Black Hole Alien Brain Zombies! Just say that name out loud before you read this review. The title promises so much, but can a film possibly deliver on such an epic introduction? The sci-fi film tells a loose narrative of scientists experimenting with the ideas of multiverses, black holes, and expanded consciousness. Using primarily public domain footage and psychedelic visuals, director Metatron lures the viewer into an experimental pseudo-mockumentary on the destruction of the human race.
As a fair warning, there is not much of an actual plot in Black Hole Alien Brain Zombies! The closest thing resembling a traditional story is a conversation between two unknown voices about an experiment gone horribly wrong. This dialogue describes the spread of a zombie virus and the extinction of humanity in the pursuit of knowledge. Playing like a radio play set to cosmic imagery, it descends into further madness featuring pictures of outer space folding in on itself, eerie voice-overs about a collective hive mind, and kaleidoscope colors flashing across the screen.
“…the spread of a zombie virus and the extinction of humanity in the pursuit of knowledge.”
Calling the film “trippy” would be quite an understatement. The opening feels like a VHS training video or low-budget documentary for an unknown science lab. Quickly after abandoning the false-documentary format, Metatron flaunts his Evangelion influence, diving into Avante Garde filmmaking and themes of existentialism. Becoming strange for its own sake is an early criticism I ran into. I feel glad this exists but often was questioning why it does.
As I said previously, the title sets expectations in the stratosphere, leaving the viewer hoping for a beautiful “B” movie for the ages. While I love subverting expectations, this was a stretch. No narrative, structure, nor footage of zombies or aliens takes one out of the film early. Beyond what it lacks, the cold fake documentary sci-fi approach is awkward when contrasted with emotive transcendental visuals and EDM. There seems to be so much happening in Black Hole Alien Brain Zombies! however, there is a massive deficit in the content on the screen and the themes in the story.
I am personally a fan of experimental film, music, and art. I love seeing the boundaries someone can push a creative medium. However, this love of experimentation is with a caveat that these eccentrics carry some deeper meaning or purpose. With Black Hole Alien Brain Zombies!, the visuals and moments of dialogue lacked any purpose beyond intercutting images of stars melting and black holes destroying matter. If the film stuck with the false-doc structure, it could have been culty, meta, and self-aware. Had it stayed firmly in the mind-bending hyperspace of colors of the last 20-minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, it could have been breathtaking. Instead, Metatron finds his production perfectly in the middle, perhaps the worst place for an experimental project.
"…calling the film 'trippy' would be quite an understatement."
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