Want to see an original scifi movie with great mech battle effects and a dark conspiracy story set during the new Cold War? Now you can make it happen by donating a little (or a lot) of cash to The Last Cause.
Writer/director Linh Mai describes the film as a conspiracy story set in a dark future with Gundam-style mechs. Stylistically, it seems like a cross between 1970s suspense classic The Parallax View and The Matrix. Here's a detailed synopsis:
Washington DC, 2043. Ten years after a massive terrorist attack that ended 300,000 human lives. The US became a closed, surveillance state to prevent potential attacks from the outside. People gave up their privacy and identity for more safety and security. The US and the other world powers have heavily upgraded arms. Mistrust and skepticism between the countries have led to a new cold war in which the latest developments in technology are channeled into the development of new weapons.
Mechs - manned robots - and drones comb through the dark, chaotic streets of Washington DC, fighting terrorist groups, fanatical religious brotherhoods who prophesise the end of the world, and normal people who fight for their freedom.
We focus on two main characters, Edwin Jacobs and his younger brother Samuel.
Edwin is the head of Nucleus Inc., the world leader in terms of cloning and biomechanics technology. He followed the footsteps of his father, who was killed in the terror attack 10 years ago. Samuel joined the army years ago, hoping for a chance to avenge his father's death. But his hopes are crushed as he is injured in a mech-fight against resistance forces. In the midst of chaos, a mysterious group appears, claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack 10 years ago, which they named "Day of Admonition". They announce that their next assault will exceed the last one by far. Meanwhile Samuel, maimed and disabled, falls into a deep depression, crippled by his inability to take revenge on the enemy which killed his father.
A young woman appears and offers Samuel her help. She claims to be a member of MOTHER, a shadowy organization that seems to be equipped with incredibly advanced technology. Samuel joins MOTHER and begins training to use their technologies and weapons - huge mechs unlike anything Samuel has seen before. Together with the other pilots, Samuel awaits the war against the enemy who killed so many people and who's motives remain so mysterious. Only their name is known... THE LAST CAUSE.
In the meantime Edwin has his own reasons to investigate what MOTHER is, discovering a connection with his own company. Apparently Nucleus Inc. is only the tip of a hidden pyramid. While Samuel and the other pilots are preparing for war, Edwin immerses himself in espionage and deceit on the trail of an unimaginable conspiracy, and poised to uncover a dark secret...
Mai and his crew are seeking $50 thousand to make what looks like it will be a gorgeous, intriguing proof-of-concept reel for what will eventually become a full-length feature. Mai writes, "We're going to spend the money for equipment, cast, props, sets and a bit for living. During the production of The Last Cause we (freelancers) have no income as we've canceled all job requests to work fulltime on this project."
I like how ambitious Mai and his crew are, and I like the anime-influenced scifi melodrama of the story. I want to help support this flick to prove once again that you don't need millions of dollars to make original science fiction with cool effects.
You can learn more and donate via Kickstarter.