In a roadside diner, an aging former boxer (Seinfeld’s Brian George) tells a friendly server (The School for Good and Evil’s Rachel Bloom) a magical tale from his fighting past—involving a very special match between a monster made of radioactive oatmeal and a steam-powered robot. No wonder he gets misty when he sees the menu item that gives this film its title: Steel Cut Oats.
io9 has featured the work of filmmaker Harry Chaskin before—check out his pandemic creation, black-and-white submarine tale Down Here—but Steel Cut Oats is much more ambitious; the filmmaker, who told io9 it took six years to complete this “labor of love,” describes it as “a loose retelling of the Golem folktale from Eastern Europe … it’s also a love letter to the films of Ray Harryhausen, employing every old school practical effect you can think of.” Payam Banifaz plays the boxer in the flashback scenes.
Plus: ruthless gangsters, weird science, sports nostalgia—and a surprisingly touching relationship between a down-on-his-luck athlete (in live-action) and one very expressive radioactive oatmeal monster (in stop-motion).
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