Casper Kelly’s 2014 short film Too Many Cooks melted down the ’90s sitcom credit sequence until its bubbling, molten remains could be forged into a spear in which to impale the ashen heart of American consumer culture. It was a blast!
Now Kelly, along with co-writer, -director and -producer Nick Gibbons, is back with another dropped-at-4 a.m. Adult Swim “infomercial” and the conventions of picture-in-picture walkthrough videos. We won’t take the violent and surreal Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough personally — after goofing on the art of in-game commentary, the spoof quickly goes off the rails, a mini Matrix for the Twitch age.
Final Deployment 4 begins as a kind of Gears of War-esque shooter. Our host “Blair Trigger” is the player at the wheel of Scourge, a soldier tasked with wiping out legions of bug soldiers. He guns those down easily. Tougher is what happens when he goes home, and discovers that his mother has converted his badass war chamber into a craft room full of duck wall art, or later, when he leaves his job as a drugstore stock boy to seek help for his wartime PTSD.
This is all the surface. Without killing the joke, Kelly and Gibbons delve deeper and deeper into the what-if scenario of life as an on-camera game personality. The nightmares are stacked like the levels in Inception and the inverted animation employed to bring the whole thing to life would make Andy Warhol scream. The ending is like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey as seen through the hazy eyes of a 24-hour Fortnite binge.
Take a deep breath and give yourself over to Final Deployment 4: Queen Battle Walkthrough.