Who’s got time to watch an entire movie these days? Especially in the theater, with all of those damn ads. If you want to catch up on your classic science fiction but don’t have a lot of time, 1A4Studio has the perfect solution—60-second condensed versions of must-see movies. The latest studio speedrun is Blade Runner, but they have a ton of other sci-fi greats to choose from.
While it lacks the gritty futurism of the original, as well as Harrison Ford’s compelling “is he or isn’t he a replicant?” performance, this video has a certain charm all its own. My favorite part is definitely the unicorn bursting through the television. In a strange way, that kind of sums up what Blade Runner is all about. Speedrun sex is also pretty funny, as are the gymnastics involved in gunfights.
If you’ve got a few more minutes, and I do mean minutes, you should brush up on more genre favorites. Their version of Aliens features surprisingly adorable killer extraterrestrials. As with the previous video, the characters take an elevator to transport from one “scene” to another, which functions as a nifty metaphor and way to break up the visual frames. Also, even drawn as what looks like a cross between a marshmallow and a stick figure with pigtails, Sigourney Weaver still kicks a whole lot of ass.
Next up, the Matrix, which, appropriately, looks and sounds more like a video game than anything else. Just as in the real version, you can identify the bad guy by his sunglasses, and even a squirrely, pukey little ghost-like animated figure is a far better actor than Keanu.
They’re addictive, aren’t they? They’re like the CliffsNotes for all of your favorite movies, except way more awesome, and obviously more relevant to your daily life than Wuthering Heights. There’s even a speedrun of one of my favorite movies ever made, Back to the Future starring, of course, Christopher Lloyd’s crazy hair. Not a shock to anyone, the best scene is when Biff’s car collides with the manure truck. They may only be a minute long, but these shorts really do have all the important details and the most memorable moments.
What would any collection of sci-fi movies be if it didn’t include Star Wars? While I’m sure it was tempting to eviscerate Jar Jar, or mock the intricacies of intergalactic trade regulation, I’m glad the video takes on A New Hope, the first real Star Wars movie. And I love the way the characters hop into and out of all their spacecraft. There’s no elevator this time around, and the characters just jump from frame to frame. If you watch it close enough, there is a discernible logic to the way the animation flows, both in terms of the plot, as well as the individual frames. They’ve even got the trash compactor scene, which is perhaps my favorite bit of any of these shorts, along with short bursts of color during the lightsaber battle. Also, you may notice that Harrison Ford’s look is remarkably consistent between this speedrun and Bladerunner, whether he’s Han or Deckard.
Who are the big brains behind these hyper-condensed cartoons? Beyond an impressive body of animated work, there’s a dearth of information about 1A4’s Russian creators-the studio is located just outside of Moscow. There’s a ton of animation on their YouTube channel, including videos about soccer, Hindu creation myths, and the ridiculousness of Scientology—which you should all watch below—among many other topics. Their tagline, “Phckn awesome animation until death do us part,” pretty much sums it up.