God bless the Spanish and their twisted sense of humour. It was evident in the darkly comedic REC, and it’s certainly apparent in this brilliantly wacky short from directors Adrián Cardona, Rafa Dengrá and David Muñoz. Brutal Relax is one of those micro-budget epics that come along all too rarely, notable for its highly competent cinematography and a perverse mixture of slapstick and mutilation.
Telling you what it’s about would spoil the surprise, but it’s got a great little hook: The rather odd Mr. Olivares has been suffering through some anger issues and decides to treat himself to a soothing holiday. But things don’t quite go to plan. Or do they?
Presumably shot on the cheap, this Hollywood calling card defies all expectations by being a well-crafted crowd-pleaser. It’s a tad over-long at 15 minutes but you’re unlikely to forget it. Brutal Relax was a festival hit at Stiges and has developed a healthy cult following on YouTube. It isn’t hard to see why – this is one of the best shorts in recent memory and a fine example of what can be achieved on modest resources.
Like Mr. Olivares, you’ll be glad you took the trip.