Artie Saves the Hood (2004)

Don’t you hate it when you and your two slacker friends are trying to set up a backyard wrestling court in your backyard, and aliens from another dimension come in to your neighborhood to take it over? It happens more times than you think, and apparently, it’s happening to Artie’s hood. This pretty funny science fiction comedy asks the audience that very questions while giving us a concept that’s like “Shaun of the Dead” mixed with a bit of the Askew Universe. What if the fate of the world depended on a slacker?

And what if the slacker pretty much decided not to help at first thus spelling the end of the world, what if the slacker found a glowing bar of soap in his wall which was a weapon and a way to travel through dimensions? It happens here. Through some great special effects sequences, and with villains that look like Storm trooper stalwarts from “Star Wars”, Artie, played by director Ed Radmanich, who presents a sort of Kevin Smith quality, whoops their asses in an awfully simple premise that won’t require much deciphering. Aliens taking over dimensions decide to take over Earth through magic soap bars, Artie just won’t stand for it and opens a can of whoop ass in the form of semi-automatics.

I was willing to forgive the plot holes (they never run out of ammo, where did they get the heavy artillery?) and have a good time, which I did in the end. Radmanich knows how to give comedy when he wants, and really looks like an average Joe who wants to save his world. He doesn’t want to save the world, he just wants to save his world because these super powered aliens are just so damn annoying. With some great special effects, and pretty good comedy (loved the scene with the picture explaining the plot), Radmanich gives the audience a very fun short that has the possibility for a feature length film. Now, if he could only get past…  The wooden acting. Though Radmanich seems to know what he’s trying to pull off, “Artie” is dragged in to the dirt by awful acting, and I mean awful. Sometimes the acting is so wooden it just completely took me out of the narrative, and sometimes the acting was just so over the top it was irritating.

Okay, not experienced actors, but what hindered my enjoyment in the end was the acting that wasn’t even competent enough to warrant enjoyment and entertainment. And most of the time the dialogue was just incredibly repetitive (“Dude, Manny was a zombie?” “Really?” “I guess so”) that was utterly distracting. Meanwhile Radmanich never really seems to know what his plot exactly entails. Are the aliens taking over dimensions or worlds? What are their powers? If they conquered worlds why is it they can be seen from miles away?  Though “Artie” is ultimately brought down by bad acting, plot holes, repetitive dialogue, and many inconsistencies, it does excel in pure entertainment with Radmanach giving the audience some great action, comedy, and presents a science fiction epic only in the slot of a half hour.