Imagine if “Apocalypse Now” and “The Wizard of Oz” got together one night in the throws of passion and had an illegitimate mongoloid child, and you’ll pretty much get “Apocalypse Oz,” a twisted, kinetic, and utterly creative farce of two of the greatest movies ever made that harkens back to the Coen Brothers on many occasions. With this clashing of opposite genres, Dorothy is an angst ridden Asian girl, her aunt and uncle are abusive foster parents, Toto is an annoying little dog she makes quick extermination of, her ruby red shoes become her ruby red car, and instead of trying to find the wizard to get back home, she has to hunt the psycho down.
Surely, “Apocalypse Oz” is everything I was expecting it to be, and it’s a very creative and exciting take on both films by Telford who pens the short. There’s the narration from our main character, all the basic “Wizard of Oz” elements thrown in (the pink bubble on which the good witch travels is symbolized through Dorothy’s bubble gum bubble), and action galore, not to mention some pretty engrossing car chases.
Alexandra Gizela is the example of perfect casting, a scene stealer as Dorothy, the girl who takes immense lust in going out and hunting down The Wizard, a psychotic military leader, and must elude a grizzled county sheriff who is the equivalent of the wicked witch. Gizela is very convincing as the pistol, Dorothy, with her disgruntled disposition, low husky voice, and craftily placed bow in her hair, she really grabs the movie by the balls and takes this role for all its worth.
“Apocalypse Oz” deserves credit simply for its concept which takes the most unexpected combination of one of the greatest war films and one of the greatest children’s films, and leaves out no details. There are the subtle references and there are the large references all of which really brought a smile to my face. “Apocalypse Oz” had the ability to ruin it from the very beginning but Telford’s direction, convincing performances and an original concept make this worth watching. The horror, the horror that is home.