Pandora Cinematheque – Vampires From Mars?


When you’re a drunk at a small-time bar somewhere in Texas, you’d think nothing of a smooth-tongued, clean shaven, irritatingly friendly young man who tries to tell you a story. That is, until he buys you a beer.

And then tells you he’s an alien.

Our latest Pandora Cinematheque offering is Bar Talk – enjoy!

As a classic bait and switch, filmed in a warm 70’s sepia and looking more like a scene from CheersBar Talk starts off as one of those unassuming little indie character dramas. It swiftly becomes a very peculiar sort of sci-fi comedy. Imagine if War of the Worlds had a mulligan, with the invading aliens handling things with a touch more subtlety, absolutely no sign of Tom Cruise, and bacteria-laden blood no longer being an issue to extra-terrestrial physiology.

bar talk

Bar Talk takes a stereotypical long-time alcoholic (played by veteran actor Timothy Brennen who we saw last week in The Gunfighter) and puts him against what appears to be his absolute opposite; a straight-laced apparently naïve and preppy do-gooder, who then turns out again to be even more unlike him than we realized. It’s a clever distraction and keeps us from the twist, keeping us as fooled as the drunk himself until it’s too late. The film even makes fun of itself, with the alien (Ian Gary) referring to his delivered premise as a cheesy sci-fi movie, making the ending just a touch sinister, slightly funny, and apocalyptically ominous.

Bar Talk (2014) was directed by Lowell Northrop, who has made commercials for Converse as well as a string of music videos, and was based on a short story by Joe R. Lansdale, whose work has been adapted into films such as Bubba Ho-Tep and Cold In July.

Looking for something fun to watch? Enjoy weird and wonderful short films? Check out other Pandora Cinematheque short films and reviews here!

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