• 09.09.14

Watch This Excellent Apocalyptic Action Film To The End For A Surprising Message

This apocalyptic film is not what it seems.

To maximize your enjoyment of the film being discussed, we suggest watching before reading . . .


To promote a U.K. fundraising event for Stand up to Cancer, animation company Nexus productions has created an end-of-the-world, animated thriller with a twist. The two-minute short, “It’s Payback Time for Cancer,” which will air next month on the U.K.’s Channel 4, features a futuristic world populated by bean-like creatures.

In the spot, from Nexus directors Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, this seemingly peaceable world is assaulted from all directions by a mysterious blue substance. The little beans are terrified as one by one, in classic action movie style, they get mowed down by a mysterious threat from another world. Only in the final seconds do we realize that this blue goo is a cancer-fighting force for good. All along, the beans were the cells we wanted to eradicate. It’s a strange choice to make a deadly disease the seeming protagonist in your planet-in-peril film. It works to upend our viewing expectations, and in breaking the mold, what could have been just another cancer PSA actually sticks in your head.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.