Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Illustration for article titled Help Me Track Down These Oddball Sci-Fi Shorts!

Growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I saw a ton of short films on both PBS and cable, usually late at night or between programs. Most of these were student films or independent productions, cheaply made but often with a lot of style and humor. Unfortunately, since they’re 30-40 years old (or older), I don’t have the names of the filmmakers or the titles of the shorts, which makes hunting them down on the IMDb or even Google difficult. It’s entirely possible that many of these are so obscure that they aren’t archived anywhere on the internets.


Off the top of my head, these are the ones I remember the most. If they so much as ring a bell, please tell me! It’ll be good to know I haven’t been hallucinating all these years.

  • A claymation short, possibly titled “The Intruder”: Maybe late ‘60s/early ‘70s. Just four or five minutes of weird stop-motion creatures beating the shit out of each other in a bunch of paper-mache landscapes. IIRC it ends with one of the monsters attacking the camera.
  • An animated short, done in a style reminiscent of Fantastic Planet, about a guy in an aircar who pays a visit to a weird alien border town. Might have been an Eastern European production.
  • A live action short circa the late ‘70s, about a couple of weirdos with high-tech gadgets chasing each other around a vaguely post-apocalyptic environment. Probably a student film; the two leads are maybe 18-25 years old, kinda neckbeard-y, not professional actors. I saw it a couple of times on Cinemax back in the ‘80s; it felt like some quirky short story you’d encounter in the back pages of an issue of F&SF.
  • An animated short, maybe 1980 or so, in which the superhero characters on a Williams-type pinball machine come to life and do battle with each other.

Sound familiar? I was able to track down the short film about the guy who gets eaten by videotape, so I know some of these have to be real and not the products of a fevered imagination.

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