Three years after filmmaker Jesse O'Brien released his short film "Arrowhead: Signal" on Vimeo, the full-length feature adaptation, called simply "Arrowhead", is almost ready for launch.
The short film showed a lone mercenary, stranded on a seemingly deserted planet, with only his ship's AI for company. But something else is out there.
"Arrowhead" takes its name from an episode of "The Twilight Zone" titled "I Shot an Arrow into the Air" about astronauts crash-landing on an uninhabited planet. The full-length film from Melbourne, Australia-based O'Brien expands on the premise. It tells the tale of Kye, a political prisoner freed by a rebel faction and smuggled aboard a ship for one final heist.
Shot in the desert landscapes of South Australia, the film captures something of the menace of the unknown that harks back to 1956's "Forbidden Planet," flavoured with some uniquely Aussie concerns. Ever since Great Britain's First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788 to establish a penal colony, art created by settlers has relayed the hostility of the landscape and the country's isolation.
The film's synopsis reads: "An interstellar Jekyll and Hyde, 'Arrowhead' tells the tale of survival set amongst the distant stars. Kye is a prisoner of war caught between two armies that he doesn't believe in. When offered an opportunity for freedom, Kye sets out on one last mission only to become stranded when his ship crash lands. Kye soon realises that the deadliest creature on the desert moon is himself."
"The world of 'Arrowhead' is one that allows for us to experience a singular story with our hero, Kye, but that also opens up the imagination for many more stories," O'Brien said in a statement. "First and foremost we wanted to create an old-fashioned science fiction adventure tale, as if the ideas and imagery had leapt off the pages of a 1950s pulp novel and landed in front of an independent film lens. In a climate saturated with over the top visuals, we felt like it's time to get back to basics and see more practical effects, a more subtle approach to the higher concepts, and a grittier reality. And Australia was the place to do it."
"Arrowhead", originally intended for a Foxtel release, is now slated for a December release on DVD and video-on-demand through Odin's Eye. You can check out the trailer below, and the original short film "Arrowhead: Signal" here.