Big-budget films with lots of computer-generated effects are not exactly the first thing you think about when someone mentions Malta. They might not even be the twenty fifth thing you think about. One Gozitan filmmaker, however, is hoping to do something about that.
You might recognise the name Testafilms from The Gozo Giant, a 2015 short film which had gone viral, gathering over 15,000 views on YouTube and even more on Facebook.
Much like Clinton Paul before him, filmmaker Bryan Testa’s claim to fame is 50% fans and 50% haters. Whatever the percentages stand at a couple of years later, however, this hasn’t stopped Testafilms from releasing multiple videos, and considering the DIY nature of it all, you can’t help but assume that there’s a level of self-awareness going on here.
Here’s a selection from the Testafilms hall of fame.
1. “Crazy Motorcyclist Jumps the Gozo Channel Ramp”
The most recent of TF videos, this was uploaded last week and has already amassed 8,000 views. It was shared dozens of times, and it’s as clickbaity as it is hilariously anticlimactic.
2. “Something unusual on the ferry today”
One of TF’s most surreal pieces, this is literally just a six-second video of a seal (which looks like it’s underwater) floating on top of the Gozo Ferry deck. Riveting.
3. “Darth Craber”
There’s literally nothing more to add to this. It’s a crab holding a knife edited to look like it’s wielding a Sith lightsaber from Star Wars. This one’s legit amazing.
4. “Jean-Claude Van Damme Strikes Compilation!!!”
Taken straight from the meme books, this three-minute video is a supercut of a bunch of people falling over, made out to look like superstar-macho-actor Jean-Claude Van Damme is kicking them off balance. Beautiful.
5. “Learn How to Dodge a Car”
An experiment in After Effects CC, this one’s a true emotional rollercoaster. Bryan manages to dodge a car by lying fat on the ground and letting it drive over him, but it then comes back to actually hit him. And guess what? It was Bryan behind the wheel after all. Mind = blown.
6. “Super Heroes Having Fun and Causing Accidents in Malta”
Ingredients: an already viral Maltese video of a batshit driver, Superman and Ironman. Oh, and Hulk dancing to Gangnam Style. Seriously, how could this ever fail?
7. “Something big is coming!”
Many will remember the iconic and very emotional scene from the first Jurassic Film where the dinosaurs are properly introduced. You know what would’ve made it way better? The giant from The Gozo Giant.
BONUS: The one that started it all
That’s right; the fully-fledged, six and a half minute short film The Gozo Giant. Half-satirical, half-deadly serious, this is “the story of a young boy searching for his love of his life and will let nothing get in his way”.
There are too many choice scenes to pick from, so we’re going to leave the whole thing for you to admire in all its majesty.