With a blatant disregard for traditional genre boundaries and an absurdly original premise, Ben Steiner’s The Stomach is a short film that can’t fail to entertain. How much is almost entirely down to the viewer’s interpretation. Frank can communicate with the dead. More accurately, the dead speak through his stomach.
When a local gangster needs Frank’s exclusive service his brother Tom promises it will be the last time, but with such a cursed yet lucrative gift how can it be? Any attempt to fully explain The Stomach would be futile. There is such stylish ambiguity and wanton disregard for convention that this is a film that would possibly suffer from too much analysis.
Writer / director Steiner has allowed his imagination full reign (possibly a brave move) and the resulting short is as intriguing as it is inexplicable. What could have come across as overly complicated and unduly confusing is instead exuberantly extravagant through Steiner’s knowing direction and stark, dramatic visuals.
At just 15 minutes The Stomach doesn’t outstay its welcome, leaving its audience reeling from the impact from such a bizarrely constructed yet brilliantly striking short film. As a calling card for future productions, this is about as memorable as they come.