Once again, welcome to Dirty Shorts, an ongoing series in which we present to you reviews of short horror films for your amusement, edumacation, and possible chagrin. We are not responsible if you fail to be amused or edumacated.
Directed by Chavdar Yordanov
THE STORY: In an ironic twist, Dr. Schrödinger’s theory is proven to be literally accurate.
There is something whimsical, impossible, and horrifying about the Schrödinger’s Cat theory. To keep it simple and short, if you put a cat in a box with something that can kill it, and something happens—well, what happened? Is the cat alive or is the cat dead? Until you open the box and see the aftermath, the 50/50 possibility of the cat being either alive or dead creates a situation where the cat is considered to be both alive AND dead. Once the box is opened, the paradox is solved and the cat is definitively alive OR dead.
In the grand tradition of Henry Frankenstein, Herbert West, and Elon Musk*, Dr. Schrödinger tries to go all Weird Science and the results are not what was expected.
We are introduced to Dr. Schrödinger and then, the cat. One thing I have to make mention of is the graphite textured stick and pencil artwork. It allows the character models a certain graphical flexibility where they are pulled and influenced by momentum in a very classic sort of animation trope. The actual design embraces and riffs on Bill Plympton’s Plymptoons while harking back slightly (and I mean slightly) to the 1920/30’s Felix the Cat.
As Dr. Schrödinger prepares his next experiment, his new cat (which is crazy adorable) is allowed to freely roam his lab. Very quickly the cat begins to understand its fate. Flash forward, Dr. Schrödinger stuffs the cat in a box and begins a somewhat simplified execution of the actual theory.** So, if you’re familiar with the theory, the question is, will this cat end up dead or alive? By the by, the running tally is 3 living against 12 dead. 80% chance you clock out and go home forever.
Dr. Schrödinger smokes in his lab and ingests stuff he has laying around. The dude knows how to party. Anyways, he is shocked when the cat is in front of him. He is further freaked out when the cat seems to be alternating between two distinct existences. The cat’s body morphs from living and strong, twisting itself to death until it’s a rotten corpse only to continue the phoenix-like cycle of death and renewal, all while a cat screams in pain at each birth and death occurring every split second of its existence. This cat is both alive AND dead. What else? Oh, yeah…
HE’S GOT FRIGGIN’ LASER BEAMS! The cat has gone from body horror to Rocket Raccoon’s wet dream of himself. This cat can suddenly shoot a laser beam from its mouth resulting in what I can only describe as a small diameter nuclear explosion. A really awesome, violent, short battle ensues and the cat manages to take out a human being wielding a crowbar with…again…FRIGGIN’ LASER BEAMS!
Then the cat plays with Dr. Schrödinger’s skull like a ball with a bell in it. And it’s STILL adorable.*** This is one of those things that, if you’re a nerd, you should be tickled a little on a lot of levels. I also lament there’s a limit to how far this particular joke can go. This little slice is appropriate in what it is trying to accomplish and comment on, but there is just such a Tom and Jerry dynamic between Schrödinger and the cat that is hard to resist. But would it work as a show? Until we find out, I guess the answer is yes AND no.
WHAT MOVIE SHOULD I WATCH AFTER THIS? Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Austin Powers, the Phantom of the Paradise, Kill Bill Vol. 1
*Elon Musk’s Sepulveda test tunnel that was going directly under the 405 freeway was just cancelled and to be honest, having someone dig under Sepulveda Blvd scares me. There is no good time of day to be on the street. It was created to test the will of mortals between 7 and 10 am. Having Elon under the pavement, digging tunnels, tempting kaiju to rise to the surface…I think traffic is bad enough right now.
**I’ve always thought that that Dr. Schrödinger’s explanation of the way the cat was to be killed was slightly cumbersome i.e. the connection between the decay of an atom and a hammer actually killing the cat. Why those two things? In a weird way, this “adaptation” of the theory seems to improve it by streamlining that part of the theory IMHO.
***Adorable but not historically accurate. Schrödinger didn’t die in a battle with a radiation powered super cat. He actually died of tuberculosis in 1961.
Images courtesy of Vimeo
Writer. Wrestling mark. Dog parent. Halloween enthusiast. Always wondering about the me on Earth 616 and what he/she/it’s up to. Currently residing in Los Angeles.