I can’t help but think that if we ever find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic future anytime soon, I’m sorely unprepared for such an event. So before I start Googling “survival training,” let’s talk about Luke Asa Guidici’s sci-fi short, Sundown Trail.
Six years from now, the state of Washington is in lockdown with the emergence of a toxic mushroom called Sundowns. Its spores release a poisonous toxin that kills its victim in a short period of time. But, all is not lost, as there is an antidote. Donned with gas masks, father and son, Ethan and Thomas (Joshua Loren and Mason McNulty), are on the hunt for the deadly Sundowns to brew more of the antidote.
“…a toxic mushroom called Sundowns. Its spores release a poisonous toxin that kills its victim…”
Trouble stirs when the two are captured by marauders, who take their weapons, antidote reserves, and gas masks. Now exposed to the toxin, Ethan gives his son his last antidote and tells him to go home for more. The reluctant Thomas rushes home only to find one of the marauders, shot in the stomach and begging for his supplies, which are just out of reach.
I’m pretty sure that writer/director Guidici found inspiration from the pandemic for Sundown Trail. While other filmmakers and storytellers focus on the struggle to survive as the world is ending, Guidici reminds us of our humanity. That concern for our fellow man doesn’t stop because all of the institutions created to protect us are gone.
Sundown Trail is a simple sci-fi story and a thoughtful morality tale. Quite frankly, all good sci-fi should be a thoughtful morality tale just like this.
"…a thoughtful morality tale."