A hard-luck Hong Kong fisherman gets more than he bargained for, in his desperate last attempt to secure his way of life, in this impressive short film.
Minor spoilers ahead… you may want to watch the film first
“No one messes with Wong!”
So says Wong, a desperate man trying to prove his worth as a fisherman after life just seems to spit in his face. His promise to the fishing boat’s owner, and to himself, is that he can still catch a big catch. But as he is forced to retreat to a remote place to find his squid, the weather turns strange, and SOMETHING has arrived with the weather anomaly. And a terrific close to the movie ties the story up in a classic horror bow.
This curious concoction of a movie to the short film circuit by storm in 2015-2016, garnering 13 “Best of Show” awards (including the Nevermore Film Festival, and The New York Horror Film Festival). Directed by Alejandro Suarez Lozano, for a Spanish production company, filmed in Hong Kong with Chinese American actors, and recorded in Cantonese, it doesn’t resemble many other horror shorts out there. For one, the sets and backdrops are fantastic, bringing Kowloon harbor in full frame. Also, the monster is a stunner, worthy of a big Hollywood production, better than anything else I have seen in a horror short film. The VFX by the Spanish FX company Onirikal are really impressive. Given that most big budget movies have hundreds of credits for their work, what The Fisherman and Onirikal were able to do with a tiny crew is ovation worthy. As far as I can tell… three guys! Hollywood, take note!
Lozano explained in his wonderful behind the scenes video that he originally was wanting to do this story located where he grew up in Spain, and he had forgotten about it, but after he moved to Hong Kong, the backdrop of the skyscrapers and sea shantytowns were so compelling that he decided to make this a Hong Kong story instead. Brilliant!
This has the feel of The Host, in miniature, and that’s a good thing. The Fisherman is just about 20 minutes long. Also on Lozano’s website is the announcement that he is planning Mogwai, a full feature movie based on this short film… and if it contains all the quality of this short, I’m betting it will be terrific as well.