A “community collaborated” project, Rotor DR1 was created using the funds and input of over 7000 supporters, but you wouldn’t really know it while watching it because the film has a sharp focus and a keen sense of the genre. It doesn’t feel like there were too many hands in the pot, and the movie has great style and introspection, not to mention a really innovative use of drones, which are predominantly featured throughout.
Plot: In a post-apocalyptic world where half the population is dead or missing and the sky is full of autonomous drones, a 16-year-old boy named Kitch sets out to find his father, joined by DR1, his drone companion.
(Cinema Libre DVD) Review: “When the whole world’s turned upside down, it’s strange what you start to miss. The things you never really appreciated until they were gone. Fast food. John Hughes films. Air conditioning. We came so far, just to have it all yanked away.”
A superflu wipes out 90% of the world’s population. The world is divided into two classes: The “fringers” who live in the fringes of the wastelands scavenging what they can to survive, and those who control the only currency left in the world. The only thing worth anything in the wasted world is the power sources found in autonomous drones that still fly around on their preprogrammed missions, which largely consisted of delivering medications to certain drop points throughout the cities when humanity was still in need of daily doses of a preventative antivirus. Fringers figure out a way to capture drones to dismantle them and sell their power sources to brokers who still need the batteries to power their villages and places of business, and one 16-year old fringer named Kitch (Christian Kapper) comes across a very unique drone called a “DR1” (or “Doctor One,” as someone begins calling it) that has a larger than usual power source and an AI that seems to be aware of something that Kitch has been searching for since his father disappeared at the beginning of the onslaught of the virus. With the help and assistance of a young teen named Maya (Natalie Welch) and the persistent companionship of the DR1, Kitch goes on a journey of self discovery that leads him to the answers of what became of his father and the truth of how he’s somehow connected to the origins of the superflu.
A “community collaborated” project, Rotor DR1 was created using the funds and input of over 7000 supporters, but you wouldn’t really know it while watching it because the film has a sharp focus and a keen sense of the genre. It doesn’t feel like there were too many hands in the pot, and the movie has great style and introspection, not to mention a really innovative use of drones, which are predominantly featured throughout. Great urban wasteland shots and really interesting cinematography really boost Rotor DR1 to a level that very few totally independent post-apocalyptic films have reached. The acting is solid, the score is good, and it’s consistently surprising. On a similar (but much more outlandish) note, Turbo Kid is more or less for the same audience. Directed by Chad Kapper.
A note about Cinema Libre’s DVD and Blu-ray release: The disc comes with a variety of supplemental features. There’s an optional running commentary from the director, as well as deleted and alternate scenes, featurettes, outtakes, and trailers. A disc well worth purchasing.