Director: Michael Doucette
Seen via: Nevermore Film Festival
Runtime: 5 min
I can say from experience that working in food service sucks, and it only gets worse the higher up on the totem pole you are. Nobody knows this better than the hero of Sandwich Crazy, a sandwich shop owner named Gary who's struggling to sell enough food just to pay his rent. So when a mysterious stranger comes along and offers him a microwave oven that'll revolutionize his sandwich making, it seems too good to be true... and it is.
The magic microwave makes sandwiches that local patrons crave, but it also begins to affect Gary's mind. He starts hearing voices as he's making his sandwiches - tiny little vegetable voices. The veggies have come to life (embodied by puppets in the movie), and plead not to be chopped up. "I'm just filler!" cries a head of lettuce, as it bleeds all over the cutting board. The little puppets are equally cute and foul-mouthed, and harass Gary endlessly as the bloodthirsty patrons storm his shop to satiate their manic hunger. Gary faces a choice: how many sentient vegetables is he willing to kill to turn a profit? How many can he kill before he loses his mind?
Sandwich Crazy is a short produced as part of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative Film 5 program, which offers fledgling directors, writers, and crew the training and resources necessary to produce high-quality 5-minute shorts. There were a handful of Film 5 productions that screened at Nevermore (I think I counted three), and all stood out among the shorts I saw. Sandwich Crazy was by far my favorite. It has an insanely dark sense of humor, magnified greatly by the superb use of puppets. As Gary loses his mind, the color scheme also goes off the rails into a supersaturated palette reminiscent of Jason Eisener's work. (I swear I saw him credited, but IMDB doesn't list him.) This is clearly the product of filmmakers having fun, and it's a blast to watch.
While Sandwich Crazy isn't currently available to watch online, you can keep tabs on it via the film's Facebook page or tumblr (which seems to be idle as of late). In the meantime, you can watch the team's previous short-short film, Dead Body below: