Acker: Film and Tim Burton Essay

Submitted By kmt0027
Words: 1099
Pages: 5

Kendall Teel
Danilo Thomas
EN 101 1,083 words
Scary Failure
Acker’s short film titled “9” has a uniqueness rarely seen in films these days, long or short. However it is evident that Acker is an amateur in the short film industry. The plot includes little burlap sack men who live in a junkyard setting and scavenge for trinkets. When a large panther-like creature kills one of the two surviving men (#5), the other (#9) is determined to outsmart the vicious animal and avenge his friend. The film begins with a flashback which is a very conventional move by Acker. From the flashback we learn that the monster has killed many before and the gap between the numbers on the two survivors actually symbolizes the destruction the creature has caused. Acker may have had more luck changing his story to allowing the demon cat to go ahead and finish off the civilians in the junkyard. But sadly he did not give up and went ahead and turned the film loose on Youtube. After a few trips down oxycodone lane and some serious mind widening exercises, I came to the conclusion that the intended audience of Acker’s film is the aspiring writers/film makers at the ages of twelve to around seventeen. From a short film standpoint the effectiveness of “9” is spot on. But from an average man’s standpoint the film flops to nothing but memories of a dream, or nightmare, after a bad acid trip.
In the making of short films, there are many minute details that play an imperative role in the quality of the film. With “9” the music may be the most important because of the lack of dialogue used. The creepy burlap sack men are hard workers no doubt, but can not seem to defeat the panther-like demon cat that has so viciously attacked their ‘village’ for so long. In the beginning of the film, the lone sound of wannabe Twilight Zone type music and a hammer clanking away set the tone for the spine-chilling scenes yet to come. The screeching and clanking of metal is continuous through the entire film as 9 is chased and chases the cat. Acker even threw in a low growling sound for the cat in attempt to make it more frightening. My initial reaction to “9” was somewhere along the lines of “what the hell?” But after I took a minute to think, it of course reminded me of another Tim Burton masterpiece, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” After watching the two films consecutively the similarities are as eerie as the use of storage space in the chests of the burlap sack men. Acker obviously did an internship with Henry Selick, the director of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” In fact, I am almost positive both were filmed in the same junkyard. Anyway, Acker could have used advice from Selick in the choice of music for his film. The soundtrack of “Nightmare” is significantly more cheerful than that of “9.” Granted the plot is also a little more on the giddy side with the love story of a skeleton and a voodoo doll. But still, lighten up Acker.
More positively, the young aspiring writers and film makers who somehow stumble upon “9” will forever be motivated to try and create their own…masterpiece. Deciding what to write about or create will not be a challenge for the fourteen year old who was worried about his creepily epic story he wrote sitting alone in his comic book décor room on Halloween night. He now has an argument when his mother tries to schedule an appointment with the shrink. From the eerie lettering of the names in the introduction I was instantly hooked and could not look away. The creepy doll in the cemetery-like area looked so real I thought the movie had transitioned from an animation film to a real life movie. But I quickly realized I had gotten my hopes up as soon as the camera flashed back to the burlap sack men clanking away in their junkyard. Camera angles used in short films depict the type of film intended by the director. However the fact…