Garf Garf (Josh Parks) is a black turtleneck-wearing, veiny-and-bulbous-headed alien. As he wanders along, he encounters people with different problems, such as being homeless or just hungry. Ever the helpful one, Garf Garf conjures a burger out of thin air, and hands them over to the needy, immediately making them happy. It is when he meets a man (Dan Toolsie) and follows him home that Garf Garf’s burger powers begin to wane and, seeing that he alone is not enough to solve the world’s problems, decides to do what he can to help everyone enjoy delicious burgers.
Brian C. Taylor’s short film Garf Garf is essentially the old idea of teaching people to fish being more valuable than just giving them fish. In the former, they learn how to fend for themselves, whether you’re around or not. In the latter, they need you for everything, and cannot become self-sufficient.
In the case of this short, the teaching is the magical ability to conjure burgers at will, but the main point is still there. Garf Garf cannot save the world by giving burgers to the needy alone; but if they can learn to conjure their own burgers, oh happy day! And on top of feeding the hungry, they’ll be free of the poor quality, corporate Flarnotten burgers!
It sounds like I’m typing gibberish, doesn’t it? That’s okay, because in some ways watching Garf Garf is like watching gibberish. I mean, an alien who can conjure burgers, what’s the point of that? Obviously, though, amid the silliness and absurdity is enough of a message for someone like me to grasp on to and understand, so there’s more going on here.
And the music is great. Performed by Feed Them Brains, it’s the perfect complement to the visual strangeness. If I liked nothing else about Garf Garf, the music would’ve won me over. Luckily, I actually enjoyed the short, so not a problem.
Overall, Garf Garf is a weird short film with a grander message. It’s stylistically pleasing and manages to convey universal truths while being about an alien that magically makes burgers appear.
Of course, what are those burgers made out of, Mr. Garf Garf? Does an animal blink out of existence every time Garf Garf conjures a burger? Is he poisoning us from within with his alien delicacies!?! Great, now my mind is going down a whole ‘nother, far more insidious, track. Garf Garf 2: The Invasion…
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