Dave Brough heroically watched all 437 films in the 2021 48Hour film competition. He shares with us his picks for the strangest films of this year.

New Zealand just crowned its 2021 winner of the 48Hour film competition, with the darkly hilarious Good Girl by team Traces of Nut.

But if you’ve ever been to a heat of the 48Hour film competition, you’ll know that the entries range from slickly professional to absolutely off-the-wall.

No one knows that better than Dave Brough, who for years has made it his goal to watch and review every single film produced in the competition.

This year, he watched and reviewed all 437 films. Just watching them took him over 35 hours.

He’s seen it all. The films made by six-year-olds (THe DumB WiZaRD), to the first-time directors in their mid-50s living out lifelong dreams of making their first short film (The Hitchhiker). 

The competition produces any kind of film you can think of. Some he found emotional and beautiful (The Ribena Tree) or thought provoking (Āta - the national third place winner).

Some he found batshit crazy.

He estimates that 75 percent lean into more conventional narratives, 20 percent go more abstract or avant-garde, and 5 percent are out to claim the ‘incredibly strange’ award - which used to actually be an award in the competition.

Here are Dave’s picks for the most incredibly strange films from the 2021 48Hour film competition, with his personal winner of the award at the bottom.

Order For Help by OGC: A grindhouse version of Misery with nods to Taxi Driver infused with pitch-perfect black comedy, as a strangely immobilized customer tries to get a pizza delivery driver’s attention in hilarious fashion.

SIS by The Cant Shack: The stock footage film the competition always dreamed would happen, with next level surreal tone as a seemingly perfect romance is threatened by a low sperm count.

Joyless Pussies by Eddie Page Productions: A seemingly universal tale of support for grief goes absolutely bananas thanks to some fanatical cat fans and incredible makeup.

Do Mandroids Dream Of Electric Beads 2: Re-Entry by Syzygy Studios: Seriously crude humour that feels straight out of Troma studios, with a stellar ensemble cast fully committed to the out of this world story.

Nosferatu II: No Sferatus Today by Saturn V Productions: Incredibly gonzo camerawork and practical effects in a sequel that bears no real semblance plot-wise to the original film but is a wild ride nevertheless.

The Milkman by NITRO: What do you do when your actors bail on you for the weekend? Break out the cabbage patch dolls and create a very seedy, very strange, and very funny film.

Bushwhacked by Oscar the Walrus: A lesson in sound design as a tramper loses their way late at night and goes through a horrifically comic gory ordeal to try and find their way.

2 Guys 1 Pug by Team Green Square: A lackadaisical hitman with a love for pizza and panda masks decides to take a job for much needed money, culminating in a bombastic carpark showdown.

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The Ooze by Slime: The otherworldly 1950s sci fi paranoid lovechild of David Lynch that evokes a dreamy sense of time and place like no other in this year’s competition.

And the winner of Dave Brough’s 2021 ‘incredibly strange’ film award goes to:

Urine trouble! by Aaaron’s Censorship Trial

Urine Trouble! was my most bizarre film of the year - no questions asked. Other than this film being the only one that I did not give a rating score to in my reviews because it was just so utterly bizarre, the surreal bonkers nature of the short got amplified tenfold following the passing of DMX about a week after the film played in the heats, as the team parodied Party Up in their credits.


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