Undergods is a bold debut feature by writer and director Chino Moya. Resembling a cross between Ben Wheatley’s High Rise and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, it is a consistently surprising, beautifully designed and gloriously morbid trudge through the brutalist architecture of an imagined quasi-European post-apocalypse, with a merciless streak of gallows humour.
The film is an anthology, telling several disparate, but loosely inter-connected fables; from the pair of filthy, ragged men hunting through ruined buildings for dead bodies who open the film, to a truly unforgettable karaoke party. These are pathetic, savage characters (played by a collection of familiar character actors) haunted by despair and destruction, whose stories follow a sense of macabre irony.
Moya’s background is in music videos and it’s clear he has an eye for striking visuals; the grungy, tactile production design belie its presumably modest budget and Undergods frequently looks better than many of its bigger-budget science fiction cousins. Throw in a throbbing, heady synth score, and this is an impressive, darkly thrilling debut.
United Kingdom, Belgium, Estonia, Serbia, Sweden