Shane Ryan has been around the indie/underground film scene for quite some time now. He made waves with his first feature AMATEUR PORN STAR KILLER in 2006 but he’d been directing shorts for several years by then. GUERRILLA is a newer short that feels like a prologue to or maybe a proof of concept for a feature. While its concept isn’t the most original of ideas, Shane’s treatment of it is different from what you might expect.
Set in an alternative version of 1989 in which a rocket mishap unleashed a deadly plague over a small town and possibly all of North America. The infected cough up blood and develop a lust for killing. Survivors wear gas masks to prevent infection. One person seems to be at least somewhat immune though.
A ten year old boy, Mars Mohamed rides around on his bike dispatching the infected with a katana and a modified Nintendo Power Glove, (the same gaming accessory used to dispatch ghosts in HOW TO SAVE US). He also films what she sees with a super 8 camera, documenting what may be the end of the world. There is no dialogue or location sound, just a synth heavy soundtrack and title cards to introduce the film’s segments. It’s like a silent movie, only the score isn’t being played by the theater organist.
With the many scenes of Mars riding around on his bike and using her weaponized Power Glove GUERRILLA at times feels like a bloodier take on TURBO KID, which was itself a retro film. The result is a highly enjoyable thirteen minutes that takes the viewer back to the ’80s and the movies of the time.
The film ends with a “To Be Continued” title card and I’d be interested in seeing more of this world. GUERRILLA is on the festival circuit, most recently playing in Mexico City at the Stuff MX Film Festival. You can check for updates on Shane’s website.