Short of the Week

Frank DanCoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer

Reporter, Holly Malone, is out to bring down drug lord, Dancoolo, and break the story of her career. It’s a fan film masterpiece with the perfect mix of wacky characters, memorable one-liners, and over-the-top effects.

The time: The Future.  The place: Neo-Ultra-Mega-Tokyo. Or perhaps the time and place are somewhere in a back alley between Johnny Mnemonic and Ghost in the Shell (it’s more or less the same thing). In this shimmering, shiny-yet-grimy world we find Holly Malone, a reporter with ten times the spunk of Lois Lane, along with a uterus for news (just go with it, really). Her reporter instincts plus a very peculiar sense of taste has set her on the trail of the legendary Frank Dancoolo. He’s the source of paranormal drugs which are ravaging society—if he exists that is.  Molly is sure he does, and her journey will lead her to unknown realities, terrifying secrets, flying katanas, and some really righteous dope.

It’s no surprise that a film titled Frank Dancoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer is not going for a serious drab vibe. This is wild, weird, and wacky fun delivered at a pace that puts NASCAR to shame. The story could have taken 30 minutes to unfurl or even a dreary 60, but here it is 8 minutes, and there’s no pausing for air. Holly’s machinegun delivery would make Howard Hawks proud, but as she is the lovechild of his Hildy Johnson and Bugs Bunny, that makes sense. She mixes jokes and mayhem while retaining her 1940’s feel, and it’s hard not to love her.

Writer/director/producer Andrew Jones’s previous short films have been animated—the Lovecraftian The Book Dealers and the violent Revenge Academy which could fit into Adult Swim.  Frank Dancoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer’s heritage is obvious in every frame. I’m not going out on a limb to declare Dancoolo half-animated with its extensive green screen work, effects flying weapons, and popping eyes. Its alien critters could fit into the Cthulhu mythos, and its humor is not far removed from that of Revenge Academy, nor is its tendency for destruction.

Jones has brought his animation aesthetic to live-action, and the result is original, hilarious, and a leap beyond his previous work. Check it out, and be sure to read the label.

Matthew is the director of the Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival, which annually brings filmmakers, features, and the best in short film to Atlanta. He writes a monthly film column for the short fiction review magazine, The Fix and maintains a film criticism website,
  • Andrew S Allen

    I love the zany, fast-paced nature of this film.

  • Dr. Glamour Kickstarter Deadline Tomorrow! | Watch the Best Online Short Films

    [...] W. Jones is a pretty unique filmmaker, the kind we like to highlight here on SotW. Frank Dancoolo: Paranormal Drug Dealer was one our Top Ten short films of 2010, and is about as ludicrously fun as the name sounds. Jones [...]

  • Vinod Bharathan


  • jimmyjay

    that…was awful

  • Galen

    Will you be featuring Andrew Jones’ latest short, “Doctor Glamour?” It’s fantastic!

  • Andrew S Allen

    Ha! Did Andrew put you up to this? Doctor Glamour has some nice moments but we ultimately decided to pass on featuring it. We’re looking forward to what he does next though.

  • Galen

    Ha, no it was solely of my own accord. Good to hear that it was considered. I’m definitely looking forward as well. He has a great style and voice and I’m excited to see the directions they take.