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By Brian Bertoldo | November 8, 1999

The future looks bleak in Memory Tax. A hand picked group known as the “genetic elite” work in an underground lab, perfecting weapons, while those unlucky (imperfect) souls on the surface face widespread unemployment and short life spans. One of those elite rebels and instead of working on a weapon, she tries to perfect a helmet capable of transmitting human thought.
At the opening of the film, the viewer is bombarded with a ton of information, explaining how genetics have taken over society and the effects this has had on the populace. Tax (Rachel Hurt) was taken from her biological parents because of her high intelligence. She works in an underground lab for a man known as Mentor (Matt Casado). The lab and as we understand much of society is run by a wealthy industrialist/scientist named Stuart Core (Robert Appleton). With the help of her artificial intelligence assistant or AI (Jason J. Tobin), Tax races to come up with a project to pass something referred to as validation. Without validation, she will be expelled to the surface, where we are told things aren’t so great. Instead of the weapons projects her peers are developing, Tax works on a helmet capable of transmitting human thought. When she discovers that the helmet has tapped into childhood memories of a caring mother figure named Dr. Yema (Nicki Micheaux), Tax struggles to piece together her past. Consequently Core wants her helmet to extract information from the severed head of a scientist. When Tax discovers who that scientist is, her life as she knows it takes a dangerous turn as she must keep the secrets she’s learned from Core to insure her survival.
This short could easily be mistaken for a trailer, as there is a great deal of information told to the viewer instead of shown and the ending leaves so much open. The production values are top notch as is the acting, but the story is better suited as a feature.

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