SXSW Review Reklaw, – A Midnight Short Worth A Second Look
Reklaw playing as part of SXSW’s Midnight Shorts is an intriguing concept with good acting, interesting writing, and a can-do attitude.
Reklaw playing as part of the SXSW Midnight Shorts is a kooky bite of bizarre fantasy. Written, directed, and 100% financed by Polaris Banks, this unconventional short is a perfect little pallet cleanser. Utilizing whip-smart dialogue, solid performances, and low-tech solutions, Banks is able to achieve an interesting short that could easily be proof of concept for something bigger.
Banks wrote the script, designed and built the set(while shooting), and lived in a car to make Reklaw happen. The micro-budget short looks and sounds like more than the tiny price tag. Quick world-building develops a situation that feels simultaneously surreal and plausible. This quirky little gem is equal parts absurdist comedy and dark satire. Science fiction mainstay Lance Henriksen(Aliens, Millineum) is steady and surprisingly funny while the remainder of the cast fills the screen with their sundry idiosyncracies.
Reklaw follows a group of altruistic vigilantes who destroy evidence to try to keep people out of prison. Their philosophical leader Henriksen tries hard to keep the group headed in the right direction morally and physically. The entire short feels a little like trying to watch someone herd cats followed by a heartfelt sermon to the furry beasts about morality. When their latest caper goes very wrong, and a murderer returns to the scene of the crime looking for vengeance, they are forced to make decisions about what kind of people they want to be. Will they choose their convictions or become murderers themselves?
Banks has an ear for dialogue, which shows in the razor-sharp conversations between the oddball gang of vigilantes. Despite being very strange, there is a natural quality to the group that fits the circumstances and world they reside in. The dialogue has a unique cadence that is perfectly timed and comedically smart.
The short is a unique experience that could be so much more. It is undoubtedly one of the quirky surprises at SXSW. Polaris Banks Reklaw is fun, strange, and entirely unique. Hopefully, someone will give this a second look and offer Banks a deal. If Banks can do this with basically nothing, think about what could happen with an actual budget.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.