Astron-6 (DVD)

So Astron-6 is the indie film group who directed one of the worst movies I saw in 2012, “Father’s Day.” My feelings for that film in particular have been made, so in the interest of being more constructive than mean spirited, I’ll simply judge “Astron-6” on their own merits. Drawing interest from Lloyd Kaufman and Troma Entertainment, Astron-6 were able to release a compilation of their short films on DVD in obvious celebration of their highly touted limited theatrical film “Father’s Day.” As a compilation it’s a mixed bag, and one from an obvious group of guys that want to entertain. They love the eighties so much that every single short in the film is either a grindhouse throwback or an eighties throwback. There’s not a lot of variety to their short comedy films, except for their willingness to show themselves bare chested most of the time, and their inability to deliver simple one liners most times.

Their shorts are all simple and love letters to their favorite films. So “Cool Guys” is a short about two guys who re-invent themselves and take to the beach, while “HIZ” is another horror film revolving around phallic symbols. “Punch Out” is the demented tale of a young man who pays people to punch him. It arouses him so much he even makes his dad hit him. “You’re Dead” is a gruesome and irritating short film, and there’s really nothing in this compilation that stands out. The “Astron-6” DVD is clearly meant to be a primer for people who enjoyed “Father’s Day,” or for folks who want to study up on the group’s film style before diving head first in to “Father’s Day” oblivious to what they’re in for. Even if I’d seen this compilation beforehand I still would have despised “Father’s Day” during every single second, but it works as a promotional tool and eventual collector’s item for their fan base.

As is the usual, Lloyd Kaufman and Troma give the guys at Astron-6 a very good DVD release, and their fans will eat it up with a spoon. Hey, these guys have been a success in indie film, and more power to them, but this kind of schlocky comedy is awful, and I had a miserable time dragging my ass through every short film in the two disc set. I’m not sure who or what this brand of indie comedy is supposed to appeal to, but congratulations to the group on their success. Featured on the DVD from Troma is audio commentaries for the shorts from the Astron crew, as well as a Behind the Scenes featurette. There are also photo galleries for fans, and trailers to select fillms, including Astron’s “Father’s Day.”  This isn’t a funny series of film, nor is it enjoyable or even remotely pleasant. If you’re in to homophobic, crude, demented humor that aims for pointless, then this compilation of “Astron-6” shorts may just be the ticket. More power to them.

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