The Scorpion’s Tale

By Jhosimar Vasquez | Drama
A hitman on death row gets one last visit from his son.

A son meets with his incarcerated father at a county prison, seeking his signature for some paperwork. They want to get his legal case going again and get their father out of prison.

But the father isn’t returning any phone calls from the family. He relates the story of why he is in prison — an assassination home awry — and tells his son and his family to forget about him, choosing instead to take his punishment.

But when his son goes away, the father is taken into a different part of the prison, where the truth of what happened unfurls — and reveals just how twisted it really is.

With a sense of the cinematic as wide and vast as its epic vistas and a plot as intricate and complex as the prison itself, this crime drama — directed by Jhosimar Vasquez and co-written by Maximiliano Hernandez and Brandon Lee — uses its considerable craftsmanship to weave a tense, compelling tale about corruption, morality, greed and power.

The story-within-a-story structure is ambitious, especially for the short format, but the storytelling has a clarity and confidence that patiently lays down its puzzle pieces, starting with the dynamic camerawork and cinematography. The excellent writing and editing are terrifically paced and expertly calibrated, which makes remixing and reassembling the pieces of narrative a highly pleasurable and clever experience for the viewer.

That narrative reassembling and remixing takes the elements of its central stories and jumbles them into a constantly shifting picture, reinventing images and motifs with ingenuity and cleverness. But this constant shifting is grounded by terrific performances, particularly by Maximiliano Hern├índez, who balances both a powerful darkness and flinty, cool intelligence that makes all the story’s twists and turns believable and organic to such a complex character. When all the cards are laid out on the table, viewers will likely feel both intrigue and misgivings at its reveal — but admire the storytelling for its panache.

“The Scorpion’s Tale” offers a wonderfully woven yarn about the constantly shifting, prismatic nature of “truth” and storytelling, as well as the relativity of “good” and “evil” in such a mercenary world. But beyond those questions, the short is simply a dynamite, fun and supremely confident experience, built on solid cinematic craft and skill.

Polished and dynamic, “The Scorpion’s Tale” has a verve and brio that begs to be extended into a feature, especially when the titular “scorpion” reveals his ultimate endgame, which, in tantalizing fashion, is really a new beginning to what promises to be a fascinating, mesmerizing journey. We as viewers are pretty sure that the destination will be no bed of roses — but getting there will be a crazy, entertaining ride.




You Might Also Like:

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...

Ernie

By Hadley Hillel | Drama
A man's suicide attempt rips a hole in the ceiling. Then he befriends the boy upstairs.

Dig Your Own Grave

By Kirk Larsen | Comedy
A man is forced to dig his own grave in the desert. But the ground is hard.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

Welcome to Iron Knob

By Dave Wade | Comedy
A young boy accidentally shoots a stranger and the town tries to cover it up.

CODA

By Erika Davis-Marsh | Romance
A young dancer falls for a deaf guy, then tries to find her place in the world.

Toni With an I

By Marco Alessi | Drama
An awkward girl doesn't fit in at school. Then the Internet comes to save her.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Into the Silent Sea

By Andrej Landin | Sci-Fi
A Soviet cosmonaut who is stranded in space discovers a voice in the distance.

Infinite ft. George MacKay

By Connor O’Hara | Drama
A terminally-ill man has a plan to 'live on' and gets his friends to help.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.