As a filmmaker myself, and a writer here at Infinite Frontiers (and other outlets), I get to see quite a lot of films, and even get the occasional sneak peak at how they are made. But it’s mostly wide releases. It’s rare that we come across something very, very indie. Something truly indie. Not something that is being called “indie” just to attract people, despite having a 7-figure budget. “The Gated Community” is, very much indeed, an indie production. And while it contains within itself some great stuff, in the end, the different tones of the short films in this compilation make it feel disjointed. I get a feeling that it’s the reason it never saw a release in the state that I saw it in.
But all the better for us, because that means we have an exclusive look at a film that pretty much nobody else will ever get to see! So let’s dive in.
There’s a semblance of a throughput narrative, but it’s very slim: a guy trying to get a tank to send it as an ambulance to places where there’s war. Everything else is haphazardly thrown together to try and fit within this narrative, with varying degrees of success.
As with any compilation, the quality of the films varies greatly, as does the tone of those films. I think this is the biggest drawback of the compilation, as I feel like if any of these films were put together with films that were more similar to them, they would form a more cohesive whole. However, the version that I saw of “The Gated Community” had at least three tones: no-budget narrative, shlock and a mix of both with a sprinkle of experimental thrown in.
As I mentioned before, though, there are highlights to be found: “Unplanned Parenthood” gives a very timely message about the changes in policies we see in first-world nations like the United States of America.
“Swedish Horse Film” is outright weird, but in the end I thought it really conveyed a strong message about relationships and the importance of balancing our workload and our private lives. If nothing else, it’s a cautionary tale against betting. I’d wager that’s a good message any day of the week! It also features very strong acting, something that I did not expect.
Other parts of the film I found to be somewhat less on-point. As a found footage fanatic, the segment that featured this technique in particular was, in my opinion, a detriment to the rest of the compilation. It may just be because I would approach it very differently, but I found the “Recording” overlay way passé and the acting tolerable at best.
In the end, “The Gated Community” is not a film for everyone. It’s not even a film for most people. Some of it wasn’t even for me. But the subculture of horror, shlock, shock, gore, exploitation and other unique, niche, weird and quirky things going on in the seedy, stinky and beautiful underbelly of this business we call the film industry definitely has its audience… and for those lucky few, there was something to be enjoyed in “The Gated Community” for sure.
As a final note, shout-out to “Mega Moose”, a fantastic parody of Japanese monster movies from the early 20th Century that had me roaring up in laughter right from the top of the reel. Great job.
While I’m sad to say that the film is not available for the general public in the configuration that I saw it in, you can see the crazy, over-the-top and outright NUTS trailer for it here: