Zygote is the latest short from Oats Studios, Neill Blomkamp's experimental film studio, which features his most gruesome monster yet. He kicked off his series of shorts with Rakka, which starred Sigourney Weaver struggling in the apocalyptic aftermath of an alien invasion where they have enslaved humankind and overtaken the planet.
This newest short, called Zygote, is the third and final film in Volume 1 from Oats Studios (the second instalment was the Vietnam-set Firebase which you can watch below) and stars Dakota Fanning and Jose Pablo Cantillo who are two remaining people trapped in a remote outpost mining colony in the Arctic Circle.
But forget about the weather outside, because there is a far bigger concern which is a truly grisly and terrifying creature on the loose. Think, John Carpenter's The Thing with a little bit of Alien thrown in too.
Dakota Fanning Stars In Neill Blomkamp's Zygote
In the Oats Studios short Fanning is a "synthetic" an artificial humanoid (or so she thinks) designed to perform dangerous or menial tasks, while Cantillo plays a blind military officer. Together they are the two lone survivors who take on a genetically modified Frankenstein monster who has killed and assimilated their coworkers.
Fanning was Blomkamp's preferred choice for playing Barkley, the synthetic. He tells the Creators Project "I had done a BMW commercial with Dakota, and I just loved working her, she's such a professional. I actively sought her out." In Zygote Dakota Fanning's character literally is humanities last hope. Not bad for a non-human.
The design of the creature in Oats Studios' Zygote is truly abominable with multiple eyes and fleshy limbs and hands flaying around from the people it's killed and absorbed. Not something you'd really want to meet and get to know if you found yourself in a remote Arctic outpost.
Oats Studios Designer Ian Spriggs And Monsters
"We have this really awesome organic designer here at Oats named Ian Spriggs. Basically any organic character, whether it’s a monster or a human, he’ll build it." Blomkamp explains to The Verge about the Oats Studios crew. "I posed the idea of a creature that would be made out of many humans, and that it’s specifically stitched together — it’s not an organic growth thing — so the circulatory and respiratory systems and everything had to be combined into this sort of horrific Frankenstein job. Doug Williams, a two-dimensional illustrator, came up with a sequence of different looks and then took it into 3D. We ended up with this bipedal design. I went to him asked how many people it took, and it was actually more than I thought: he needed 46 people to make the creature that you see. That's how many limbs and eyes and stuff merged into that creature."
Nice. Check out this grim body horror monstrosity above. And watch Oats Studios short film Firebase below.
Volume 2 is forthcoming and Blomkamp is asking people to buy the short films, along with assets like the 3D models and behind the scenes stuff, on Steam to support future work.