Antartica. 14 million square miles of cold. 90% of the world’s ice. Blizzards like nowhere else on earth. Land of magnetic attraction to heroes and fools alike. Land of no return: “I am just going outside and may be sometime.” Antartica has no indigenous population – but it does have scientific bases dotted across its vast land mass, staffed at any one time by between 1000 and 5000 thinly spread workers. And there is no government. There are a few treaties of course, a lot of goodwill, and a fair amount of plain hope that none of the temporary inhabitants will go stir buggin crazy in all the white light. And maybe set out about a cabin fever killing spree. Or that in the vast expanse of nothingness, mysterious activities are not afoot. Waiting to catch you. When you’re all alone.
The perfect backdrop, wouldn’t you say, for a psychological thriller. Or even better, a hammy horror. You wouldn’t be the first to think this, of course. B-movie directors worked this out some time ago and gave us, perhaps most notably, The Thing in 1982. You’ve gotta love a bit of John Carpenter.
And then, unfortunately, gave it to us again, in prequel form, in 2011.
Now, it seems some folk with their hands on a movie camera have gone one step further and actually shot a film in Antartica. The first feature set in the great white wilderness to have also been filmed there. The logistics of this would be unthinkable for any ordinary outfit. But this film, South of Sanity, was made entirely by workers on a research base: writer, director, cast and crew alike. Isolated workers on an isolated research base. Playing isolated workers on an isolated research base.
Ok, so it might seem a little amateurish, but I’d like to catch a glimpse of this little work of art anyway. If I was holed up on an Antarctic base right now I might be just a little bit creeped out. I might be looking over my shoulder. Watching. Listening. Waiting. For life to imitate art…