by Nav Qateel
Tom, a former drug-addict desperately needs to raise cash. After failing to persuade an old pal to join him in committing a robbery, Tom is forced to use an obsolete robot to help him pull off the job.
Set in a future Glasgow, Johnny Herbin's "crime doesn't pay" sci-fi-crime yarn follows the exploits of Tom (Euan Bennet), a desperate ex-junkie who's looking to score some quick money. Exactly why Tom needs the money is revealed over the course of the 11-minute runtime, using some clever, measured pacing.
Electric Faces opens with some nice establishing shots of a Glasgow that's barely recognisable, while news chatter informs the audience that unemployment is extremely high. Futuristic buildings litter a bleak landscape and a large flying vehicle sails on by. Cars parked on the roadside look as if they've been flown from the set of Ridley Scott's masterpiece Blade Runner, adding some magnificent detail to Herbin's short film. In fact, the attention to detail throughout this film is quite remarkable, as Herbin seamlessly blends the new with the old. By simply adding neon signs with Asian-like symbols -- again, a huge nod to Blade Runner -- and adding them to the exterior of existing buildings, the director creates an entire new world for his characters to inhabit.
Tom is played by Euan Bennet, a relatively inexperienced actor who's asked to carry a good bit of the film on his shoulders, and demonstrates that he's easily up to the task. Bennet is a natural in front of a camera, and pulls off a sort of roguish appeal that plays well to his character. The supporting cast are also on form here, with Herbin drawing out decent performances and helping them play to their strengths.
Electric Faces was crisply lensed by Darren Eggenschwiler, with some solid editing by Chris Quick. Underlining Herbin's material, was a nice electronic score from Daniel McLearnon. As previously mentioned, the detail on display was one of the film's highlights, from Tom's blue hands -- the result of taking "Blue," the new drug of choice -- to the high-tech vehicles and buildings. For a movie that cost a mere $900 (£600) and runs at only 11-minutes, there's more information crammed into Electric Faces than many feature-length sci-fi flicks.
Everything about this production screams talent; from the cast, crew and director, this is a team to keep an eye on.Share: