Grief is a powerful force in District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s latest short film from Oats Studios, Firebase. Set during the Vietnam War, Firebase follows the story of a soldier with preternatural good fortune and the monstrous inhuman being he’s destined to destroy.
Unlike Blomkamp’s previous experimental film, Rakka, which stars Sigourney Weaver and tells the story of a global alien invasion and the rebels left fighting in the wake of the apocalypse, Firebase is a localized phenomenon. But it still doesn’t tell the full story, as it’s waiting for the studio backing to do a full-length feature.
In the short, American soldiers in Vietnam have been backed into a corner by what the locals call the “River God.” But rather than an alien or some sort of demon, the River God turns out to be an agent of grief and revenge. A local man’s family was killed as a result of the war against the Vietcong and, as he held his dead wife in his arms, he was transformed. His skin peeled away, and he was left as a walking skeleton, stripped of his humanity.
The man then tore through the jungle and happened upon an American camp where he begged for help. The Americans experimented on him and — somehow — the man gained powers of telepathy, telekinesis, invisibility, and invincibility. He begins ripping people apart and using their flesh and bone as armor.
But it turns out there is someone, an American soldier, who’s destined to stop him in one way or another.
The CIA, determined to put a stop to the River God’s destruction, brings in a man who seems to have “life” as a whole on his side. Objects are placed in his way to protect him from harm, and he seems psychically linked to the River God. They give him special gear to enhance his abilities and a gun that should be able to stop the River God.
But we won’t know the rest of the story until a studio picks up Firebase for a full feature film.