OATS STUDIOS: VOLUME 1 on Netflix is a collection of Neill Blomkamp (District 9) short films in the sci-fi and horror genre. As a rule, they all look really good but the stories can be quite lacking. Runtime from 4 to 26 minutes. Read our full Oats Studios review here!
OATS STUDIOS: VOLUME 1 is a new Netflix short film collection. Actually, it’s a collection of Neill Blomkamp (District 9) short films that have been released on YouTube earlier. These short films are all in the sci-fi and horror genre, so there’s plenty of cool stuff to watch. Also, you can binge the whole season quickly since the runtimes vary from 4-26 minutes.
LOVE SHORT FILMS?
Continue reading our Oats Studios review below. We’ve watched all 10 episodes of Volume 1 for this review.
The episodes in Oats Studios Volume 1
I can’t claim I understand exactly why these particular shorts films were chosen as episodes for this “Volume 1” of Oats Studios, but here we are. In runtime, they range from just 4 minutes to 26 minutes. Some are animated in a computer game manner while others are just “enhanced” with a lot of cool effects.
Also, several episodes actually consist of several “webisodes” that have been made into one episode here. This has been done when the stories feature the same characters in the same setting.
The 10 episodes in this season (or volume) are:
- Rakka (21 minutes)
- Firebase (26 minutes – the longest in this round)
- Cooking with Bill (10 minutes – consists of several webisodes)
- God: Serengeti/Chicago (7 minutes – two webisodes)
- Zygote (22 minutes)
- Bad President: Oil Spill / All My Sh*t (6 minutes – two webisodes)
- ADAM: Episode 2 (6 minutes)
- ADAM: Episode 3 (8 minutes)
- Gdansk (4 minutes – animated)
- Kapture: Locust (7 minutes – two webisodes with the first being “Fluke”)
You can see even more of these Oats Studios episodes on YouTube where they’ve been readily available to watch for several years. Also known as webisodes, they’ll allow you to enjoy all kinds of cool stuff for free. And also a few things that make little or no sense, but hey, it looks good.
Where is ADAM: Episode 1?
You almost can’t help but ask: Where is ADAM: Episode 1 when there are episodes titled ADAM: Episode 2 and ADAM: Episode 3. However, that’s just another little quirky thing about this collection of shorts. Maybe it’s still on the drawing board or still in the mind of Neill Blomkamp?!
WANT TO WATCH MORE HORROR SHORT FILMS
In any case, the ADAM episodes are actually some of the more engaging and complete stories. Sure, they’re still just a snippet of something bigger, but it makes more sense than some of the others. An episode like the very short Gdansk is gorgeous visually but feels like it was just a test drive of shorts with no point to the story.
I did enjoy watching the short God webisodes. Especially since Sharlto Copley (The Last Days of American Crime) was clearly having fun playing God.
Watch the 10 episodes in Oats Studios Volume 1 on Netflix now!
Oats Studios is an actual independent film studio founded by Neill Blomkamp which in itself is enough reason for me to watch. Despite the fact that his most recent feature film was quite a mess. It was called Demonic and featured Carly Pope just like many of the stories in this Netflix short film compilation does.
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To be honest, having watched Oats Studios short films, Demonic feels like one of those that was just made into a feature film. In fact, it is the first horror feature film from Oats Studios. Personally, I would have preferred just about any one of the other episodes in Volume 1 to have been used instead.
For me, the super short episodes that have been made into compilation episodes work better because there is a story there. “Cooking with Bill” is funny because the infomercial/home shopping network angle is so recognizable. Also, “Kapture” definitely has some important points to make with its two stories.
And while episodes like Rakka and Zygote have star power – by featuring Sigourney Weaver and Dakota Fanning respectively – the episode Firebase was probably my overall favorite. That one felt like an opening episode to a new awesome TV series or a feature film. Certainly something I want to keep watching somehow!
Oats Studios Volume 1 is out on Netflix from October 1, 2021.
Director Neill Blomkamp produces a series of experimental short films that envision post-apocalyptic worlds and nightmarish scenarios.