the 2011 SDAFF. It also screens at the 2011 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 5th, along with JP Chan’s cool Digital Antiquities, as part of Shorts Program 1.