Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Limbo (short): Featuring the Voice of Sam Elliott

This is yet another reason why texting and driving is such a bad idea. When a man receives a troubling message, he pulls off the road to indulge the impulse to hurl away his phone. That will take him on a slightly surreal detour through the desert in Will Blank’s short film, Limbo (trailer here), which releases today on digital VOD platforms.

Limbo represents the sort of comic book/graphic novel adaptation that the major studios have largely foregone. It also might be the most faithful adaptation ever, considering how little Blank and co-screenwriter Richard Kaponas deviate from the words and spirit of Marion Churchland’s graphic novella, originally published in the MeathaĆ¼s anthology. Through interior monologue, the film and its source novella address themes of regret and compassion, making it ill-suited for a prospective tent-pole franchise, so unlike Green Lantern, Elektra, and Jonah Hex.

While we never learn the details, it seems clear the man has had a falling out with his girlfriend that was probably his fault entirely. He certainly regrets it now, just like he regrets throwing his cell phone at the strange, Gatsby-worthy billboard. Like a slightly mad Jodorowsky character, he ventures into the desert, where he stumbles across a dying dog. After mercifully slaking its thirst, the expiring canine offers to grant the man one wish.

Even though the poor dog is dying, we can hear the authority and character in his voice, because he is dubbed by Sam Elliott, the hero, Lee Hayden himself. The deep resonance of his voice is pitch-perfect for the fantastical beast—and should be good karma for The Hero during awards season, especially considering Limbo is kind of about karma.

Don’t worry, no animals were hurt during the making of Limbo. The eerie-looking dog was actually rendered through puppetry and practical effects. However, it looks real enough to send PETA off on a PR rampage. Visually, it is a really impressive production, well worth checking out when Limbo releases today on VOD including Vimeo on demand.