Director – Daniel DelPurgatorio, Mike Smith
Cast – Gerard Butler, Cam Clarke, Siobhan Flynn, Jared Harris, Salli Saffioti, Lori Tritel
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is the animated short film based off the comic book within the story of The Watchmen. So if you are fans of the original Watchmen story(not the one shown in the movie), then you need to check this out. Written and produced by Watchmen director Zack Snyder, this film portrays the story of a mariner who’s ship is attacked by The Black Freighter. Fearing that The Black Freighter will head to his hometown and destroy all those who reside there(including his family), we watch the mariner struggle as he has washed ashore on a deserted island and must trek his way back home on a makeshift sailboat which includes the dead bodies of his fallen crew to help keep it together(which will help him get the bodies back to the hometown for respectful burial). We then witness him battle sharks, strong waves, and the darkness that waits for him as he arrives to his blackened and devoured homeland. However, all is not as it seems as The Black Freighter has very dreadful plans for him and the person he is becoming.
From the novel…”He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
I really enjoyed how dark this film is. It was a pretty dark and brutal film for being an animated film. We are forced to see this mariner do some pretty awful things to the bodies of his dead crew, which he deems the sacrifice necessary for both him and his perished friends. This goes to show the torment he was going through as he slowly began to lose his touch with the world around him. The gore in this movie is pretty sweet as well! I’m sure Zack Snyder made sure that this film would not shy away from required brutality just because it is an animated film. I also really enjoyed the shark scenes and what happens to his sailboat and how the shark winds up helping him out just a little bit. Haha!(you’ll see) However, aside from all this visual awesomeness, it was the script and dialogue of this film that really sold me. Each line has meaning and purpose, and in most cases you can say that this film’s dialogue has more meaning and purpose than a lot of full length films that are 5 times as long! The fact that this film is a short film helps in a lot of ways because the action kicks off right away and keeps you hooked without ever slowing down or getting boring. Perfectly done!
Overall, if you are a fan of The Watchmen then you should definitely check this film out. I’m sure that non fans of the story will also enjoy this short film due to how expertly it was put together.