From New Coke to the New World Order, conspiracy theories are rich throughout history and that stranger you meet in the bar, or family member you get stuck with at a wedding, will rejoice in informing you how the moon landing was filmed in a basement or how The Beatles replaced Paul McCartney after he died. In the age of fake news, where world leaders are the ones fueling these theories, S/W favourite Ruairi Robinson (Blinky™) returns to the site with his own conspiracy story—Corporate Monster.
Inspired by the current state of the world, which Robinson rather aptly describes as “f*cked”, Corporate Monster is the tale of a man who obsessively starts to believe that parasitic creatures are controlling the world. Hidden in the shadows and disguised from the majority of the population, these Zoidbergian beings are pulling all the political strings behind the scenes. The idea of giant decapods hiding behind human faces is obviously far-fetched (though nothing seems impossible nowadays), but the theory that a wealthy elite holds sway over the globe feels much less fictional.
An obvious ode to Carpenter’s cult classic They Live, Corporate Monster was filmed in both Dublin and Detroit, and builds on its eighties inspiration with a retro-tinged production. Frequent Robinson collaborator Macgregor is back behind the lens, and the duo compliment each other perfectly once again, deftly handling the quieter paranoid moments and the tense action sequences with equal aplomb. Produced with the support of Screen Ireland, this week’s online release comes on a sad note however, as it represents the anniversary of the passing of Robinson’s writing partner Eoin Rogers, and the film is dedicated to his memory.
Robinson is already well-known for converting his viral short film concepts into Hollywood heat, and last we heard from him, the Irish director was in the midst of developing his space-whale short The Leviathan into a feature (with the help of Simon Kinberg and Neill Blomkamp). We have no doubt that Corporate Monster will attract similar interest.
Though we’re still waiting for the longer version of The Leviathan proof-of-concept, that short did prove inspirational for another feature, with producer Kathleen Kennedy admitting it was influential in their research for the Kessel Run sequence of Solo: A Star Wars Story.