The camera work, scenery and tone are fantastic, but there's something incredibly unsettling about a giant anthropomorphic panda roaming a post-apocalyptic world with a machete he doesn't plan to harvest bamboo with.
Epic Films, of Adelaide, produced the three-minute short as an prologue for a TV series it's currently developing called Wasteland Panda. The voice-over is from the point of view of the panda, but he doesn't actually speak aloud during the clip. He does toss a few lowlifes around, however.
Pandas, as we know, are not exactly native to Australia and the question how exactly our furry, black-and-white hero ends up traipsing Flinders Ranges (the filming location) is not answered. I'm going to guess that series is set elsewhere or in some fictional world where such queries are irrelevant.
Is the panda too much of a gimmick? It certainly got my attention, but my mind struggles to unite The Road with, well, this.
[Vimeo, thanks Kirsty]