I always love it when I can bring some attention to a new stunt team, or director, or actor, in the hopes that Hollywood, or someone, will take notice and give these fine folks work! Such is the case with Director Joey Corpora and Platypus Underground, whose short film Sins of the Dragon was runner up in the best fight choreography category at this year’s Action On Film Festival, and was an official selection at the 2013 Near Enemy Film Festival and 2013 Fright Night Film Festival.
The Miller’s Tale
This short is about a young woman (Haines) who takes a wrong turn cutting through a Silk Mill and meets a group of thugs eager to rearrange her face, but she has other plans. Shannon Lee Haines makes for a good female protagonist, and the thugs are appropriately dispatched in somewhat gory ways (particularly Kale’s final death scene). Kale does a good job with his fight scenes and his facial expressions as his men are take out in terrible ways. I love that they don’t take themselves too seriously, and that they are having fun. The fights here are really well done and the choreography was great. The cinematography has good scene compositions. There were a few issues with sound and ADR work, but experience , time, and the proper tools will improve that. I would have liked the movements to be a bit faster, but all in due time. This group is only just getting started.
Sins of the Dragon
Sins of the Dragon is a really ambitious film that traces the journey of Kunri (Sweeney) and his best friend/partner Kaia (Haines) as they travel across the land in search of Caligo, an assassin who, with his band of rather incompetent ninjas, search for the Dragons, powerful martial arts masters with superhuman abilities. Caligo can kill these masters and take their powers unless he’s stopped. Kunri seeks revenge on Caligo, and nothing will stop him. As they journey they run into obstacles like slavers, and lots and lots of ninjas (nothing is quite as satisfying as watching ninjas die. Unsure why that is…). The humor in this film is nice, especially with the slavers. Sweeney and Haines are good in their fight scenes, but the ninjas didn’t react very well to their hits and “deaths”, and that kept the fights from looking more convincing. The final fight between Caligo and Kunri was well done, and had the speed I was missing from the other fights. Frankenfield and Sweeney turned in a heck of a final fight.
Kiai-Kick’s Grade (for both): 8
I took some time and watched some of their other short films, which you can find on their website here. They were also good, and the fight choreography is getting better and better, and I’m really fond of their humor. I wouldn’t put Platypus Underground quite in the same class as The Young Masters, LBP Stunts Chicago or The Stuntpeople…yet. I DO think they are heading in that direction, and will get there sooner than you think. They have big aspirations, and I can’t help but admire their gusto and confidence in which they pursue it. They are definitely a group worth looking out for. Give these guys a budget for a short film, and…well, let’s see what they do, eh? I think we will find out shortly (hint).