APOCALYPSE LOVE Review: Vera VanGuard’s Indie Puppet Sci-Fi Thriller Bolsters With Charm And Delight
What would you do for love even if the world ended?…
I guess that’s one key question explored as we follow the latest travails of lovelorn and grieving would-be hero Tom in Apocalypse Love, a show of indie cinematic puppetry by actress and director Vera VanGuard for whom puppetry has been one of her many specialties for some time now. Here, she plies her trade for an hour-long story of romance and action with a hands-on cast (literally) of characters, with just little special effects work to pepper things up.
Alas, leading the way is aforementioned hopeless emo romantic Tom, still morning the death of his girlfriend BB a year since then. Desperate to avoid dying alone, Tom exhumes BB’s corpse and puts it in a body bag. Little does he know that he just prevented the possible worst from happening, right when the world falls under attack by weed-smoking aliens reanimating the buried dead and turning all the corpses into mutant zombies.
Tom frantically searches for a safe haven only to land at the doorstep of old high school friend Izzy, who begrudgingly decides to assist Tom in an effort to possibly bring BB back. It’s a task that will bring Tom face to face threefold – with several characters in their true survivalist selves as the apocalypse looms, a startling revelation about the wacky truth behind the invasion, and in the course of defining where his love really stands…himself.
Apocalypse Love may be a small-scale venture with a certain niche in mind, but it moves pretty fast at times and I found it to be pretty entertaining, innovative and, well…cute! It’s a love story with puppets, explosive shoot-’em-up battles with monsters, and petty willy-nilly Martian shenanigans, all coupled with its own soundtrack and a roster of spirited voice-over and puppet performances by VanGuard and her cast. It’s also not for everyone, so don’t fret if you feel at all taken out of Apocalypse Love during its short runtime should you decide to check it out.
The puppets themselves are crafted with each their own expressions per their characters so the visual experience is really one that requires pairing with the applied VO performances. It’s surely an acquired taste for a project that goes out of its way to being something way different than what most audiences are used to (much in the way of fans familiar with production labels like PILI), and with the kind of teamwork that only creators like VanGuard can muster. For that matter, there’s no mistake about it. VanGuard knows exactly what she’s made here with Apocalypse Love and the audience she’s aiming for, and I only hope it leads to even greater things in her endeavors.
Learn more about Apocalypse Love at apocalypselovemovie.com
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
You must log in to post a comment.