He paces from one pile of strange technology to the next, each time bending over to rearrange items. “I’m sorry my place isn’t exactly guest ready,” he says. “But it’s just disorganized y’know. Not uh... not dirty.” The young woman strolls into the room a few steps behind him, watching him until a cage next to the window makes her gape. A dead mouse lies on its side.
He fumbles in place for a moment, then approaches the cage. “Oh well that’s uh… that’s uh… I’m sorry.” He smiles nervously and covers the cage with a blanket.
The man, an old scientist named Ben, is showing his room to the young woman who just moved into the apartment. Clutter aside, Ben’s second floor room is cozy, being lit by a sprinkle of sunlight and two soft lamps. He’s got a couch, a pedestal fan, and a radio we hear earlier in the film. But danger lurks on the first floor.
BODY OF THE MINED Intrigues Us, Scares Us, Then Teaches Us
Ben has nearly completed a mind transfer device, but a gangster who breaks in his home forces him to use the device in a way he had not planned.
Body of The Mined contains sci-fi devices but a modern setting, making us feel at home yet making the unfamiliar stand out more. We become intrigued by the futuristic elements, but there’s a creepy uncertainty hanging in the back of our minds, like the dead mouse in Ben’s apartment, or the peeling walls and loud echoes in the young woman’s apartment. These elements weave together in an ending left for the viewer to interpret.
Characters Come From All Walks Of Life
Ben, played by Leonard Kelly-Young, quickly sways from one emotion to the next. At one turn his pride in his experiment resembles a father nurturing a baby, and at another he’s knocking papers over in frustration.
Conversely, the young woman, played by Nina Quezada Bloomgarden, transitions from one emotion to another at a gradual pace, but generally she has a steady gaze and a calm aura.
More characters show up throughout the film, each from a wildly different background than the other.
In this viewer’s opinion, the best part of the short film is the acting. All the actors seemed real and a step beyond—Ben’s stumbling around the young woman creeps us out as much as it does her. The other actors introduced in the film do an excellent job too, each in their own way.
Body of The Mined is recommended to not only sci-fi fans, but fans of lifelike acting and narrative intrigue.
Run time: 15 Minutes
Nina Quezeda Bloomgarden
Director/Writer: Eric Jungmann
Producers: Eric Jungmann and Natalie Hill
Music: Jake Staley
Film Editing: Zoe Schack
Images Courtesy of Coney Island Film Festival
About the Author: Jamal H. Goodwin Jr.
Grammar, prose style, fiction, nonfiction: Jamal does it all. When he's not jogging or reading Daredevil, he's writing stories with a focus on character and elegant language. He’s written reviews for Philadelphia Stories and has fiction published by Spillwords press. Check out a sample of his work at thefictionwriter.blog website.