While there are exceptions to the rule, such Dan Trachtenberg’s live action short Portal: No Escape, by and large the term ‘fan film’ conjures images of shoddy acting, terrible dialogue and costumes which look like they were thrown together 10 minutes before a last minute trick or treating session. Christian Cardona’s Y: The Last Man Rising may class itself as a fan film but has little in common with its shoddier online brethren.
For those outside of the comics realm Brian K. Vaughan’s original Eisner winning comic series Y: The Last Man tells the story of Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand who are the only males to have survived a worldwide plague which kills all living mammals with a Y chromosome. Along with titles such as Watchmen, Preacher and Black Hole (which also got the short film treatment from Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders) Y: The Last Man is a staple of any self-respecting comic collection and so expectations for a screen version have been pretty high amongst fans for quite some time.
While some of the acting may fall short, and personally I could have done without the continually orbiting camera outside of the dinner, Cardona does a good job of building the world and main protagonists over the 21 minute running time. Also, as you can see from Cardona’s extensive IMDB credits visual effects are definitely a comfort zone for him, which explains how he manages to pull off impressive plane and helicopter sequences at a fan film level of production – although IMDB estimates the budget at $65,000.
Here’s hoping that like The Walking Dead before it, Cardona’s short will inspire an official small screen adaptation of Y: The Last Man rather than see its rich world condensed down to a single movie. No good could come of that, just take a look Constantine if you need proof!