Xenogenesis (1978, James Cameron and Randall Frakes)

Xenogenesis doesn’t just have lengthy opening titles for a twelve minute short, it then has exposition explaining it as directors Cameron and Frakes pan over some sci-fi illustrations.

There are some amazing things about the short, but they’re all related to the stop motion animation. First there’s a giant robot maid, though its size is unclear. After it attacks the good guy, the girl shows up to save the day. Lots of Cameron archetypes pop up in Xenogenesis.

When the girl arrives, she’s in an awesome stop motion vehicle too. Those effects are very impressive but, otherwise, the short mostly bellyflops. For example, the sets are inept, not futuristic. The directors occasionally conceive good shots, but the bad compositing ruins them.

William Wisher Jr. is terrible in the lead; Margaret Undiel is slightly better as his female companion.

It’s a nearly worthwhile short, especially when considering its technical values.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Written, produced and directed by James Cameron and Randall Frakes; production designer, Cameron.

Starring William Wisher Jr. (Raj) and Margaret Undiel (Laurie).


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