Perhaps the most shockingly hilarious short I’ve seen in years, “Pleasureland” explores a normal schlub’s obsession with a particular section of the video store. These “special” tapes deliver an experience like nothing ever seen in the adult section. The tapes begin with the typical moans heard from an X-rated film. But when our protagonist’s back is turned as he “gets ready” to watch the film, something odd occurs. A fully-grown, ready-for-action naked female appears in his living room. Now, many of you may be asking, “Where can I rent tapes like this?” Before our schlub can get himself worked up to take advantage of the situation, the hottie is “unplugged” – the RF connector which leads to the VCR even starts to spew blood like a severed umbilical cord. When he goes to clean up, she’s gone, with only a pile of goo left to wipe up. Yeah, it’s weird, David Lynch-like and it will get even weirder before it’s over. The schlub can’t “return” these tapes since they seem to disappear, but that doesn’t stop him from returning to rent more for a planned orgy that serves as the film’s climax. And the ending too.
Shot in stark black and white with an eerily effective soundtrack, “Pleasureland” has shades of “Videodrome,” in fact, it takes Cronenberg’s classic a few layers deeper. Director Bryan Poyser has delivered a great feature-length concept in the form of a short and I want to see more.