Shot over a two week period, Artie Saves the Hood is based on a character created in cartoons by Ed Radmanich III. In Artie’s world, a quiet neighbourhood peopled by video game addicts and sundry slackers is invaded by “Clonebots”: Star Wars-type beings from another dimension. Now, it’s up to Artie and his friends to restore order and reverse the curse of the fluorescent soap.
At 33 minutes in length, Artie Saves the Hood is short enough and smart enough to avoid the pitfall that ensnares many amateur films with regard to outstaying its welcome. The special effects are undoubtedly the mainstay of this production, coupled with some decent fight scenes and nifty use of weaponry: check out a great sequence where our heroes enter underground catacombs that turn into a vast industrial wasteland: very impressive with credit going to fx maestro Phil Mohr, who is also responsible for the driving score.
Radmanich keeps things moving nicely on the action front though, for me, the humour falls flat on its face. Maybe this film would have been even stronger if the script and cast had played it straight, though for Radmanich at least, part of Arnie’s charm lies in his humour in the face of adversity.
With a little judicious editing, Artie Saves the Hood would be a perfect film fest ‘warm-up’, and there’s enough here to whet appetites for future productions. The DVD also includes a selection of cartoons to compliment the main feature.