Andrea Ricca’s World Of Zero Budget Science Fiction

A collection of cheap but cheerful short sci-fi and horror romps.

It’s always fun to stumble across something obscure, though in the case of Andrea Ricca’s story films it was less an accidental discovery and more an email from the man himself, who seems very determined to promote his work far and wide – as indeed he should. there is little point in producing work that no one is going to see.

Ricca, who has been making short horror and science fiction films since 1998, has certainly gathered plenty of praise from various sources, and far be it from me to be a party pooper. There’s certainly plenty of amusement to be had in seeing these films, which feel like SyFy originals boiled down to more bearable lengths – his films run between two and seven minutes in length, which barely gives them the chance to become boring, and generally involve giant monsters. Ricca is clearly a fan of scorpions (either that or he’s bought an off-the-shelf CGI scorpion template and is determined to get his money’s worth) – titles include The Giant Scorpion, Sharkenscorpion and Sharkarantula vs Snakeorpion. Let no one say that these films don’t give you some top monster hybrids.

As well as the short films – which have little room for character development and so just cut to the (literal) chase and the battle between monster and victim – there are trailers for films, made and unmade, across his website. I’m guessing that the whole page is essentially a showreel aimed at catching the eye of people like the Asylum or the aforementioned SyFy. I suspect that Ricca probably needs to do something with a little more substance and originality than these brief knock-offs of generic monster movies and genre hits to really get attention, but we’ll see. If he could expand these high-concept tales to a more substantial length, he might yet be one to watch.

These are – cast aside – very much one-man efforts, with Ricca creating the CGI effects on his home computer, and they are what they are. To be honest, I’ve seen worse monsters in ‘proper’ feature films and if you are the sort of person who is going to quibble over some ropey FX, then these were never going to be the films for you. But if you fancy some lightweight, disposable monster madness, then these are certainly worth a look. You can wade through the entire collection in just over an hour, or else just dip in and out whenever you have five minutes to spare.

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