Zablah, a demon baby boomer, seeks to convince a millennial to eat at Applebee’s. Ryan Betschart and Rachel Nakawatase direct “Zablah,” a gritty comic oddity shot on 16mm (using a film stock that looks almost like 8mm) that uses a clickbait headline as a springboard to tackle a generational divide in spending habits. While reading the newspaper one night, Zablah finds an article about how millennials are killing the casual dinning industry. This angers the demon — it puts his beloved Applebee’s at risk of hard times or worse. Taking it as a personal insult, he appears in front of Lynette, a young woman who can’t afford restaurant dining due to her massive student loans. He mocks her for eating at home and pleads for her to consider Applebee’s for all her $1 Margarita needs (?) (“What do you have against Applebee’s?!”). It’s absurd and darkly funny, and made tangible with avant-garde technique (blips of static spill into momentary bursts of pop songs or vibey old-time radio), and advanced mask-making.
Director, Writer, Image, Edit, Sound: Ryan Betschart, Rachel Nakawatase. Cast: Rachel Ho, Grace Nayoon Rhee. Voice of Zablah: Rachel Nakawatase. Voice of Lynette: Ryan Betschart. Costumes: Christina Lim. Special EFX Makeup: Merry Cammack, Cynthia Bautista.